The Miami Hurricanes did not have answers Saturday against Notre Dame, as they were defeated 41-3. Miami seemed to have its opportunities in the beginning with Stephen Morris dialing it, but his receivers were unable to help him out. Morris had two touchdown passes within his grasp, but was unable to pull them down.
What obviously hurt Miami worst was the 21-point third quarter the Irish put on them. Prior to that, the halftime score was, 13-3 and the Hurricanes were still in the game. But Miami couldn't stop a nose bleed on defense, particularly run defense. Notre Dame was able to bully the Hurricanes' interior to compile 376 yards on the ground. Two Notre Dame running backs went for over 100 yards rushing.
Give credit to the Irish, they clearly controlled the tempo. Miami was a fast break team, forced to play a half court game. The penalties and dropped passes hurt, but the run defense continued to be beyond porous, and this ultimately was the biggest factor in the game. Manto T'eo and ND's defense were also very stingy, and did a good job of stopping UM when they didn't stop themselves.
The Florida Gators are 5-0 despite having slow starts in all five of those games. They are finishing strong and proving there isn't a team in the nation they can't compete with. That's not bad for a group that came into the season with a bit of uncertainty, planning to run a two-quarterback system.
All of that is just about forgotten now, especially after the Gators pulled off a 14-6 win against the LSU Tigers Saturday. Like Andy Hutchins at Alligator Army wrote Sunday morning, it's the best win of the Will Muschamp era.
Let's get down to the important stuff, though. This is the SEC, so at the end of the day, the discussion goes back to defense. Here's Hutchins:
I guess a stingy front seven plus a stingy secondary equals an elite defense? Or maybe the qualification for that is being yet to give up more than 20 points in 2012? Or is it giving up no points in the fourth quarter and one touchdown in the second half? Can someone tell me what, exactly, makes an elite defense, or do I just get to tell you that Florida's is that and have you believe me?
Whether you believe him or not, after Saturday, LSU could tell you how it feels.
Since winning their first two games, the South Florida Bulls have lost four straight after Saturday's double-digit loss at Temple, leaving the program completely at a loss of how quickly it is falling.
As Jamie DeVriend of SB Nation's Bulls blog, Voodoo Five, reminds us, this program was ranked in the top 20 just one year and one week ago. But now, the team is quickly falling from mediocrity to disarray and may be one of the biggest disappoints in FBS.
This program is sliding all the way past mediocrity and into total disarray. Remember how USF was ranked in the top 20 just one year and one week ago? When is that going to happen again? Would a 1-5 USF team, with no wins over FBS competition, be considered one of the worst teams in the country? Would they surpass Houston as the biggest disappointment in FBS?
The Bulls will have a week off to get things straight before heading to Louisville for a road test on Saturday, Oct. 20.
The Florida St. Seminoles entered Saturday's game against an unranked N.C. State Wolfpack team as one of the best teams in the nation and as double-digit favorites to win the game, but weren't able to leave the way they came in.
Instead, the Seminoles left Carter-Finley Stadium with their first loss on the season. Florida State blew a 16-0 lead at halftime and was outscored 17-0 in the second half to lose the game. This left Bud Elliott of SB Nation's Florida State football blog, Tomahawk Nation, disgusted with the loss.
Losses like this can get a coach fired. This is how to lose a fanbase. Not this one in particular, but not enough progress is being shown by this program under the direction of Jimbo Fisher and company.
Five losses to teams as double-digit favorites in 33 games as a head coach. Unacceptable.
The Seminoles will go back home looking to recover from this loss, as the team will prepare for a visit from Boston College on Oct. 13.
The Miami Hurricanes trail the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 13-3, after one half at Chicago's Soldier Field. The Miami offense has been successfully bottled up by the Irish, with the Canes converting only six first downs in the first 30 minutes. A Jake Wieclaw 28-yard field goal provided the only points for Al Golden's squad.
But the Miami defense has also kept Notre Dame relatively in check. The Irish added two field goals in the second quarter to push their lead to 10, but Theo Riddick's 1-yard run on their opening drive remains the game's only touchdown.
Quarterback Stephen Morris finished the half 9-of-19 for 125 yards, but the Canes simply could not get the big play when they needed it. Miami controlled the field position battle in the second quarter, and it looked like the Hurricanes might add a field goal in the final minute, but Wieclaw's attempt was well left. Dynamic freshman Duke Johnson rushed the ball just four times for 18 yards, while Mike James has five carries for 28 yards.
The Irish will receive the kick to start the second half.
With the injuries piling up to LSU's linebacker core, the Florida Gators were able to put together their best drive of the game and now lead 14-6 early in the fourth quarter.
Florida's opening drive out of the half didn't get very far but when they got the ball back, they'd finally catch a break. Injuries to Kwon Alexander (ankle) and Kevin Minter (cramps) had the Tigers reeling and the Gators took advantage, moving 85 yards in eight plays. RB Mike Gillislee would then easily slash through LSU's front seven for a 12-yard rushing touchdown to put Florida ahead 7-6.
LSU's responded well with QB Zach Mettenberger finding WR Odell Beckham for a 56-yard strike. But upon further review, Beckham actually fumbled at the end of the play and the ball was given back to Florida on their own 23.
And for the second consecutive drive, Gillislee ate LSU's backup linebackers alive compiling 45 yards on the possession including a 12-yard score.
The Gators now lead 14-6 with a little under 11 minutes left in the contest but LSU just converted a long third down and are driving.
LSU and Florida are in a defensive struggle in the swamp with the Tigers leading 6-0 at the half thanks largely to a miscue from the Gators at the end of the half.
The Tigers opened the game with a steady 64-yard drive to set up a 31-yard Drew Alleman field goal. From there, though, there wasn't a lot of movement from either team.
Both teams traded five straight punts before a Jaylen Watkins interception off of LSU QB Zach Mettenberger set up Florida nicely to finally get on the board. Kevin Minter clearly had different plans, though, as the junior linebacker sacked Jeff Driskel on both 2nd and 3rd down to end the Gators rally before it could ever begin.
Florida had another chance later in the second when Driskel put together a 46-yard drive but once again their momentum was killed when WR Frankie Hammond coughed up the ball on LSU's 22-yard line.
The Gators would continue their theme of shooting themselves in the foot when DT Bennie Logan forced a fumble off a sack of Driskel deep in Florida territory. The Gators had a opportunity to recover but lineman James Wilson muffed the recovery and deflected the ball even closer to the endzone for LSU.
But the Florida defense ultimately stood strong on their own seven yard line after WR Terrence Magee couldn't find a receiver out of a designed jump pass:
With the Tigers being held to just field goals, the Gators considered themselves lucky, taking a knee to end the half. The Gators will get the ball coming out of the locker room to begin act two.