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  • Irish Outclass Scrappy Redhawks

    by John Vannie

    Josh Adams recorded two long touchdown runs in the opening quarter and Notre Dame never looked back as the Fighting Irish coasted to a 52-17 victory over the Miami of Ohio Redhawks. Adams scored on a 72-yard burst on the second play from scrimmage, and broke open a 14-7 game minutes later with a 59-yard run to ignite the hosts. Notre Dame poured it on before intermission to open a 45-14 lead, and the teams spent the second half burning the clock as fast as possible. The win raised the Irish to 4-1 on the season, and the team will pack its bags for North Carolina next week before taking a mid-season break.

    Brandon Wimbush recovered after a shaky start to toss three touchdown passes, including a 54-yard laser to Miles Boykin just 37 seconds before halftime. Wimbush completed only one of his first seven passes and was sacked twice before settling down to finish with 7 completions in 18 attempts for 119 yards. Ian Book came on at the start of the fourth quarter and hit three of five passes, including a beautiful 48-yard bomb to Chris Finke. Adams was pulled from the game after an apparent leg injury, but managed to accumulate 159 yards on just eight carries. The Irish outrushed the Redhawks by 333 to 115.

    Miami did its best to stay in the game early, as quarterback Gus Ragland had some success throwing short, quick passes against Notre Dame’s secondary. The Irish appeared to be porous at times and cornerback Nick Watkins had particular difficulty with Redhawk receiver James Gardner, who caught two touchdown passes and finished with 115 yards. Ragland was only 19 for 37, however, and was forced to scramble more often than not.

    Chase Claypool and Equanimeous St. Brown also had touchdown receptions for Notre Dame, and Deon McIntosh pitched in with a 26-yard run to close the scoring. The contest unfolded entirely as expected, although Notre Dame’s performance in all three phases was not as crisp as it could have been. Some credit goes to Miami for making the most of its talent and playing hard throughout.

    Can the Irish pass rushers make life miserable for Ragland? Yes. Even though he tried to combat the rush by getting rid of the ball quickly, it was just not possible all of the time.

    How long will it take Notre Dame to get its running game up to full speed? Exactly 25 seconds.

    Can Wimbush back up his performance against MSU with another solid outing? Hard to call this one a solid outing, but Wimbush did not get down on himself and eventually bounced back.

    Will the Redhawks be able to hold off the Irish in the red zone? No, and they could not hold them off anywhere else, either.

    Can Notre Dame generate some magic on special teams? No, the return game was unremarkable and even the coverage teams were sloppy on occasion. Justin Yoon hit one field goal and clanked another off the upright. Tyler Newsome’s punting was only average as well.

    How much red will we see in the stadium this time? Not enough to generate more than a faint murmur.

    Will Miami come to South Bend every year after the Cubs win the World Series? Once a century appears to be about right for both of these occurrences.

    Notre Dame has plenty of opportunities ahead of it this season, especially in the second half of the season. Every team on the schedule is beatable, and Georgia is demonstrating that it belongs in the top ten. Next week’s game at 1-4 North Carolina should not be a nail-biter, but it will get much more interesting after that.

    24 Responses to “Irish Outclass Scrappy Redhawks”

    1. It’s hard to complain about the team after winning by the margin they did, but it still feels like this is not an above average team in all facets of the game.

      • Seriously? Wow. You must be a pessimist. Remember the seasons where a Miami Redhawks team would have come to South Bend and won??

    2. Austinirish says:

      Taking care of business – that’s what we did yesterday. Hopefully Adams’ injury is not serious.

      Indeed, it is possible to run the table. Disappointed that USC was beaten Friday – it will take some of the luster off what hopefully will be our victory over them. At 11-1 we would certainly be in the playoff discussion, and what we expect of the program.

      • Agree, AI. The fact that ND *finally* dominated an opponent they ought to have dominated was the story line. That sort of confidence has not been there, at least not for me. We fans have all been holding our collective breaths for many years in games that should have been “no-brainers” and were often lost. Maybe now we can start to exhale a little. Keep Rollin’, Irish! Run all over them Tar Heels, get healthy during the bye, and burn Troy to the ground! Man-how sweet would it be to run all over U$C and make them look silly?

        • I feel ya, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop too. I never take anything for granted and never assume any lead is safe.

    3. 1.) Need to keep improving on the “little things” and mental aspect of the game.
      2.) Why was Johnny Lattner’s grandson not at ND playing? JW?
      **3.) It is time for ND to have it s own tv station!!!! I’m so sick and tired of listening to a BC grad and whoever is not an ND guy/gal. Come on Almuni!!!!! Let’s get this thing rolling. We LL make our own money and not to have to rely on crappy NBC who is more interested in the other team.

      • Aaron
        1) This board is predicated on “sicking with the run game” since inception. Mentally this instills physical toughness and THIS team seems to be built to win on this principle. It is a team that is better than its quarterback.
        2) From the broadcast I learned that Johnny Lattner has like 25 grandchildren. I’m not sure we have enough room for them all without losing sons of Van Gorder and Golics.
        3) Would you have us be a walled garden? Watching the Pac10/Big 10 network has all the objectivity of East German TV. Actually NBC have often been shameless shills for our football product and I do like to learn about our worthy opponents. If Notre Dame wants to remain special it ought to do the opposite and with international outreach put the Leprechaun on subway alums in Mumbai, Shanghai and Nairobi.
        Go Irish beat Tar Heels.

