The Miami Hurricanes went into Chicago with high hopes of beating the Top 10-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish but left 41-3 losers.
The Hurricanes dropped their second straight game against a ranked opponent this season as they also lost to the Kansas State Wildcats, 52-13, in the second week of the season.
Not much changed against the Irish as the Hurricanes defense continued to struggle. Notre Dame came into the game averaging just 351 yards of total offense per game but racked up 587 against Miami.
Here are the winners and losers of Miami's loss to Notre Dame.
I don't even know where to begin when it comes to writing about the Hurricanes defense, so I guess I will start with the defensive line which is the worst defensive lines I have ever seen in Division I-A football.
Don't believe me, check the stats.
The Hurricanes are now ranked 118th (out of 120 FCS football teams) in total defense, giving up 510 yards of total offense per game. Only Louisiana Tech and Baylor are worse.
Scoring defense? Rotten; ranked No. 101, giving up 34.67 points per game.
Against the Irish (who came in averaging just 351 yards of total offense), the defense was non-existent, giving up 587 yards of offense—376 on the ground.
The line continues to get pushed around like middle schoolers, and the defensive backs look lost. I want to say how great the linebacker corp is, but the truth of the matter is they aren't very good either.
They continue to play out of position and focus too much on making big hits, instead of wrapping up and tackling.
I have been watching the Hurricanes for over 25 years now and have never seen a Miami defense play this poorly.
So why is the Hurricanes defense so bad? Is it the lack of athletes they have on the defensive side of the ball? Is it coaching?
I am going to say both.
Defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio has done nothing to help improve this defensive unit, so far, this year. He continues to play the same defense week in and week out.
Yes, he makes adjustments every game, but the same base defense he is playing is garbage. With the amount of athletic ability the Hurricanes have—and lack of a defensive line—they may want to try to run the Green Bay Packers 2-5-4 (2-4-5) defense.
The Packers, much like the Hurricanes, don't get a lot of pressure with their down defensive linemen, so why not only have two down defensive linemen and use the athletic linebackers they have to make plays?
I mean honestly, it's six games into the season, and the defense isn't improving. It's time to make bigger changes on the defensive side of the ball.
I don't have an official stat on how many Hurricane wide receivers dropped passes last night, but I would have to guess it was anywhere from eight to 10 passes.
More importantly, the dropped passes came from sure-handed players like Phillip Dorsett and Allen Hurns.
Dorsett came into the game having caught 16 passes for 375 yards and three touchdowns over the previous two games. He ended Saturday night with four drops and one catch for six yards.
It wasn't just the drops that hurt, it was the timing of them that literally killed Miami. Dorsett dropped two would-have-been touchdown passes on the first Hurricane drive.
Momentum plays a huge part in college football, and when you miss out on scoring opportunities—especially with the horrible defense Miami has—you generally lose the game.
Before the season started, I knew the Hurricanes were going to be questionable at most positions. The kicker, Jake Wieclaw, wasn't one that I was worried about.
Now, I am not only worried; I am begging for head coach Al Golden to give Matt Goudis a shot.
Wieclaw missed another field goal on Saturday making him 7-of-12 on the year in field goal attempts.
Although the missed field goal he attempted was from 47 yards out, the way it was missed was flat-out embarrassing—just imagine a knuckle ball that flew 30 yards to the left.
In a game where not one Hurricane player is considered a "winner" in my eyes, I had to go to the stands to find one. Although the Hurricanes don't travel as well as other schools, plenty of them traveled the 2,000-plus miles to Chicago.
Even in sub-50 degree weather, the fans stuck through and cheered on their favorite team.
Heading into the game, the fans were excited, and how could you not blame them? The Hurricanes came into the game with a potent offense and the ability to play with any team in the country—so we thought.
Even with just seconds to go in a 41-3 game, the fans continued to support the Hurricanes until the very end.
Kudos to those who made the trip and double-kudos to those who stayed for the entire game—which ended up being quite a few.