Notre Dame looks to improve its 2017 record to 4-1 this Saturday when the Fighting Irish take on the Miami RedHawks (2-2) of the Mid-American Conference. Blue & Gold Illustrated has broken down the game, and now it is time for the staff to make their picks.
Lou Somogyi, Senior Editor
I projected a larger margin of victory (49-17) in our print edition mailed last week, but I suspect Chuck Martin will have his troops at peak performance for this game, which he might view as a potential audition down the road. I could envision a game similar to the one at Boston College where it can be competitive for at lest a half before the Irish pull away with their volume of depth.
PREDICTION: Notre Dame 42, Miami 20
Bryan Driskell, Football Analyst
Miami is a quality MAC opponent, and Notre Dame will certainly have to earn the win. Having said that, this is a game that Notre Dame should control from start to finish. Notre Dame has more size, depth, speed and talent, and there isn't a single matchup that the Fighting Irish shouldn't be favored to win.
It might be a tad sloppy early, but it shouldn't take Notre Dame long to take control of this game. The run game will be key on both sides of the ball. Notre Dame should be able to get the ground game going on offense, and its defense must shut down Miami's ground attack.
If that happens, Notre Dame will dominate. Getting Brandon Wimbush rolling and giving the veterans a breather in the second half are two main goals in this game ... beyond winning.
PREDICTION: Notre Dame 45, Miami 13
David McKinney, Recruiting Reporter
We talked about it on the preview podcast. This isn’t a game Notre Dame should even allow to be competitive, much less lose. The Irish are far more talented at every position than Miami, and that alone should be enough to win this game. If Notre Dame goes out and executes the way it did against Boston College and Michigan State, this one is going to be over by halftime.
Miami will pick up some garbage time points against the second and third team defense, but this won’t be a competitive game. Notre Dame rolls and heads to North Carolina with some serious momentum.
PREDICTION: Notre Dame 51, Miami 14
Corey Bodden, Recruiting Reporter
Notre Dame of course won’t take Miami lightly, but this a game most expect the Irish to win handedly. The RedHawks haven’t been able to consistently run the ball so far this season and that is unlikely to change in South Bend.
The Irish put together a complete game against a solid Michigan State team on the road, so confidence shouldn’t be lacking heading into Saturday. Miami is allowing just over 100 yards per game on the ground, but will face a serious test against Notre Dame’s running backs and Brandon Wimbush. The RedHawks will need to be balanced in order to pull of an upset in Notre Dame Stadium.
In the end, Notre Dame forces quarterback Gus Ragland to beat them with his arm and comes away with a blowout victory and another complete performance.
PREDICTION: Notre Dame 45, Miami 10