Posts Tagged ‘Notre Dame Fighting Irish’

2014 NCAA Week 8 Line Breakdown

October 15th, 2014 by Chad A. Dawkins | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on 2014 NCAA Week 8 Line Breakdown

Week 8 of the 2014 college football season is upon us. Here are some of the marquee matchups and the lines for the upcoming weekend of action, courtesy of JustBet Sportsbook. All NCAA football bettors and sports fans will get their fill of quality action this weekend as there are quite a few interesting matchups on tap in the SEC, Big 12, and PAC-12 conference.

Thursday, October 16th

#20 Utah (-3, 53) at Oregon State 10:00 pm PAC-12 Network

The #20 ranked Utah Utes will be looking for a little payback when they travel to Corvallis to take on the Oregon State Beavers. The Beavers defeated the Utes last year 51-48 in overtime. the Utes are coming off a huge win at UCLA in week 6.

Saturday, October 18th

#4 Baylor (-8, 79.5) at West Virginia 10:00 pm EST Fox Sports 1

The Baylor Bears travel to Morgantown to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in a key Big 12 tilt. both teams are coming off huge come from behind wins, with West Virginia winning at Texas Tech, while Baylor defeated TCU. It may take an act of god for it not to go over the total.

#14 Kansas State at #11 Oklahoma (-7.5, 58) 12:00 pm EST ESPN

Jake Waters and the #14 Kansas State Wildcats travel to Norman to take on the Oklahoma Sooners. The last time these two teams met was last year, where Oklahoma won in Manhatten 41-31.

#8 Michigan State (-16, 59) at Indiana 3:30 pm EST ESPN

One of the best defenses in the country in Michigan State will travel to Bloomington to take on the high powered offense of Indiana. The meeting comes at a bad time for the Hoosiers, as quarterback Nate Sudfeld was lost for the season with a shoulder injury.

#21 Texas A&M #3 Alabama (-10.5, 61.5) 3:30 pm EST CBS

The #21 Texas A&M Aggies head to Tuscaloosa to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide. The home field has not mattered the past two years between these two schools, as the visitor has won the past two matchups.

#15 Oklahoma State at #12 TCU (-9, 61.5) 4:00 pm EST FOX Sports 1

The TCU Horned Frogs are coming off consecutive games, and will need to be focused against an under the radar oklahoma State Squad. In the past two weeks, TCU has defeated Oklahoma, and lost to Baylor in the final seconds.

Tennessee at #3 Ole Miss (-16.5, 46) 7:00 pm EST ESPN

The Ole Miss Rebels are coming off two monumental wins over Alabama and Texas A&M. They’ll try to avoid the letdown when they take on the Tennessee Volunteers. If Tennessee can play the way they did against Georgia, this could be a game.

#5 Notre Dame at #2 Florida State (No Line) 8:00 pm EST ABC

In what will be the marquee game of the week, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on the Florida State Seminoles. There is currently no word on the status of quarterback Jameis Winston, who might be facing a possible suspension. The last time Winston was suspended, the Seminoles escaped with a 23-17 overtime win against Clemson.

#23 Stanford (-3, 54) at #17 Arizona State 10:30 pm EST ESPN

The Stanford Cardinal will look to rebound from a loss at Notre Dame when they take on the Arizona State Sun Devils in a PAC-12 tilt. The Sun Devils are coming off a huge win over USC due to a last minute hail mary touchdown.







2014 NCAAFB Week 2 Line Breakdown

September 2nd, 2014 by Chad A. Dawkins | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on 2014 NCAAFB Week 2 Line Breakdown

Week 2 of the 2014 college football season is upon us. Here are some of the marquee matchups and the lines for the upcoming weekend of action, courtesy of JustBet Sportsbook. All NCAA football bettors and sports fans will get their fill of quality action this weekend as there are quite a few interesting matchups on tap.


Thursday, September 4th

Arizona (-7) at TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM EST

The Texas-San Antonio Road Runners will look to build on their 27-7 win at Houston last weekend as they host the Arizona Wildcats. The Road Runners surprised many beating the Cougars as 10 point underdogs. Arizona took care of business last weekend, destroying UNLV 58-13.

Friday, September 5th

Pittsburgh (-4.5) at Boston College 7:00 pm EST

The Pitt Panthers and Boston College Eagles open up ACC Conferenceplay on Friday night. Both teams had easy wins in week 1. Boston College defeated UMass 30-7, while Pitt destroyed Delaware 62-0. This will mark the first time these schools have met in ACC play, and the first time they’ve faced each other since 2004, a 20-17 Pitt victory.

