A week after suffocating Virginia Tech and only allowing 10 points, the Miami Hurricanes find themselves in another position to put themselves in the top four if they can beat Notre Dame.
The rivalry looks to be renewed this year, after both programs, particularly Miami have been up and down in the last decade or so.
Both of these teams look pretty balanced on paper, with good running games and strong defenses.
Notre Dame has been rolling over opponents since their loss to Georgia, despite having the 9th toughest schedule. Miami has the 31st toughest schedule, and has navigated a perfect season in spite of that.
The main key for this game for the Hurricanes is to stop Josh Adams. He’s having a Heisman worthy season with 1,191 yards, nine touchdown and 8.7 yards per carry. Miami’s defense has had trouble against the run all year long, giving up 170 yards on the ground per contest. They just haven’t been able to get a push against the run, despite not being an undersized unit up front.
Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson are the best left side offensive line in the country, so expect a lot of runs to their side, and Notre Dame to be able to move the ball.
Miami will have to minimize Adams’s effect and force Brandon Wimbush’s arm to beat a talented Miami secondary.
Another key for the Hurricanes is to get off to a quick start. This game is under the lights at Hard Rock Stadium, where a capacity crowd of 65,000+ is expected to be on hand. Getting a quick score or a turnover early in the first quarter would be a step in getting the crowd involved early.
Malik Rosier hasn’t wavered at all going against top competition. I expect Richt to put the ball in his hands early and often. There should be gaps in coverage throughout the night, with Notre Dame ranking 91st in pass defense. Braxton Berrios and Ahmonn Richards (featured) should approach 100 yards in this one.
Look for Mark Richt to be aggressive early and try and dictate the tempo and throw Brian Kelly’s squad off rhythm.
Travis Homer has been good on the ground so far for Miami after replacing Mark Walton, but Notre Dame’s front four is stout, which could make the offense one-dimensional. Malik Rosier, while clutch in fourth quarters, has seemed to a poor decision with the football each game this year, and it’s lead to interceptions.
If Rosier can stay away from making that one critical mistake, Miami should come out with a relatively easy win.
However, a tiger doesn’t change their stripes.
Rosier will likely throw a pick in the second half that leads to a Fighting Irish touchdown. He’ll once again have to save his team for a mistake that he made.
Richt, Rosier and Co. get a go-ahead score late, holding on for a 26-24 victory.
Cover Photo via Sun Sentinel