Offensive-minded North Carolina up next for Notre Dame

Fresh off its long-awaited first win of the season, Notre Dame will hit the road to face North Carolina on Saturday at Chapel Hill.After falling in the season opener at Ohio State, then absorbing a stunning home loss to Marshall, the Fighting Irish (1-2) rebounded last week with a 24-17 win over Cal.Key in Notre Dame’s first win of the season was the pressure its defense was able to apply on Cal quarterback Jack Plummer. The Irish racked up six sacks and five other QB hits. The pressure didn’t result in any turnovers, but Notre Dame kept Cal to just 4 of 15 on third down conversions and 1 of 3 on fourth down.”Overall, I’ve been pleased, but is there a lot to improve at? Absolutely,” first-year Irish coach Marcus Freeman said. “That goes from every level of defense.”Irish quarterback Drew Pyne also was sharp against Cal, completing 17 of 23 passes for 150 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Backfield mates Audric Estime and Chris Tyree combined for 140 rushing yards on 35 carries, an average of 4 yards per-carry.North Carolina is 3-0 to start the season but has historically struggled against the Irish. Notre Dame is 20-2 all-time in the series and is currently riding a four-game winning streak against the Tar Heels going back to 2014.