Posts Tagged ‘Sun Bowl free picks’

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.

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish +3
Miami Hurricanes -3
Over/Under 47.5
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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.