        • Drasail…… Thanks for taking the time to reply. I agree with you the run first mentality will keep us focused and so far the discipline is starting to form more in years past. So we need to keep progressing forward.
          As far as Lattner’s…I to heard he has 25 grand kids. I was only concerned about the one who was playing. Yes I know with vg kid and golic kids.
          As far as our own tv….I respectfully disagree…..we are ND we will always have national TV games and tv stations like NBC will want our games because they know Irish fans will watch !!! I can care less about the opponents we play….I want to hear about our players, ND, and things the University is doing. If NBC is doing ND games then lead toward ND….and get ND people to do the games….like Joe Thiesman, the bus etc.

          • I wholeheartedly agree. I am so sick of hearing Flutie’s negative slant against anything related to ND. I used to love Flutie. Now, not so much. As if it would kill him to say anything positive about ND. Even when he does, it still has a negative feel to it. The late hit on Wimbush, did anyone else catch “wasn’t an obvious penalty” comment? BULLSHIT, FLUTIE… it was DEFINITELY obvious that’s why it was FLAGGED.

            I was not at all impressed by Gus Ragland or Miami. I found it laughable that they still considered Ragland “has kept them in the game, well maybe not in scoring margin”… Um, at 38-14 your team is down by 4 scores… NOWHERE NEAR IN THE GAME. And they never were even when the score was 14-7. They were over-matched, out-coached, outplayed, and overwhelmed from the time the ball was kicked to ND. I wasn’t at all impressed with anything other than the woodshed ass beating our men put on their boys (yes, Ragland, you were a boy tossing the ball among men).

      • Sirius XM Catholic Talk show channel already airs the local ND radio broadcast. I agree! If UTx can do it, we could smash it!

    4. irishhawk50 says:

      Wimbush still can’t make throws. He should be more accurate by this point in the season. The jury is still out on him.

      Not happy with all these MAC games. Once in awhile these cupcake teams get a win (Troy-LSU) but they are mostly glorified scrimmages.

      North Carolina looks pitiful (famous last words) and USC not unbeatable.

      Go Irish!

    5. No need to spend time and money on a Notre Dame network. ND will be covered by the ACC’s contract soon enough.

    6. I don’t want to take away from the win (a win is a win after all, look at what Troy did to LSU!) but I think the NBC Sports recap put it best: Wimbush’s accuracy (or lack thereof) leaves a lot to be desired and the secondary is suspect. I’ll tack on special teams as an area that needs significant improvement as well. Good teams will expose all of these problems.

      The running game has bailed Wimbush up to this point (sans UGA). He must start to show consistency week by week and I fully expect him to show up next week against UNC who is ranked 101 in pass defense.

      If (and big IF) these areas are shored up just a bit, I think we have a shot at USC. Take them down and we’ll be ranked in the top 15, knocking on the door of the top 10.

      That being said, it was nice to see 45 in the first half. The boys look like they are having fun out there. Go Irish!

    7. What does “raking his hands” mean for a defensive back?

    8. Identify your baseball allegiance with the bush league Cubs comment.

      • John Vannie says:

        I’ve loved the Cubs since the days of Jack Brickhouse (Hey hey!), mostly because Cub fans have a sense of humor. I see that you are an exception to this rule. Lighten up.

    9. it is about time we beat a bad team by a lot. We haven’t been doing that for a long time so this is progress.
      I do see a recurrent problem. I don’t believe we will win big or close games because there is no attention to the details the are needed to win. The horrific special teams play will lose close games for us especially against good teams.
      Correct me if I am wrong but I don’t think we have ten total yards for the season in punt returns. There is just too much talent on the team to not block anyone. the is a Kelly trademark –super conservative punt return teams. He is happy to get the ball anywhere without the thought of a return. Secondly the kickoff coverage team is pathetic. Even against bad teams we stink. the kickoff return team is slightly and only slightly better than horrible.
      In close games we will be in trouble.
      Finally, I have never minded Flutie and his comments until this last game. he spend the entire first half criticizing Wimbush. It really got old.

    10. Terry McManus says:

      We beat up on inferior teams – that’s good, and that means we don’t play down to them and give them hope they can get lucky, which has happened more than once in past years. We lost to (but almost beat) Georgia, who is in the top 5, we gave a good whippin’ to Moo U in their own pasture – this is a good team, it seems to be one that doesn’t beat themselves.

      Southern Ca. is going to be a big test, but we gotta beat North Carolina first.

    11. Bocceman2 says:

      I digress. If Wimbush can grasp Chip Long’ s offense the sky is the limit for this team.

    12. Last week in this space, I wondered if Michigan State would have won if they hadn’t been so sloppy, and thought we couldn’t take credit for those turnovers. I take that back – this is a trend. Averaging 2 turnovers per game is not a fluke; that’s just what our D is doing this year. Sparty’s sloppiness might have helped out a bit a week ago, but I’m feeling better about giving more credit to our defense, especially our coaching staff.

      Does anyone else think this feels a bit like the 2002 season with a better running game?

    13. I am glad to see I am not the only one who is cautiously-optimistic (read: “hesitant”) to over-react and anoint this team as ready top be one of the final four.

      Yes, it is mathematically possibly for the Irish to go 11-1; however, it is just as possible that they finish at 7-5.

      The run game and defense against the run are outstanding right now; however, they were not against the only top-5 team they’ve faced this year. How these units do against the trojans, wolf pack, hurricanes and cardinal are going to really dictate the trajectory of the team.

    14. We should be 9-1 going into Nov. 11. At Miami will determine if ND is top 5 material. That game is huge.