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  • Focused Irish Enter Hurricane Season

    by John Vannie

    Notre Dame hits the road for the first time in a month to face the undefeated Miami Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium in a game that will solidify the college football playoff position of the winner and deal a crushing blow to the hopes of the loser. The third ranked Fighting Irish are coming off their worst defensive performance of the season, while the seventh ranked Canes played their best overall game in beating Virginia Tech. A sellout crowd will be on hand for the 8:00 PM EST kickoff while ABC provides national television coverage.

    Miami is riding the nation’s longest winning streak at 13 games, which dates back to the 30-27 loss last year in South Bend. Their success is attributable to an aggressive, swarming defense and the playmaking ability of quarterback Malik Rosier. Head Coach Mark Richt is in his second year at his alma mater after a 9-4 campaign in 2016. The Canes have made great strides this season with nine returning starters on defense, yet they have very few seniors on either side of the ball.

    1988 At this stage of the season and with so much at stake, both teams understand the significance of the game. Miami players didn’t downplay questions regarding the often bitter history between the programs. “It’s absolutely a rivalry,” offensive lineman Kc McDermott said. “It’s Miami-Notre Dame. They made a 30 for 30 about this. This is a rivalry – no questions about it – and we are going to be ready for it.”

    “It’s like Florida State,” safety Jaquan Johnson said of the rivalry. “We have to beat them. We have to find a way to win. That’s our mentality; we have to find a way. It’s a big rivalry and we want to win. We want it for us and we want it for the city.”

    The Irish continue to dominate on the ground despite bothersome injuries to their top three running backs. Josh Adams, Dexter Williams and Tony Jones will be available and hopefully at or near full strength. Tight end Alize Mack is expected to return after missing last week’s game with a concussion, and defensive end Khalid Kareem listed as probably despite a sore knee. Quarterback Brandon Wimbush is nursing a bruised left hand, but it should not affect his performance.

    The Hurricanes just lost reserve defensive end Demetrius Jackson for the season. Jackson had been a strong contributor in terms of tackles for loss and sacks, categories in which Miami has been among the national leaders. Star tailback Mark Walton went down earlier in the year and has been replaced by sophomore Travis Homer, who has filled in admirably. Some good news for Miami is cornerback Dee Delaney may be ready to return after a four-week injury absence. Otherwise, the Canes have been quite healthy this season.


    Turnover Chain Turnover creation has been a strength for Miami’s defense this season. The team has developed a gold chain for players to wear on the bench when they come to the sidelines after a takeaway, and it has become a popular rallying cry for the Canes. The team sports an impressive 20-9 turnover ratio for the season. Miami also leads the country in tackles for loss, where seven different players have recorded more than five such plays.

    The Irish offensive line will have its hands full with an active and aggressive front seven. Ends Joe Jackson, Chad Thomas and reserve Trent Harris are fast edge rushers with sufficient size, and tackles Kendrick Norton and R.J. McIntosh, brother of Notre Dame tailback Deon McIntosh, are difficult to move inside. Middle linebacker Shaquille Quarterman is a thumper who is flanked by Michael Pinckney and Zach McCloud. All are very athletic and can play the pass effectively as well as the run.

    Although the statistics indicate that teams have run reasonably well against this unit, their ability to create negative plays to kill drives and tighten up in the red zone has kept opponents from scoring more than 17 points per game on average. Miami has surrendered touchdowns on only 38% of opponent’s trips inside their 20. The best strategy for Notre Dame will be to run right at them with power to negate their pursuit speed and willingness to take chances. The Irish must also avoid negative plays in scoring territory that turn seven points into three.

    Wimbush will be facing a strong secondary when he drops back to pass. Delaney’s return at corner adds an experienced, physical defender to the mix that includes Malek Young and emerging star Michael Jackson. Safeties Sheldrick Redwine and Johnson are the best pair the Irish will face this season. It’s well past time for Notre Dame’s receivers to elevate their performance and keep Wimbush from having to scramble for first downs while absorbing numerous hits.


