Predictions: Notre Dame vs. Miami
Observer Sports Staff | Friday, October 28, 2016
Alex Carson — Assistant Managing Editor
Both Notre Dame and Miami have struggled lately. The Hurricanes, once considered a fringe national title contender until a missed extra point derailed their season, have regressed to 4-3 on the back of three straight losses.
But unlike Notre Dame’s five defeats, the Hurricanes’ losses are respectable — each of Florida State, North Carolina and Virginia Tech are ranked, with one of the latter two likely to play for the ACC title in December. The larger storyline might be Brad Kaaya against DeShone Kizer, two quarterbacks that could very well be first-round picks in the spring, but the more important one is whether or not the Irish defense can continue to improve in Greg Hudson’s fourth game.
One of these teams will get back on track this week. That team is not Notre Dame.
FINAL SCORE: Miami 31, Notre Dame 24
Zach Klonsinski — Assistant Managing Editor
What looked like a matchup with playoff implications — at least for one team — when the calendar flipped to October now features two teams in utter free fall trying to do damage control.
Luckily for Notre Dame, last week’s fall break provided a chance to hit the reset button and get away from everything for a few days. It might just be the antidote the Irish needed, since nothing else seems to have worked so far.
Unluckily for the Irish, this Miami squad has the most raw talent of any team Notre Dame has played this season.
I want to say what happened to the Irish offense against Stanford was a fluke, not a trend.
There’s only been one consistent trend this year, though.
If Brad Kaaya returns to form, the Irish could be all but eliminated from bowl contention before November.
FINAL SCORE: Miami 31, Notre Dame 17
Marek Mazurek — Sports Editor
Will a bye week change Notre Dame’s fortunes and get its season back on track?
Probably not. The defense has certainly looked good sans VanGorder, but the Irish have yet to play a complete team game.
The special teams needs work, the defense needs to prove itself and the offense now has a turnover problem.
To make matters worse, Miami has a solid team coming into South Bend, led by future-NFL prospect Brad Kaaya.
The Hurricanes defense isn’t sophisticated, but it is extremely athletic. And Deshone Kizer needs to make sure he doesn’t develop an interception problem.
Utlimately, the defense has an OK game, but Kizer and the offense continue to struggle. This season isn’t getting better anytime soon.
FINAL SCORE: Miami 28, Notre Dame 20
Ben Padanilam — Associate Sports Editor
On paper, this matchup looks like it should be close one between two sliding programs in desperate need of a midseason turnaround.
Notre Dame has struggled to find any amount of consistency this season, as just when the defense appears to be finding something that works, the offense has fallen off entirely.
And on the other side, Miami started its year with four straight wins before quickly dropping each of its last three games.
But Miami’s losses have all come to teams ranked in this week’s top 25, and it still has an NFL-level quarterback leading the way in Brad Kaaya.
Despite the extra week to prep, Notre Dame has too many holes to expect a turnaround this week.
FINAL SCORE: Miami 45, Notre Dame 24
Renee Griffin — Sports Writer
As it was against Stanford, Notre Dame is fortunate to meet the Hurricanes at the lowest point of their season, coming off a miserable three-game losing streak after they had won their first four games to rise to No. 10 in the national rankings.
Less fortunately, Notre Dame has proven time and again that it is incapable of consistently taking advantage of its opponents’ deficiencies. The defense was able to contain Stanford’s struggling offense well enough, but in the end, it didn’t matter.
Similarly, the Irish will probably be productive passing against an injury-plagued defense and might even record a sack or two. However, expecting them to pull out a win at this point would require ignoring the inability to finish games the team has shown all season.
FINAL SCORE: Miami 28, Notre Dame 27