The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-1) come back home to Notre Dame Stadium tomorrow for a matchup against the Miami-Ohio RedHawks (2-2) at 5 PM ET. The past two saturday’s Brian Kelly’s squad took care of business in routings against Boston College and Michigan State. Tomorrow could look like much of the same if the Irish maintain what has been working for them, the running game and defense.
The offense has been on the shoulders and legs of quarterback Brandon Wimbush for the first four games. Wimbush has completed just 54% of his passes but last week against the Spartans he was an efficient 14-20 for 173 yards through the air. Look for Kelly to try and get the passing game going against a RedHawks defense ranked 27th in the country but have yet to face an offense as fierce as the Irish.
Wimbush needs to get his receivers more involved since after the first four games the most receptions on the team is led by Equanimous St. Brown and Alize Mack with a mere 11 grabs. Hitting some early targets will open up the offense and make the RedHawks not just look for the Irish to run.
Besides getting the passing game going, look for the Irish offense to run the ball down the throats of the RedHawks defense. The three headed monster running attack is led by Josh Adams and his team leading 499 rushing yards and a 7.7 ypc, add in Wimbush and his 366 rushing yards on 6.4 ypc and 7 rushing TDs and then Dexter Williams 214 rushing yards and a eye popping 10.7 ypc the Irish should pick up where they left off the past few weeks and will move the ball downfield behind that massive offensive line.
The Irish defense will be facing the 101st best offense in the country in terms of total offense. The RedHawks are led by junior quarterback Gus Ragland who has thrown for 881 yards and 8 TDs with a 52.6% completion percentage and is leading his team to 24.8 points per game, ranking them 88th in the country in scoring.
The RedHawks running game is decent but they are nothing that the Irish haven’t seen in terms of talent as RedHawks are 95th in the country in rushing. The way the Irish defense has been playing, they should be able to contain all that will be thrown at them.
As for my prediction for this game I see it as another lopsided Irish victory. I’m expecting a 300+ rushing day by the offense and for Wimbush to eclipse 200+ yards passing. Throw in there 2 defensive takeaways and you will have a game that could look like a 52-23 final and catapulting the Irish to a 4-1 record going into the middle of the schedule. Then again, thing’s can happen that could change the course of my prediction, that is why they play the game.