Notre Dame vs Miami
Saturday night, will restart a rivalry that had it’s glory days mentioned by a few documentaries produced by the “worldwide leader.” #3 Notre Dame – #7 Miami is going to be a match-up that will be something to watch for due to a lot being at stake for both teams. A playoff berth, a coaching legacy, a Heisman campaign, are among the biggest story-lines going in to Saturday game. This game will feature both teams being ranked in the Top-10 for the first time since 1989. How will these teams fare? Let’s break down both teams and see if the match-up is definitely worth the prime-time showdown.
Tales of the Tape
#3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-1)
After a disappointing 2016 season that saw the Irish go 4-8, the Irish are on pace for one of the most successful rebounds in team history. The 1-2 punch of quarterback Brandon Wimbush and Heisman hopeful running-back Josh Adams have certainly put the team on the radar in the playoff push. However, the Irish have their fair share of critics in recent weeks thanks to the Irish’s #3 ranking in the College Football Playoff Poll. Despite two huge wins against Top-25 teams, the Irish’s schedule is part of those reasons with wins against Miami-Ohio and an extremely disappointing North Carolina. However Adams’ Heisman campaign is one most certainly to watch as he could be the first Notre Dame player since Tim Brown (1987) to win the trophy.
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) November 9, 2017
#7 Miami Hurricanes (8-0)
Miami has definitely got the bad taste of the Al Golden-era out of their mouths by hiring alumnus Mark Richt as head coach. Within his second season with the team, The U has become the team it once was from their glory days by returning their aggressiveness, flamboyance, and swagger. Their defense became a national story highlighted not only by the “Turnover Chain,” but by having one of the best defenses assembled.
“Miami has one of the best D-lines in the country, with a legit front four of Chad Thomas (11 tackles for loss last season), Kendrick Norton (10 TFLs), RJ McIntosh (nine TFLs) and Joe Jackson (8.5 sacks as a freshman last year) and there are some studs behind those guys too. The linebackers are fast and fierce—keep an eye on sophomore Shaq Quarterman, who looks like he’ll be an All-America before he leaves Coral Gables. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has a lot to work with now. Last season his group was pretty green up front, especially the freshman linebacker trio, but it still ranked fifth in FBS in tackles for loss and 22nd in sacks.”
Bruce Feldman – August 18th, 2017
Unfortunately, those who have followed Richt’s career as a head coach, notice a trend of Richt losing the games that mattered which led to his firing at Georgia. THIS IS THE GAME THAT REALLY MATTERS for Richt and the Hurricane nation in order to be taken seriously once again.
What’s on the line
A win by Notre Dame would help the Irish’s case in receiving a berth in the College Football Playoff come December. This would be the team’s third quality win of the season, with ND both beating highly ranked then #11 USC and #14 NC State in back-to-back weeks. Miami on the other hand, would need to beat Clemson in the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte… that is if everything plays out for the rest of the season in the Canes’ favor.
Regardless, the winner of this game will have a chance at landing a spot in the playoff.
Picking the Winner
With the game being held in Miami, the crowd would most certainly play a huge factor in what could be the game of the year. Miami’s defense will most certainly play off the crowd by trying to limit Wimbush’s passing game and jeopardize Adams’ run for the Heisman. Miami dual-threat quarterback Malik Rosier will look to take advantage of a Notre Dame defense that gave up 587 yards against Wake Forest. This will be an entertaining match-up Saturday night, and one that will reignite a rivalry in future seasons. Don’t be surprised if both teams get into a scuffle and if this game comes town to a last second play.