After dominating seven straight opponents, the Fighting Irish faced off against a determined Miami Hurricane team looking for a signature win to launch themselves into the playoff discussion, and found themselves on the wrong side of a dominating performance in a loss that would all but erase any possibility of a spot in the College Football Playoffs for the Irish.
Not since the National Championship game against Alabama has a Notre Dame Football game been so painful to watch. Even sitting through a 4-8 season just last year never produced as devastating a gut punch as the loss to Miami did; losing to Miami is bad enough, the manner in which the Irish lost only added insult to injury. Notre Dame had a chance to get off to a quick start, driving into Miami territory on their first possession, but when Wimbush couldn’t connect with St Brown in the end zone, the drive stalled. The Irish wouldn’t even reach Miami territory again until late in the second quarter, but an interception would kill that drive. Notre Dame’s only other possession that would reach Miami territory would go for a touchdown, but by that point the game was already over; a case of too little, too late. It wasn’t even close, and after the way the Fighting Irish have played all season, even in their loss to Georgia, the absolute inability of the Irish to compete in any phase of the game was shocking, to say the least.
The rivalry between Notre Dame and Miami may have lost some of its luster over the last few decades, but as I wrote in my Miami preview, it wouldn’t take much to rekindle the hatred and animosity toward Miami, and, at least for me, it certainly was renewed once again as I found myself paraphrasing Doc Holiday from Tombstone every time they scored or we had to see their gaudy turnover chain, “No. I’m sure of it, I hate them…” Unfortunately for the Fighting Irish, and their fans, redemption (and revenge) against Miami will be a long way off, as Notre Dame isn’t set to face the Hurricanes again until they meet in 2024 at Notre Dame Stadium.
Key Fighting Irish Plays
1st Quarter – Brandon Wimbush incomplete pass to Equanimeous St. Brown in the end zone. In a game like this it’s hard not to play a game of “what if.” Would Miami still have gone on to dominate the Irish? Perhaps. But a touchdown here would have given the Irish early momentum, and Wimbush some early confidence.
1st Quarter – Brandon Wimbush pass intercepted by Jaquan Johnson, returned to the ND32. Wimbush’s pass to St Brown sailed on him, and the deflected pass was picked off. Miami would score just two plays later, and the Hurricanes would increase their lead to 14-0.
2nd Quarter – Ian Book pass intercepted by Trajan Bandy, returned 65 yards for TD. Book had come in the series before to try and give the Irish a spark, and he’d actually led them down to the Miami 38 before throwing the pick six that would give the Hurricanes a 27-0 lead going into halftime.
3rd Quarter – Brandon Wimbush 14 yard TD pass to Alize Mack. The Irish highlight of the game would come late in the third quarter as Mack would out leap his defender to come up with the only Irish touchdown of the game. The Irish would convert the two-point conversion on a QB run from Wimbush to bring the score to 34-8, but Miami would score another touchdown late in the fourth quarter to take the final score to 41-8.
Top Fighting Irish Performers
This portion of the Fighting Irish Game Day Review has been intentionally left blank, for obvious reasons.
Next Up: Notre Dame welcomes Navy to Notre Dame Stadium for their last home game of the year; game time is 3:30 pm (12:30 PST)