Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 15, 2012 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 48 of 120

ON PAPER REVISITED son and senior Mike James managed only 50 yards on 14 carries. By the end of the Michigan State game this year, Notre Dame had established itself as a top-10 run defense, and it remains one of two teams — along with TCU — to not yet yield a rushing touchdown in 2012. The discipline of the front line staying in its gaps MIAMI RUNNING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME RUN DEFENSE The combination of dynamic freshman Duke John- BY LOU SOMOGYI and lanes has been evident from day one against Navy's triple option and remains the team's No. 1 strength. Advantage: Notre Dame field day and the relatively green Irish secondary was finally going to get exposed against Miami's team speed along the flanks. After an open Phillip Dorsett dropped a potential 72-yard touchdown on the first play, tight end Clive Walford caught a 28-yard pass on the second — and then Dorsett (one catch for six yards) dropped another potential score on third down, this one from 39 yards. Thereafter, a more alert Irish defense dropped into MIAMI PASSING GAME VS. NOTRE DAME PASS DEFENSE It appeared early that the Hurricanes might have a much deeper coverage and allowed more under- neath completions that did minimal damage. To limit quarterback Stephen Morris to 201 yards passing after he averaged 501 the two previous two weeks was remarkable. He completed only 18 of 35 throws while averaging merely 5.7 yards per attempt — with anything under 6.0 an excellent mark for a defense. Advantage: Notre Dame Irish totaled an astounding 270 yards on the ground in the second half, picking up huge chunks of yard- age specifically on cutbacks while the running backs patiently waited for their blockers to make their NOTRE DAME RUNNING GAME VS. MIAMI RUN DEFENSE After rushing for 106 yards in the first half, the Senior safety Zeke Motta and the Irish defense lim- ited the Hurricanes' rushing attack, led by fresh- man running back Duke Johnson, to only 84 yards. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA move in front of them in the zone schemes. Senior Cierre Wood had been acclimating to the new style, and his 37-yard cutback and scamper on the open- ing drive of the second half saw him execute it in textbook fashion. Most notable was quarterback Everett Golson (six carries for 51 yards) executing the zone option several times, which opened up other areas of the

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