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10/07/2012 12:43 AM EDT
No. 9 Notre Dame runs over Miami 41-3
NOTRE DAME 41, MIAMI FL 3

By NANCY ARMOUR
AP National Writer

CHICAGO (AP) -- No brawls, no chippiness. Not much of a game,
either.



So much for nasty ol' Notre Dame-Miami.



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 heated
"Catholics vs. Convicts" rivalry.



"We didn't play smart enough, we didn't play disciplined enough
and we didn't make enough plays," Miami coach Al Golden said.
"It's that simple."



The Irish improved to 5-0 for the first time since 2002. Their
587 yards of offense was a season high, and their 376 yards
rushing was their most since Nov. 11, 2000. Wood had 118 yards
rushing and two touchdowns, and Atkinson added 123 yards and
another score. Golson, who sat the first series as punishment
for showing up late for practice, completed his first six passes
and finished 17 of 22 for 186 yards passing. He also ran for 51
yards.



"We felt like we found a way to run the football today," Notre
Dame coach Brian Kelly said. "Our game plan was situated on
running the football, which equals time of possession for us.
We felt like if we could keep them from getting the big plays,
and we could run the football, that was going on our recipe for
success



Notre Dame's defense held Miami (4-2) to 285 yards after the
Hurricanes had piled up 1,260 yards and 86 points in their
previous two games. A half-dozen drops, including two certain
touchdowns by Phillip Dorsett on Miami's very first drive,
didn't help. Neither did the time of possession, where Notre
Dame had a whopping 39:08-20:52 advantage.



Notre Dame had been leaning on its defense to remain undefeated.



"I think this game was needed," Golson said. "I don't know
necessarily about my confidence but just for the team's
confidence, the offense's confidence."



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.



"It was really lopsided in terms of them having the ball, and we
didn't really have much opportunity. The times we do have
opportunities, we were on the field and we were off,"
quarterback Stephen Morris said. "We can't win games like that."



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. Police actually had to be
called in to break up a pushing and shoving match as the teams
were leaving the field after pregame warmups at Notre Dame
Stadium in 1988.



In a video posted on Notre Dame's website, former Irish coach
Lou Holtz said he urged his team to avoid any on-field incidents
against Miami.



"After we win the game, if Miami wants to fight, fine, we'll
meet `em in the alley," Holtz, on the video, recalled saying to
his team. "And if they do, you save Jimmy Johnson's (butt) for
me."



The Irish stormed out of the locker room and beat Miami 31-30.
Many still consider it the best home win in Notre Dame history,
and it propelled the Irish to their eighth - and most recent -
national title.



The teams played the next two years before the rivalry was
discontinued, with Notre Dame officials feeling "it brought out
the worst sides of fans." (Considering it was Notre Dame fans
who came up with the "Catholics vs. Convicts" moniker, it's hard
to argue with them.) It would be 20 years before the teams would
meet again, in the 2010 Sun Bowl.



But 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.



"There's no excuses," Golden said. "We had too many penalties,
too many drops. We lost our poise at times. We didn't play well
enough in this environment against a really good team, and
that's my fault. I've got to get it fixed."



Miami should have been up 7-0 after its first series, but
Dorsett dropped two would-be touchdowns, the second going
through his hands on the goal line. Instead of making the Irish
play catch-up, the Hurricanes were forced to punt.



"Obviously that doesn't happen much to me," said Dorsett, who
had 375 yards receiving on 16 catches in Miami's previous two
games. "I guess I got a little too excited, the ball got caught
in the lights and I couldn't see it. I'm not a person to make
excuses, I got to come up with those."



Golson inherited the starting quarterback's job when Tommy Rees
was suspended for the opener, punishment for his May arrest for
a skirmish with police after an off-campus party. Kelly has said
repeatedly that Golson is the Irish quarterback, but his hold on
the job seemed tenuous after Rees had to bail him out against
both Purdue and Michigan.



This time, it was Golson off the bench with a big day.



He was benched for the first series after being late to practice
- a meeting with a professor ran long, and he hadn't told Kelly
ahead of time - and Rees was run off the field in three plays.
But the Hurricanes gave the Irish a second chance when Gabriel
Terry was called for roughing the punter, and Golson took over.



"I understand it was a team violation. That was the consequences
I had to deal with," Golson said. "I just kind of knew when I
got my time I had to go out there and have fun and manage the
team."



He led the Irish to scores on their first three drives, and
would have made it four out of five if Kyle Brindza's 34-yard
field goal attempt hadn't squeaked right. The running game took
over in the second half - the Irish ground out 270 yards in the
final 30 minutes - with the Irish scoring on all four of their
drives. Wood set the tone on the very first one, taking off from
the Miami 39 and ripping off a long run up the right sideline
that looked like it was good for a touchdown. But reviews showed
he stepped out at the 2. No matter. He rumbled right up the
middle on the next play to give Notre Dame a 20-3 lead with just
under 12 minutes left in the third.



The Irish chewed up 86 yards, all on the ground, on their next
drive, capping it with a 3-yard run by Wood. That gave Notre
Dame a 27-3 lead, and the game was all but out of reach.

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