    Canes It seems that the passing combination of quarterback Malik Rosier to wideout Braxton Berrios is on the highlight reel every week. The two have developed excellent chemistry, as evidenced by 36 completions and seven touchdowns, often in critical situations. The other top receiver that has been flying under the radar is tight end Christopher Herndon, who is second on the team with 32 catches and five scores. Both Berrios and Herndon are seniors and can cause headaches for the Irish secondary. The rest of the group includes underclassmen Ahmmon Richards, Darrell Langham and Jeff Thomas, who have each enjoyed shining moments this season and have speed to burn.

    Rosier’s form in the pocket is not classic by any means, as evidenced by his 56% completion rate and the team’s comparatively low 31% conversion rate on third down. What Rosier does is make winning plays when they are needed most, such as a fourth and ten conversion against Georgia Tech to set up the decisive field goal, a third and 20 strike to Richards and a last second scoring pass to Langham to beat Florida State, or a 48-yard bomb to Thomas to ice the win against Syracuse.

    A strong offensive line helped Rosier shoulder the offensive load when Walton went down after averaging over 100 yards in the first four games. The left side is manned by another pair of seniors, tackle McDermott and guard Trevor Darling. The rest of the group is young but talented. Freshman Navaughn Donaldson, a 6’6” 350-pound right guard, is hard to miss.

    Walton was averaging over 100 yards rushing per game prior to his injury, but Homer has contributed 76 yards per game and is an excellent receiver. Rosier is not a running threat at the level of Wimbush, but he is elusive and adept at extending plays with his legs. The strength of this Miami team is in its speed and ability to strike quickly rather than score on ten play marches of 70+ yards. Notre Dame’s defensive back seven will be under stress all night, and will need plenty of help from the front four to prevent the big play.


    Irish kicker Justin Yoon finally had a few opportunities to attempt field goals last week, and he converted two of three with a 50-yarder on line but falling a few yards short. His Miami counterpart, Michael Badgley, has hit every one of his attempts inside 40 yards this season but is one of three from 50 yards or more. Freshman punter Zach Feagles doesn’t boot the ball as far as Notre Dame’s Tyler Newsome, but his punts are rarely returned.

    The Hurricanes have a dangerous weapon with Berrios returning punts at a 16-yard clip. Jeff Thomas is the man on kickoffs, but that unit has been rather ordinary. The Irish could use a boost on kick returns from C.J. Sanders, who has shown signs of life during the past couple of weeks.


    Chain The Irish rushing attack and Miami’s potential vulnerability to the run appears to give the visitors an advantage heading into the contest, however the comparative play of the quarterbacks may be a larger factor in determining the outcome. Both Wimbush and Rosier are dynamic athletes, but the degree of pressure each faces could lead to mistakes. Wimbush will have to adjust to the speed of the Hurricane defense while Rosier might be forced to throw numerous passes while on the move. The offensive line that handles its opponent’s pressure and keeps its quarterback stress-free will have the best chance of winning.

    While Notre Dame has proven to be very resilient this year, a sudden, early 14-point deficit in this venue could turn into a feeding frenzy for the Canes and is something the Irish must have the poise and preparation to avoid. Where Notre Dame successfully employed tight coverage against NC State and Wake Forest because they did not have receivers capable of running past the secondary, the Canes do not have any such limitations.

    Here are a few questions that will shed light on the outcome:

    Will Notre Dame stick to running the ball in the face of adversity?

    Which team will be wearing the turnover chain at the end of the game?

    Can the Irish settle down and play well in an extremely hostile environment?

    Which team will best complete drives and reach the end zone?

    Will a special teams play result in a game-changing moment?

    Can the Irish turn the Canes into a one-dimensional offense?

    Which team will be able to connect on long passes?

    Will there be controversial plays that fans will gripe about for the next 30 years?


    Irish What concerns me is that this game may not follow conventional analysis. It will definitely not be for the faint of heart, and any Notre Dame fans (there are many) who suggest the Irish will roll over the Hurricanes are kidding themselves. The combination of talent, speed and emotion on the field will generate exciting plays as well as uncharacteristic mistakes. While the Irish have been great front-runners this season and have established a solid formula for success, Miami’s ability to improvise and produce improbable heroics should concern any Notre Dame fan. The city has generated various nightmares as recently as January 2013 or as far back as the Reagan administration. The home crowd will help the Canes, and on this night it may be better to be lucky than good. Still, I can’t help but believe that the impact of unforeseen events will even out over sixty minutes, and the better team will escape with a win.


