Offensively, Irish fans should expect to see a tough, physical defense, with a Miami front 4 that may be even stronger than that of the Trojans. Miami also boasts the nation’s #2 passing defense, holding opposing quarterbacks to just under 50% completion rates. Tommy Rees has shown good composure and remains confident even after tough series, so one should not be worried about the imposing defense getting into the young starter’s head. The USC game was a solid warm-up for Rees who has had a month to work on his mistakes and improve his game and vision. The recent dominance of rugged Robert Hughes will allow Notre Dame to set up the pass with his hardnosed downfield runs, taking some of the pressure off of Rees.
In the end, Notre Dame will pull out a strong 34-27 win and have some solid momentum going into Coach Kelly’s second season as the commander of the Fighting Irish.