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Notre Dame football reaction: Offensive line, defense lead Irish to 41-3 blowout win over Miami

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish rode a dominating effort from their defense and quality offensive line play to a blowout win over the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday.

Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

After the Notre Dame Fighting Irish's 41-3 blowout of the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday, it wasn't hard for One Foot Down writer Eric Murtaugh to find positive things to say about the team's effort. With both sides of the ball dominating in the Irish's fifth straight win of the year, excitement is building for Brian Kelly's squad.

Murtaugh was particularly happy with the offensive line's performance, which keyed a major effort on the ground:

Yes, Miami's rush defense was poor coming into this game but the Irish went way beyond what the Hurricanes had been giving up in 2012. For as many yards as Miami was giving up on the ground, they hadn't giving up worse than an average of 4.95 per carry in a game---and Notre Dame pushed it to 7.4 yards on Saturday night. And that's on the back of a big second half output where all the Irish did was continually pound the ball on the ground... Miami knew we were running the ball, and there was nothing they could do to stop it... the offensive lineman's dream!

The offense hasn't always played its best this year, which explains Murtaugh's excitement, but the defense continues to be one of the absolute best in the nation. Through five games, the Irish have allowed just 7.8 points per game, better than any team in the nation other than the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

Notre Dame may be entering a ridiculously tough stretch in its schedule, but at least the team is peaking at the right time. With consecutive games coming up against Stanford, BYU and Oklahoma, the Irish will need to maintain their momentum from the past three games, during which they've outscored opponents 74-12.