    59 Responses to “Focused Irish Enter Hurricane Season”

    1. T. Vallace says:

      As a seasoned fan of the Irish who attended the ’88 Classic and many other big games, I look forward to another classic, but hope the Irish wear down the canes and Miami wilts like a water starved hibiscus flower on a hot FL summer day. Great to see the rivalry renewed.

      Go IRISH, play strong, control the line of scrimmage, avoid turnovers and victory will be yours.

      Or as the late great Beano Cook would say… “I’m no tout, but if Notre Dame plays Notre Dame football, controlling the line of scrimmage and avoiding turnovers, they should win the game.”


      ND – 38

      Miami – 17

    2. MikeBrey4President says:

      The optimism around this team is related to how ND is winning (ground and pound) more so then a blind belief in Kelly or the program. This is the exact kind of game they have lost under Kelly every year they have been relevant. (Oklahoma 2012 is the lone exception) My eyes tell me we have the better team except for 2 areas which might decide the game. 1) Being battle tested: Miami has lived in close games whereas we’ve been in 1 and lost. 2.) Miami has the better more play-making defense: This could cause our young QB to make a few early mistakes.

      Again we return south with my mind replaying the FSU and Clemson games in my head and all I can think is we’ll turn it over early, catch a tough break or two and lose another heart breaker. Miami 23-20

      • Saquon Barkley’s Agent says:

        Normally, I would agree with you, but Chip Long has convinced Brian Kelly to once again key the mike on his headset on “mute,” when the Irish have the ball, and Max Redfield has graciously agreed to make amends to the Irish by hosting the Canes for a salute to Laremy Tunsil salute the night before the game and at the Half on Saturday, so there’s at a chance some of Hurricane playmakers may think the game is being moved to South Beach.

        Irish 56-Canes 35

        Josh Adams 35-245 5TD
        Defensive Star of the Game: Coney Island
        Brandon Wimbush 17-27, 205, 3TDs, 1 pick, 2 fumbles, 1 lost
        Over/Under on Offensive Line False Starts: 6
        Over/Under on McG False Starts: 4
        Over/Under on the Targeting Penalties on the Criminals: 4
        Over/Under on # of Phantom DPI Favoring the Criminals: 6

      • Saquon Barkley’s Agent says:

        The other thing I feel compelled to call out is that you must be Max Redfield and Charlie Weis’s Uber driver. Because your comment makes clear that the last time you actually understand what’s “relevant,” is 4 Laremy Tunsils ago, 400 pds Charlie Weis ago and 4-teen seasons ago.


    3. CatholicsVSConvicts says:

      We have the better team but they might be peaking at the right time. Sometimes you survive some games early and then get exposed but other times you catch breaks, win close and it becomes a magical ride. I’ve heard a shocking number of people picking ND but I don’t buy it. It’s still Brian Kelly in a big game so they will play uptight early, pass to much and the defense will give up a couple of big plays. Sorry to be the downer on what I’m sure will be an optimistic board but I need them to win one of these games before I’ll believe. Miami 27-23

      • C vs C
        Get your vibes…truly I Do. Seen too many seasons under BK go down with the talent in flames. Will never be a fan of his because he is to full of himself to realize and correct his weakness points as a head coach. He made some strides in his EIGHTH year hence the team’s success. Does it need to take that long to get a moment of clarity or revelation . I met him in his first address to the freshman class of 2010. You don’t hear much about the kind of good guy he is off the field for a reason

      • Saquon Barkley’s Agent says:

        Debbie Downer-One question. Prior to the Chelsea Manning makeover and the transfer to RISD, didn’t you play wide receiver for the San Francisco DBs?

