Before we could blink, Notre Dame was up on Miami on Saturday afternoon by a count of 20-0. The sideline was energized, the offense was uptempo, and the defense was dominant. Then, the sun started to go down, some things happened, and we got the serious drama that we have come to expect as Notre Dame fans.
Coming off of a bye week, the Irish looked fresh and aggressive out of the gates. DeShone Kizer and the Notre Dame offense employed an uptempo offense and the defense was lights out.
Miami came into the game at 4-3, in the midst of a three-game losing streak. It looked likely at the start that that would inevitably be pushed to four games, but this is Notre Dame football we’re talking about. After a turnover on a punt, a recovered on-side kick (in the first half), and another muffed punt that resulted in a Miami touchdown, the Irish found themselves down 27-20. Yikes.
Josh Adams, however, responded with a touchdown run to tie the game up at 27. The Irish would get the ball back, and try their hardest to blow it. Smythe looked to have a potential touchdown on Notre Dame’s final drive, but fumbled short of the goal line. All-everything quarterback and fumble recoverer DeShone Kizer thankfully jumped on the ball when it was loose, and the Irish turned to Justin Yoon with 34 second left and the game on the line.
YOOOON!!— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) October 29, 2016
Justin Yoon makes the field goal to put Notre Dame up 30-27 over Miami with 30 seconds left in the game. pic.twitter.com/IeXUWjsGkJ
He nailed it. The Notre Dame defense sealed it with a sack, and as the ball came loose, the clock expired.
Notre Dame escapes with a 'W' against the Hurricanes! #NDonNBC https://t.co/4bWrNz2Xz5— Notre Dame on NBC (@NDonNBC) October 29, 2016
The major storyline from this one, aside from the obvious special teams issues, in my opinion is the Notre Dame offense putting serious pressure on the Notre Dame defense by being incredibly inefficient. The defense performed well, to their credit. Notre Dame out-gained Miami 411-312. DeShone Kizer was 25 of 38 for 263 yards, and added 31 yards on the ground. Josh Adams was the rushing hero of the game, with 94 yards on 12 carries.
Hopefully, Notre Dame can carry the momentum gained late in this one over to the rest of the season. The Irish still have Navy, Virginia Tech, and USC on the schedule, which makes reaching a bowl game a tall task. For now, it’s on to Navy in San Antonio next week.