With news surfacing that athletic director Shawn Eichorst has resigned to take the same spot with Nebraska, per University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the Miami Hurricanes' athletic department is in transition. This tweet is confirmation:
It's official: @harvey_perlman announces Shawn Eichorst as new athletic director— UNLNews (@UNLNews) October 4, 2012
Meanwhile, the Canes have a fairly big college football game to play this Saturday night. They will travel to Chicago to take on the No. 9 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The game takes place about an hour and a half away from South Bend. The crowd will be dominated by Irish fans.
The Golden Domers have gotten off to a surprising start, and they have ascended into the Top 10. They sit at 4-0 heading into the showdown.
The Irish aren't the only surprising team in this game. Despite the distraction of impending sanctions, the Canes are 4-1 this season, and that includes a 3-0 record against ACC opponents. This game will represent a solid test for both squads.
These two schools once had a bitter rivalry in the late 1980s and early 1990s. However, both programs have fallen off a bit since then. Notre Dame's last national championship was in 1988, the Canes won the following year, but haven't won since 2001.
Both teams would love to return to their days of past glory, but with all that surrounds the Canes' program the Irish are clearly much closer to that goal.
Here are the particulars:
When: Saturday, October 7, 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois
Odds: Notre Dame is the favorite (-11) per Oddsshark.com
Ramon Buchanan - LB - Out For Season (knee)
Malcolm Lewis - WR - Out For Season (ankle)
Denzel Perryman - LB - Questionable October 6 (ankle)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Amir Carlisle - RB - Questionable October 6 (ankle)
Cameron Roberson - RB - Out For Season (knee)
Jamoris Slaughter - DB - Out For Season (achilles)
Both teams seem like locks to become bowl eligible, but the Irish are definitely thinking bigger. The whispers of a run at a national championship are becoming louder. For now, they are trying to position themselves for a BCS bowl berth.
They certainly need to win this game to keep their current ranking, and to stay in position for a favorable spot when the first BCS standings are released.
A loss to an unranked team at home would be a significant blow to the Irish's hopes.
Miami's Keys To Victory
Stephen Morris has had an outstanding season. If he hopes to guide his team to a win over the Irish he must avoid turnovers. Notre Dame has rode their defense to their undefeated start, and their ability to force turnovers has been the biggest factor.
They have 13 takeaways so far this season. Morris cannot allow himself to fall into the same pattern other signal callers have created against the Irish defense.
For the season he has thrown only four picks while tossing nine touchdown passes. He's coming off a fantastic performance against North Carolina State. He threw for 566 yards and five touchdowns as the Canes prevailed 44-37. He completed only 53 percent of his passes, but he only threw one interception.
He'll need to improve his efficiency to be effective against Notre Dame.
He isn't backed by a strong defensive unit either. The Canes are giving up 33.4 points per game, so they have had to outgun their opponents. The defense needs to bring their best effort in this one, especially against the run.
Ithe Irish three-headed monster of Cierre Wood, Theo Riddick and George Atkinson III are averaging 144.5 yards per game, and they have scored four times.
Notre Dame will try to pound them on the ground, and allow their defense to stuff them and create turnovers. If Miami can take care of the ball, and play spiritedly on defense, they have a shot to pull the upset.
Notre Dame's Keys To Victory
The Irish have played great defense this year, and that has bailed them out thus far. They have nearly imploded with miscues and an excess of penalties. The team has committed 23 penalties for 172 yards thus far this season. In both the Michigan State and Michigan games, the Irish committed a series of false starts in the first half.
They can't continue to make these kinds of mental errors. The Canes are the best offensive team they will have faced this season. The defense is bound to give a bit in this one.
It is time for the offense to give the defense a lower standard to maintain. This doesn't have to come by way of a 40-point explosion. It would be best served, and more practical to manifest itself in a mistake-free performance.
This Irish defense is for real, and because of them this Notre Dame team can compete with most in the nation if they don't beat themselves.
Notre Dame 24, Miami 14
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