Saturday, September 6th

#4 Oklahoma (-24) at Tulsa 12:00 pm EST

The #4 ranked Oklahoma Sooners will travel to Tulsa to take on the Golden Hurricane. The Sooners took care of business last week, as the defense put forth a dominating effort in a 48-16 win. Tulsa got some revenge against Tulane, winning 38-31 in double overtime in what was one of the more entertaining games of week 1.

Florida Atlantic at #2 Alabama (-41) 12:00PM EST 

The Alabama Crimson Tide will take on Florida Atlantic in their home opener.  Alabama had their hands full with West Virginia, winning 33-23. Florida Atlantic was not as successful last weekend, losing at Nebraska 55-7, where they only registered 13 first downs against the Cornhuskers.

#15 USC at #11 Stanford (-3.5) 3:30 PM EST

The #15 USC Trojans take on the #11 Stanford Cardinal in what will be a pivotal matchup in the PAC-12. Stanford has beaten USC in 5 of the last 7 meetings. With Steve Sarkisian at the helm for Stanford, it can only make this rivalry even better. Both teams won their week 1 games rather easily, with Stanford defeating UC-Davis 45-0, and USC defeating Fresno State 52-13. USC unveiled a new up-tempo offense last week, but Stanford’s defense has been known to deal with it quite well in the past. This should be a great matchup.

#8 Michigan State at #3 Oregon (-13) 7:30 PM EST

A fast paced up-tempo offense takes on one of the better defenses in the nation as the Oregon Ducks host the Michigan State Spartans in what will be the marquee game of the weekend. Oregon has had its share of difficulties against stellar defenses in prior seasons, and the defending Rose Bowl champions out of the Big Ten have just that. National championship implications will most definitely be at stake in this one.

Michigan (-17.5) vs #17 Notre Dame 7:30 pm EST

The Michigan Wolverines take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in one of the better rivalries in college football. The Wolverines have won 4 out of the last 5 matchups, and won last year’s matchup 41-30.  Michigan didn’t overlook Appalachian State last weekend, winning 52-14. Everett Golson made his return to last weekend, leading the Irish to a 48-17 victory over Rice.

BCS National Championship Game Prop Picks & Predictions 1/7/13

January 1st, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on BCS National Championship Game Prop Picks & Predictions 1/7/13
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BCS LogoAnd it all comes down to this! The BCS National Championship Game picks are finally here to be made, and here at Bankroll Sports, we are looking at some of the best college football prop picks on the board and showing you how you can win on the BCS Championship Game without playing the Alabama vs. Notre Dame odds or spreads.

Team To Call First Timeout: It seems like something awfully stupid to bet on, but when push comes to shove, most of the early timeouts that are called in games are called because coaches and players aren’t so sure of what they are ultimately supposed to be doing. Alabama has been here and done this time and time again, whether it be here at the National Championship Game, playing in the SEC Championship, or playing in front of tens of thousands of fans at Tiger Stadium or any of the other huge venues that the SEC has to offer. Notre Dame plays its share of big games, but this is as big as it gets. QB Everett Golson isn’t even trusted in the two minute drill, and it just doesn’t look all that pretty for him under center in this game. The Alabama defense is fast, strong, and hits incredibly hard, and that really could confuse the heck out of Golson early on. Significantly more often than not, it seems as though Notre Dame will be calling the first timeout of the contest. Notre Dame To Call First Timeout (-125)

Will AJ McCarron Throw a Touchdown Before an Interception?: This is one of these no-lose props for us as we see it. McCarron only threw three interceptions all year long, and two of those came in one game against the Texas A&M Aggies. He just isn’t put into positions where he can get into trouble all that often, and Head Coach Nick Saban really protects him. Yes, the Notre Dame defense is great, and yes, that might keep him from throwing a touchdown at all. However, knowing that we are getting our money back if neither a TD nor an INT is thrown, there is just no way that we think that McCarron is getting picked off first. At -500 is probably the fair price for this prop, and we’re going to take full advantage of it. AJ McCarron To Throw a Touchdown Before an Interception (-200)

Will AJ McCarron Throw an Interception?: Same shtick. Considering the fact that he was picked off in two out of 13 games this year, we really don’t see McCarron getting intercepted in this game. AJ McCarron To Not Throw an Interception (-110)

