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State of the Irish – Miami

Oct 9, 2012, 9:47 AM EST

AP

We are back … back on College Gameday! What a whirlwind this past week was with the resounding win against Miami in Chicago and the awesome news of College Gameday’s return to South Bend. In echoing fellow blogger Lauren Chval’s post this week, when I started writing this blog I honestly never envisioned this kind of start to this season for the Irish. With the schedule the Irish had, this kind of run seemed improbable. But here we are entering game six of the year and we are at 5-0. I also never thought I would run out of things we learned about the Irish over the course of the season, but these blog posts are getting harder and harder to write. We aren’t learning much about the Notre Dame football team from week to week. Instead, they continue to validate our hope and believe that this year is special. That being said, I did learn three things about the Notre Dame football team and here they are:

1) The Irish do not get rattled: To put it simply, the first Miami drive was not the best defense that Notre Dame has played. The Irish secondary got beat twice but was lucky the Hurricanes were not able to capitalize. However, the Irish were not rattled by their poor start to the contest. They played smart football while Miami couldn’t keep the yellow flags from flying. Yes the Irish got “lucky” as Miami missed some big play opportunities and put themselves in tough situations with penalties, but what stood out to me is that Notre Dame continued to play clean, fundamentally sound football. At the end of the day it isn’t always the number of great plays you make, it sometimes is the number of dumb plays you don’t make. On Saturday, Notre Dame wasn’t the team making those dumb plays.

2) Everett Golson can step up to the plate: I realize that we have known since the spring that Everett Golson is a very gifted athlete, but on Saturday we finally learned that Golson is able to translate that immense talent to the field on game day. The way he effortlessly rolled out to avoid the closing defensive end on multiple occasions was an act of beauty. Golson sprung off a number of great runs in the game and was an extremely efficient (17-of-22) passer, both big improvements over his other starts this season, especially the Michigan game. Golson is still learning, but on Saturday he took a huge step forward in the right direction.

3) The Irish have the killer instinct: It was fun to watch Notre Dame pound the ball at will against the Miami defense in the second half as they took time off the clock and further extended their lead. That is what great teams do. When you watch a team like Alabama play, they play great defense and wear the opponents’ defense down as they pull away in the second half. The Irish executed that game plan to perfection. Notre Dame scored rushing touchdowns on all four of their second half possessions and two of the drives went for over six and half minutes. The Irish have the killer instinct back again.

Bring on Stanford. I can’t wait for next week’s blog to be even harder to write when our hopes and beliefs are affirmed on the gridiron once again.