#3 Notre Dame Football Game Preview vs #7 Miami Hurricanes

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Here we go- a college football playoff elimination game, between two traditional powerhouses, with a historically acrimonious relationship with each other. Now this is the level of Notre Dame football games that you remember if you’re old enough to recall the early ’90s and before. The #3 Fighting Irish head to whatever the name of the Dolphins stadium is this month to square off against the undefeated #7 Miami Hurricanes.

It’s a prime time nationally televised contest on ABC under the lights. ESPN Gameday will be in south beach to hype it during the day. The winner gets/stays in final four position in the playoff rankings. The loser will have to redefine season goals downward.

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SPREAD: Notre Dame football -3

It’s the highest stakes game in the Catholics vs Convicts series since the 1980s, and for more on the history of this rivalry go to this link and learn all about the 30 for 30 film on it that was released last season.

#7 Miami Hurricanes Preview:

In the words of E-40 & The Click, “hurricane, strong enough to start an engine mang.” This Hurricanes team is extremely strong due to the fact that they have difference makers everywhere; in all position groups. Travis Homer has stepped in at tailback, for Mark Walton, and the odyssey that Homer is on this season has been very impressive.

“Homer has done an incredible job of coming in for the loss of Walton, who we all know is one of the best running backs in the country,” Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday.

“Homer leads the team in rushing. Very shifty, athletic player that can go the distance and has really done a great job for them.”

Malik Rosier is a dual threat QB, with very solid statistics, but a tendency to not have both elements working for him all the time. In order for the Canes to take this game, they’ll have to be complete and balanced on offense.

“Rosier is a gritty kid,” Kelly added.

“As a first-year starter, he find ways to make plays. He’s a lot like Brandon when you look at him. He just, you know, finds ways to win football games, whether he’s going to run for a first down or make a key play. He keeps the drives alive.

“Braxton Berrios is the engine to that offense, no doubt about it, but he’s also extremely productive. So it’s one thing to be the emotional leader but you know, he averages I think close to 15 yards per catch and I think he’s somebody that you have to game plan for in the special teams game as a punt returner.”

2015 nfl mock draft the u part 2 miami hurricanes cheerleader

Miami’s 8-0 record is a bit misleading though, as they didn’t beat Florida State, North Carolina and Georgia Tech close to convincingly. Those first two teams are terrible this season, and the last one is mediocre at best. This team could just as easily be 6-2 or 5-3 right now, but let’s give them credit for earning their biggest win and playing their best ball just last week, in an 18 point win over a Virginia Tech team ranked in the top 15.

The difference for the Canes in the tight games has been the turnover chain, and it’s a gold chain that’s…”ice is flawless, recite for ballers” as Jay-Z famously said.

See this video:

Canes Warning, the Miami community on the Fan Sided network has more on Jaquan Johnson (who claimed the chain, and ACC Defensive Player of the week) and his defensive mates.

Alan Rubenstein writes: “Johnson was a part of a Miami Hurricanes defense that had their best game of the season. They held a potent Virgina Tech Defense to 299 yards, had eight tackles for loss, four sacks and forced four turnovers.

Johnson has been the leader of the Miami Defense this season. They will need his versatility against Notre Dame on Saturday.”

notre dame football

Notre Dame football preview:

There are plenty of people saying this is the best coaching job Kelly has ever done/the best Fighting Irish team that he has ever had in his eight seasons on the job. This will be his 100th game coached in South Bend. Kelly joked Tuesday that this a 1,000 in dog years.

“I’m honored to have gotten the opportunity to coach a hundred games,” he said after some joking banter with a reporter in a way to try and not get too meta or deep with the typical November big picture question.

“I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would ever get a chance to coach one game at Notre Dame. So to think of a hundred, I can’t even, you know, wrap my arms around that.”

notre dame football

“Look, I try not to think in those terms. But I’m honored. I would have liked to have won even more games for our fans and for our players. But my focus is on beating Miami and that’s what we’re hoping for one hundred.”

For Kelly, his seat was warming, and the pitchforks were out less than a year ago, as his team suffered through a 4-8 season and no bowl. How did they turn it around so drastically, and so fast? Well, it’s really due to three main factors, and we listed and elaborated on all three of those factors over at this link. 

The biggest factor to note is that the infrastructure was already there and the talent in place, before the coaching staff was changed over.

“It was a change of philosophy in terms of what we were going to really hang our hat on, if you will, in terms of who we were going to be, our identity,” said Kelly who admitted that he finally had an epiphany about committing to the run game after the blowout win over Miami of Ohio.

brian kelly notre dame

“So our identity was going to run through that offensive line. You know, when you talk about it, it’s one thing. But when you actually do it, I think it started to show itself, you know, certainly we didn’t run the ball as effectively as we wanted to against Georgia.

“But I think when we broke through with over 500 yards rushing against Boston College, I think that that was really where everything started to kind of, you know, show itself; that this is who we were going to be, and then it’s, you know, certainly taken shape from there.”

Behind two guys who will eventually become NFL versions of a NBA Draft lottery pick on the offensive line (left tackle Mike McGlinchey and left guard Quenton Nelson), the Irish have gone all in on their physical, smash mouth style, establishing themselves as arguably the nation’s best rushing team.

notre dame football

Heisman trophy candidate Josh Adams leads a deep stable of backs capable of taking the game and running away with it.

Prediction: Notre Dame football 27, Miami Hurricanes 21

As Lin-Manuel Miranda told us in Hamilton, “in the eye of a hurricane there is quiet, for just a moment, a yellow sky.” Maybe the fact that the Irish have played in an actual hurricane, (the loss at N.C. State last season) will help them beat the Canes…I don’t know.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune corporation blogging community Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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Comments

  1. ND 27-21? How about ND
    48-16? Miami averages 26 pts/game against just avg FBS competition, and cannot stop the run. Where is the evidence that Miami at their best is a better team than NC State, Ga Tech, Mich St, USC or Wake?

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