Ir­ish try to re­bound af­ter loss at Mi­ami

San Francisco Chronicle - - SPORTS - By John Fin­eran John Fin­eran is an As­so­ci­ated Press writer.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Sud­denly, Notre Dame’s “33Truck­ing.com” is in need of re­pairs.

The “33 Truck­ing” cam­paign was in­tended to tout a Heis­man Tro­phy can­di­dacy for Fight­ing Ir­ish run­ning back Josh Adams and post­sea­son hon­ors for of­fen­sive line­men Mike McGlinchey and Quen­ton Nel­son, among oth­ers. The cam­paign has been muted now that ninth-ranked Notre Dame (8-2) is com­ing off a 41-8 loss at Mi­ami.

Head coach Brian Kelly, whose team plays its final home game Satur­day against Navy (6-3), doesn’t want to be re­minded of the hum­bling loss. Asked Tues­day why Notre Dame punted on its first pos­ses­sion against the Hur­ri­canes, Kelly was quick to re­ply, “I’d have to watch the film again, and I’m not in­ter­ested in watch­ing it again.”

Kelly is more in­ter­ested in get­ting Adams and fel­low run­ning back Dex­ter Wil­liams healthy again for Notre Dame’s 91st con­sec­u­tive meet­ing with the Mid­ship­men, who beat the Ir­ish last sea­son 28-27.

Hav­ing the two backs healthy should help an of­fense that saw its five-game streak of 318 or more rush­ing yards end as the Hur­ri­canes lim­ited the Ir­ish to 109 on the ground. Mi­ami also forced four turnovers, three by quar­ter­back Bran­don Wim­bush.

The ju­nior lost a fum­ble and had two passes in­ter­cepted by the Hur­ri­canes, who also in­ter­cepted backup Ian Book and turned the four mis­cues into 24 points. Kelly said he thinks Wim­bush, who fin­ished 10for-21 pass­ing for 119 yards and one TD, will men­tally re­spond.

“Well, he’s a com­peti­tor and a com­peti­tor wants to be at his best when his best is needed, and he wasn’t” against Mi­ami, Kelly said. “So he wants to reded­i­cate him­self this week to his prepa­ra­tion, and he wants to go out there and be the best ver­sion of Bran­don Wim­bush.”

The in­jury re­port on Adams and Wil­liams was en­cour­ag­ing.

“Josh shows no ill ef­fects from an an­kle, a head or neck,” Kelly said of the in­juries that have lim­ited Adams, who had 1,169 rush­ing yards prior to the games with Wake For­est (22 yards on five car­ries) and Mi­ami (40 on 16). “Dex­ter had the quad con­tu­sion, which was lim­it­ing, and it was the best he’s felt.”

In lim­ited ac­tion against Wake For­est and Mi­ami, Wil­liams had 56 yards on six car­ries. Kelly doesn’t think the rush­ing at­tack needs a ma­jor over­haul.

“It’s just a mat­ter of ex­e­cut­ing bet­ter in all fronts,” Kelly said. “We’ve just got to be bet­ter in our ex­e­cu­tion. That’s all 11 play­ers. It’s not just one guy here or there. It’s just the ex­e­cu­tion of our en­tire of­fense.”

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