Miami Hurricanes vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish Sun Bowl Picks & Predictions

Miami Hurricanes vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Friday, 12/31/10, 2:00 PM EDT, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Miami -3.5
Current Betting Line:  Miami -3
Opening Total:  45.5
Current Total:  47

Notre Dame is searching for its first four-game winning streak since the 2007 season and is currently an underdog in the 2010 Sun Bowl

Miami is ready to take on Notre Dame in the nation’s second-oldest bowl games, as the two teams meet in the 77th annual Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.   The Hurricanes will be led by interim head coach Jeff Stoutland due to the team firing previous front man Randy Shannon after a 23-20 overtime loss to South Florida on November 27.  “If I wasn’t involved in this game, Miami versus Notre Dame, it would be a game I would definitely watch,” Stoutland commented.  The program announced on December 12 that it would hire Al Golden, who engineered an impressive turnaround of Temple’s program.  Miami is making its third-straight postseason bowl appearance and 36th overall.  The team is 19-16 in its previous 35 bowl games and 6-4 in its last 10.  Over the last three years, Miami is 17-19 ATS and is currently slightly favored on the college football lines page.

The Hurricanes will be accustomed to playing the Fighting Irish moving forward, as the two teams signed a three-game series that will begin in 2012.  Miami is 7-15-1 all-time against Notre Dame, but has won five of the last seven meetings.  A key statistic to focus in on during this contest is turnovers, as the defense ranks 17th nationally and ninth among BCS programs in creating 28 miscues this season.  Offensively, the team is averaging 27.1 points per game and 422.6 total yards a contest.

Notre Dame is riding a three-game winning streak and could register its fourth consecutive victory on Friday, which would be the longest winning streak for the program since 2006.  “Nobody has their eyes set on the Sun Bowl when you start the season.  Nobody does,” said head coach Brian Kelly.  “But you are playing Miami in a bowl game, it sold out in 24 hours, it’s a great matchup that goes back so many years.”  The Fighting Irish defense has held opponents to 233.3 yards per game during the win streak after surrendering 393.1 before that.  Notre Dame is 5-4 ATS on the season and 4-0 ATS when playing with two or more weeks off the last three seasons.

The Fighting Irish will be making their 30th bowl appearance in the program’s history today, collecting a 14-15 record in the process.  Notre Dame had lost nine straight bowl games until recording a 49-21 victory over Hawaii in the 2008 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu.  Today’s game will mark the eighth bowl appearance in the state of Texas, with the team garnering a 5-2 record in the previous seven chances.  Kelly has a great chance of improving upon that mark due to having the seventh-best record among all college football coaches since the start of the 2007 campaign (40-11).

Bettors will be interested in knowing that the Hurricanes are 1-4 ATS as a bowl favorite, while the Fighting Irish are 0-5 ATS in bowl games as an underdog.

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