Associated Press Photo
CHICAGO, Ill. (Sports Network) - Cierre Wood and George Atkinson III ran all over a shaky Hurricanes defense on Saturday as No. 9 Notre Dame dominated Miami, 41-3, at Soldier Field.
Wood ran for 118 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, while Atkinson ended his night with 123 yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries for the Fighting Irish (5-0), who have won the first five games of the season for the first time since beginning the 2002 campaign 8-0.
Cam McDaniel and Theo Riddick each added a rushing touchdown, as the Irish racked up 376 yards on the ground.
Everett Golson was benched to start the game due to a violation of team rules, but entered in the first quarter following a gift penalty from the Hurricanes. He threw for 186 yards on 17-of-22 passing and ran for 51 yards on six carries as Notre Dame remained unbeaten at Soldier Field in program history with a 10-0-2 record.
Stephen Morris threw for 201 yards on 18-of-35 passing for the Hurricanes (4-2), who had their three-game winning streak snapped. Jake Wieclaw accounted for the only Miami points with a 28-yard field goal.
Notre Dame opened the scoring on its first possession of the game. Tommy Rees threw a pair of incompletions over the drive's first three plays as the Irish were faced with a 4th-and-5 on their own 16.
They were then handed a gift as Miami was flagged for roughing the punter, giving Notre Dame a first down on the 31.
Golson took over under center after the penalty and led the team to the Miami 10-yard line. where the Irish faced a 2nd-and-7. On the play, Golson raced to the goal line and dove for the score, but lost the ball.
It appeared the Miami had recovered in the end zone, but the call was overturned and the Irish got the ball on the Miami 1. Riddick then capped the 10-play, 88-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown push.
On the ensuing drive, Miami responded with an 8-play, 45-yard march, capped by Wieclaw's field goal.
Notre Dame began its next touch on its own 25 and marched 70 yards in 12 plays before Kyle Brindza knocked a chip-shot 22-yard field goal try through the uprights early in the second quarter.
After forcing a three-and-out, the Irish got the ball back at their own 20 with 12:24 on the second-quarter clock. Golson completed five passes during a 14-play, 65-yard drive which culminated in a 32-yarder off the foot of Brindza, widening the lead.
After Wieclaw shanked a 47-yard field goal attempt wide left, putting an end to Miami's final drive of the first half, Notre Dame got the ball back with 1:02 left
Golson got his team within field goal range with one second left, but Brindza missed the 34-yard attempt, keeping it a 13-3 game at the half.
The Irish opened the second half with a 6-play, 81-yard drive, which was highlighted by a huge 37-yard run by Wood to the 2. The senior tailback scored on the ensuing play.
Miami was forced to punt on its next possession and Notre Dame got the ball back on its own 14. From there, it was the Atkinson and Wood show. The Irish went 86 yards in 12 plays -- all runs by Wood or Atkinson -- and Wood capped the march with a 3-yard touchdown run with 2:53 left in the quarter.
Notre Dame started its next drive on the 34 after forcing another three-and- out. Facing a 1st-and-10 on the 45, Atkinson galloped around right end and down the sideline for a 55-yard score.
McDaniel capped the rout with a 1-yard touchdown push with 1:06 remaining.