It was a four-quarter brawl, with the Irish making no mistakes, ending up visiting North Carolina. When you score 44 points the expectation is that you should win and that is exactly what happened. This game was closer than you might have imagined considering Tar Heel’s record, which means some things didn’t go well for the Irish today. Find out who did well, 5 stars, and who didn’t, 1 star, in Saturday’s 44-34 win over North Carolina.

October 30, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, United States; Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Kyren Williams enters Notre Dame Stadium for the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t until last week that Williams finally broke the 100-yard mark in the 2021 season. His 138 yards were huge last week, keeping the Trojans off the field. Williams topped last week’s performance passing the 200 yard mark, 202, and that incredible touchdown run, which you can see here. The sophomore crunch is over and expect Williams to continue running all over his opponent.

October 23, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, United States; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver Lorenzo Styles Jr. (21) runs the ball as USC Trojans safety Xavion Alford (29) tries to tackle the second quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Last week the rookie saw his playing time increase and this week with Braden Lenzy injured during the game. His 40-yard reception where he caught a short pass and lit the jets was something the Irish only needed. Styles Jr. dropped a very catchy deep ball, but made up for it with another big play the next drive, a 25-yard reception. He really started to show why he was so loved outside of high school. Styles Jr. finished as the team’s first receiver with 3 receptions for 74 yards.

BLACKSBURG, VA – OCTOBER 09: Houston Griffith # 3 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates with Logan Diggs # 22 after the game against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Lane Stadium on October 9, 2021 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Scott Taetsch / Getty Images)

When the Louisiana native made a commitment to the Irish, his running style shouted Le’Veon Bell. He does a great job waiting behind the line for a hole to open, then hits it hard with his speed. The numbers in the box score might not be eye-catching, but the fact that it gets some quality playing time when the game is on the line tells you a lot about how good the coaching staff is. love the ability of Diggs.

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA – OCTOBER 30: Sam Howell # 7 of the North Carolina Tar Heels kicks the ball during the second quarter of the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on October 30, 2021 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline / Getty Images)

It’s really not a bad thing, but it is a testament to how good a Howell player is. He totaled 432 yards and 2 touchdowns. If Howell had the same weapons as last year, he will travel to New York in December for the Heisman ceremony. It’s a daunting task for any team to keep Howell on the ground, so that’s not as much of a complaint as it is praise for the UNC quarterback.

October 30, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, United States; North Carolina Tar Heels running back Ty Chandler (19) runs for a touchdown as Irish Notre Dame Fighting linebacker Drew White (40) tries to tackle the second quarter at Notre Dame Stadium . Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Not good at all. I get the idea, you can’t let Howell beat you overboard in the air. It doesn’t mean that you give up the run defenses on some downs. Howell ran 91 yards and running back Ty Chandler ran 83 yards on 15 carries. The Irish have seen better days stopping the run, allowing a total of 213 yards. There will be better days for Notre Dame’s defense and luckily the Irish offense has exploded to a season high with 44 points.