Cierre Wood and George Atkinson III gave Notre Dame its first 100-yard rushing duo in a decade, and Everett Golson came off the bench to lead the No. 9 Irish to a 41-3 victory over Miami on Saturday night in what was a very tame sequel to the famed “Catholics vs. Convicts” rivalry.
Wood rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns, and Atkinson added 123 yards and another score. Golson, who sat the first series as punishment for violating team rules, completed his first six passes and finished 17 of 22 as Notre Dame improved to 5-0 for the first time since 2002.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Miami, which was held to just 285 yards after piling up 1,260 yards and 86 points in its previous two games.
The Hurricanes (4-2) were hurt by at least a half-dozen drops by their receivers, including two certain touchdowns by Phillip Dorsett on Miami’s very first drive.
Miami’s only points came on Jake Wieclaw’s 28-yard field goal in the first quarter. The Hurricanes got to the Notre Dame 7 late in the fourth quarter only to turn the ball over on downs.
Notre Dame has yet to trail this year, the first Irish team to do so through the first five games since the 1947 that won a second straight national championship. Notre Dame has only allowed three touchdowns, none on the ground.
Back in the 1980s, Notre Dame-Miami was perhaps the nastiest, most hotly contested rivalry in college football. Most entertaining, too.
Both teams were ranked in the top 10 when they met in 1987, ‘88, ‘89 and ‘90, and from 1987 through 1989 the winner went on to win the national title. The teams didn’t like each other, either, and made no secret of it. That old chippiness was nowhere to be found at Soldier Field. Most of the Irish and Hurricanes weren’t even born in 1988, and it’s hard to nurse a grudge when the history is so ancient.
Hard when the game is such a mismatch, too.
After a missed field goal just before halftime left the Irish with a slim 13-3 lead, the Irish broke the game open on the first series of the second half.