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The relationship between the University of Miami and University of #Notre Dame is a contentious one, but is it fair to call it a full-fledged rivalry? The series between the two schools started in 1955. They met three times during the 60's, then faced-off against one another annually between 1971–90, both teams were at the height of #college football during this time. The two independents played in some big games, and the so-called "rivalry" reached its peak in 1988 when Notre Dame -- better known as the Catholics -- ended the Convicts' (Miami) 36-#game regular season winning streak.

Present-day

As the 2016 College Football season ended, neither fan base could've imagined that their respective schools would be at this point during the 2017 fall football season.

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Notre Dame ended the season 4-8, losing Deshone Kizer to the NFL and back-up Malik Zaire when he transferred to Florida. Miami had its most impressive season since former head coach Larry Coker, finally winning a bowl game. Unfortunately for the program, their prized signal-caller Brad Kaaya elected to enter the draft as well, leaving the "U" with inexperience at a key position.

Mystery was the subject of both teams' off-season’s but as the season commenced both teams rode the hot hand on different sides of the ball. Notre Dame rode the legs of running back Josh Adams and quarterback Brandon Wimbush. Miami, on the other hand, relied on its experienced front seven to impose their will on opposing quarterbacks, in hopes of unleashing the vaunted turnover chain.

Saturday's game is the first time both teams have been ranked in the top-10 at the time of their meeting since 1989.

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Let's look at both teams' positives.

Fighting Irish

Everywhere you look you’ll probably find Notre Dame dominating someone. ND defeated a Boston College team that at the time looked like an offensive juggernaut, winning by 29 points on the road. Michigan State defense? No problem. ND averaged 5.9 yards per play and scored 38 points in a rout. USC? Easy. A legitimate title contender with a future NFL quarterback at the helm were behind 28-0 at halftime to the Irish. ND’s lone loss came against the #1 team in the nation, Georgia. Not so bad of a loss, huh? For all the doubt on the ND passing game, they’re still pulling off monster plays and it seems like Josh Adams is responsible for all of them. Don’t forget about the defense, they have only allowed more than 20 points once this season -- impressive.

Miami

Miami is nowhere near the level of ND, they have struggled against lesser competition, and they only beat a one win North Carolina team by 5 points. If it wasn’t for the football Gods they should have lost against Florida State and Georgia Tech.

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For all the negatives you can say about this team they have managed to do something not many teams can do: win close games. Despite the slow starts, that defense is good. The front seven all have a shot at reaching the NFL.

Malik Rosier is an average quarterback with a steady hand and they have been without their star running back Mark Walton Jr. since the FSU game. Linebacker Shaquille Quarterman was clamoring for a complete game on both sides of the ball and he got it on Saturday vs. Virginia Tech. It’s not going to be easy against that big, meat-eating offensive line Notre Dame has, but if any defensive line can plug the gaps and be aggressive and fast at the same time, it’s this team. They're also playing at home, a tough place to play for any visitor, especially at night.

What happens Saturday night?

Look, it’s going to be a tough one, and this game Saturday night is in a class of its own. Either the faster UM defense will shed blockers and get to Wimbush and Adams or the ND offensive line will continue to do what they have done all season, wear teams down and win by tons. I’ll take the latter. Miami is a good team but not with Malik Rosier at the helm, he’ll be at the end of some back-breaking turnovers Saturday night, leaving an over-aggressive Miami defense on the field for too long. Notre Dame wins, 27-19.