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  • Irish Crush Hurricanes

    by Mike Coffey

    authored by RocketShark

    CHICAGO – Eighty-five years since making their first appearance in Soldier Field the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame returned to whip one-time heated rival Miami. The 41-3 victory marked the third consecutive win over the Hurricanes and improves ND’s record to 5-0. The Irish also remain undefeated in the Shamrock Series and in Soldier Field.

    Miami won the toss and elected to receive. The offense tried to employ a bold aerial attack when Notre Dame’s defensive backs were caught behind open receivers. But two critical dropped passes that would’ve meant certain touchdowns stalled drives, forcing the Canes to settle for one field goal which accounted for their only points this night.

    Tommy Rees made his first start of the season as Everett Golson was benched for disciplinary reasons for the first series. It was a brief rest as the Irish went 3-and-out, but were bailed out by Miami’s special teams with a costly roughing the kicker penalty. Golson was sent in and the Irish moved down field to a touchdown.

    Miami managed to answer with a field goal and from then on it was all Notre Dame. In nine offensive series only two didn’t conclude with points (one punt and a missed field goal attempt.

    As for Canes, it just wasn’t their night as they were outclassed by the Fighting Irish.

    Some particularly notable stats for the game include 34 first downs for the Irish compared to 13 for Miami, 376 yards rushing on 51 attempts with a 7.4 average for the Gold and Blue, 587 total yards for ND compared to 285 for the Canes, and no turnovers from fumbles or interceptions from either team. Miami’s 9 penalties for 76 yards compared to 4 for 25 yards for ND was also a significant factor in the outcome.

    Notre Dame wore specially-designed uniforms for the game, including blue jerseys with gold numerals for the first time since the early 1940s when Frank Leahy became head coach. The helmets were a tremendous source of controversy as it would appear Troy Lee Designs was granted a free hand in creating something unique if not disturbing by traditional/simple ND uniform standards.

    The game atmosphere at Soldier Field was much like Notre Dame Stadium, with the notable exception of a concentrated student section which is always counted on to provide the most demonstrable support to the team. The fireworks when the Irish took the field and after the game ended were fun.

    The video boards had less animation than was present at Yankee Stadium two years ago. The displays were primarily used for presenting the game from various angles and for shots of the crowd during commercial breaks. There were also two Notre Dame-themed commercials for Sprint.


    And now a look at the questions Mr. Vannie posed as being keys to the game and how the Irish fared:

    Can the Irish limit the number of explosive plays by Miami? Essentially yes as the early going Miami failed to capitalize on open receivers, who had beaten coverage but failed to hang onto the ball. The remainder of the game saw the Irish pass rush intensify and Miami had no answer.

    Will either Notre Dame quarterback be able to throw the ball accurately and with authority? Golson was o 17-of-22 for 186 yards in the air and much of his passing looked fairly sharp, particularly with receptions made by Tyler Eifert, Davaris Daniels and Cam McDaniel.

    Which team will run the ball more effectively? Notre Dame by a landslide. The effective ground attack was reminiscent of this team’s victory over Navy (but now enhanced with the presence of Cierre Wood). Wood gained 118 yards on 18 carries and scored two touchdowns. George Atkinson III rushed for 123 yards on 10 carries and scored a touchdown. Theo Riddick had five carries for 21 yards and scored the first Irish touchdown.

    Can the Irish pass rush generate enough pressure to reduce Morris’ accuracy and effectiveness? Miami’s offensive line provide Morris with more time than ND’s previous opponents have enjoyed in the early going. But as the game progressed Morris was forced out of the pocket and his accuracy suffered.

    Which team will be more disciplined and mistake-free? Again, the Fighting Irish played nearly mistake-free football, with the only penalties on a couple false starts and a delay of game during garbage time. Miami, on the other hand, repeatedly shot themselves in the foot with a several personal fouls that contributed to successful Irish drives.