    4. Ara's Magical Season says:

      If the Irish can avoid turnovers and make Miami beat them they won’t. ND will be in a close game for 3 quarters and then bust a few big ones while Miami tries to strip the ball. ND 34-17

    5. Ghost of Joe Moore says:

      Sorry but we are still looking for a signature win from this team under BK and until
      that happens, I think most fans feel an uneasiness about a win down there. While we
      own he overall series – the awful let down on defense against WF last week still leaves a
      bitter taste and is a concern especially after all the talk about the team being so focused so
      based on that and what we have not yet seen under BK, I think the Irish lose this one.
      Miami 28 ND 14

      • This game could go either way, but in watching Miami as recently as last week and on other occasions, they are not very good offensively. They have lived in the 20’s against marginal competition. They also have not faced a team as balanced and seasoned as ND. I don’t think this will be very close, IF ND gets off to a good start. I thinking 38-17.

    6. I watched the Miami/VT game last weekend.. Miami has superior athletes (like Georgia) on the
      defensive side of the ball.. Way too much speed for us to handle over four quarters..

      They will load the box and play man coverage all night long against us.. Unless our WR step
      up big time, I think Miami beats us on their home turf..

      Berrios (their best WR) WILL be too much for us also.. IMHO

      I hope I’m wrong..

      Miami 30
      ND 21

    7. I anticipate a low scoring affair, similar to the UGA game. The difference will be in what the team has learned from their mistakes in that contest. Wimbush will make at least one spectacular play that will make the difference, Adams will get 100 on the ground and the D will hold serve. ND 17 Miami 16.

    8. Doc Savage says:

      Its true that Miami might beat Notre Dame and its also true that they put a licking on VT last week. But my question is this……If Miami is so good, why have they almost lost a few of their games but were able to break out late and win. Now these teams that they beat (I may be wrong) but I don’t believe any of them were ND caliber, were they? The hype about this game from everyone, media included is that it will be a close game either way. I kind of don’t think so, I think it will be maybe a (2) TD win by whomever, hopefully ND cuz I am an Irish fan!

    9. PSU-UVA-Duke David says:

      This game will be as tough or tougher than the Georgia game. I think ND’s confidence in winning the Georgia game may have been predicated on beating a green starting quarterback. They played well with the home crowd (with MANY Georgia fans) there.

      This is a completely different beast. Night game that is away with a very well coached athletic team headed by an alum. I don’t see how ND overcomes the energy and excitement that will oppose them. Any miscues will be amplified. Also, if any of the RBs has an injury that will remove them from the game, can they maintain composure?

      I have been a subway alum since the mid-70s. There was a day when I really believed this game could be won. But with Miami having confidence that they can win any close game – this one will go to the ‘Canes.

      Miami 28 ND 19

      • Saquon Barkley’s Agent says:

        I was fairly confident we were gonna win this game, until I just saw a report from ESPN’s Ed Werner that the NCAA late this afternoon granted the Criminals request to grant Rene Boucher a mental-illness hardship sixth year of eligibility, freeing him up to transfer immediately from Bowling Green to Miami. Werder is reporting that six sources close to the University of Louisville are saying Boucher, O.J. Simpson and Ray Rice have been added to the Criminals’ practice squad and are working out w/specified Criminal DBs in Billy Minardi Hall the intense leadership of Rick Pitino on their targeting technique. Though a spokesman, Pitino denied the reports, issuing a statement saying: “People have been laying one baseless allegation at my feet for years. I’m not dignifying this report by commenting upon it.” When asked by a reporter why it appeared house music was blasting from Minardi Hall along with multi-colored laser lights, all s Pitino would say is, “I dunno guys, alright, … but maybe, just maybe, … it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, ok?”

