Thursday, December 30, 2010
Hyundai Sun Bowl preview: Miami (7-5) vs. Notre Dame (7-5)
By Heather Dinich
Here’s a quick preview of Miami’s game against Notre Dame in the Hyundai Sun Bowl:
WHO TO WATCH: Miami quarterback Jacory Harris. While he hasn’t been ruled out, it’s hard to believe quarterback Stephen Morris, who was on crutches this week after injuring his left ankle in practice, will see any significant playing time. Harris has had a roller coaster of a season, but he’ll need to be at his best against a Notre Dame defense that is allowing just 20.5 points per game. Harris has thrown 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions this year, and also missed time with a concussion.
WHAT TO WATCH: Miami’s defensive line against Notre Dame’s offensive line. The Canes will be looking to pressure true freshman quarterback Tommy Rees into some mistakes, and Miami’s front four has done a good job this year of getting to quarterbacks. Rees will have to get rid of the ball quickly, as Miami’s defensive ends bring speed off the edge.
WHY TO WATCH: Regardless of the current state of both programs, the history between them is enough alone to make this game interesting. There are plenty of interesting subplots, though, as Miami is under the direction of interim head coach Jeff Stoutland, who took over when Randy Shannon was fired, and coach Al Golden, who was recently hired, will be watching. It will be interesting to see how focused Miami is considering the coaching transition it has gone through.
PREDICTION: Miami 31, Notre Dame 28. The biggest question for Miami is not talent in this game, it’s focus. The Canes have the speed and athleticism to win the game, but will they have the emotion they've lacked so many other times this season?