Game of the Week: Notre Dame vs. Miami
In the most highly anticipated matchup for this week, the No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish will travel to Miami Gardens and take on the No. 7 Miami Hurricanes under the lights at Hard Rock Stadium.
Both teams are still in the hunt for the College Football Playoff, but both teams know that a loss has the potential of removing them from contention.
Miami-Notre Dame is a game that has a lot of history attached to it, particularly in the 1980’s and 1990’s with the so called “Catholics v. Convicts” ordeal.
Some of the most memorable games in college football history have involved these two powers, and Saturday’s matchup will add to that history.
Notre Dame enters the game riding high with a record of 8-1, with the lone loss coming to No. 1 Georgia in Week 2.
Miami enters the game with a record of 8-0 and people are really starting to wonder as to whether “The U” is back for good. Mark Richt has been working some serious magic in year two and he is bringing back the Miami of the past.
The quarterback matchup presents two of the most promising stars in the game as Brandon Wimbush squares off against Malik Rosier.
Wimbush, a former Penn State commit, has completed 103 passes on 200 attempts (51.5 percent) for 1286 yards, 11 touchdowns, and two interceptions. He has also carried the ball 101 times while racking up 639 yards (6.3 per carry) and 13 touchdowns.
Rosier has had himself a solid season so far. He has completed 153 passes on 273 attempts (56 percent) for 2264 yards, 19 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He has also carried the ball 82 times for 295 yards (3.6 per carry) and three touchdowns.
Both Wimbush and Rosier have lethal weapons at the receiver position.
Wimbush has lethal weapons in Chase Claypool, Equanimeous St. Brown, Alize Mack, and Durham Smythe at his disposal. Claypool and St. Brown are the two leading receivers with Claypool racking up 354 yards on 24 receptions and St. Brown accumulating 289 yards on 22 receptions.
Rosier’s best options have big play capability at almost any time and have been leaders in Miami’s rise towards the top.
Braxton Berrios and Christopher Herndon IV are Rosier’s primary targets and they are two of the most explosive players in college football.
Berrios and Herndon IV have combined for 67 receptions for 857 yards and 11 touchdowns. Miami’s offense is extremely balanced and they will definitely test the Notre Dame defense for the full 60 minutes.
At running back, it’s Josh Adams against Travis Homer.
Adams is having himself a fantastic 2017 campaign so far as he has been able to knife through opposing team’s defenses.
Adams has rushed for 1191 yards on 137 attempts (8.7 per carry) while also scoring nine touchdowns. Notre Dame takes pride in running the ball and they will look to test the Miami defensive line early and often.
Travis Homer has stepped in and been a savior for the Hurricanes after stud running back Mark Walton injured his ankle and was forced to miss the rest of the season.
Homer has 95 carries for 612 yards (6.4 per carry) and six touchdowns. He also has 15 receptions for 193 yards and one touchdown.
With both offenses having successful seasons, it will be up to both defenses to make statements in this game.
Notre Dame ranks 50th in total defense, 30th against the run, and 37th against the pass.
Miami ranks 42nd in total defense, 67th against the run, and third against the pass.
Miami lost last year’s meeting in South Bend 30-27 on a Justin Yoon field goal with under one minute left.
Notre Dame leads the series 18-7-1 and there is no doubt that Miami wants to come out firing on all cylinders and will have payback on its mind.
Miami will ultimately make Josh Adams uncomfortable as he nurses an upper-body injury and the Miami turnover chain will put into use throughout the night.
Miami will have a great night on both sides of the ball, they will knock Notre Dame out of playoff contention, and this will be the game that truly signifies that “The U” is back.
Prediction: Miami 27, Notre Dame 20
Christopher Hess is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.