        Go ☘️ or Go Home

    10. Vannie your analysis spot on as usual. Critical times in a colossal game like this are the first ten minutes and the last quarter. In between are the times when the best teams react and adjust to what is happening to them on the field. If the Irish stumble early and the crowd becomes forefront in momentum with early cane scores it’s anybody’s guess as to how the deficit could blow up. One big
      Difference this year in BKs eighth season is seemingly a much quicker response and adjust to what is happening to us on the field. Panic has mostly been replaced with a sense of confidence in execution.
      I think that’s called character. This game could get spun into a lopsided affair in any other year but if
      We truly believe this Irish squad finally has all the intangibles to pull off a program re-defining win then this year should be the limelight… center stage … marquee victory. If we need to worry about getting blown out or an ugly loss then we are certainly in the wrong place and time. This is the game that has
      not been won. This is the game we almost always regret. This is the rant and rage game about the
      direction of the Irish program. This simply is the game that must be won. No fear just DO IT. I have been one of BKs biggest detractors for the entire time he’s been here but on this Saturday I think we DO IT.
      IRISH 27 Canes 24. GO IRISH!!!!!

      • Saquon Barkley’s Agent says:

        “Panic has mostly been replaced with a sense of confidence in execution,” is the most insightful and succinct summary as to why no one who’s closing followed the team since the Dan Devine years is breaking a sweat over the outcome of this game. That said, this Mickey Mantle 560-foot blast, which parenthetically I should point out ESPN this evening officially nominated for the ESPY for the College Football Fan Post-of-the-Year can only be truly understood if you have a copy of Ara’s post-humously-released commentaries on the BKV (read: the Brian Kelly Version of the Notre Dame Football Bible).

        If you do, you fully understand the four underlying reasons why all you need to do at this point btw now and game time is sit back and pour yourself a tall glass of Aaron Rodgers (read: R-E-L-A-X):

        1. Matt Balis
        2. 5000 loaves, fishes and ballers (have you ever seen this much talent on one field on our side at one time in your another Dame life? I’ll answer that: no.)
        3. Mike Elko is not Brian Van Gorder and owes us a mulligan
        4. Julian Love is more 💰 than Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, combined.

        Go Irish!!!

        • Saquon Barkley’s Agent says:

          And not to put too fine a point on it, right? You take the best players at every position in Notre Dame history, and let them compete with these kids for spots on the team, 88% of them make the team, but only 37% of them start, and 17% of them are red-shirts. The Rocket still gets to return kick-offs, and Montana is the back—up, not the Book worm. 😉

    11. goirish1988 says:

      We will learn a lot about whether Brian Kelly has evolved and learned as he says he has. The biggest missing component of his teams in games like this has been killer instinct. Instead of convincing his players that they are well-trained, more talented, that the score doesn’t have to be close, and that they should throttle their opponent until they see quit in their eyes, he has a track record of putting fear in them of playing in a hostile environment and telling them they should hope to keep it close until the fourth quarter at which time maybe the ball will bounce ND’s way. That mindset leads to quick multi-touchdown deficits such as the one at Clemson. If BK can overcome this personal weakness, he can be a very good ND coach. I’ve never believed he can, and I hope to be proven wrong Saturday night.

    12. Irish run all ovrer poor rushing defense. At least three TD victors. Miami has needed turnovers to win and we have protected the ball well.

    13. I believe they are going to win !!!! they are staying healthy and playing tough . the D layed down the last quarter cause we were scoring at will , I dont predict a blow out but i believe we win by 10 points , this is the toughest I have seen them play in a long time !!! GO IRISH!!!!!

    14. Glenn Hane says:

      Irish 34 Miami 23

      Pound the rock!!!!!

      Go IRISH!!!!

    15. PanDomer'73 says:

      What tho the odds be great or small…. BK not withstanding, this win is for Ara. Irish 28 Canes 17.

    16. Frank Dunn says:

      ND faces 3 completely different styles of football in order to close out an incredibly successful season, with 2 of these challenges on the road. Miami game will hopefully showcase Irish O Line, with big holes opened for another 300+ yard rushing game. Weather forecast calls for warm, windy night with gusts to 25 mph, so passing won’t be easy. But with Adams, Wimbush and other RBs, passing should be no more than 25% of plays. Irish 42 Canes 24.

      After a physical Miami win, Irish return home to face option heavy Navy, which is never an easy adjustment. Then it’s off to Stanford, with an O Line similar to Irish and an elite RB who won’t show ND any Love. Three tough games that will determine Irish post season reward. Go Irish, win out!

