A big reason for the change was a shift from more of a running-based attack to something similar to the spread offense that coach Brian Kelly has succeeded with in the past. After throwing the ball just eight times against Michigan, Everett Golson completed 17 of 22 passes against Miami. Golson also played a bigger role in the running game, carrying five times after rushing just once the week before.
As One Foot Down noted in their review of the Miami game, for the first time this season, Notre Dame's offense resembled a spread offense.
For the first time all season, we actually LOOKED like a spread offense. Outside of some third-and-longs and the fourth quarter when Kelly was killing the clock, Golson spent most of the game in the shotgun. The tight ends - Tyler Eifert in particular - mostly lined up flexed out as H-backs instead of attached to the line. And the process of lining up and getting the play called was probably the smoothest it's been all season.
Notre Dame appeared to open up the playbook some, including a few new run variations. The added elements could be a result of extra practice time during the Irish's bye week. While scheme could have something to do with the new success, One Foot Down also pointed out some players, including the offensive line, simply played better.
The Irish will look to continue the new offensive success on Saturday when they host the No. 17 Stanford Cardinal.