Notre Dame notes: Miami D-coordinator disputes Wood's comments


Notre Dame notes: Miami D-coordinator disputes Wood's comments

Cierre Wood rushed for 118 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday at Soldier Field, leading a second-half offensive surge that led Notre Dame to a 41-3 win over Miami. After the game, Wood said he felt the Irish running backs bludgeoned Miami to the point where the 'Canes defense didn't want to play.

"They were all upbeat and jumping and stuff in the beginning, but you smack a team so many times in the mouth, eventually they're going to want to stop playing," Wood offered. "And that's what happened today."

But Miami defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio had a different explanation.

"I wouldn't say that's accurate," D'Onofrio said Monday (via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel). "Again, some of those guys who were on the field at the end of that game, it was the first game they were playing."

Wood rarely holds back with his comments, and explained to the media after Saturday's game how he feels he's at his best when he gets consistent carries -- something that hadn't happened much in 2012 until the second half against Miami. But coach Brian Kelly brushed those comments off as "just Cierre being Cierre."

"We love him, and he did some really good things for us," Kelly said. "But, again, he's a guy that loves to compete and he's passionate, and he wears his emotions on his sleeves."

Irish defense gets even more stingy

Notre Dame's defense has not allowed a touchdown since the fourth quarter of its game against Purdue Sept. 8, a streak of 12 quarters that's been accomplished against some fairly well-regarded offenses.

After allowing just three points against Miami on Saturday, Notre Dame ranks second among FBS schools by scoring defense, allowing opponents to average just 7.8 points per game. Only Alabama (7.0 points allowed per game) has been better, and no team has allowed fewer touchdowns than Notre Dame's three.

"Think of what Coach Diaco has had to defend in the five weeks," Kelly said, also explaining the challenge Michigan presented. "Option offense (Navy), a run-first with the quarterback in Purdue. Michigan State, a grinditout, great running back. It's been an outstanding performance to date, and we've seen it all. Now we just need to build on it."

But it could've been different...

Notre Dame's touchdown-less streak wasn't extended to a dozen quarters without a bit of luck, though. Miami's Phillip Dorsett dropped two sure-fire touchdown passes on the first drive of Saturday's game, burning the Irish secondary deep on both plays.

But after those two drops, Notre Dame's secondary made a few adjustments, and wound up limiting Miami quarterback Stephen Morris to 201 yards.

We were in great coverage. -- here was a burst at the top of the route that we did not match with the same kind of urgency," Kelly explained of the early deep balls. "We corrected that. After they came to the sideline, (safeties coach Bob Elliott) and (cornerbacks coach Kerry Cooks) got on the phone right away, made the corrections with how they need to burst to stay on top of the route, and it wasn't an issue with the rest of the game.

"Believe me, they saw what we saw. They went back to the same routes and we were on top of them. So I was really pleased with our guys picking up their game when they knew they needed to."

Blackhawks 2017 NHL Draft capsules: Scouting reports

Blackhawks 2017 NHL Draft capsules: Scouting reports

Stay up to date with the Blackhawks' selections in the 2017 NHL Draft, and their scouting reports.

Round 1, pick 29: Henri Jokiharju, defenseman

Round 2, pick 57: Ian Mitchell, defenseman 

— What you need to know: Mitchell, 18, scored eight goals and 29 assists in 53 regular-season games with the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, and also scored a goal and three assists in 10 playoff contests.

— Scouting report: Mitchell is a little undersized (5-foot-11, 165 pounds), but is known to be a smooth skater and puck-mover. He carries a right-handed shot, which GM Stan Bowman said is a "commodity" in the NHL these days.

Round 3, pick 70: Andrei Altybarmakyan, forward

— What you need to know: Altybarmakyan, 18, scored 20 goals and 25 assists in 31 regular-season games with the Serebryanye Lvy St. Petersburg of the Maritime Hockey League. He also tallied nine points in 27 games with SKA-Neva St. Petersburg.

— Scouting report: An offensively skilled player with a sneaky good shot. He's 5-foot-11, 183 pounds with a left-handed shot, and is known to be a playmaker.


Tim Anderson's birthday present from home plate umpire was first major-league ejection

Tim Anderson's birthday present from home plate umpire was first major-league ejection

On his 24th birthday, Tim Anderson’s present from home plate umpire Jim Wolf was his first major-league ejection.

In the fifth inning of the White Sox 3-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics, Anderson fouled off a pitch that landed in the opposing batter’s box. But A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell picked it up in what was ruled to be fair territory and threw the ball to first for the out.

Anderson pleaded his case saying the ball went foul. Wolf agreed, according to Anderson, which only further confused the White Sox shortstop.

“I told him that was BS,” Anderson said. “And he tossed me.”

Anderson said that he was surprised to be ejected so fast. So was manager Rick Renteria, who was thrown out moments after Anderson.

“I don’t want to get in trouble,” Renteria said. “The players having emotion, they are battling. I just think we need to grow a little thicker skin.”

Anderson said that he was appreciative of his manager coming to his defense.

“He kinda had a point and let me know he had my back,” Anderson said of Renteria. “Speaks a lot of him.”

A day after scoring nine runs on 18 hits, the White Sox failed to generate any offense on Friday. The team’s best chance came in the ninth inning.

But with runners at the corners and two outs, Matt Davidson put a good rip on the ball to center field, only to fly out at the warning track.

Anderson and Renteria were watching the game together in the clubhouse, and both believed the White Sox had tied the ballgame.

“We all jumped up and were excited but it kind of fell short,” Anderson said.