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Monday, October 8, 2012
Player of the week

By Matt Fortuna

Following his first 100-yard output of the season Saturday, Cierre Wood talked about getting enough carries to have some success.

Brian Kelly's response Sunday?

"That's Cierre being Cierre," he said with a laugh. "We love him, and he did some really good things for us. But, again, he's a guy that loves to compete and he's passionate, and he wears his emotions on his sleeves."

Wood had the breakout performance many were waiting for this season. The returning 1,100-yard rusher led a Notre Dame ground game that rushed for 376 yards against Miami, with 197 of those yards coming in the third quarter, when the Irish ran the ball on 19 of their 21 plays. (They completed both of their passes, for the record.)

With Theo Riddick off to the side with a bone bruise on his elbow, Wood was responsible for exactly 100 of those yards during that frame, and he finished the night with 118 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.

Wood had rushed for 100 yards in three different games last season but lost his starting job this season after being suspended for the first two games for a violation of team rules.

Saturday was a long-time coming for the redshirt junior, a back whom several saw in the offseason as a potential darkhorse Heisman candidate. Things haven't exactly played out that way this season, but Wood did prove that he can be his same old self when given enough carries.

"I was past overdue," Wood said. "It's just a matter of when I get the ball and stuff like that, I know I can ball out. I know I can make plays almost every play. It's just a matter of when the opportunity presents itself."