No one expected this Game to be a top-10 matchup, but here we are with Notre Dame having one loss and Miami still undefeated. The Fighting Irish are rolling opponents, much more than the Hurricanes, which is why the Irish were -3 point road favorites early in the week at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
While the Irish’s eight wins have all come by at least 10 points with most of them being by at least 20, it’s a bit different for Miami. The Hurricanes surprisingly dominated Virginia Tech last week, but none of their prior wins were as pretty, especially the five-point escape against a bad UNC team. If Miami plays like it did last week, this should turn into a great contest. But if the old Miami shows up against what is the best team they have faced, then Notre Dame could walk out with another double-digit win.
The biggest issue for Miami is that its run defense is the weak spot. against Notre Dame, that’s not a weakness you want to have. Quarterback Brandon Wimbush has been decent as a passer, but he’s much more dynamic on the ground with 639 yards and 13 touchdowns. But the catalyst in this offense remains Josh Adams, who is still at 8.7 yards per carry with 1,191 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. He managed 94 yards on just 12 carries in last year’s Game and if he sees the ball a bit more, should be headed for yet another great Game.
It’s hard to look at last year’s 30-27 win for Notre Dame because both teams had different quarterbacks, but the biggest thing may be that Notre Dame ran the ball well (148 yards) and Miami did not (18 yards). That should be the case again due to the Irish’s offensive line possibly being one of the best in the country. If Notre Dame moves the ball like it has been, it will be up to the Miami offense to win and so far that group hasn’t been needed much. In fact, the Hurricanes haven’t scored more than 31 points in any of their ACC Games and that probably won’t cut it against a team that averages more than 40 points per Game.
The ‘Canes have a solid attack led by Malik Rosier, but his abilities are still somewhat limited. He only passed it 21 times last Game and has completed less than 48 percent of his passes in three of the last five Games. But similar to Wimbush, Rosier has shown more with his legs in recent Games and that could be huge in this one. Running back Travis Homer has also been great rushing for 6.4 yards per carry, but that’s still not at the level of Adams.
Playing under the lights in what could be Miami’s last difficult Game of the regular season, the Hurricanes are in a huge spot. But even while that’s the case, Notre Dame is superior in the trenches on both sides and will be hard to bet against. Also of note, keep on eye on the injuries to each quarterback, although neither is serious.
The Irish are 6-1 ATS in their last seven Games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last five road Games. The Hurricanes are 9-4 ATS in their last 13 overall.
Our Pick – Notre Dame -3