How last game’s picks fared
The Defensive Line - 8.5 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 2 quarterback hurries, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery
DeShone Kizer - 14/26, 154 yards, 2 INTs, 11 carries, 83 yards, 1 touchdown
Torii Hunter Jr. - 4 receptions, 70 yards
Kevin Stepherson - WR
In his Thursday press conference Brian Kelly said that Stepherson has taken reps away from C.J. Sanders at the slot receiver position. He said that it has nothing to do with a lack of performance of Sanders, but more had to do with the fact that Stepherson has just been that good. We’ve seen flashes of Stepherson this year, but he has yet to bring it on a game-in-game-out basis. With more snaps and a few of Miami’s DBs might not be able to go, I like Stepherson to have a nice day on Saturday afternoon against the ‘Canes.
Nyles Morgan - MLB
Morgan has proved himself all year. He’s been the anchor of the Irish defense. The past two games against Stanford and NC State have been two of his quieter games though, as he’s racked up only nine tackles collectively. They’ll need Morgan to step up this week as Miami boasts a formidable running back duo of Mark Walton and Joseph Yearby. Look for Morgan to get back to his normal ways this week (i.e. 10+ tackles).
Cole Luke - CB
With an experienced quarterback in Brad Kaaya, and talent and speed on the outside, Miami is going to test the Irish secondary. Another thing to consider is that against pressure this season Brad Kaaya’s has completed just 32% of his throws. When facing no pressure he’s completed 67.5% of his throws. We all know how the Irish have trouble generating pressure on the QB, so Kaaya has the potential to have a big day on Saturday. That means the Irish corners are going to need to be at the top of their game on Saturday. Cole Luke has had an up and down senior season thus far, but has the chance to right the ship over these last five games. It starts against Miami on Saturday. Look for him to get an interception for the second straight game.