Pyne, offense shine as Notre Dame powers past North Carolina 45-32

Notre Dame quarterback Drew Pyne (10) looks to pass during the second half of an NCAA college...
Notre Dame quarterback Drew Pyne (10) looks to pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022 (AP Photo/Chris Seward)(Chris Seward | AP)
Published: Sep. 24, 2022 at 8:14 PM EDT
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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Drew Pyne threw three touchdown passes and Notre Dame finally clicked on offense in a 45-32 victory over North Carolina.

Audric Estime rushed for two touchdowns and 134 yards and Chris Tyree ran for a touchdown and 80 yards for the Fighting Irish. Pyne completed 24 of 34 passes for 289 yards.

All-American tight end Michael Mayer was once again the favorite target, and he proved to be trouble for a North Carolina defense that has allowed more than 40 points in half the games it has played so far this season. Mayer finished with seven catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.

The outcome resulted in the first road win under first-year coach Marcus Freeman. He praised the offense after Saturday’s win.

“I’m obviously extremely happy for our group of guys and our coaching staff,” Freeman said. “For an entirety of a game, they played really, really well. And the beauty of it is there’s always room to get better. We can go and we can learn from a lot of situations that happened in the game. It was a challenge to our offense to be able to run the ball, and it was a challenge to our defense to stop the run.

“To hold that (North Carolina) offense to 66 rushing yards is a great accomplishment by our defense,” Freeman continued. “Coach Golden and Coach Rees did an unbelievable job of preparing this group, and I’m really happy where this team this team is progressing.”

The Tar Heels were denied their first 4-0 start to a season since 1997 despite five touchdown passes from Drake Maye.

Notre Dame now has two weeks to prepare for its Shamrock Series matchup against BYU at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.