Miami has the longest current FBS winning streak at 13 games, and they have not won 14 straight since they won 34 games in a row that stretched from 2000-2002. The last loss for the Canes was last October to none other than the Fighting Irish.
The marquee matchup to look out for in this game will be Miami’s aggressive defensive front seven against Notre Dame’s mountainous offensive line and dominant running game. The Fighting Irish have the ranked 5th in total rushing offense with an average of 325 yards per game. Miami’s defense leads the nation in tackles for loss. Therefore, it is nearly certain that defensive coordinator Manny Diaz will be aggressive with his play calling Saturday night.
The Hurricanes will also need better offensive production, especially from quarterback Malik Rosier, if they wish to come out on top at the Rock. Rosier was 11 for 22 and threw for 202 yards and three interceptions against a decent Virginia Tech defense. Rosier will need to take better care of the ball if his team has hopes of winning.
“Playing great. Super-hot team,” said Miami head coach Mark Richt on Notre Dame, “Beating people by big margins, one of the best defensive teams in the country, one of the best offensive teams in the country. They’re very well-coached by coach [Brian] Kelly and his staff.”
Having both Miami and Notre Dame simultaneously at the top of the sport is something the college football fans have not seen in over 25 years, and they used to be one of the premier rivalries in all of the NCAA. So, this matchup is very much a blast from the past.
Richt was asked whether college football is better when Miami and Notre Dame are playing well and said, “It is for us. We like it when we are competing in games like this late in the year that are meaningful. It’s what you hope for, it’s what you work toward. And it just so happens that this Saturday night is going to be meaningful for both teams.”
This game may not have the theatrics that were always a part of the ‘Catholics vs. Convicts’ games from the 80s, but it is sure to be one of the most intriguing games of the 2017 season.