    Will the kicking game be a significant factor in the final result? Technically, no. Early in the game Kyle Brindza’s kickoffs looked shallow, including one that almost looked like an onside attempt. But as the game progressed his kickoffs were returning to touchback form. ND and UM traded field goals and missed fields goals.

    Will Notre Dame be able to generate long plays of its own? Indeed yes with the most exciting being Cierre Wood’s 37-yard run (he scored on the next play from two yards out) along with Atkinson’s nifty 55-yard scoring run to put the game away, with the fourth quarter still to be played. Cam McDaniel closed out the game with a sustained scoring drive.

    And so now the 9th ranked Fighting Irish are 5-0 and it feels great. Other tests lie ahead, but for now the satisfying win against the Miami Hurricanes is worth savoring.

    40 Responses to “Irish Crush Hurricanes”

    1. Bob Howsam, Jr. says:

      Great win with a lot of help with the Canes. Good to see Kelly spread the field with 4 and 5 WR sets and pound the rock with Wood and GAIII. Communication of plays also seemed to me much much crisper. It’s one game at a time, but this has the potential to get really really special. Nice work all way round. Go Irish!

    2. Great defense. Great ground games. Terrible uniforms. A convincing victory. Boom. Roasted.


    4. All around best game I have seen the Irish play since Lou roamed the sidelines!
      Dominant in all aspects and most importantly, they played the entire 60 minutes!! This team could be special for sure – the defense is certainly for real! GO IRISH!!!

    5. al horney says:

      The uniforms don’t matter—not at all. Its a stupid complaint. We live in a different time—won’t change. Play football…then they did!

      • I hope you understand that wasn’t a serious complaint about the uniforms. I don’t like them at all, but so what? I assume Adidas wants to get into the business of making ridiculous looking uniforms, to compete with Nike (Oregon) and Underoos (Maryland) so Swarbrick cut a deal with them under which ND got a large amount of money to play in them for one game. They chose a high visibility game, but not a home game so the alumni wouldn’t get the dry heaves seeing those things in ND Stadium. As long as the team doesn’t care and there’s enough money in it for the University, more power to them. Onward Irish!

    6. irishhawk50 says:

      The opening series worried me. The defense seemed confused. Eventually ND wore down a young Miami team and dominated. I will now officially revise my 8-4 prediction upward to at least 9-3, but I look forward to the Stanford game, another real test. Their defence can’t be that great after allowing over 40 points to Arizona. Next! Go Irish!

      • Jeff Walker says:

        “Defense” is preferred spelling in American English. You used to Brit/Aussie version: thus shouldn’t you be off attending a soccer match somewhere??

        • Hey Jeff, what’s your problem? Have you been appointed to spelling/grammar police? Sometimes, I do not know who some of you think that you are.

    7. Loved the uniforms. Very cool.

    8. irishhawk50 says:

      Oh, and I forgot….burn those uniforms and fire that helmet designer once and for all!

    9. mikeyocpgh says:

      Wow. This one might stay on the DVR for the rest of the year! Great game, Irish, get some rest and kick Stanford’s ass next week!

    10. ND adjusted very well on defense after a very shaky start……

      The offense showed excellent growth and was very impressive…. especially in the 2nd half…..Golson and the OLine showed great improvement and all 4 of our backs ran very hard…..

      our next 3 games(Stanford, BYU and Oklahoma) will be tough but as long as this growth continues and we keep turnovers and our opponents big plays to a minimum, we should be tough to beat……

      Looks like Coach Kelly’s vision is slowly but surely coming to fruition…Go Irish!!

    11. I would be very hesitant to draw any conclusions from this game. Miami is a very young team. The next three weeks will determine where this team stands.

      • Irish66ND says:

        I couldn’t agree more Mike. It’s easy to forget that there are still 7 games left! BYU sandwiched in between the Cardinal and the Sooners could prove to be as much of a challenge as any game this year. Still graet to see them pound the Canes in the Windy City!

    12. Miami is pretty weak. Stanford is a different animal.

      That said, it was great to see some zone read and additional dimensions on offense.

      We will know where we stand in 3 weeks. BYU is a trap game too.