Will Jeremy Shelley Miss a Field Goal?: We’re not ones to say that a kicker can never miss, but Shelley just isn’t put into a position to miss all that often. He is the short range kicker for the Crimson Tide, and he is the only kicker in America that didn’t miss a single kick this year. It’s ridiculous to think that he is posted at just -220 to not miss a field goal in this game when he hasn’t missed all year long. Jeremy Shelley To Not Miss a Field Goal (-220)

Eddie Lacy Yards On First Rushing Attempt Over/Under 3.5: Lacy averaged 6.5 yards per carry this year, and he is running behind the best offensive line in the country. Apologies to the Fighting Irish, but they aren’t holding Lacy under four yards on more than half of his carries in this game in all likelihood. Eddie Lacy Yards On First Rushing Attempt Over 3.5 (-115)

Everett Golson Over/Under 205.5 Passing Yards: Alabama conceded just 166.2 passing yards per game this year, and Golson averaged under 180 passing yards per game. Granted, we know that Golson has played against some tough defenses, but he hasn’t seen a team like this one. He has at least 200 passing yards in four straight games, but those games have come against Pitt, Boston College, Wake Forest, and USC. This is a much tougher task and should be a lot more like the game that he had against Michigan State or Stanford, both of which he was mired under 180 total passing yards. Everett Golson Under 205.5 Passing Yards (-115)

Kyle Brindza Over/Under 6 Points: We would basically need Brindza to boot two field goals to win this prop bet for us, and we think that it is very reasonable that he would ultimately be able to do that. Remember that Brindza kicked 23 field goals for an offense that often sputtered down near the goal line this year. It’s absolutely unimaginable to think that Alabama is going to post another shutout in a second straight National Championship Game, and though it might be ill-advised, we have to think that the Notre Dame kicker will at least get a couple of cracks from inside 40 yards or so in this game. Kyle Brindza Over 6 Points (-140)

Will Everett Golson Throw a 1st Half Touchdown Pass?: The better question might be asking whether Golson is going to throw a TD pass in the entire game or not. The Alabama defense probably isn’t allowing more than one TD for the whole game, let alone for the whole half, and the likelihood that Golson throws it isn’t all that good. Remember that this is still just a sophomore, and it comes in a game against a fantastic defense. Golson only threw 11 TDs all year. There doesn’t seem to be even a 40% chance of him throwing one in the first 30 minutes of this game. Everett Golson Doesn’t Throw a First Half Touchdown Pass (-160)

National Championship Game Odds Alabama vs. Notre Dame Tips 1/7

January 1st, 2013 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on National Championship Game Odds Alabama vs. Notre Dame Tips 1/7
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BCS National Championship 2013Our 2013 bowl predictions continue on Monday, January 7th with the National Championship Game, and we are set to make our National Championship Game predictions, tips, and keys to the game for the duel between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

2013 National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2013 National Championship Game Location: Sun Life Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL
2013 National Championship Game Date/Time: Monday, January 7th, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
2013 National Championship Game On TV: ESPN, Watch ESPN

Click Here For The Rest Of The 2012-13 Bowl Game Schedule And Other Bowl Game Previews

Key #1: The Fighting Irish have to prove that they can get through one of the best offensive lines in America
They say that the reason that even the teams in college football can’t even hold a candle to the worst team ever assembled in the NFL is because of the play in the trenches. The big boys in the NFL are just bigger, stronger, faster, and more agile than the ones in college, and whereas every now and again you get a team that has a few great linemen on both sides of the ball on a collegiate team, you’ve got tremendous depth along both lines in the NFL. If there is an offensive line in college football that was ready to go up against a defensive line in the NFL though, the Alabama line would be the one. The Crimson Tide feature just a slew of offensive linemen that just have a tendency of leaning on opposing defensive lines and ultimately getting them to wear down over the course of a game. It’s not that Alabama runs the ball a zillion times that really makes this team go – after all, the Tide do only run the ball on 63% of their plays. It’s just the fact that these linemen just continually pave hole after hole in opposing defenses. Don’t get us wrong, as RB Eddie Lacy and RB TJ Yeldon are both fantastic athletics. The reason that they are averaging 6.5 yards per carry each is because of this offensive line. It doesn’t matter who you’ve got running the ball when you’ve got Mack trucks there to pave the way. The Notre Dame defense has been great this year in a number of clutch situations in the trenches along the defensive line, but it hasn’t seen an offensive line like this one all year long. That’s where the Golden Domers are going to prove that they belong, or will shrivel in this game.

National Championship Game Odds at WagerWeb Sportsbook
Alabama Crimson Tide -10
Notre Dame Fighting Irish +10
Over/Under 40.5
Click Here to Bet Your National Championship Game Picks!

