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Predictions: Notre Dame vs. Miami (OH)

| Friday, September 29, 2017

Irish junior quarterback Brandon Wimbush handles the snap during Notre Dame's 38-18 win over Michigan State on Saturday in East Lansing, Michigan.Rosie LoVoi | The Observer

Irish junior quarterback Brandon Wimbush handles the snap during Notre Dame’s 38-18 win over Michigan State on Saturday in East Lansing, Michigan.

Ben Padanilam — Editor-in-Chief

Last week’s 38-18 win over Michigan State was Notre Dame’s best game yet.

Offensively, the Irish found a balance they had lacked in their previous two games, and they did it against a defense far superior to Temple’s.

Defensively, the Irish made big plays when they needed to and forced three timely turnovers, continuing to formulate an identity on that side of the ball.

This week’s opponent, Miami (OH), shouldn’t be taken lightly. Gus Ragland’s 8-3 record as the RedHawks’ starting quarterback more than demonstrates Miami’s ability to move the ball and put up points.

However, so long as Notre Dame continues to build on last week’s success, it should take care of business come Saturday.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 41, Miami (OH) 23

Marek Mazurek — Assistant Managing Editor

A convincing road win over rival Michigan State should give Irish fans a sense of optimism about the direction of the 2017 season.

The Irish offense wasn’t blowing up the stat sheet, but it was efficient — especially in the red zone. The defense forced three turnovers, including a pick-six and a forced fumble at the goal line to prevent a sure touchdown.

The biggest question left to answer for Brian Kelly and the Irish before Notre Dame is “back” remains: Can they beat a ranked-opponent?

This week will not provide the answer to that question, as Miami (OH), while having a solid offense with quarterback Gus Ragland, simply doesn’t have the talent to match Notre Dame for four quarters. It won’t be close, but the RedHawks cover the spread.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 45, Miami (OH) 28

Elizabeth Greason — Sports Editor

Notre Dame fans learned a few keys facts about their team last weekend.

Brandon Wimbush can, in fact, pass the ball, and pass it well. The squad’s fourth-string running back has a promising future. And the Irish defense of old is working its way back, proving the 4-8 Notre Dame of 2016 is no more.

Even though Michigan State wasn’t a particularly good team, the Irish will be challenged even less this week against Miami (OH) than they were last week. The RedHawks may be one of the strongest MAC teams, and they may have grown leaps and bounds over the course of the past few years, but the Irish are simply too talented to slip up this weekend.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 42, Miami (OH) 24

Tobias Hoonhout — Associate Sports Editor

From the outside looking in, Notre Dame just keeps getting better and better.

The offense answered its critics by delivering the most balanced attack so far this season this past weekend, as Brandon Wimbush looked as accurate as he’s been for the Irish, and the defense continued forging its identity as a unit that doesn’t give up big plays and forces turnovers.

Notre Dame stadium will be rocking  Saturday after two straight road games, and it’s tough to see the Irish not using the atmosphere to their advantage. The Redhawks haven’t played anyone in the same realm as Notre Dame, and a blowout is in the cards.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 48, Miami (OH) 10

Daniel O’Boyle — Sports Writer

As far as annual “cupcake” opponents go, Notre Dame’s are consistently among the strongest in the country, and this year should be no exception.

Miami (OH) may have struggled more when the Irish agreed to host the RedHawks, but head coach Chuck Martin turned this team into one that could go toe-to-toe with Mississippi State in the St. Petersburg Bowl last year and should be contenders to win the MAC in 2017. In fact, Temple appears to be the true weakest team on the Irish schedule this year.

But the Irish eased past Michigan State last week, and a strong MAC team is still a MAC team. Miami (OH) is too good to be dominated completely, but Notre Dame shouldn’t be seriously challenged.

FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 38, Miami (OH) 17

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