      • Standford can’t be that great. I mean, it took OT to beat Arizona and they lost to Washington. However, they are not a team that should be taken lightly. Really, no team on this schedule should be taken lightly.

    13. Best coached and best played game of the year. Irish defense again was powerful and the offense show signs of being very dominant. ND wore Miami down, young or not, ND dominated this game. Even if Miami scores on their first possession, there is no way that team was gonna stay with the Irish. We adjusted very well and took care of business.
      Stanford no doubt is a different type of team but their defense is highly suspect and their offense isnt that bad. A great defense always beats a good offense.

    14. martinjordan says:

      Another good win but Miami self destructed early. I don’t know if the defense had to get used to the speed of Miami or if they were a little rusty from being off a week. Stanford will tell us much more.

      1. I was glad to see Golson make some plays with his feet.
      2. That one pass to Toma in the endzone was poor.
      3. I thought the throw away on third and long inside the 5 wasn’t a particularly good decision. I would have prefered to see him run and give the punter some room.
      4. Turk’s poor punt was the direct rersult of not having the full 15 yards.
      5. It seems that when Kelly commits to the run the offensive line responds.
      6. The ACC has good basketball refs but its football refs are poor. What were they looking at when they ruled that Golson had fumbled? That was HORRIBLE and fotunately overturned.
      7. ND gave up a lot of yardage on kick returns.
      8. Even though they got no sacks Morris wasn’t nearly as accurate when they made him run
      9. Morris didn’t cross the line of scrimmage again after Teo leveled him at the end of an 8 yard scramble in the third quarter.
      10. The uniforms looked good but I didn’t like the helmets.

    15. Second paragraph needs correction: the Canes didn’t settle for a FG, they actually punted. They never had the lead which is what the paragraph implies.

    16. I was a little off with my 84-0 prediction, but I was right that this would be a rout. I predict we will do the same against Nunez and the Cardinal.

    17. Ryan from Omaha says:

      I don’t particularly like the uniforms (except for the numbers) but unless you’re in high school and Notre Dame is interested in you it doesn’t really matter if you like them or not. Our recruits like things like this, the unis, alt-location home games, music playing at the stadium etc. are all things that recruits that will benefit the Irish with the very people we need to be interested in the program.

    18. GREAT GAME!!! Unfortunately, I am really getting irritated at NBC’s coverage. Why the hell do they have to linger so damn long on the friggin coaches on the sidelines?? They missed the beginning of several plays during the game, because they wouldn’t change back to the field camera. The ACTION IS ON THE FIELD!!! Who gives a damn what kind of expression the coach gives? It doesn’t matter. Also, why can’t they add the play clock to their damn display on the screen? Would it kill them to add that, every other network adds that to their score box, but for some reason they refuse to even show it until it gets to 2. Better hope ND never plays Oregon on NBC, you wouldn’t get to see half the game because there would be no way they could figure out how to cover that Oregon offense. The other thing was the way they kept harping on the Catholics vs Convicts crap. ENOUGH already, God that was 24 years ago. I wish NBC would wake up and televise a game like ESPN does. Hell, ABC coverage is better than them. Erin Andrews sucks too. At least Harmon stopped calling her SCOOTER.
      Am I the only one who feels this way? Go Irish .. Let’s hope we get to see more of the game next week and less of the friggin Stanford coach.

      • No, I cannot stand wither Mayock or half-dead, Hammond. I am sick to death of NBC constatntly on the other team’s jock. I mean, I know they do not want to be biased, but for gosh sake, this is a ND HOME GAME coverage. Yes, I know that the game was in a neutral site, but the coverage is still HOME GAME. Talk a little more about ND. It is like they want to cast a negative light on ND.

    19. Miami not that good?!? They just torched NC State, who then beat #3 FSU. Are they Bama, nope. But they are pretty good team that was completely dismantled. Love it.

      Uniforms? I didn’t like them, but I am 50 years old and not likely to be identified as an ND recruit. My son, a high school junior, loved them. That’s who we have to cater to. Enjoy great recruits playing in uniforms they love (and soon to be watching on a jumbotron in ND).

