Saturday, January 1, 2011

Canes Can’t Stop Golden Domers

Michael Floyd
Notre Dame (Fighting Irish, 11,733 students, South Bend, IN) 33, MIAMI 17 – the Freshman Tommy Rees passed for 201 yards and two touchdowns to Michael Floyd as Notre Dame beat Miami 33-17 in the Sun Bowl on Friday, making Brian Kelly the first Fighting Irish coach to win a bowl game in his first season.

Notre Dame (8-5) reached the end zone on three of its first four possessions. Rees tossed TD passes of 3 and 34 yards to Floyd and Cierre Wood broke free on a 34-yard scoring run before David Ruffer added field goals from 40, 50 and 19 yards.

The Canes trailed 30-3 going into the fourth quarter, completing a season in which their coach was fired with an ugly loss.

Stephen Morris and Tommy Rees
Notre Dame's 30th bowl appearance was a New Year's Eve fiesta in El Paso, a predominantly Roman Catholic city on the Mexican border that embraced the Irish with huge cheers from the first glimpse of a golden helmet coming from the locker rooms.

Rees hardly looked like a freshman, completing 15 of 29 attempts without an interception. His performance marked the first time a first-year starting quarterback at Notre Dame won a bowl game.

Floyd had a big day, too, with six catches for 109 yards receiving, and his numbers would have been even better if he'd brought in what would have been two more TD catches.

Miami scored twice in the fourth quarter when Stephen Morris threw a 6-yard TD pass to Leonard Hankerson and a 42-yard scoring play to Tommy Streeter, but it was too late by then.

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