At the beginning of the year the X was already marked on the calendar for November 11th for the Notre Dame vs. Miami game at Hard Rock Stadium. What no one thought heading into the season was that this game would indeed be the most important game as far as the college football playoff to date. Well here we are and this game is already kind of a throwback to the infamous 1988 match up. With Notre Dame ranked #3 in the rankings and Miami unbeaten and at #7. The winner of this game is in strong position to make it in the college football playoff. Here are three keys to the game:
Defensive Line Depth Will Need to Show Up
Notre Dame may have the most physical offensive lines in the country. They have abused defensive lines throughout the season. It has literally been men amongst boys in pretty much every game, other than their sole loss to Georgia, which was by one point mind you. Miami has a great defensive front, but not only that, they have an insane amount of depth. They way Miami manhandled Virginia Tech’s offensive line, especially in the fourth quarter. If they are going to win this game, they are going to have to win the battle in the trenches. The Canes will be up for the challenge, because they have been told all week about how great Notre Dame’s offensive line is. Manny Diaz certainly has some things dialed in ready to go. It will be their depth on the defensive line that is the most important factor in this game.
Malik Rosier Can’t Force Things
Against Virginia Tech we saw Malik Rosier force a few passes. One of them was a costly interception that was ran back to the Miami 17 yard line that led to the Hokies sole TD. The good news is that Rosier’s memory is like a civ. He shakes off mistakes even on the same drive. He doesn’t get rattled and not only that, but he usually responds by making a big play. Notre Dame is the type of team that will capitalize on Miami mistakes. Rosier is going to need to play his game, but he can’t try to find seems that don’t exist. Three INTs vs Virginia Tech was rare for Rosier, but it’s something they cannot afford to do against the Fighting Irish.
Take Out the Turnover Chain
Honestly I wouldn’t be able to even publish this article if I didn’t mention the turnover chain. This week with all the hype surrounding this game, the turnover chain has gotten a ton of publicity. It has taken on a life of it’s own. It also functionally has worked. Manny Diaz is a genius for coming up with this concept. You know the Miami defense is going to be comping at the bit to break that chain out. They are going to have to win the turnover battle in this game to win, and that means that chain will need to make a primetime appearance.