CHICAGO (AP) - Stephen Morris let fly with a long pass on the first scrimmage play Saturday night and Phillip Dorsett, his favorite receiver, was well behind Notre Dame's defense for what could have been an easy touchdown for Miami.
Instead the ball went off Dorsett's hands.
Four plays later, Morris placed a nearly perfect pass right into Dorsett's chest near the goal line.
Once again the ball fell to the ground, a second straight miss for a sure-handed receiver.
Those drops set the tone for a miserable Saturday night for the Hurricanes in a 41-3 drubbing from No. 9 Notre Dame.
``I was in disbelief,'' Dorsett, who had 16 catches for 375 yards the previous two weeks in wins over Georgia Tech and North Carolina State.
``Obviously that doesn't happen much to me. I guess I got a little too excited, the (first) ball got caught in the lights and I couldn't see it. Like I said I'm not a person to make excuses, but I got to come up with those.''
The Hurricanes never warmed up on a 44-degree night at Soldier Field. There were nine penalties for 76 yards - one that nullified a Morris TD run - a missed field goal and inability to get the defense off the field. Notre Dame dominated time of possession - 39:08 to 20:52.
Miami's offense that had accumulated 1,260 yards and 86 points in the wins over N.C. State and Georgia Tech the previous two weeks, managed only 285 yards.
And the young Hurricanes defense wore down in the second half against Notre Dame's strong running attack led by Cierre Wood.
Morris, coming off a school- and ACC-record 566-yard passing game against the Wolfpack completed 18 of 35 for 201 yards.
``It was really lopsided in terms of them having the ball and we didn't really have much opportunity and the times we do have opportunities we were on the field and we were off,'' Morris said. ``We can't win games like that.''
Not long after Dorsett's drops, Miami's Gabriel Terry was whistled for roughing Irish punter Ben Turk and then Eddie Johnson was called for a late hit personal foul, helping the Irish to their first touchdown.
``There's no excuses. We had too many penalties, too many drops,'' Miami coach Al Golden said. ``We lost our poise at times. We didn't play well enough in this environment against a really good team and that's my fault. I've got to get it fixed.''
Everett Golson, who didn't start the game because he was late for a practice while meeting with a professor, led the Irish to scores on their first three drives, and would have made it four out of five if Kyle Brindza's 34-yard field goal attempt hadn't missed right.
Notre Dame ran for 270 yards in the final 30 minutes - with the Irish scoring on all four of their drives.
``We felt like we found a way to run the football today,'' coach Brian Kelly said. ``Our game plan was situated on running the football, which equals time of possession for us.
``We felt like if we could keep them from getting the big plays, and we could run the football, that was going on our recipe for success.''
Miami didn't have the strength to stop Wood or George Atkinson III.
``Obviously they are big, strong and physical and ran it with three running backs,'' Golden said. ``We didn't tackle really well and our defense was on the field there too long.
``We didn't play smart enough, we didn't play disciplined enough and we didn't make enough plays. It's that simple.''

Recent NCAAF Discussions

NCAAF Headlines

  • PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) The Whitman County coroner has concluded Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
    Coroner Peter Martin says Thursday...
  • (STATS) - Northern Colorado will face a strong nonconference schedule with the goal of being improved in the Big Sky next season.
    All three of the Bears' opening opponents are coming off a win...
  • (STATS) - ETSU continues to add future FBS opponents, announcing a Nov. 19, 2022 matchup at North Carolina on Thursday.
    The first-ever meeting between the two programs will be held at Kenan Me...
  • (STATS) - Northern Colorado will face a strong nonconference schedule with the goal of being improved in the Big Sky next season.
    All three of the Bears' opening opponents are coming off a win...
  • NEW ORLEANS (AP) Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield has been named the 2017 Manning Award winner after a season in which he passed for 4,627 yards and 43 touchdowns.
    Mayfield is the first Sooner and f...

NCAAF Top Stories

Thumbnail 2019 College Football Title Odds After winning their fifth national championship in the Nick Saban era, the Alabama Crimson Tide are once again favored to win it all next...
Thumbnail Alabama Beats Georgia, Fails to Cover In what turned out to be a national championship game for the ages, the Alabama Crimson Tide won for the fifth time under Nick Saban but did not cash for...
Thumbnail Alabama vs. Georgia Prediction Will the Alabama Crimson Tide cover as a small favorite tonight when they take on the Georgia Bulldogs in the College Football Playoff National...
Thumbnail Bama vs. Georgia Over/Under Total Will Monday night’s college football national championship game fall under the betting total when Alabama takes on Georgia at 8:00 p.m. ET?
Thumbnail Money Pouring in on 'Bama We're still hours away from kickoff of the college football national championship game between Alabama and Georgia but as of this writing, money continues to pour in on the...

NCAAF Team Pages