Notre Dame Braces for Miami’s Offence

Frank Doyle | Updated Oct 04, 2012


It will be the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object Saturday when the Miami Hurricanes tangle with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Chicago’s Soldier Field.

The Irish haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown all season while yielding just three passing majors – none of which were more than 25 yards. Plus, they own the nation’s third best scoring defence, allowing just nine points per game and sit 16th in total yards defence. Notre Dame also has arguably the best defensive player in the country in senior linebacker Manti Te’o.

Hurricanes Attack Heating up

Meanwhile, Miami has scored at least 38 points in four of its five games this season and averages a touchdown about every 18 plays. Quarterback Stephen Morris has helped the offence pile up 1,260 yards and 86 points over the last two weeks. The 6-foot-2 junior has nine passing touchdowns and four interceptions this season and the Miami offence has some nice balance, too. The Hurricanes also have a pair of dangerous running backs in Duke Johnson and Mike James – they both have four-touchdown days under their belts already.

“We’re not going to be facing a one-dimensional team,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly told reporters.” Obviously, they’re going to want to stretch the field. They’re looking for one-on-one matchups. They’re trying to stretch the football down the field. Look, a good defensive team has got to be able to play both the run and the pass. So this will be a challenge for us.”

It’s Te’o Time

Notre Dame’s defence is led by Te’o, who suffered through the death of his grandmother and girlfriend in the same week last month. Instead of sinking into grief, Te’o is beginning to be mentioned in the buzz for this season’s Heisman Trophy.  He has 38 total tackles and three interceptions so far and appears to be getting better with every snap. “I don’t think there’s any question, I think that’s fair to say,” Miami coach Al Golden told reporters when asked if Te’o is the best defensive player in the nation. “If he’s on a defense right now that’s giving up 3.3 yards per carry and less than 10 points and less than 300 yards per game and playing the way he’s playing, I think that’s a very fair argument.”

The Chicago Shamrock Series

Notre Dame is rolling out new uniforms for this 25th matchup with their rival Hurricanes. This is the fourth Shamrock Series game, a contest in which the Irish takes one of its home games to major city to celebrate the school’s tradition. The Irish should give their fans more reason to celebrate Saturday evening with a 27-14 victory over Miami.