|165: NOTRE DAME
Last Updated: 2017-11-07
Even though it’s not an annual rivalry, there couldn’t possibly be more bad blood then between the Miami Hurricanes and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who will do battle on Saturday night in a game that might go a long way toward determining one of the four spots in the college football playoff. Game time is 8 PM ET at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, and if you are a VietBet customer, you can get reduced juice to give you better value in the college football betting odds before hand, and then challenge those odds in real time after the opening kickoff using the software from Live Betting Ultra.
Of course, no one is ever going to forget the whole “Catholics vs. Convicts” scenario that emerged during Jimmy Johnson’s tenure at Miami, and which became a subject for an ESPN “30 for 30” documentary. There has not been a confrontation between these two teams that has meant so much in a long time.
Here is the scenario – Notre Dame, after losing early to Georgia, has emerged victorious in every game since, and has risen to the #3 spot in the Associated Press rankings, and #5 in the Coaches poll. And where it is most important – in the Playoff Rankings, which will ultimately determine the four teams who will play it off for the national championship – they are third. Because they don’t play in a conference, the Irish don’t have to go through one of those championship games, so if they can beat Miami, all they have to do is handle Navy and Stanford in the final two games and is likely that they will be one of the Final Four.
Miami is #6 with the Coaches and #7 in the Associated Press, but they don’t get as much favor from the people voting for the playoffs, as they are 10th in those rankings. So they have a lot to gain if they can win and stay undefeated. They have all but clinched a berth in the ACC title game, and currently they are 8-0 straight-up and 4-4 against the pointspread. Notre Dame is 8-1 straight-up and 7-2 against the points.
In the college football betting odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at VietBet, Notre Dame is actually laying points on the road against a fellow top 10 team:
Notre Dame Fighting Irish -3
Miami Hurricanes +3
Over 57.5 points -110
Under 57.5 points -110
Yes, excitement is at a fever pitch in a city where indifference is usually the rule. All of the tickets for this game at the “Rock” are sold out except for those in the luxury suites. So expect a crowd in excess of 65,000. Last week constituted Miami’s most impressive victory of the season, as it scored a 28-10 victory over Virginia Tech. In that game they were incredibly balanced, as Malik Rosier threw for 193 yards and helped spearhead a rushing attack that compiled 219. Rosier personally had 84 yards on the ground, but there was also some concern, as he threw three interceptions. In a sense, Miami was fortunate that they were able to force three turnovers out of Virginia Tech’s freshman quarterback, Josh Jackson. All in all, it was a very credible performance, especially considering it was the front-end of such a challenging back-to-back situation.
VietBet customers know that Rosier, who is not the most accurate passer in the world, can sometimes make things more difficult on himself then is required. But he can add that dimension by pulling the ball down and running with it. And his sore shoulder, which came from so much contact against North Carolina the week before, didn’t seem to be so much of a bother.
When it comes to turnover margin, these are two of the top teams in the country (Miami +11, Notre Dame +12). However, Miami converts only 31.3% of its third downs, which is 117th out of 129 NCAA Division I teams, and that is highly unusual for a club that aspires to be in the Final Four. Notre Dame has limited its opposition to just 35% on third down, and that is a key fundamental to remember here. So is Rosier’s relative inconsistency (just 56%), Notre Dame’s scintillating running back, John Adams (8.7 yards per carry and pronounced healthy by head coach Brian Kelly) and Brandon Wimbush’s ability to avoid mistakes (just two INT’s in 200 attempts) and his ability to run in designed plays (710 yards, 8.1 ypc). These are some of the things that point this reporter to the Irish, which is painful for a Miami alumnus to say.
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