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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Notre Dame Edition

Miami just dominated Notre Dame, and now we're in the playoff conversation. Let's talk about the game and give out some grades.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Miami
Braxton Berrios celebrates his touchdown against Notre Dame during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

It's all about the U. We spent all day living in this beautiful moment created by our undefeated Canes. College Gameday was in town, and for the second week in a row, we were the primetime matchup with something to prove. Tonight that mission was accomplished, as Miami throttled Notre Dame 41-8. So much for all of those close games.

Here's the recap by Stefan Adams:

RECAP: Hurricanes rout unlucky Irish, 41-8

With that being said, let's get into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

The Good

  • The Canes locking up the Coastal Division crown before any football was played at HRS. Miami has finally made it to the ACC Championship Game.
  • THE CROWD AT HARD ROCK STADIUM!!! For the second week in a row, Miami showed that we can fill a stadium and bring the noise.
  • THE CANES RUN DEFENSE. Consistently making huge plays against one of the best rushing attacks in the country. Constantly looking like we had 15 defensive players on the field. Notre Dame looked lost when their Heisman-candidate couldn't just run down our throats.
NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Miami
Josh Adams was smothered by the Canes all night.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
  • The beautiful play-calling by CMR. Some well-timed screen passes, QB read plays (one for a TD), a magnificent throw by Rosier to Berrios. CMR went back to some of the plays that worked last week, and the offense executed better as a whole.
  • SO MANY CHAINS. We had 2 missed opportunities early, but the Canes continued playing to their identity of creating turnovers. 3 picks in the first half (including a PICK 6!!!!). 4 takeaways tonight, and 24 on the year.
  • The Deejay Dallas Coming Out Party. Ran the Wildcat effectively in the first half, and then followed it up with 2 TDs, including an impressive run around the edge, tip-toeing the sideline and leaping over the pylon.
  • Michael Badgley setting the school record for FGs made. Well deserved.
  • A Lawrence Cager sighting? The forgotten WR showed up in a big way, making a HUGE catch on 4th and 9 to set up the Canes 4th TD.
  • Travis Homer is a real lead back. Homer finished with 146 yards, with 108 of those came in the 3rd quarter when Miami was just trying to manage the game.
  • Jonathan Garvin. Another tackle/tfl/sack/ff/fr. The instant turnover is a mighty useful trick up our sleeves.
  • UM Great Ed Reed keeping the crowd hyped from the sideline. He has really invested in this team. The move by CMR's staff to increase access to alumni appears to be paying off. He wasn't the only alumni enjoying the game:
  • Kirk Herbstreit falling for the Canes. "They couldn't have picked a better week to have this kind of performance and change the narrative." He later slotted Miami as his #3 team in the playoff.
  • 0 Turnovers for the offense. Enough said.
  • Malik Rosier final stats: 15/24 for 137 yds, 1 TD 0 INT. Handled the game extremely well.
  • 41-8 against the #3 ranked team in the country. AND IT WAS NOTRE DAME. If that's not good I don't know what is.

The Bad

  • Dropping an easy pick on the second play of the game. Great play by Quarterman to get his hands on the ball, but a huge missed opportunity. We dropped another easy pick later, but we made up for it two plays later with our first turnover chain of the game.
  • The Rosier to Richards connection. Miami tried to feed Ahmmon early, but double teams and poor timing were visibly frustrating our top receiver.
  • Failure to get in the endzone after our second pick and the ball at ND's 11 yard line. Great opportunity to really put our foot on their throat, but a no-goan and 2 incompletions left us settling for 3.
  • Berrios premature fair catches. Multiple opportunities for big punt returns negated by fair catches with nobody within 15-20 yards. Being nitpicky of course.
  • The defense on the last drive of the 3rd quarter. It took ND 44 minutes and 48 seconds to put points on the board, but the defense squandered a few good plays on the drive by giving up chunk yardage through the air and gave up their shutout.

The Ugly

  • Notre Dame's offense. Too soon maybe, but not really.
  • How much better could this game have gone??? Complete domination in all phases of the game. I don't think I could classify anything as ugly on Miami's end.

Team Grades

Offense: A

Miami finished with 237 yards rushing with 3 TDs. Homer was unstoppable, Dallas had his best game as a Cane with 53 yards and 2 TDs. Rosier only threw for 137 yards, but he threw a beautiful TD to Berrios in the redzone, ran for 44 yards with a TD, and took care of the football. The offense accomplished everything that was asked of them.

Defense: A+

The Miami defense once again proved on a primetime national stage that they are one of if not the best units in the country. The Canes D gave up only 8 points. Apparently there was a Heisman front-runner at running back for the other team. The Canes still only gave up 3.0 yards per carry, as well as only 152 yards through the air on 13 completions to 27 attempts. The #1 DLine in football was constantly in the backfield sacking the quarterback or stopping run plays for a loss. It was the first time all season ND has been held scoreless in the first half. And I almost forgot, 4 TURNOVER CHAINS.

Special Teams: B-

With a performance like the one Miami put on tonight, the special teams needed to remain as quiet as possible. That happened for the most part, although there were some rough kick returns and a missed FG in the second half.

Coaching: A+

After going through over a decade of suspect coaching decisions, it is such a relief to see coaches who look like they're constantly in control of the game. The CFP committee looked at our 7-0 start as if we played Bethune-Cookman seven straight times. Everyone said we wouldn't be a legitimate contender unless we survived VaTech and Notre Dame. We won too many close games. Not only did we survive both games, WE DOMINATED. 28-10 over VT, and 41-8 OVER NOTRE DAME. The best coaches make their players play their best games against the best teams. That's what we're seeing from Mark Richt and Manny Diaz.

Such an eventful day. College Gameday, a Coastal Division title, a HUGE victory of Notre Dame, and now our season can be described in 3 words: