The Shamrock series Continues with a hot rivalry between Miami and Notre Dame

No.10 The Fighting Irish (4-0) take their undefeated record and national ranking to Chicago off a bye week  this Saturday in a match up against the Miami Hurricanes (4-1, 3-0 ACC) in Soldier Field. The game will be broadcast on NBC with kick off expected at 6:40 PM. 

Notre Dame vaulted into the national top ten  with a convincing victory over Michigan 13-6 in South Bend two weeks ago. The Hurricanes topped fellow ACC team North Carolina State 44-37. The Fighting Irish and the Hurricanes last played each other in the 2010 Sun Bowl in a 33-18 Irish victory. Tommy Rees capably led the Fighting Irish that day, tallying 201 passing yards and two touchdowns. Cierre Woods also rushed for 81 yards and one score.

The Notre Dame and Miami rivalry dates back to the 1955. Through the 1970s The Blue and Gold scheduled the annual contest as the last game  in odd-numbered years to ensure a warm weather end to the season. The rivalry affectionately called “The Catholics vs. The Convicts” reached a zenith in the 1980s when both teams competed for national championships. The Fighting Irish under Lou Holtz beat Miami in 1988 31-30 in its last championship season. Miami returned the favor 27-10 the next year in its championship run. The Fighting Irish lead the all-time series 16-7-1 and this year marks the first regular season meeting between the schools since 1990.

Without further ado Ladies and gents I present to you your week three Notre Dame Fighting Irish preview…

Notre Dame Offense:

Starting QB Everett Golson (30 yards passing, 2 Interceptions) turned in a subpar performance against Michigan leading to his second benching this season in the second half in favor of the experienced Junior quarterback Tommy Rees(115 yards, one rushing TD) who once again saved the day for the Irish.

Coach Kelly has made it clear that Golson will start the game under center Saturday and is comfortable in this QB arrangement with his freshman and junior.

"You want to go with one quarterback, but we have a freshman quarterback who's experiencing being a young quarterback," coach Brian Kelly said. "The only time I can prop him up with a veteran to win a football game because we're in this to win it, then we'll do that. I look at it as supporting Everett with Tommy, and if we need to do that, we'll continue to go that way because it's been pretty successful."

Cierre Woods is back from suspension and in top form. He averaged 5.9 yards on 7 carries against a taught Wolverines defense. RB Theo Riddick added 59 yards on the ground. The receiving corp was led by stand out effort by DeVaris Daniels (3 receptions, 40 yards) who leads all receivers this season with 159 yards and All-American TE Tyler Eifert came up with the catch of the game helping to secure a Fighting Irish victory late and has a pretty solid season as of yet with 158 yards and one TD.

Notre Dame Defense:

The Sports Illustrated Cover Model himself, Manti T’eo and his team leading seven turnovers leads the 15th nationally ranked defense in the country that acts as the motor for this elite team. Its plus-nine turnover ratio ranks Notre Dame 3rd in the FBS. The team has been a virtual  wall giving up a total of 36 points and less than 300 yards to its four opponents, 2 of whom were ranked.

Miami Offense:

The Hurricane offense, ranked 35th in the nation, has been very impressive this season. In its last two victories the Hurricanes have unleashed an offensive storm tallying 86 points and 600 yards, averaging 44 points a game on the season. QB Stephen Morris (1635 yards passing, 9 TDs) set a team and ACC record passing for over 588 yards against North Carolina State last week. Receivers Philip Dorsett (464 yards, 3 TDs) and Rashwan Scott (326 yards, 2 TDs) are dual deep threats looking to take advantage of an inexperienced Irish secondary.

Its rushing will create a great challenge to Notre Dame. RBs Duke Johnson (359 Yards, 5 TDs) and Mike James (278 yards, 3 TDs) will keep Fighting Irish linebackers on its toes.

Miami Defense:

The Hurricane D is not as dynamic as its offense. It has let up over 226 yards rushing and 33.4 points a game. They are 112th in the nation against the run and rank a very weak 98th out of 120 FBS teams in scoring defense. The lone standout on this squad is linebacker Eddie Johnson and his 31 tackles, 3.5 losses.

Prediction: Notre Dame 24 Miami 21

Keith Arnold gets you ready for the Shamrock Series that pits the Notre Dame Fight Irish against the Miami Hurricanes at Chicago’s Soldier FieldGetty