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Published: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 10:27 AM
Updated: Friday, October 06, 2017 @ 10:25 AM
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Notre Dame has leaned on its running game to spark a turnaround from a four-win season. Now the 21st-ranked Fighting Irish bring one of the nation's best ground attacks to face a North Carolina run defense that has struggled for stops.
Notre Dame (4-1) enters Saturday's game at UNC ranked second nationally with 20 rushing touchdowns, third in yards per carry (7.14) and seventh in rushing yards per game (301.4). Those numbers are all up significantly from last season, and coach Brian Kelly points to that success as a reason why the Irish has been one of the nation's best red-zone offenses, too.
"I think it has a lot to do with the running of the football and then what we're setting up off of the run, more so than trying to take shots on first down in the end zone," Kelly said. "We're staying ahead of the chains there."
Junior running back Josh Adams has led that attack, ranking third nationally by averaging 131.6 yards per game. Quarterback Brandon Wimbush — whose role is in question Saturday due to a foot injury — is second at better than 80 yards per game.
Compare that production to 2016, when Notre Dame averaged just 163.6 yards rushing and had 18 touchdowns on the ground for all last season. The Irish averaged about 31 points per game, roughly 10 points fewer than this season.
"I think as an offense, I think we know we can do more," Adams said. "I think we have guys that want to do more. We're never just satisfied with where we're at. We always want to do better. We always want to improve. I don't think we're even close to being at the level we know we can be at."
Notre Dame could be set for a big afternoon against North Carolina (1-4), which ranks 112th nationally by allowing nearly 222 yards rushing per game. The Tar Heels surrendered 403 yards rushing to Georgia Tech's triple-option attack last week.
"You're going to have to do the best job we can," UNC coach Larry Fedora said. "We're going to have to be very disciplined in our gaps. Our guys are going to have to get off the blocks and our guys are going to have to get multiple hats to the ball. We need to create turnovers and limit their possessions."
Here are some other things to know about Saturday's Notre Dame-UNC game:
WIMBUSH'S STATUS: Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly has said he won't name a starting quarterback until kickoff as starter Brandon Wimbush deals with a right foot strain. Wimbush has been limited in practice while sharing reps with Ian Book.
SURRATT'S DEVELOPMENT: Redshirt freshman quarterback Chazz Surratt has seized control of the starting job for the Tar Heels, though they're coming off their worst performance (247 yards) of the season at Georgia Tech. The Tar Heels could use more of Surratt's big-play ability through the air and on the ground.
BANGED-UP TAR HEELS: North Carolina has an injury problem. The Tar Heels had 13 players listed on last week's injury report as being out with season-ending injuries, including starters such as receiver Austin Proehl and linebacker Andre Smith.
MISSING MOMENTUM: The Tar Heels have been struggling dating to the final month of last season. North Carolina has lost seven of nine games since beating Georgia Tech last November, which was the program's last win against a power-conference opponent.
TURNOVER EDGE: Notre Dame has a clear edge on opponents when it comes to dealing with turnovers. The Irish is plus-6 in turnover margin this season, has scored 70 points off 11 turnovers by opponents and allowed just three points off their five turnovers.
More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25
Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 11:51 AM
Updated: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 12:59 PM
SPRINGFIELD — A threatening letter sent to the Springfield NAACP president earlier this week has prompted an investigation by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
The letter police said contained “threats of violence and racial epithets” and was mailed to the chapter office and received Wednesday.
Springfield NAACP President Denise Williams reported the letter to Springfield police.
"We have reached out to our partners in state and federal agencies, and we're making a cooperative effort to identify the source of the abhorrent act," said Springfield Police Division Chief Lee Graf. "We take these threats very seriously."
Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 1:05 AM
— A group of students from the Dayton area left Friday night, headed to Washington, D.C. to march in the nation's capital Saturday in the name of gun control.
The students have a grueling itinerary, leaving from Englewood by bus Friday night, riding by bus through the night and arriving in Washington around 9 a.m.
"We want action and we want prevention," said Sammy Caruso, an Oakwood High School student who coordinated the trip.
Oakwood students spent their Friday night making signs in preparation for their trip. They'll joine other teens from all over the country in what's being called the "March for our Lives."
It's a push for tougher gun laws in the wake of the most recent mass shooting last month at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
"I think marches are one of the best ways we can get people involved," said Caruso.
Students from several schools in the Miami Valley boarded the bus, along with some parents and teachers who also are along for the trip.
Caruso said he lost a friend in the Parkland shooting, so he said this issue is personal for him.
"I really felt like I needed to do something about it, I couldn't just watch this happen, see something that happened to my friend ... I need to do as much as I can," he said.
"We want our congressmen to know that we're sick of it, and if they're not going to have any action, we're going to demand it."
Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 5:37 AM
Updated: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 7:31 AM
— WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR BUTLER COUNTY UNTIL 2 A.M. SUNDAY
We will be starting out in the 20s and will be mostly cloudy, according to Storm Center 7 meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. Passing showers move in during the day mixing with snow and possibly some rain in the afternoon. The best chance for this is south of I-70. Snow totals will be limited and most of the Miami Valley won’t see any stick. Butler County is under a Winter Weather Advisory with possible snowfalls reaching 1 inch to 3 inches. The Dayton area might see a dusting on grassy surfaces. North of Dayton will have a pretty quite Saturday. It looks like the Miami Valley dodges the heaviest bands of snow which will stay south. Temperatures climb to around 40. Clouds decrease tonight and we drop to the mid 20s.
Sunday: It will be a beautiful end to the weekend. We will see highs in the mid to upper 40s. Dry and sunny!
Monday: We see a nice start to the new week with temperatures close to normal with highs in the low to mid 50s. Clouds increase in the evening.
Tuesday: Scattered rain showers will develop with highs in the upper 50s feeling mild and breezy.
Published: Saturday, March 24, 2018 @ 6:03 AM
WASHINGTON TWP. — Crews responded to reports that a red Chevy Trail Blazer flipped on its top in Washington Twp. Saturday morning.
The single vehicle flipped at the cross of Hempstead Meadows and West Alex Bell Road around 5 a.m.
Medics were on scene but no one was taken to the hospital.