    17. Terry Sweitzer says:

      Miami has played no one at all and barely beating all of them. Their rush defense is mediocre and we run for over 300 yards again. Too much at stake for ND to lose this game. Have some damn faith!! We win by at least two touchdowns. ND 37 Miami 20

    18. 31 14 Irish

    19. I think the Achilles heel of the Irish, a passing game yet to prove a major threat because it lacks a quality
      passer and reliable receivers, will limit the running game and the outcome of this game will a loss. The
      size of the margin will depend on whether or not BK can avoid resorting to assuming control over the
      offense. I am assuming the D will not get torched again, but, if that happens, and interference by BK
      may have little bearing on the outcome.

      I have wondered for several weeks how this season might be different if Kizer had stayed another year.
      That would have meant a quality passer, giving the team a more balanced attack that may have had a
      positive impact on the receiving corps. Pure speculation, but I can’t help wondering. If Adams, et. al. remain next,
      the arrival of Jurkovec will add the missing element. I know – more speculation. That is a lot to ask of a
      freshman, but the guy already is awfully good and only will get better.

    20. Ghost of Joe Moore says:

      I would have more faith if they had a signature win under BK….still waiting for that
      to happen. Darn well hoping that happens Saturday nite – GO IRISH!

      • USC this year was not a “signature win”? Then what is?

        • goirish1988 says:

          Jerrod, how about a game away from ND Stadium against a top team in which we don’t fall behind by multiple touchdowns in the first quarter after hearing in BK’s pre-game interview that he told his team to hope to withstand the emotion of the other team?

    21. Recognizing that this year many BIG games play out nothing like expected. Here is how it plays out Saturday night under the bright lights at the stadium formerly known as Joe Robbie…

      The Irish apply Kung Fu tactics and turn Miami’s eye popping emotion against them through early with play-action deep pass. The Miami crowd goes silent. Irish go up early.

      Miami QB continues his error layden (not to be confused with Four Horseman Elmer Layden) ways, and the Irish pick up a defensive touchdown or 2. (Mike Elko gains momentum for the Frank Broyles ttop Assistant Coach of the Year Award). Tevon Coney (PBG’s High) comes home to South FL and lights up many of his fellow South FL high school players suiting up for the ‘Canes and forces a fumble and racks up 10+ tackles.

      The Irish Ground game breaks the Canes will and the Hurricanes get rolled by the Irish and realize they are a year or 10 away. Adams rushes for 200+. Wimbush for 100+.

      Jack D. – Objective World Renowned College Football Tout

      ND – 48
      Miami – 17

    22. I believe Miami is a lot like USC, and we know what happened that night. Yes the Canes have speed and talented players, just like the Trojans. But I think ND will eventually wear them down.
      the Irish are too good on both sides of the ball. I think the media is trying to make this a classic, but I don’t believe it.

    23. Fans who suggest ND will roll are kidding themselves? All the empirical evidence points to an ND win. Miami, against a very weak schedule, is 66th in rushing defense, and you talk like they are Georgia. They have been begging for a loss for months having relied on more luck than the 2002 Irish or 2011 Wolverines. Miami is about to get exposed. Kelly has struggled in “big games” true, but you realize Mark Richt is on the other sideline right? No victory is a guarantee however I️ think instead of providing an objective analysis you are giving magic powers to the Orange and Green uniforms who have been so irrelevant they haven’t played in an ACC championship game yet. Speaking of irrelevant mentioning the 2013 BCS championship location as further proof ND will struggle is quite far fetched. If that’s relevant Brian Kelly’s 3-0 record vs Miami is certainly relevant. Two blowouts and heck even last years Irish beat them.

      • John Vannie says:

        Settle down, young man. Picking the winner in this game requires more than simple computer modeling by stat geeks. I expect Notre Dame to win but it will not be as easy as you suggest. At least Brian Kelly won’t be on the phone to the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend, and I think he’s smart enough to stay away from the Browns.

        • I️ gave more than statistics. Consensus among college football analysts and fans is Miami does not pass the “eye test” while Notre Dame is on thier most impressive run since the 60s. C’mon Vannie we’ve looked like a freaking Nick Sagan Alabama team out there this entire season!

