CHICAGO — A week off was just what the doctor ordered for the Notre Dame offense.
After struggling to score 20 points for the past three weeks, the No. 9/10 Irish (5-0) offense charged out of the bye week to crush Miami (4-2) 41-3.
Donning two-toned helmets under the lights at Soldier Field, Notre Dame dominated the entire 60 minutes against a paper-thin Hurricane defense.
Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson violated team rules earlier in the week and wasn’t able to start, but he subbed in for replacement Tommy Rees after three downs and led the Irish on a touchdown drive.
Golson was flawless throughout the first quarter, throwing a perfect 6-6 for 76 yards and rushing for 45 yards on four carries and was 15-20 for 153 passing yards going into halftime.
The once-dormant running game took over, starting with a 37-yard run by Cierre Wood early in the third quarter. One play later, Wood stepped in the end zone for his first touchdown of the year.
The Irish continued to move the ball on the ground, sticking to Wood, Theo Riddick and George Atkinson III on 16 of its 18 plays in the third quarter.
Wood scored again off the 3-yard run, and Atkinson sprinted in a 55-yard run one series later.
Notre Dame finished 19 for 26 for 211 yards passing and 51 carries for 376 yards rushing (7.4 yards per carry) for its best ground performance of the season.
On the other side of the ball, the Notre Dame defense continued to prove why it’s one of the best in college football.
The Irish didn’t force any turnovers for the first time all year, but they didn’t need to: Holding Miami to three points did the job.
Manti Te’o led the team with 10 tackles and a pass break up, while Prince Shembo chipped in two quarterback hurries.
Kicker Kyle Brindza nailed a pair of field goals at 22 and 32 yards in the second quarter to secure the Notre Dame lead at the half.
Brindza missed at 34 yards as time expired in the first half.