Next Friday night will see the Fighting Irish and the Hurricanes meet in the Hyundai Sun Bowl after both teams finished the season at 7-5.
Speculation is rampant that wide receivers WR Michael Floyd and TE Kyle Rudolph will forego their final year of eligibility and try to make the NFL draft this season. Both players have requested NFL Advisory Committee evaluations.
That would mean for Floyd that this would be his last game in the blue and gold. Rudolph was injured earlier this season and appears to have a tough job convincing the pros that he will be fully fit after a major hamstring surgery.
Both may be better served playing an extra year at the Golden Dome. Last year Golden Tate who was far higher ranked than Floyd slipped way down the draft despite a great year.
Rudolph’s serious injury, despite the fact that he was rated the top tight end in college this year, means most teams will be reluctant to take a chance with him. However were he to come back big after another season for Notre Dame that could quickly change.
Meanwhile Friday night’s bowl game remains a puzzle. The latest season began with a promising outlook for the Hurricanes, who ranked 13th in both preseason polls, however they finished the season with a disappointing 2-3, including their loss at 4-8 Virginia and the two losses at the end of the season which were both at home to Virginia Tech and USF.
In contrast Notre Dame played their best football of the season in November which was a record considering the Fighting Irish side had only won one game the previous two Novembers.
The conditioning under Brian Kelly was so much better than their fitness under Charlie Weiss. No longer were players throwing up on the sideline in late season games.
That fitness edge may prove the difference in the final quarter against Miami.