Key #2: Everett Golson has to prove that this is his time to shine
It’s tough to knock anything that the Irish have done this year, as they are a 12-0 team and the only undefeated team that is eligible to play for the National Championship this season. However, we have never been fans of the split quarterback system, especially knowing that QB Everett Golson was always taken out of the lineup in the two-minute drill. Every play is a big one when you’re playing against the talented Alabama defense, and Golson has to make the most of his opportunities. If Head Coach Brian Kelly truly believes that this is the man for the job, he should stick with him. Golson though, only completed 58.9 percent of his passes this year, averaged just 177.9 passing yards per game, and had just 11 TDs against five picks. He really doesn’t have a target, save for TE Tyler Eifert that is all that remarkable of a receiver, and in the end, it is going to come down to what he can make happen against one of the very best defenses in college football.


Key #3: The Irish have to control the clock
Time of possession is always a key stat in SEC games, and generally speaking, whichever team ultimately possesses the ball for longer tends to win. The Irish only average taking 68.7 snaps per game offensively this year, while the Crimson Tide are even lower at 63.2 offensive snaps per game. Clearly, neither of these teams are in all that much of a hurry to try to get up to the line of scrimmage and play. But ask the Georgia Bulldogs what happens when you get killed in the time of possession battle against Alabama. In the SEC Championship Game, Lacy ran for 181 yards, and Yeldon ran for 153 yards. The end result was 350 total rushing yards for the team on the day on a total of 51 carries. This goes back to that whole offensive line thing that we were talking about earlier. Alabama absolutely will punish you if you let it. The Fighting Irish cannot let the Crimson Tide take 70 snaps in this game, or they are going to be in a whole mess load of trouble. Golson has to keep the sticks moving on third downs, and when the defense has a chance to get off of the field, it has to take those chances. It isn’t absolutely imperative for Alabama to win the time of possession battle, but we feel as though Notre Dame has no chance whatsoever to get the job done if it doesn’t have the majority of the possession for the game.

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Top 25 2012 NCAA Football Matchups: #11 Notre Dame @ USC 11/24

August 16th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Top 25 2012 NCAA Football Matchups: #11 Notre Dame @ USC 11/24
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2012 Top 25 College Football Games of the Year
#11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ USC Trojans

Notre Dame @ USC (-13)

Matt Barkley USCThe Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been craving respect for years and years. This could be a difficult season, but it could just as easily be one in which a BCS bowl game might be on the line. If Notre Dame has eight wins coming into this contest with the USC Trojans, it could be well on its way to the Orange Bowl or the Sugar Bowl. For the Trojans though, this could be the second to last step between them and a perfect season and a bid in the BCS National Championship Game. If nothing else, there is a ton of history and tradition here between these two schools, and this year’s game at the LA Coliseum will certainly be a college football matchup that cannot be missed.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ USC Trojans Picks & Info
Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ USC Trojans Date: Saturday, November 24th
Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ USC Trojans Location: Los Angeles Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA
Notre Dame Fighting Irish @ USC Trojans Spread: USC Trojans -13

Notre Dame will already know at this point what its season is going to be like. This might determine whether it gets to go to a bowl game or a BCS bowl bid, but there is no doubt that the National Championship is not in the picture. It is anyone’s guess as to whether it will be QB Tommy Rees or QB Andrew Hendrix by this point in the season, but either way, we know that the microscope is going to be on both of these athletes by November. Odds have it, both will have played and gone through many ups and downs, and whichever one is under center is going to know that he is in a lot of trouble going up against the stout USC defense.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. USC Trojans Past Games (Since 1995)
2011: USC 31 – Notre Dame 17
2010: Notre Dame 20 – USC 16
2009: USC 34 – Notre Dame 27
2008: USC 38 – Notre Dame 3
2007: USC 38 – Notre Dame 0
2006: USC 44 – Notre Dame 24
2005: USC 34 – Notre Dame 31
2004: USC 41 – Notre Dame 10
2003: USC 45 – Notre Dame 14
2002: USC 44 – Notre Dame 13
2001: Notre Dame 27 – USC 16
2000: Notre Dame 38 – USC 21
1999: Notre Dame 25 – USC 24
1998: USC 10 – Notre Dame 0
1997: USC 20 – Notre Dame 17
1996: USC 27 – Notre Dame 20
1995: Notre Dame 38 – USC 10

This is the first time that we have taken a look at the Trojans in our Top 25 countdown of the best college football matchups of the year, and we have to say that it is obvious that we like what we see. This could be the final home game for QB Matt Barkley, though in all likelihood, the next week, he’ll be playing in the Pac-12 Championship Game at the Coliseum as well. He’ll want to put on a show, as will so many of the other members of the Men of Troy that are going to be leaving for the NFL after this upcoming season is over with. Barkley might also have a Heisman Trophy to go out and win, and you know with the national media all over this game and everything that this team does, every single snap is important. Don’t be all that shocked, especially up against a Notre Dame secondary that has the tendency of being suspect, if Barkley ends up with a huge game on what will be Senior Night.

