There was a time when a Notre Dame/Miami Bowl Game would have been played for a national championship. Those days are long gone but the Sun Bowl does offer an interesting match up between once proud franchises that have fallen on harder times of late. Randy Shannon is out at Miami while Brian Kelly looks to have the Irish on the right track on the field. With Al Golden in place now in Miami this game serves as a look into two potential BCS teams in the coming years.

3 Keys From the Scouts

1. Miami’s passing defense versus Malcolm Floyd. Floyd is one of the best receivers in the nation and is always a difficult match up for opponents. Miami, however, has had little trouble defending the pass all season and leads the ACC in pass defense. Brian Kelly’s offense is unlike anything in the ACC though and he will be creative when it comes to getting the ball to Floyd.

2. Will the dual quarterback work for Miami? Jacory Harris is a 3 year starter that still plays inconsistently. Stephen Morris is a promising freshman that played well when Harris went down with injury. If the Miami coaches try to force the action then it could disrupt Miami’s rhythm and lead have a detrimental effect on the Hurricanes. If, however, they are more judicious in their timing they could keep Notre Dame off balance, especially early, and perhaps score a few points before the Irish adjust.

3. Can Notre Dame protect its quarterback? Miami is a swarming, aggressive defense. They have 33 sacks on the season and will look to attack the fighting Irish with stunts and blitzes. Notre Dame is far from a poor pass blocking line but they have struggled against fast aggressive front sevens all year.

Bold Prediction: Stability is usually key in games like this where one coach has been dismissed. This game should be different. Miami plays good team defense which should counter Notre Dame’s offensive edge. If the Miami coaches are smart with how they substitute their quarterbacks they should find some early scoring opportunities before turning the game over to their defense. Miami 37 Notre Dame 24.

Notre Dame

Round Full Name Pos Num Yr Comments
1-2 Michael Floyd WR 3 3Jr Tall, game controlling possession receiver that can be an awesome red-zone threat.
2nd Kyle Rudolph TE 9 3Jr Complete tight end that is a sensational blocker and terrific pass catcher. Sat out most of the season with a serious hamstring injury which required surgery to repair.  Expected to enter the draft.
4th Darius Fleming OLB 45 3Jr Aggressive and strong linebacker best up the field.
4-5 Brian Smith OLB 58 4Sr Quasi defensive end/outside linebacker that has shown flashes in the past. Potential 3-4 outside ‘backer.
5th Dayne Crist QB 10 3So Solid signal caller with a nice arm. Has an upside and should get better in time.
5th Ethan Johnson DT 90 3Jr
6th Ian Williams DT 95 4Sr Quick, penetrating one-gap lineman with limited upside.  Sidelined with a knee injury.
6th Duval Kamara WR 18 4Sr Underrated receiver that does enough to get looks as a 5th receiver on the NFL level.  Out for personal reasons.
6-7 Darrin Walls CB 2 5Sr
FA Armando Allen RB 5 4Sr Quick, elusive ball carrier who creates yardage yet is mostly a one speed back.
FA Kapron Lewis-Moore DE 89 3So Long, angular athlete who flashes pass rush skills.
FA Robert Hughes RB 33 4Sr Solid short yardage runner that also distinguishes himself as a pass catcher out of the backfield.
FA Chris Stewart G 59 5Sr Wide bodied blocker best in confined quarters.
FA Jonas Gray RB 25 3Jr Patient ball carrier that picks up yardage off initial contact and also looks solid catching the ball out of the backfield.
FA Matt Romine T 77 4Sr
FA Kerry Neal OLB 56 4Sr


Round Full Name Pos Num Yr Comments
1st Allen Bailey DE 57 5Sr Athletic lineman that can be used as a conventional tackle or two-gap end. Offers a great amount of upside. Has shown steady improvement in his game.
1-2 Leonard Hankerson WR 84 4Sr Big strong receiver with deceptive speed. Very reliable and has been steadily climbing boards.
2-3 Brandon Harris CB 1 3Jr Talented cover corner with solid ball skills. Flashes the ability to shut down opponents but needs more consistency.  Will enter the draft.
3rd Orlando Franklin G 74 5Sr Massive guard really coming into his own. Strong, athletic and has the versatility to be used at several offensive line positions. Turned in a terrific senior season.
4th Colin McCarthy OLB 44 5Sr Reliable linebacker that plays with a great degree of intensity and intelligence.
4-5 DeMarcus Van Dyke CB 8 4Sr Physically talented athlete that needs a lot of work on his ball skills.
6th Richard Gordon TE 84 5Sr
7th Graig Cooper RB 2 4Sr Quick, elusive ball carrier with size and power. Makes defenders miss, creates his own yardage and runs with an aggressive style. Solid pass catcher out of the backfield. Reminds us of a stronger version of former Hurricane ball carrier Frank Gore.
FA Joel Figueroa G 61 5Sr
FA Travis Benjamin WR 3 3Jr
FA Micanor Regis DT 54 3Jr
FA Laron Byrd WR 47 3Jr
FA Harland Gunn G 66 4Jr
FA Jacory Harris QB 12 3Jr
FA Damien Berry RB 20 4Sr

Game Preview: Brent Foshee

Prospect Preview:  Tony Pauline