Notre Dame Star S Kyle Hamilton OUT for North Carolina Game

At Brian Kelly’s Monday press conference kicking off North Carolina week, the Irish head coach delivered news that Notre Dame fans were hoping not to hear today. All-American safety Kyle Hamilton is OUT for this weekend’s matchup with North Carolina after injuring his knee against USC this past weekend.

Kyle Hamilton injured his knee in the first quarter of Notre Dame’s 31-16 win over USC this weekend in what looked like a bad injury. Brian Kelly said on Saturday night that there was no structural damage and he was optimistic about the injury, but his update on Monday was not as optimistic.

While Kelly announced that Hamilton is out this weekend, he still maintained that they do not believe he will be out long-term. With Navy on tap next weekend, it probably makes sense to sit him again then.

When Notre Dame traveled to North Carolina last year to take on a much more prolific Tar Heel offense, the Irish played the entire second half without Kyle Hamilton due to a targeting penalty do the Irish have some experience facing Sam Howell and the UNC offense without their star safety. Houston Griffith played perhaps the best game of his career last fall in that contest.

With Hamilton out, Isaiah Pryor likely plays a lot more at safety after spending the last year at ROVER. Pryor was a safety early in his career at Ohio State and when he first arrived at Notre Dame following his transfer.

How this impacts Marcus Freeman’s approach to the Tar Heel offense will be interesting. Without Hamilton, he could play more conservatively and less aggressively to avoid big plays, but that wouldn’t necessarily play to the strengths of his defense. North Carolina’s offensive line is not very good so, hopefully, the Irish will be able to generate pressure with just there front four.

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One Comment

  1. We will find out that this secondary will not collapse the way the Julian Love secondary did when he went out in the playoffs. This is despite the fact that Hamilton is a much better player even than Love was.
    BGC 77 82

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