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Canes Dominate Notre Dame

By Carlos Pineda
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Miami was physical from the first whistle in a commanding 41-8 win, Saturday night.

The Hurricanes' defense set the tone early against third-ranked Notre Dame.

Miami was physical from the first whistle in a commanding 41-8 win, Saturday night.

Being an underdog didn't faze the Canes, who improved to 9-0 while extending the nation's longest winning streak to 14 games.

And that's not all.

Miami clinched its first divisional title thanks to Louisville's win over Virginia. The Hurricanes are finally heading to Charlotte to play in their first ACC title game. They are set to face Clemson on Dec. 2.

Playing in their biggest home game since the early 2000s, Miami looked like one of the great Hurricane teams of the 1980s with their speed and physicality.

Like those great teams, UM looks like a serious national title contender, especially after Saturday's result.

Miami, who ranked seventh in the most recent College Football Playoff ranking made a strong case to the committee.

After forcing back-to-back punts on the first two defensive possessions, Miami's offense struck first on a Braxton Berrios seven-yard touchdown pass from Malik Rosier with 4:01 to go in the first quarter. The Canes extended the lead to 14-0 following an interception by Jaquan Johnson in Notre Dame territory. Miami's quick strike offense scored two plays later on a Rosier 16-yard run.

The Hurricanes scored 34 unanswered points.

Turnovers proved to be detrimental for Notre Dame as Miami scored 24 points off four turnovers. UM entered the game leading the conference with 17 takeaways and plus-9 margin.

Miami's famed turnover chain made several appearances.

Much of the focus for the Hurricanes entering Saturday's game was the challenge of facin Heisman candidate Josh Adams, who entered the matchup having rushed for 1,191 yards, averaging 141.4 yards on the ground.

Miami contained Adams and the Fighting Irish offense. Adams was held to 16 rushes for 40 yards, while Notre Dame gained 261 total yards. Quarterback Brandon Wimbush was sacked five times.

After some close encounters versus Georgia Tech, Syracuse and North Carolina, the Hurricanes have turned the corner at the right time. Miami outscored its two toughest opponents in Virginia Tech and Notre Dame 69-18.

Saturday night was electric. The South Florida community had been buzzing all week leading up to the Notre Dame game. 65,303 were in attendance and you could hear the impact the crowd had on the game.

While the game did not live up to the national hype, the Hurricanes showed a national audience that they are for real.

Carlos Pineda - Carlos Pineda is a featured writer for Southern Pigskin. He covered the UCF Knights football team for Florida Today in 2010. Carlos' work has been published in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Miami Herald, Orlando Sentinel and Orlando Business Journal. He attended the University of Central Florida. Follow Carlos on Twitter @CarlosFPineda.