Miami (OH) Redhawks vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Date and Time: Saturday, September 30, 2017, 5 p.m. ET
Location: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, IN
Opening College Football Odds: Notre Dame -23
Miami (OH) vs. Notre Dame TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network
The one thing that everyone is going to remember about the month of September for Notre Dame is the way that it lost to Georgia in Week 2. The Bulldogs came to South Bend with a freshman quarterback making his first career start, and they walked out as 20-19 victors.
That said, the Dawgs have continued to rally under Jake Fromm and are now just on the outside of the top five in the nation. That loss doesn’t feel so bad any longer, and the Notre Dame romp over Michigan State in East Lansing feels like it has once again cemented its place as a national power.
Miami won’t ultimately win this game, but it knows that any step it can take in the right direction in these non-conference games could go a long way towards helping it contend in the weak MAC East. The Redhawks haven’t been beaten by more than five points this season, and they’re fresh off of a 31-14 upset of Central Michigan.
We’re particularly high on James Gardner at the moment. He’s caught 16 passes for 294 yards and two touchdowns in his first four games of the campaign, averaging 18.4 yards per catch. He’s going to have to be involved in this game in a big way to keep the Redhawks in it.
That Georgia game is proving to have been a bit of an anomaly for Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish went just 3-for-17 on third downs and averaged under 3.5 yards per play. Aside from that game, they’ve been nothing short of brilliant.
Without the Georgia game, the Golden Domers are averaging 524.0 yards per game and 7.42 yards per play.
Josh Adams? Largely the same story. He averaged 2.8 yards per carry against Georgia. Against the rest of the land, he’s averaging 9.5 yards per carry.
Brandon Wimbush? One yard on 16 carries against Georgia. He’s at 365 yards and seven touchdowns on 39 carries against everyone else on the schedule.
Miami (OH) vs. Notre Dame Free Picks
It’s worth discussing how well Miami has played against these teams from Power Five conferences in the past. Technically, Notre Dame doesn’t count as a Power Five team, but it’s as Power Five as an independent is going to get. Last year, the Redhawks covered against Mississippi State in their bowl game and against Iowa at Kinnick Stadium. They were 4-0 ATS when facing spreads greater than two touchdowns.
Gus Ragland came on strong at the end of last season when he took over as the starting quarterback. Miami won its last six games of the season to become bowl eligible, and it had a shot against MSU in the St. Petersburg Bowl, too.
That said, this Notre Dame offense is on a whole other level right now the likes of which the Redhawks haven’t seen in years. Wimbush is being allowed to improvise to his fullest abilities, and he’s making Brian Kelly look like a genius once again. Sure, the Golden Domers are up against a really big point spread here as set by all of the top NCAA football sportsbook, but we think they’re up to the task if they can get into the 40s for the third time on the campaign.
College Football ATS Pick: Notre Dame -23 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Notre Dame 44, Miami (OH) 20