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Saturday, January 1, 2011

That’s a Well-Oiled Team

“That’s a well-oiled team,” said senior Miami cornerback Ryan Hill. “They’re disciplined. They don’t make mistakes. They don’t have too many penalties. And when they have that and we have what we have, the game’s going to go the way it did.”

Gracious comments from Mr. Hill in a losing cause. Let’s throw some numbers out to back up that well-oiled team.

Time of possession: Notre Dame 37:09 ---- Miami 22:51

That says volumes about ball control, controlling the tempo of the game and keeping the Miami offense shivering on the sidelines.

Penalties: Notre Dame 3-20 ---- Miami 10-106

This has to gladden the very soul of every Notre Dame fan. We had a spurt of penalties during the middle of the schedule and Brian Kelly apparently has yelled his way into the minds and hearts of the team. No off-sides. One illegal procedure. No pass interference. No holdings. No delay of game. The lack of these type penalties point to a well disciplined, well coached team.

Game Plan: Notre Dame had 48 rushes and 29 pass attempts while Miami was just about the opposite with 24 and 40. Kelly went to the run to dictate the type of game play he needed to keep the pressure off Tommy Rees and ensure no interceptions. Coach Kelly indicated back in South Bend at his last press interview that basically the team was ready. He sure called that one right.

Cold weather: The Canes looked cold. They acted even colder. Such a sad deer in the headlight look about them as they stood around wondering what time the flight was back to warm weather and Miami.  For cryin out loud, Manti Te'o looked and acted warmer.

Coach Kelly brought back the Leprechaun in the form of Theo Riddick. It was just the change of pace Tommy needed. While the wildcat plays had mixed results, they too contributed to the well-oiled team.

If you look at the abundant amount of game photos offered for the ND vs. Miami Sun Bowl, check out the leg muscles and biceps of the Notre Dame players compared to the Canes. Strength, conditioning, lead to confidence and playing with intensity. Miami appeared to have just showed up to grab the free swag and head home to Florida.

How much wild Irish celebration did you observe in the end zone after a touchdown? Any kneeling and pointing to the sky? Jam piling? Jumping into each other’s arms? After a tackle see any ND defensive player show-off for the cameras? That’s a ho-hum, business as usual well focused team. Slam, bam, thank you type team. Ok, we won, where is dinner and how late is the curfew?

How many solo tackles did Notre Dame have? 28. How many assists? 42. An awful lot of swarming and gang tackling. Miami got mugged.

Yes, it was a well-oiled team. One ready for winter conditioning and the expectations of spring practice.

Thank you Brian Kelly and staff. Thank you well-oiled Notre Dame Team.

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