Notre Dame @ USC Free Picks^^: ‘V’ is for victory, and there is no doubt that USC is going to be proving triumphant in this one. Notre Dame is overrated at this point, but by the end of the year, when the Trojans are either undefeated or on the verge of it, there won’t be a way that this point spread is below two touchdowns. Back the Men of Troy in what could be their final home game to blow the Irish out of the water by at least three scores.

^^Disclaimer: Our college football picks by our sports blog writers are independent of those from our Expert NCAA Football Handicappers. All NCAA football odds and lines in our Top 25 are from the month of August, and those lines could and likely will change by the time the game kicks off.

You won’t want to miss our Notre Dame @ USC picks when our expert college football handicappers have them posted on the week of 11/24/12.

2012 NCAA Football Top 25: #17 Michigan @ Notre Dame 9/22/12

August 13th, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on 2012 NCAA Football Top 25: #17 Michigan @ Notre Dame 9/22/12
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2012 Top 25 College Football Games of the Year
#17 Michigan Wolverines @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Michigan @ Notre Dame (-2.5)

Michigan vs. Notre Dame 2012The Notre Dame Fighting Irish haven’t had all the luck in the world of late against the state of Michigan, losing three games in absolutely heartbreaking fashion on the road against these two main teams in the state. That being said, they are going to have another shot of beating the college football betting odds early in the season against the Michigan Wolverines, one of teams that has the potential to be in the Top 10 in the land. This should be a great battle between two top notch offenses, and we look forward to making our college football picks for this duel in South Bend.

Michigan Wolverines @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish Picks & Info
Michigan Wolverines @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish Date: Saturday, September 22nd
Michigan Wolverines @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish Location: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN
Michigan Wolverines @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish Spread: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -2.5

The Wolverines know that this might be the make or break point of their season, and that’s definitely something that cannot be underestimated. One would like to figure that they are going to be 0-1 after taking on Alabama in the first week of the season, and this could be the difference between being 3-1 and ranked in the Top 10 or Top 15 in the land and being 2-2 and having zero chance of doing anything more than going to the Rose Bowl this season. QB Denard Robinson has had some simply awesome games against the Fighting Irish over the course of the last two years, including leading that tremendous comeback that won the first ever night game played in the Big House a season ago. He’s got a lot of his offensive weapons back, namely WR Roy Roundtree and RB Fitzgerald Toussaint. Roundtree only had one catch against Notre Dame last year, but it went for 16 yards and the game-winning touchdown with just two seconds left to play.

Michigan Wolverines vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish Past Games (Since 1995)
2011: Michigan35 – Notre Dame 31
2010: Michigan 28 – Notre Dame 24
2009: Michigan 38 – Notre Dame 34
2008: Notre Dame 35 – Michigan 17
2007: Michigan 38 – Notre Dame 0
2006: Michigan 47 – Notre Dame 21
2005: Notre Dame 17 – Michigan 10
2004: Notre Dame 28 – Michigan 20
2003: Michigan 38 – Notre Dame 0
2002: Notre Dame 25 – Michigan 23
1999: Michigan 26 – Notre Dame 22
1998: Notre Dame 36 – Michigan 20
1996: Michigan 21 – Notre Dame 14

This is the type of game that Notre Dame really badly has to win this year. There have just been too many losses like this over the course of the last few years, and the possibility is there that this could be a brutal start to the season. Remember that a game in Dublin against Navy isn’t all that easy, and a home game seven days later against Purdue could be dangerous. Then add in a game in East Lansing… Could the Irish really drop to 0-4 with this one? It’s not likely, but even dropping to 2-2 could be brutal with games still to play on the road against Oklahoma and Southern Cal. But still, the offense has the potential to be dangerous against a Michigan defense that really likely overachieved last year. TE Tyler Eifert should have a heck of a season, and this might be his showcase game. QB Tommy Rees and QB Andrew Hendrix might both end up coming into play this game, but whichever one is under center could play and have the chance to play well.

