Despite Notre Dame sporting an unbeaten record and one of the nation's top defenses through four games, Fighting Irish fans had their concerns. Notre Dame had struggled to move the ball on offense, especially in the run game. That changed last Saturday against Miami.
Against the Hurricanes, the Fighting Irish put up 587 yards of offense, including 376 yards on the ground. As burger23, writer for SB Nation's Notre Dame blog One Foot Down points out, the Irish successfully used the bye week to get back in sync on 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.
Many Notre Dame fans, including those at One Foot Down, had been a bit dismayed to see the Irish get away from their spread tendencies and focus on simply trying to grind out yards on power runs up the middle. The performance against Miami was a welcomed departure from so-called "Tressel Ball."
Notre Dame next faces Stanford on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind. The 5-0 Irish and 4-1 Cardinal kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised by NBC.