      Can’t wait to get to campus and watch Stanford get crushed (and soon thereafter be described as “a mediocre football team” 😉

      • marleyman says:

        Exactly. I amazed at the disappearance of all the balloon-headed comments concerning Kelly and Diaco being “in over their heads.” Notre Dame dominated Miami in every phase of the game including team discipline. Miami’s offense has explosive potential. The Irish defense is ferocious! No touchdowns against in 3 games…WOW. It is essential that the team “doesn’t listen to the noise” this week. Stanford will be tough and showed it last week.

        I see one of Kelly’s biggest challenges as being keeping Diaco after this year!

        • Mike Coffey says:

          Things certainly have improved, no doubt about it. From what I can see, BK has learned some lessons, and as someone who wasn’t convinced he’d have the humility to do that, I’m very glad to see he proved me wrong.

    20. NDBonecrusher says:

      I hope you are right tjak. I have not been overwhelmed by the home performances this year. The team seems to embrace the whole “road warrior” thing very well. They looked so relaxed to me at Soldier Field–just another day at the office.

      5-0 doesn’t come along often so enjoy! We will enjoy 6-0 as long as the boys play to win, not to avoid losing. Pin ears back and get after it!

    21. the uniforms were ok, but I dont care what any kid thinks…those helmets just plain sucked. I remember the hate between these 2 teams back in the 80’s and I’m glad they are playing again. New generation of players and fans. However I am glad it was a beatdown…too bad Jimmie Johnson wasnt coaching them. Oh wait..he’s busy with “male enhancement” commercials.

    22. SubwayAlum_2012 says:

      How awesome was it to see, let me take a look, 376 RUSHING YARDS! The offense looked much more dynamic, with the read options, designed draws by Golson, and some power off tackle out of the gun. That bye-week might have been the dose of medicine the offense needed to find themselves. To be honest, I thought ND was in for another 20-3 game after the first half, but you could tell their experience and conditioning paid off in the second as the 5-6 yard gains became 20-30 yard blasts. Sharp passes by Golson on those hitch routes too; it takes some juice to zip that pass from inside the pocket, well done. Great win ND, lets go 1-0 against the Cardinal!

    23. JDriveSth says:

      You’ve got to love Golson rushing for 51 yards to go along with 77% passing!

    24. When is it OK to start worrying about losing Diaco after the season to a HC opening?

    25. I was there when Bernie Kosar and the canes ran the score up on the IRish in 1985 in the pouring rain. This whooping felt oh so good!

    26. Great game after shaky start. Not against a uniform change once a year, but those particular helmets were quite awful (asymmetrical, hideous leprechaun, two tone). How about dark blue with an inter-locking gold ND on side of helmet.

      • How about a GOLD helmet with blue interlocking ND on the sides? I mean, after all this is the golden dome, right?

    27. Last year I was beinning to doubt Kelly’s progress and vision; that doubt has greatly diminished. Kelly has finally brought ND back to its roots; great defense, great running, few mental errors and few turnovers. Whatever the ND defensive coordinator makes in salary is not enough. And Kelly’s change in the way offensive plays are communicated from the quarterback to the rest of the offense appears to be working. Such a change is the sign of a good coach; adapt when something is not working. The season is far from over but so far things are looking up for the Irish for a change.

    28. I think we will go undeafeated 12 and 0! We are so dominant on defense no one has yet to push us around. even our secondary is great. People keep saying that ND has yet to be tested? Give our secondary some credit here. Miami racked up yards against NC State. NC state beat Florida State and Florida State was picked by many analysts to go to the NationalChampionship game. If our offense plays like they did against Miami every week and our defense doesnt change then no one will stop us and we will be playing in the National Champnship game. Stanford will be exploited by ND in all aspects. Stanford is in for a long day and has not played a team like ND all year. USC is not who we thought they were. There is no team that we play that we can’t beat on the schedule.