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If the production value of a Notre Dame game on NBC didn't make 'Cane fans nauseous, dropped passes, awful run defense, and one-sided officiating surely did the trick.
Miami looked to have early chances, but could not capitalize. From there things snowballed out of control as UM dropped to ND 41-3.
On Miami's opening series the pass protection was phenomenal, but Phillip Dorsett inexplicably dropped two sure touchdowns on perfectly thrown bombs from Stephen Morris. This seemed to set the tone for the entire evening.
An awful roughing the punter call where the UM defender was clearly blocked into the punter kept ND's second drive alive. Earlier in the drive AJ Highsmith dropped what should have been a sure interception. The Irish capitalized when Theo Reddick plunged in from a yard out and a 7-0 lead. Miami responded with a nice drive to get on the board. A hold on Jon Feliciano wiped out a 15 yard TD run by Stephen Morris, but Jake Wieclaw kicked a 28 yard FG to cut the lead to 7-3. After Notre Dame extended the lead to 10-3 on a short Kyle Brindza FG, Miami moved the ball but stalled at midfield. ND countered with a long time consuming drive that culminated in Brindza's second FG of the half. With time winding down in the 2nd quarter Miami continued to squander opportunities. Miami's defense and a short punt set up the 'Canes on the ND 35. But a couple of missed passes and a badly missed Wieclaw 47 yard attempt kept the score at 13-3. Miami would get no closer.
Notre Dame wasted no time in adding to the lead as the 2nd half began. Slicing through Miami's defense with little resistance, the Irish took a 20-3 lead on Cierre Wood's 2 yard run. Another drop, this time by Herb Waters, short-circuited Miami's first drive of the second half. From there Notre Dame and the officials continued to toy with Miami. ND moved the ball down the field exclusively via the run. When Miami finally stopped the Irish deep in 'Canes territory, the officials called a very suspect personal foul on Darius Smith (who appeared to be on the wrong side of a triple team mugging). Not surprisingly ND capitalized and scored shortly after. It was just that kind of night for the 'Canes. The 4th quarter got so bad it began to resemble the K State debacle.
Give credit to the Irish, they clearly controlled the tempo. Miami was a fast break team, forced to play a half court game. The penalties and dropped passes hurt, but the run defense continued to be beyond porous, and this ultimately was the biggest factor in the game. Manto T'eo and ND's defense were also very stingy, and did a good job of stopping UM when they didn't stop themselves.
Notre Dame finished the game just under 400 yards on the ground. This can not continue.
Miami returns to action next weekend at home Vs North Carolina.
Tommy Rees started in place of Everett Golson at QB for Notre Dame due to disciplinary reasons. This quickly turned into a non story as Golson was back on the field for ND's second series, and played most of the game.
Tyrone Cornelius had a huge hit on the kickoff team to open the second half.
Final penalty numbers: Miami 9-77 Notre Dame 4-25
Freshman (not named Duke Johnson) Notes:
LB Raphael Kirby made his first appearance of the season, coming off a knee injury, and showed some energy.
S Deon Bush was very active on defense, in both run support and in coverage.
WR Herb Waters had a drop in the third quarter that could have extended Miami's 1st drive.
DT DeQuan Ivory got into the game, late in the 4th quarter.
Deon Bush was shaken up in the 1st quarter. Bush returned shortly after.
Stephen Morris appeared to ding up his non throwing hand. It did not appear to be serious.