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2010 Sun Bowl: Fighting Irish vs. Hurricanes Predictions

Hyundai Sun Bowl: Notre Dame vs Miami-Fl Preview

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Fighting Irish vs Hurricanes Handicapping Matchup

Date/Time: Friday, Dec. 31, 2 pm EST
Venue: Sun Bowl, El Paso TX
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-5) vs. Miami Hurricanes (7-5) Betting Lines from MySportsbook.com
MoneyLine: Notre Dame +125, Miami -145
NCAA Betting Favorite: Notre Dame (+3) Miami (-3)
Over/Under: 47
Notre Dame
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A Notre Dame-Miami clash was indeed a prestigious rivalry 20 years ago, but a lot has changed in two decades, as these two squads limped to 7-5 records in 2010.

For its part, Notre Dame has endured a litany of roadblocks and controversy this season. Putting aside the negative press for the program (which is well-publicized), season-ending injuries to QB Dayne Crist, RB Armando Allen and TE Kyle Rudolph ought to be crippling for the offense. However, freshman pivot Tommy Rees has led the Irish to three straight wins to close out the season, including Nov. 27 at Southern Cal.

In the last three games, Rees has managed the game well enough to come out on top. Also, the defense has had a renaissance; a unit that struggled for most of the season was stout to close out the campaign, giving up on average only 233 ypg in the last three match-ups.

The late-season gusto combined with the QB controversy of the Hurricanes might be enough for the Notre Dame good vibes to continue in El Paso. A little good news travelling by way of South Bend was long overdue, indeed.

Miami

This once storied program has been hapless in recent years, and has fired coach Randy Shannon and hired Temple upstart Al Golden to replace him. ’Canes offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland will be the interim head coach in the Sun Bowl.

The incumbent starting QB is Jacory Harris, but the junior missed three games late in the season due to injury. He returned in Miami’s last regular season game, a 23-20 loss to South Florida, and it is up in the air whether Harris or freshman Stephen Morris will start under center. Pivot play aside, the only true offensive stud Miami fields in 2010 is WR Leonard Hankerson. With 12 TDs this season, Hankerson broke Michael Irvin’s single-season school record for touchdowns.

Freshman RB Lamar Miller has averaged an impressive 6.1 yards per carry in limited action; the Hurricanes would be wise to give Miller a liberal amount of carries. Defensively, Miami’s athleticism shines through en route to placing 21st in the nation in points allowed (less than 20 per game).

If Miami can shake off Shannon’s departure and two straight losses to end the season, they have the athletes to rattle Notre Dame’s freshman QB and leave with a victory.

The Pick

Although this game doesn’t have the significance in 2010 as it did in 1989, it should still be an excellent tilt between two programs with a lot of history. Notre Dame and Miami seem to be moving in different directions at the end of the regular season, but if Miami’s Harris can make the start and play like he’s capable, expect the Hurricanes to win this close game.

Notre Dame vs. Miami Score Prediction: Notre Dame 27 Miami 28

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James has been naming every player on the EA Sports video game rosters for half a decade now, he’s finally putting his knowledge to better use writing for us here at CappersPicks.com. Your comments are welcome below…Give Us Your Take!


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