After blowout loss to Miami, where does Notre Dame go from here?

Wednesday, 15 November 2017, 06:30:31 AM. Notre Dame faces tough questions and a hard road back into the playoff picture after the team's blowout loss at Miami.

It’s official: This rectangular slab off Florida’s Turnpike is where ’s championship dreams go to die.

Alabama flattened the Irish in the 2013 title game back when it was called “Sun Life Stadium.”

Now “The U” produces a nightclub-like atmosphere at Hard Rock Stadium. The vast majority of the 65,303 who showed up Saturday night had a blast watching ’s 41-8 throttling. The Irish, of course, were not among them.

“They played a hard game,” Notre Dame left tackle Mike McGlinchey said of the Hurricanes. “They kicked our ass.”

So where do the Irish go from here? has two losses but can still win the Big Ten. Notre Dame has no such goal. Rings aren’t given out for having the best record among independents.

“I don’t think we readjust any goals,” Irish defensive back Drue Tranquill insisted. “Our mission from the start was to restore the pride and tradition of Notre Dame football.

“Yes, it hurts when you’re a competitor and a team smacks you in the mouth, but there’s a lot of pride in that locker room. I expect us to come back next week and punish Navy.”

The Irish host the Midshipmen on senior day before finishing their regular season at Stanford.

“We’re not going to let one game (alter) what we’re trying to accomplish,” McGlinchey said.

Which is what exactly?

“Win out the rest of our games — that’s all there is to it,” he replied. “We know we’re better than how we played (Saturday). It’s about pride.

“Next week will be the last game in that glorious stadium of ours. We will do our best to send all of our seniors, me included, out on the right note.”

McGlinchey and left guard Quenton Nelson are two major reasons the Irish entered Saturday fifth in the nation in rushing yards at 324.8 per game. They managed just 109 against the Hurricanes.

“They covered the perimeter really well,” McGlinchey said. “They limited our options; they played really hard and really fast.

“You have to give credit to them for their game plan, the way they played and the way they fought. They’re a great group and they played better than we did.”

Asked about the challenge of motivating a group that will need a miracle to re-enter the playoff hunt, Irish coach said he mentioned USC to his players after the game. The Trojans got waxed at Notre Dame Stadium on Oct. 21. Final score: 49-14.

Since then the Trojans are 3-0, all convincing victories.

“Football builds character and resolve; that’s what we’re looking for,” Kelly said. “It’s a bigger picture.”

Twitter @TeddyGreenstein

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