ACC: George Atkinson

CHICAGO -- No. 9 Notre Dame handled Miami 41-3 on Saturday night at Soldier Field. Here is a quick look at how the Irish won.

It was over when: Notre Dame racked up 197 yards rushing and 21 points in a decisive third quarter to put the game out of reach. The Irish led 13-3 at halftime, but Miami never had a chance to get into the game in the third quarter because the Irish were so dominant on the ground. On their three scoring drives in the quarter, Notre Dame attempted a total of two passes. One of those drives went 12 plays -- and all 12 were runs.

Gameball goes to: George Atkinson III and Cierre Wood. As the Irish surpassed the 300-yard rushing mark in the game, both Atkinson and Wood went over 100 yards. It was the first time Notre Dame had two 100 yard rushers in the same game since 2002. Notre Dame ended up with season highs in first downs (34) and rushing yards (379).

Stat of the game: Notre Dame's 379-yard rushing total. The Irish had their way on the ground in this game, impressively chewing up chunks of yards while also breaking one tackle after another. This was a new low point for the Miami defense, which has played poorly all season. Miami has allowed five of its six opponents to run for more than 200 yards this season. The previous season high came on the road at Kansas State, when the Wildcats racked up 288 total rushing yards.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Bowl season has found its best play of 2011.

Michael Floyd's 5-yard touchdown grab was anything but simple, as Tommy Rees' fade pass was underthrown and nearly picked off by Greg Reid. Floyd managed to pry it loose from Reid before engaging in a juggling act — all the while absorbing a hit from Nigel Bradham just as he secured the ball.

Touchdown, Irish.

Floyd's 100th catch of the season made it 14-0 Notre Dame, which is anything but your conventional two-score lead in a game that has lacked for offensive fire power.

The Seminoles appeared to be on the verge of closing the gap after Lamarcus Joyner's 77-yard kickoff return, but the offense followed with a three-and-out that was punctuated by a — you guessed it — sack of EJ Manuel, this time by Aaron Lynch for a loss of 15.

Dustin Hopkins kicked a 42-yard field goal to get FSU on the board and cut the lead to 14-3.

The Irish offense, meanwhile, went with both quarterbacks on its first drive of the half, putting Andrew Hendrix in at the 23 yard line. He carried it three times for 18 yards before Rees entered at first-and-goal from the 5, setting up the touchdown play.

George Atkinson deserves credit for setting the Irish up so well with a 37-yard kickoff return to open the half, as well as stopping Joyner from going all the way on the ensuing kickoff.

SPONSORED HEADLINES