After a remarkable first half offensive performance, No. 22 Notre Dame (4-1) flew past the Miami (OH) RedHawks (2-3) for a 52-17 win in South Bend.
Brian Kelly's team dropped 45 points in the first half alone, coming out with fire from the start.
Before 30 seconds even ticked off the game clock, running back Josh Adams sprinted the pigskin 73 yards to the house for a quick 7-0 lead. Miami's offense attempted to respond to the rapid score, but Gus Ragland threw his lone interception of the evening on the RedHawks' first offensive drive.
Miami reached Notre Dame territory but this costly interception paved a pathway for the Irish to reach a 14-0 lead in the game's first five minutes. On the final two plays of the 36-yard drive, quarterback Brandon Wimbush carried it himself. He ended up finishing with a 1-yard touchdown run — his eighth ground touchdown of the season.
Notre Dame would wind up scoring seven on six of its eight first half possessions, punting just once and kicking a 43-yard Justin Yoon field goal in the second quarter.
Adams proved too much for Miami's usually adept defense in the half. The running back finished Saturday with 159 rushing yards and two touchdowns, achieving his third 150-yard game of the year.
The Fighting Irish never committed a turnover, rivaling Miami's two unfortunate mistakes. The RedHawks gained just 377 yards in comparison to Notre Dame's impressive mark of 503.
Miami's sole touchdown of the first quarter occurred sandwiched in between Notre Dame scores. Down 14-0, quarterback Gus Ragland found wide receiver James Gardner for a 34-yard touchdown. The duo would later hook up for another touchdown in the second quarter, a score that would cut Notre Dame's lead to 35-14.
At halftime, thanks to three Brandon Wimbush passing touchdowns, Notre Dame entered the locker room in front 45-14. Although on pace for 90 at the midway point, the offense relaxed in the second half, only scoring one touchdown with 8:10 remaining in the contest.
The only scores of the second half were a Miami field goal and the aforementioned touchdown run, causing a final score of 52-17 — a five touchdown victory for Kelly's improved program.
With the win, Notre Dame has already matched its amount of victories from a season ago. The Fighting Irish are 4-1 with a 1-point loss to Georgia — who looks like a quality, top-tier team in the FBS. Notre Dame breezed through the rest of its competition and will travel to Chapel Hill for a showdown with the North Carolina Tar Heels next Saturday.
After an impressive surge from 0-6 to 6-6 in 2016, Miami finishes non-conference play 1-3 (overall 2-3 with a Week 4 conference victory of Central Michigan). This was the first game of the season Chuck Martin's squad did not have in their hands at all. The losses to Marshall and Cincinnati were very disappointing for fans in Oxford, but the RedHawks' defense could not compete with the Golden Domers' balanced offensive attack.
Miami should be heavily favored in Week 6 though. The RedHawks will battle winless Bowling Green at home, trying to improve to 3-3 overall and 2-0 in the MAC.