Shamrock Series: Notre Dame vs. Miami
On October 6th, two of college football’s most historic teams – the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Miami Hurricanes – will be facing off at Soldier Field in front of a packed crowd. The match-up will reignite the old “Catholics vs. Convicts” rivalry and you’re not going to want to miss it. Get your Notre Dame vs. Miami tickets from Gold Coast Tickets before it’s too late! In case you haven’t kept up with these two teams so far this season allow us to get you up to date and share our opinion on who the players to are to watch during the Shamrock Series.
#9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-0)
In his 3rd year with the program, coach Brian Kelly is showing exactly why Notre Dame hired him to lead the program back to dominance. The Fighting Irish are currently undefeated and coming off a big win over rivals the Michigan Wolverines. The Irish currently stand at #9 on the AP Top 25 and a win against a talented Miami team could send them even higher.
Minus a 50-point explosion week 1 against Navy, ND’s offense hasn’t been anything to brag about. However, they have been clutch – which can be associated in part to their choice to use back up QB Tommy Rees as a “Closer”, opting for him take the field over starter Everett Golson when the game is on the line. Making both Rees and Golson’s efforts easier are a group of talented skill players including Theo Riddick, George Atkinson III, DeVaris Daniels, TJ Jones, and offensive captain Tyler Eifert.
Defensively, the Fighting Irish have been as good as anyone in college football. They’re only allowing an average of 9 points per game, ranking them 3rd best in the nation in that category. The unit boasts a very strong front seven which is highlighted by senior linebacker and defensive captain Manti Te’o, who has racked up 36 tackles in the first four games. It’s clear that this season the defense has been the strength of the Irish, which make this game all the more exciting to watch as Miami’s offensive unit is their strong point.
Miami Hurricanes (4-1)
Despite a big week 2 loss to a Kansas State team that’s currently ranked #21 in the nation, the Miami Hurricanes have shown that one thing they don’t lack is toughness – already having scrapped their way to a few hard-fought wins this season. The Canes are now standing at 4-1, and the team is hungry to reclaim their spot as the team to beat in the ACC.
When you look at this Hurricanes offense, one word comes to mind – speed. The Canes currently field a number of receivers with 4.4 speed; pair that with the solid QB play they have been getting from junior Stephen Morris and their offense becomes a match-up nightmare for any defense. In the last two games, Morris has thrown for over 1,000 yards and 7 touchdowns which could mean trouble for an Irish secondary that is not only young but is also banged up.
On the other side of the ball, things could be better. Miami is currently letting up 33.4 points a game, letting up as much as 52 points in a single game. Unfortunately for them, this is good news to an ND offense who is trying to find their identity. If the game comes down to the wire and the Hurricanes need to get a stop, Miami fans may want to start heading to the parking lot.
Players To Watch
Notre Dame: #5 Manti Te’o – Middle Linebacker (Senior)
Te’o has been a terror for opposing offenses so far this season, racking up nearly 40 tackles and 3 interceptions in four games. His efforts haven’t gone unnoticed, the senior linebacker is currently listed as #7 in ESPN’s Heisman Watch - the only defensive player to make the list. Expect to see #5 all over the field come Saturday.
Miami: #17 Stephen Morris – Quarterback (Junior)
With the Jacoby Harris era over in Coral Gables, Stephen Morris has stepped into the starting quarterback role very nicely for the Hurricanes. In fact, Morris is coming off his collegiate career best game – posting 5 touchdowns and 566 yard game last week against North Carolina State. If Morris can remain hot against the Irish, Miami may give the Irish a run for their money.
Get tickets for the Shamrock Series here.