WHO? No. 3 Notre Dame (8-1) at No. 7 Miami (8-0) in their fourth meeting in eight years. The Irish have won the previous three (2010 Sun Bowl, 2012 at Soldier Field, 2016 at Notre Dame).
WHAT? This contest will not determine the Hurricanes’ chances at the ACC title. They need to win one of their final two games to clinch the Coastal division and a date in the conference championship game most likely against No. 4 Clemson.
Instead, the prime-time endeavor will all-but knock one team from the College Football Playoff conversation. It is conceivable Miami could lose, go on to win the ACC and find itself back in the mix, but that would need some chaos around the rest of the country. It would be much simpler to simply beat the Irish, though that is far from simple on its own.
WHEN? 8:16 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. For all the grief NBC gets each week for turning “3:30” game times into 3:42 kickoffs, that delay is elongated even further by the Worldwide Leader.
WHERE? Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Fla. It has been rebranded, but this is indeed the same south Florida venue Notre Dame visited in early 2013.
ABC has the broadcast, but mobile viewers should be able to enjoy it via the Watch ESPN app, as well.
WEATHER? Some will try to make a note of the 77-degree evening, humidity bumping the tangible temperature to 81 degrees, but Irish coach Brian Kelly maintained the heat should not be an issue for a hydrated Notre Dame. Frankly, the night with a slight northeastern breeze sounds like an absolute delight.
WHY? Somewhere here another mention should be made of this being Kelly’s 100th game leading the Irish. Aside from that, turn back to the College Football Playoff conversation.
Entering the season, few would have expected this contest to alter the national outlook of the rest of the season. Indeed it will.
This is the last scheduled matchup for Notre Dame and Miami until 2024, a quirk of the Irish rotation through the ACC.
BY HOW MUCH? This line could move yet today, as the Hurricanes’ did last week when they hosted Virginia Tech. All week, the Hokies had been favored by 2.5 points, but come Saturday the spread flipped a full four points to Miami by 1.5.
Such is unlikely to repeat itself, but consider the disclaimer offered. As of late Friday evening, Notre Dame is favored by three with a combined point total over/under of 59.5, making for a hypothetical midnight conclusion of Irish 31, Hurricanes 28.
A close finish should concern Notre Dame fans. Miami is used to the nail-biters. Senior quarterback Malik Rosier has gotten somewhat used to those last-minute moments.
With that in mind, expecting an Irish victory also comes with predicting a larger margin than the bookmakers project.
Notre Dame 31, Miami 23. (7-2 record on the season.)
THIS WEEK’S REQUISITE EMBEDDING OF THE ‘CATHOLICS VS. CONVICTS’ TRAILER:
THIS WEEK’S INSIDE THE IRSH READING:
— Monday’s Leftovers: Miami’s strengths, a weakness & a Justin Yoon record
INSIDE THE IRISH COVERAGE FROM THE WAKE FOREST GAME:
— Notre Dame gets what matters against Wake Forest: A win, 48-37
THIS WEEK’S OUTSIDE READING:
— How a fist bump has brought Notre Dame all the way back
THIS WEEK’S REQUISITE ’33 TRUCKING’ VIDEO: