Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ Miami Hurricanes Hyundai Sun Bowl Pick
December 31, 2010 by luckylester
Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ Miami Hurricanes Hyundai Sun Bowl Pick: I like what Notre Dame did down the stretch a lot more than I like what Miami did to end their season. Neither team met expectations as Miami stumbled from a solid pre-season ranking to finish 7-5 and unranked in the Top 25. Notre Dame finished strong, but losses to Tulsa and Navy (they got killed by Navy) weren’t very impressive. They also finished out of the Top 25.
But both teams have plenty of talent, that’s for sure. And both teams are in the midst of a culture change. Sure, Notre Dame has been working with a new coach all season long, but they’re still learning their way with the new HC. Miami’s head coach got the axe and it all starts new in Miami.
The Hurricanes didn’t really end the season terribly, but two straight losses didn’t help their coach’s cause, as Virginia Tech and South Florida both came into Miami and beat the ‘Canes. Miami really had disappointments all season long, losing a game to Virginia and never really beating a “good” team. Jacory Harris had some pre-season Heisman hype, but he really had a disappointing season as he nearly matched his touchdowns (14) with interceptions (12). He was injured a bit, but his inconsistency was obvious. He’s expected to be healthy enough to play in this game, which should give the Canes a boost, but I don’t think it will be enough.
Notre Dame played the Michigan State Spartans really tough, losing by a field goal in overtime in mid-September. But it wasn’t until November 11th, against Utah, that the Irish got a good win. They easily out-played the Utes, winning 28-3, and they haven’t looked back since. They beat Army 27-3 then went to USC to oust the Trojans 20-16 to end their season on a high note. They have some key injuries (RB, Armando Allen – QB, Dayne Crist – TE, Kyle Rudolph among others) but it’s nothing like Miami’s long list of health problems.
I just see the Irish building on their solid end to the season while Miami continues to struggle with consistency.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+3) @ Miami Hurricanes