          I️ was as against Kelly as anyone but c’mon man, enough of the cheap shots. Enjoy this special team and season!!

    24. I will not predict the outcome of this game because as the Summary indicates this rivalry is electric.
      One thing I will predict is that not much has changed about the character of the opponent and with certainty we can count on their comitting bone head penalties at critical times. We can take advantage if we keep our heads together. Watch out for 3rd and long.
      Go Irish Beat Hurricanes!

    25. Still think Canes very dangerous. Maybe more than USC b/c Canes have the mindset to regain their strut, while USC sees themselves as top of the football universe. USC smug and fat headed, Canes hungry and emotional. Irish need to stick to the running game, avoid giving up quick scores, and being very, very careful on special teams. Irish receivers need to be bigger part of the offense which will be hard b/c they are the least talented. Hoping BK stays along sideline with his arms folded and his mouth shut. Go Irish !

    26. I will not predict a score, but I am very confident about the outcome. Notre Dame has the better team by a considerable margin and will win the game. The Irish have played three teams that are better than Miami – Michigan State, USC and North Carolina State – and have not only won, but have done so convincingly. Miami is not even in the same class as Georgia, the one team that defeated the Irish.

      I suspect Miami will put up a good fight, particularly since they are at home, but talent will ultimately prevail. The combination of Wimbush and Adams will eventually overwhelm the Hurricanes.

    27. Well John, let us revisit your prediction for the USC game: “The Trojans have the weapons to score enough points to make this a shootout, and they have demonstrated the ability to prevail in the final minutes of such contests. The variables are Notre Dame’s ability to prevent the 50-yard play, disrupt Darnold in the pocket, and the extent to which Wimbush is composed and accurate with his passes. USC’s current state of poor health and Notre Dame’s freshness after a bye week should enable enough positive plays for the Irish to prevail.” Notre Dame 34 USC 27

      Now my prediction for that game was quite a bit more accurate, which was as follows:
      USC has 4 turnovers (they ended up with 3)
      The Irish rush for over 200 yards (they ended up with 377)
      Notre Dame wins by over 20+ points (they won by 35)
      Prediction Irish 35 Trojans 14 (actual score ND 49 USC 14)

      After watching both teams games against common opponent UNC, several facts are clear to me.
      1. If UNC can rush for 176 yards on Miami, the Irish will easily rush for 250+
      2. If UNC was able to hold Miami to a meager 59 yards rushing, good luck running against the Irish (the Irish rushed for 341 yards)
      3. Rozier managed a whopping 20 yards on 12 carries/scrambles (1.7 ypc). I don’t think the Irish have need to be worried about his running capabilities. He also fumbled twice.
      4. UNC was able to hold Miami to 24 points and lost by only 5. The Irish scored 35 and if not for taking a knee in the red zone, it could and should have been 42. Although the Irish won by 21, it should have been 28.

      Thus, here are my sage predictions for this game:
      1. The Irish will play a turnover free game and keep that stupid chain in its box. (Give me a break with that dumbass trophy; typical Miami arrogance. If they think that’s going to intimidate the Irish, think again).
      2. ND will rush for over 250 yards and control both lines of scrimmage, while holding Miami to under 100 yards and forcing them into a 1 dimensional passing game. The Irish will again explode for at least two plays for 60+ yards (Adams or Wimbush, or both).
      3. Wimbush will continue to improve in the passing game and throw 2 TD’s, while rushing for 3 more.
      4. Rozier will throw and INT and Miami will turn the ball over 3 times.
      5. The Irish defense will acquit itself and hold Miami to under 400 yards and 20 points.
      6. The Irish WILL roll over Miami and win by 20+ points.
      FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 41 Miami 20
      I’ll be back a day or two after the game to compare notes.

      • Love it DK! Great analysis!

        • goirish1988 says:

          Jerrod, why do you or does anyone ever have any faith that a Brian Kelly-led team can win a big game away from ND Stadium against a top program? Zero track record. As I’ve posted here for years, Brian Kelly has no idea what killer instinct is. His players come out of the locker room at kickoff with fear in their eyes every time, and his pre-game interviews validate why.

