Miami vs. Notre Dame prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen in Saturday’s battle between the Hurricanes and Fighting Irish.
I’m going with Miami because, if nothing else, at least the players seem to enjoy playing for Mark Richt. Brian Kelly’s flameout this season has been nothing short of impressive, as he’s thrown nearly every person in South Bend under the bus at some point. The Hurricanes end their skid, while the Fighting Irish continue working to regroup as they head into an intriguing Week 10 matchup against USF in Jacksonville.
Both quarterbacks could be drafted in the top 10 after this season. Or, and this is certainly possible, both quarterbacks could return for one more season. Regardless, we’re in for a show. Aside from Davis Webb, I think Brad Kaaya is the most pro-ready quarterback in college football right now. Stacy Coley is an NFL-caliber receiver, and he’ll be on the receiving end of two touchdown passes from Kaaya in this one. But DeShone Kizer is a different kind of beast with the football in his hands. He’ll throw three touchdowns and rush for two more – single handedly putting the team on his back. The only problem is Kaaya is going to make the plays when he needs to, and Kizer won’t get enough help from his teammates down the stretch. Miami wins a close one, and Brian Kelly is one step closer to being fired.
This isn’t exactly “Catholics vs. Convicts,” but it’s still an important Notre Dame-Miami game because both teams are looking to salvage the season. The Irish are coming off of a bye looking to break a two-game skid, and it’s integral for Brian Kelly’s offense to carry the load in the season’s second half. The Hurricanes are still fighting for a bowl bid, as they are enduring a three-game skid. But the defense will be much healthier this week. I think we’ll see a more complete Irish effort than we’ve seen all season, especially from the offense. This game will be close, and I think the ND special teams is the difference. A C.J. Sanders return off of a kickoff or punt is the difference in an Irish win.
Despite the Irish’s embarrassing record to start the season, and the Hurricanes’ recent fall back down to Earth, this game seems like a most win for both teams. Mark Richt is still looking to prove that this team is more like the one that started 4-0 and hung with Florida State for a full game, rather than the team that laid an egg against Virginia Tech last week. Brian Kelly needs to win every game going forward if he wants to salvage this season (and possibly his job). Luckily for him, the turnaround starts here against the Hurricanes. Deshone Kizer will outduel Brad Kaaya in front of the Irish faithful, and the Irish will right the ship (for now) against Miami.
Brian Kelly will never be as refreshed as Mark Richt, no matter what he does, and you can bet a pretty penny that he wouldn’t look as good doing a backflip while shirtless off of a high dive. As for the game, this is a crossroads for Notre Dame: will they give up on the season, or will they show some pride? I think the latter, as they win a close one over the Hurricanes.