No Luck of Irish Needed: Notre Dame Defeats Miami After Big 1st Half
POSTED: Friday, December 31, 2010 - 7:36pm
UPDATED: Friday, December 31, 2010 - 8:32pm
It was the biggest matchup in Hyundai Sun Bowl history, and before a record crowd of 54,021, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Miami Hurricanes, 33-17. Notre Dame finished 8-5, while Miami drops to 7-6.
Irish Junior Receiver Michael Floyd was named Sun Bowl MVP, after 109 yards on six catches and two touchdowns. His Quarterback, Freshman Tommy Rees, was 15-29 for 201 yards, an effective night for a Freshman in a bowl game, leading Notre Dame to a 27-0 nothing lead in the first half.
Miami Quarterback Jacory Harris was picked off three times, and while Stephen Morris threw for 282 yards, he was also picked off once. Irish Safety Harrison Smith had three interceptions in the win.
Notre Dame Brian Kelly spoke after the game about the hospitality and on the hot start for the Irish. "For us, at the University of Notre Dame, it starts with being at a great site, at the Sun Bowl. El Paso treated Notre Dame so well. I can’t say enough about the bowl. I’ve been to the Sugar Bowl and I’ve taken a team to the Orange Bowl; this is just a great stop along the way. We played well today. That’s really where I would start. We got off to a great start, getting the three scores early on. We felt like getting off to a great start was very important to us in the momentum of the game. From our standpoint, offensively and defensively, we played a complete game, especially in the first half. I think it really is about getting off to that great start. And our guys, I’ve got to tell you, they prepared so well for this game. It was not like other bowl games that I’ve prepared for, in a sense that you’ve got to really push your guys to practice and prepare. These guys wanted to win this football game and it showed in the way they played in the first half."
Sun Bowl MVP Michael Floyd also spoke after the game on the Hurricanes defense. "All four DB’s (defensive backs) gave me a lot of strain, press coverage on me, trying to reroute me. We were just trying to take advantage of when they gave us one-on-one coverage. "It’s just been a great season. It’s hard to come in with a new coach, trying to move into what they like and the whole team adjusting."
Miami Head Coach Jeff Stoutland was left shaking his head after the game. "We played a very, very good football team today, who executed on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately we weren’t able to stay with them. I really felt, I really, really felt going into halftime – I know it’s hard to believe – but I really felt like we would come out and do some good things and come back and win the game. I really, truly felt that way, but it didn’t happen. I felt real strong about Jacory, coming in. I thought he was going to have a real good game, productive game. I just think he made a couple of mistakes that as a player at that position, it’s costly."