      • John Vannie says:

        I look forward to your enlightenment. Maybe Jerrod can chime in with his insights as well.

    28. OK, this is BK’s 100th game as head coach of the Irish. He wants a victory more than we all know. He is down there in popularity with Dan Devine, who by the way won a national title for the Irish. And, like Dan, he may not get a statue outside the stadium that Rock built (unless he wins 2 national titles). But he has put together a winning team from last year’s disaster, and a solid program going forward. He has been a winner wherever he coached. He has this team ready, healthy and focused to the game at hand. The Irish will win tonight.

    29. While I think ND is a slightly better team than the Canes, it means nothing in a huge matchup like this. With ND being a slight favorite on the road points to what I just said. But to me the question is can Brian Kelly win a big game on the road in a spot like this? This is basically a playoff game since the CFP poll has come out. Should be a close one and might be a classic. The performance of the Irish defense last week has me worried big time.

      • Slightly better? Notre Dame is statistically miles above Miami against a much tough schedule. What teams have you been watching? Next year you will complain Kelly still doesn’t gave a marquee road win after Miami finishes 10-4. This isn’t ND vs FSU 2014. This isn’t ND vs Oklahoma 2012. This isn’t ND vs Clemson or ND vs Stanford 2015. Miami just isn’t that good. We are in a very fortunate situation to be playing a 9-0 smoke and mirrors team opposed to a loaded underachiever like USC 2015. Could ND lose tonight? Of course. But the prediction doesn’t make sense where we stand at the moment

    30. Saquon Barkley’s Agent says:

      Spoiler Alert—CFB Championship Game Prediction:

      Auburn 56—Irish 48

      If you’re not watching the Auburn-Georgia game, you’re missing the game of the year.

    31. Martin Medvetz says:

      Today is the feast of St. Martin of Tours. Surely a sign for this diehard ND fan. Go Irish!

    32. Ghost of Joe Moore says:

      Establish the damn run!!!!!

    33. Ghost of Joe Moore says:

      Offensive line sleeping on the job!

    34. Ghost of Joe Moore says:

      Once more under BK the Irish are pretenders
      not contenders…never stuck with the run that
      got them to #3….what a shame. Not surprized
      at all….offensive line lost this game in first half
      and likely the whole game. BK comes out
      smelling like a rose cuz the year was better tgan
      last….like that matters to the diminshing
      base of ND fans….not prepared and no execution.
      Saw this movie way too many times before…

    35. irishhawk50 says:

      I’ve said all year Wimbush can’t pass. Nothing learned from Georgia game. The game was lost when Wimbush over threw the easy TD on the first drive. It would have set a whole different tone to the game. I guess they can ran around on Navy next week.

      • Martin Medvetz says:

        Couldn’t agree more with your statement. Thought the exact same thing when the overthrow occurred

    36. Ghost of Joe Moore says:

      A loss, on the big stage, still good enough to
      renew BK’s contract. The only thing ND football
      has improved upon is convincing fans to continue
      to hope in a program of incompetence via social
      media. Boy, they sure looked focused. Defense sure
      looked like they couldnt wait to get back
      out there….Irish were again unprepared,
      unmotivated an uninspired. Wonder if BK
      will admit once more that he didnt realize
      the magnitude of the moment? After all these
      years since Lou…STILL not ready for primetime!

    37. Ghost of Joe Moore says:

      My bad, i was too generous predicting

    38. well, that was embarrassing. Should be used to it by now with Kelly, but still stings. Weren’t ready for the big time.

    39. Terry McManus says:

      This was a get-down-kick-the-dog-send-the-kids-to-bed-w/o-supper-butt-whipping.

    40. Ghost of Joe Moore says:

      41-8????? 41-8???? Hey Irish football…
      dont even be in the thick of things anymore cuz
      you aint shit when it counts. Program
      has been uncompetitive since Lou
      got ran out town. Once a respectible
      university that gave the little guy a chance
      to succeed…now a research facility
      interested in only political correctness with no
      room for a Rudy anymore. Think there isnt
      a connection with our football program? Think again.

    41. ND are always pretenders. They’ve lost all the respect they had been earning this season.