Notre Dame showed the world what it looks like when they play complete football in their 41-3 destruction of rival Miami. The win makes the Irish 5-0 and moves them up to seventh in both the coaches and AP polls ahead of a visit from College Gameday and the Stanford Cardinal. The following players were instrumental to the Irish’s success versus Miami:
The Offensive Line: The Irish offensive line answered plenty of questions surrounding their play of late with their domination of Miami up front. The Irish offensive line along with the tight-ends did a brilliant job setting the edge allowing the Irish to rush for 376 yards on 7.4 yards per carry. The Irish rushing attack was essentially unstoppable thanks to the performance of the offensive line, which allowed the offense to run the ball 31 times, compared to only three passing plays in the second half. This allowed the Irish to control the clock and limit the Hurricanes opportunities to score, while scoring five rushing touchdowns themselves.
Cierre Wood: The Irish`s premier running back finally got an increase in his workload and announced his presence as the Irish`s clear number one running back. Wood carried the ball 18 times versus Miami, one more carry than he had totalled on the season coming into the game, and he responded to the tone of 118 yards and two touchdowns. Wood showed the ability to run both inside and outside as well as showing great patience with the ball allowing holes to open up.
George Atkinson III: The Irish`s game-breaker took control in the second half alongside Wood, making a very dangerous one-two punch for opposing defenses to deal with. Atkinson tallied 123 yards on only ten carries, highlighted by his breakaway 55 yard touchdown run. Atkinson continues to average a high number of yards per carry and is faring well when he gets enough touches to establish himself in the game as he did against Navy as well.
Everett Golson: After serving his mini three play suspension; Everett Golson took the field for the Irish and delivered his best performance of the season thus far. Golson completed 77 percent of his passes (17-22) for 186 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. Golson also rushed for a career high 51 yards on six carries. Golson managed the game beautifully and looked much older than his age especially when leading the Irish on the two minute drill late in the first half, despite a missed field goal being the end result of the drive. Golson also spread the ball around nicely with eight different receivers catching a pass from him.