MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Malik Rosier threw for a touchdown and ran for another, Deejay Dallas ran for a pair of scores and No. 7 Miami overwhelmed No. 3 Notre Dame 41-8 on Saturday night.
Travis Homer rushed for 146 yards for the Hurricanes (9-0, No. 7 College Football Playoff), who forced four turnovers for the fourth consecutive week, led 27-0 at the half and handed the Irish their second-worst loss in the history of the Miami-Notre Dame series. Only the 58-7 Miami romp in 1985 was worse.
Miami’s win came on the same day it clinched its first trip to the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game. The Hurricanes — who extended the nation’s longest current winning streak to 14 games — wrapped up the Coastal Division title when Virginia lost to Louisville, and will play Clemson for the ACC crown on Dec. 2.
And the Hurricanes might be in another title mix now as well, after dismantling a Notre Dame team that came in ranked No. 3 by the CFP committee.
Alize Mack caught a 14-yard pass from Brandon Wimbush for the lone touchdown for Notre Dame (8-2), which hadn’t played a road game against the Hurricanes since 1989.
“We are back,” former Florida governor and Miami fan Jeb Bush tweeted during the game.
The swagger sure seems like it’s back.
Ed Reed was on the field pregame waving a Turnover Chain, the necklace that has become college football’s most-discussed piece of jewelry this season. Vince Wilfork called Notre Dame out on Twitter for standing on the “U” midfield logo in a pregame talk. The game was a sellout; a simultaneous concert a few miles south in Miami by Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull — both Miami natives with enormous fan bases — still had some tickets remaining not long before showtime.
For now, the ‘Canes are the biggest thing in town again.
Braxton Berrios made a diving catch for the first touchdown of the night, then ran back to the Miami sideline with his hands clasped behind his back — as if he was wearing handcuffs, a nod to the “Catholics vs. Convicts” moniker from the 1980s that still makes the Hurricanes seethe.
Rosier ran in from 16 yards out 88 seconds later after Jaquan Johnson got Miami’s first interception of the night, and the Hurricanes were well on their way to the rout. Trajan Bandy’s 65-yard interception return just before halftime sent the Hurricanes into the break leading 27-0, and if any doubt remained Dallas dove in from 4 yards out to cap a 90-yard drive that opened the second half.
Notre Dame was out of sorts all night. The Irish changed quarterbacks in the first half, giving Ian Book a look after Brandon Wimbush started 2 for 10 with two interceptions. And Notre Dame elected going for conversions twice on fourth downs while trailing 17-0, both in their own territory, converting one and committing a false start on the other.
Notre Dame: The last time Notre Dame played at what is called Hard Rock Stadium was in the national championship game following the 2012 season, and the Irish fell behind 28-0 at the half on the way to getting routed 42-14 by Alabama. This one was eerily similar. Any chance that the Irish had of playing for a title again this year is now gone, and Notre Dame is just 12-13 in its last 25 games.
Miami: The team that was pulling off one miracle finish after another to squeak past unranked opponents with mediocre-at-best records a few weeks ago has now beaten ranked schools in consecutive weeks by a combined 69-18 count. The mismatch in this one was Miami’s speed — Notre Dame simply could not keep up with the Hurricanes.
Miami went 0-4 against Florida State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Notre Dame last year. They went 4-0 against those teams this year.
The Hurricanes will pass Notre Dame in both the Top 25 on Sunday and the CFP rankings that will be updated on Tuesday night and may now have a shot at one of the coveted top four spots.
There were at least 12 NFL teams with scouts at the game, and five bowls also sent representatives.
Notre Dame: Hosts Navy on Nov. 18, looking for a 77th win in 91 all-time meetings.
Miami: Hosts Virginia on Nov. 18, ending a stretch of five home games in six weeks.