Oct. 29, 2016
OCTOBER 29, 2016 — The University of Notre Dame football team (3-5) responded to adversity in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to earn a 30-27 come-from-behind victory over Miami (4-4) in front of 80,795 spectators at Notre Dame Stadium.
Justin Yoon’s 23-yard field goal with 30 seconds remaining proved to be the game winner, following Josh Adams 41-yard rushing touchdown at 5:53 in the fourth quarter to cap Notre Dame’s dramatic comeback.
Miami had gained a 27-20 lead with 6:49 left when Notre Dame’s C.J. Sanders mishandled a punt inside his own five-yard line that was recovered for a Hurricane touchdown. The Irish offense responded quickly, however, marching 75 yards in just four plays, capped by Adams long run.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Notre Dame jumped out to claim a 20-0 lead on Miami early in the second quarter. DeShone Kizer capped a beautiful opening offensive drive for the Irish with a five-yard shovel pass to Torii Hunter Jr., then hit Equanimeous St. Brown with a 14-yard touchdown pass (after a Yoon field goal) at 4:23 of the first quarter.
Special teams struggled all day for Notre Dame and a miscue provided the first scoring opportunity for the Hurricanes. After a defensive stop, a short punt from Miami hit Notre Dame’s Troy Pride Jr. – who was blocking his assignment at the time, at the Irish 40-yard line. The ball was recovered by Miami’s Travis Homer and the Hurricanes scored in four plays. The teams entered halftime with the Irish ahead 20-7.
Miami grabbed momentum with a 13-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to open the third quarter. The Irish offense went three-and-out and the Hurricanes came back, after getting a hand on the punt to limit the kick to 23 yards, with a field goal drive to cut the lead to three points.
Late in the quarter, the Irish were faced with fourth down and one yard to gain scenario which was stopped by the Hurricanes on a great defensive play by Adrian Colbert. Miami drove for the game-tying field goal in 11 plays.
The Irish offense gained just one first down on its next drive, but the defense answered right back to force a Hurricane punt. The punt landed inside the Notre Dame five-yard line, Sanders tried to grab the ball and it bounced off his facemask into the end zone. Miami’s Michael Jackson jumped on the ball and the Hurricanes suddenly had a 27-20 lead.
It was gut check time for the Irish, who responded with Adams’ touchdown run and Yoon’s game-winning field goal to end the team’s two-game losing streak.
PLAY OF THE GAME:
Josh Adams 41-yard touchdown run at 5:53 of the fourth quarter.
Miami took advantage of a special teams miscue to take a 27-20 lead and put the pressure on the Irish offense to answer. Adams did, bouncing off the pile for a 41-yard touchdown run to tie the game.
— Notre Dame on NBC (@NDonNBC) October 29, 2016
The Irish defense stepped up with a three-and-out to set the stage for Yoon’s game-winning field goal.
OTHER NOTABLE PLAYS IN THE GAME:
Nyles Morgan sack at around 5:30 of the second quarter.
Nyles Morgan pass broken up around 12:30 of the fourth quarter.
Nyles Morgan made two huge defensive plays to end Miami scoring threats. His sack pushed the Hurricanes back 17 yards and out of field goal range, while his PBU forced Miami to attempt the game-tying field goal.
DeShone Kizer fumble recovery on Notre Dame’s final drive.
With 2:11 left, Notre Dame faced a third down with three yards to gain on the Miami seven-yard line. Kizer completed a pass over the middle to Durham Smythe, who made the first down yardage but jumped toward the end zone. C.J. Perry forced a fumble, hitting the ball with his helmet and sending it flying down the goal line. The Hurricanes had a chance at the recovery, but Kizer dove into the pile and won the fight for the ball.
Three plays later, Yoon kicked the game-winning field goal.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
OFFENSE: Josh Adams, 12 rushes, 94 yards, one touchdown.
Adams averaged 7.8 yards per rush in the game and scored the game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
DEFENSE: Jarron Jones, seven tackles (all solo), six tackles for loss, one sack, one pass broken up.
Jones posted one of the most dominating games for an Irish defensive lineman in recent memory and it began right from the start of the game. In Miami’s first six plays from scrimmage, Jones had three tackles for loss and one pass broken up. The Hurricanes were forced to double team Jones for a large portion of the game, freeing up the Irish defense to collect a season-high 11 tackles for loss.
STAT OF THE GAME:
Rushing yards for Miami: 18
Notre Dame held the Hurricanes to 18 yards rushing in the game, the first time holding a team under 40 yards rushing since the win over Purdue in 2013. That rushing yardage total was bolstered by 12 tackles for loss and five sacks.
NOTES OF THE GAME:
Notre Dame completed its 14th scoring drive of 75 or more yards this season by covering 75 yards on nine plays to open the game, capped off by DeShone Kizer’s five-yard touchdown pass to Torii Hunter Jr.
In last 3 games against Miami (2010, 2012, 2016), Notre Dame has dominated first half, outscoring the Hurricanes 60-13, earning 40 first downs compared to 16 and out gaining UM 646-355.
Notre Dame is 18-7-1 all-time against Miami, including a 9-1 mark in games played at Notre Dame.
SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENT OF THE GAME:
— Notre Dame on NBC (@NDonNBC) October 29, 2016