Michigan @ Notre Dame Free Picks^^: Still, we are really wondering why the Golden Domers are favored in this game. Notre Dame has lost three in a row in this series, and yes, we know that that is a motivating factor to come out even stronger. That being said, we think that Michigan has the potential to be a Top 15 team in the land this year. The Fighting Irish just don’t in our eyes. Take any points that you can get on your side now, knowing that the opinion of Michigan can really only improve if its plays well against Alabama, while Notre Dame’s can only get worse if it loses a game that no one thinks that it should lose against Navy or Purdue.

^^Note: These college football picks are independent of the picks of our Expert NCAA Football Handicappers. These NCAA football picks are made as of 8/12/12, though we will keep the college football matchup page updated for this clash on the week of the game.

When the Michigan @ Notre Dame odds are on the board on the week of 9/22, we will have our college football picks that you won’t want to miss!

Sun Bowl Picks: Notre Dame vs. Miami Analysis

December 30th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Sun Bowl Picks: Notre Dame vs. Miami Analysis

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If you’re a fan of historical value in college football betting action, the Sun Bowl is just the game for you. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Miami Hurricanes have a ton of National Championships between them, and they are going to meet up in the Sun Bowl on Friday. Though neither team is going to be thrilled with where they are playing from their expectations at the start of the year, they should be thrilled to renew an old rivalry from the 1980s and 1990s. The three keys to this game will help determine who will be walking about on El Paso with a ‘W’ for you to make your Sun Belt picks with.

Key #1: Miami’s offensive line has to keep Jacory Harris upright
It’s not always a matter of just getting sacked. The Hurricanes know that they have had all sorts of problems with quarterback injuries this year. Not only has Harris been knocked around a ton on the season, but both QB Stephen Morris and QB Alonzo Highsmith are both injured and are not accessible in this game. Everyone knows that QB Spencer Whipple, the son of Offensive Coordinator Mark Whipple isn’t ready to be playing in a bowl game at this point in his career, as he just isn’t talented enough to keep up with the Golden Domers or any of the other 69 bowl teams. If anything happens to Harris, the Hurricanes might as well just walk off the field. Notre Dame knows that it has a great defensive front, and it will be getting back NT Ian Williams, the heart and soul of the center of the line. Harris threw for 1,756 yards and 14 TDs this year, and he is going to have to make sure that he takes care of the football and takes care of his own health to give his Canes a chance on Friday.

Sun Bowl Odds at BetUS Sportsbook
Notre Dame Fighting Irish +3
Miami Hurricanes -3
Over/Under 47.5
Click Here to Bet on Your Sun Bowl Picks!

Key #2: The backups for the Irish have to continue to shine
Head Coach Brian Kelly might not be all that thrilled that he had to really scratch and claw to get into the Sun Bowl this year, but he has to be incredibly encouraged about the depth on his team and the pride that the Golden Domers had this year. With QB Dayne Crist, TE Kyle Rudolph, and RB Armando Allen all out of the lineup, there are others that really had to step up their game to keep this men in white and gold going. QB Tommy Rees threw for 905 yards in limited action, and though he did struggle at time with eight picks, he also threw for ten TDs. RB Cierre Wood was virtually unheard of before Allen went down this year, and though he never really put together that tremendous game that made you go “Wow!” the sophomore did have 248 yards in total in his last three games of the year. TE Tyler Eifert stepped in place of one of the best tight ends in the country, and though he didn’t put up remarkable numbers either, he had 23 grabs for 321 yards and two trips to the end zone. These men are going to be critical against Miami, just as they have been all season long.

Key #3: It’s time for “The U” to show us that vaunted defense again
For years and years, what made the Hurricanes so good was their defense. There are generations of Miami players in the NFL on this side of the ball, from names like Ed Reed, Brandon Merriweather, Jonathan Vilma, Antrel Rolle… and the list could go on and on. This year, “The U” had some moments where it was dominating, especially against opposing passing games. This ‘D’ only conceded 146.3 yards per game through the pass this year, good enough to rank No. 2 in the nation. However, there is the feeling there that this team, especially in the front seven, is soft as could be. Allowing 167.3 yards per game on the ground is absolutely inexcusable, especially since the ACC really didn’t provide that much in the way of offensive challenges. Getting torched by the Florida State Seminoles was really the biggest disappointment of the year, and it showed that this was a team that could be taken down and tamed. The Canes really have to step up and get just downright angry at the Fighting Irish to make a statement on defense in this game.