Staff Picks: Miami @ Notre Dame

Irish Illustrated’s staff gives its predictions for Saturday’s matchup with the reeling 4-3 Miami Hurricanes.

To access Tim Prister’s official game preview, click here:

Pete Sampson

Brian Kelly is 7-1 coming off an open date, which is the best reason to pick Notre Dame this weekend. But Brad Kaaya throwing against a secondary starting three true freshmen and without a pass rush is a major concern. Still, Notre Dame is due right? Right? Look for the Irish to survive the Hurricanes and turn the season around (for one day) heading toward Navy.

Safe to say there won’t be a 30-for-30 documentary about this one years from now. DeShone Kizer recaptures some of the NFL form he showed earlier in the year and Jarron Jones blocks a kick to secure the win.

Notre Dame 26 Miami 24
2016 Predictions: 2-5

Tim O’Malley

What’s wrong with DeShone Kizer? Why can’t the offensive line provide a consistent push? Is the defense better, much better, or merely ripe for the picking now that top tier athletes will again align on the opposite side of scrimmage?

Is Miami any good? They’ve beaten four tomato cans and lost to three solid squads. Is Notre Dame any good? They haven’t beaten a team of substance since leaving Heinz Field 53 weeks ago.

Would a loss here, with the home field, a bye week, and relatively speaking, excellent team health on its side, be the tipping point for the Brian Kelly era in South Bend?  Will anyone attend a Miami home game for the remainder of the season if they return home 4-4 after a 4-0 start?

Oh how the mighty have fallen – and one of them will continue to tumble. After two weeks of picking against the Irish, I have a feeling they’re due – just as Stanford was two weeks ago in South Bend.

Notre Dame 28 Miami 27
2016 Predictions: 4-3

Jack Freeman

Both Notre Dame and Miami are desperate for wins, and both will field a lot of youth. So anything is possible and that means we have to fall back on probability theory to help us pick a winner via a 2-out-of-3 coin toss. Heads goes to Notre Dame, tails to Miami

Let the games begin:
1. Miami
2. Miami
3. Notre Dame

Miami 28 Notre Dame 27
2016 Predictions: 3-4 (Coin toss is 2-0)

Steve Hare

Full disclosure: I watched “The Play” before making this prediction. Pat Terrell is out of eligibility and I doubt the game comes down to a two-point conversion, but there should be plenty of drama in this one as the Irish try to right the ship against a team that started off the season devouring a fresh batch of cupcakes but has since found itself in a downward spiral. Two teams trying to snap out of a funk should provide for an entertaining Saturday.

Notre Dame 31 Miami 30
2016 Predictions: 3-4

Jake Brown

Miami is a little banged up on defense, so that's good news for DeShone Kizer and company. Consider this: Mitch Trubisky (North Carolina), Deondre Francois (Florida State) and Jerod Evans (Virginia Tech) combined for over 800 yards passing and seven touchdowns against just one interception against Miami, which lost all three of those games (thanks to College Football News for this tidbit).

I'll just leave it at that and see if Notre Dame can prove me right one of these times. 

Notre Dame 31 Miami 27
2016 Predictions: 2-5

Len Clark (Multi-Media Contributor)

Good news – Miami has lost three straight games.  Bad news – it’s Miami.

Good news – The Miami offense is struggling.  Bad news – the Irish offense has been struggling.

Good news – The Notre Dame defense continues to improve – Bad news – the Miami defense is getting feisty.

Good news – The Irish are healthy and rested.  Bad news – Miami is getting healthy, too.

Good news – The Irish have had two weeks to prepare for Miami.  Bad news – Miami has had nine days to prepare for Notre Dame.

Good news – It’s an Irish home game – Bad news or good news, depending on how you view it – tickets are going for $49 online.

Good news – Temperatures will be in the low 70s Saturday afternoon in South Bend.  Bad news – It’s Indiana and the weather changes every 10 minutes.

Good news – ESPN will have a 30 for 30 documenting the 1988 Notre Dame - Miami game this December.  Bad news – The 30 for 30 program will probably get more viewers than Saturday’s game.

Good news – Irish will play better than they have in previous games on both sides of the ball.  Bad news…

Miami 28 Notre Dame 24
2016 Predictions: 1-3

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