Notre Dame vs. South Florida score, takeaways: No. 7 Irish rout the Bulls in shutout victory

No. 7 Notre Dame did not have nearly as much trouble in its second game of the season as it did its first, crushing South Florida 52-0. This game was over quickly. The Irish started with the ball and marched down the field for the first of many touchdowns.

The Irish dominated the Bulls in all phases of the game and also took advantage of plenty of mistakes. Let's take a look at the three biggest takeaways from an afternoon snoozer in South Bend.

1. The Irish offense looked a lot better 

It wasn't that things were terrible last week during the 27-13 win over Duke, but they weren't crisp. Outside of Kyren Williams, the offense looked like a unit playing its first game of the season after the strangest offseason of all time. That wasn't the case on Saturday.

After starting last week's game with three consecutive three-and-outs, the Irish opened things up with a 25-yard gain on the first play from scrimmage and never looked back. Notre Dame started the day with four straight touchdown drives. The Irish didn't punt for the first time until late in the third quarter, and that was after Ian Book had been pulled for third-string QB Drew Pyne.

Speaking of Book, his final passing line isn't going to garner much attention. He completed 12-of-19 passes for 143 yards. While he didn't make any mistakes and there wasn't much of a need for him to throw often, he did miss some throws. And while he scored three touchdowns with his legs, odds are Brian Kelly and Tommy Rees will continue harping on the little things with him.

The Irish offense finished with 429 total yards, averaging 6.5 per play. Most of the damage was done on the ground, where the team rushed for 281 yards and averaged 6.2 yards per carry.

And, speaking of the Irish run game ...

2. There's a lot of depth at RB

Last week Kyren Williams was the lead horse in the Irish rushing attack, and it looked like Chris Tyree was going to be an excellent complement to him in the run game. This week, the Irish showed that they have a lot of options to turn to.

While Williams rushed for 62 yards on 10 carries, C'Bo Flemister led the team in rushing. He finished with 127 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown. Tyree had 65 rushing yards of his own on eight carries, and while he wasn't nearly as effective, Jafar Armstrong got seven carries and a touchdown as well.

And, as mentioned earlier, Book scored three rushing touchdowns even though he rushed for only nine yards, meaning the Irish had four different players score rushing touchdowns on the day.

3. A lot went wrong for the Bulls

As you'd expect, when a team loses a game 52-0, it wasn't just one thing that went wrong for the Bulls. The offense was mostly ineffective, finishing with 231 yards on 3.7 yards per play. Defensively, as noted above, they couldn't do much to stop the Irish offense. Notre Dame only punted once in the game, and that was with its third-string QB in the game.

And then there were special teams, which was an absolute nightmare for the Bulls. USF punter Trent Schneider began his day with a 20-yard shank, and things only got worse from there. Later in the game, a snap went over his head, and while Schneider was able to get the kick off, it didn't go anywhere. Later, another snap went over Schneider's head, and he once again got to the ball and got a kick off. Unfortunately, this time he wasn't lucky enough to get more than a foot to the ball as the punt was blocked and recovered in the end zone for a Notre Dame touchdown.

I think it's safe to say that South Florida will go home to Tampa and burn the tape. However, if there's a silver lining anywhere to be found, it would be running back Johnny Ford. He reeled off a couple of nice runs and looked like the kind of playmaker this team will need when it gets into conference play.

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SAT 2:30 P
ND -25.5, o48
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ND -25.5, O/U 48

Season Leaders

passing
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J. McCloud 757 YD, 4 TDS, 2 INTS
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J. McCloud 757 YD, 4 TDS, 2 INTS
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I. Book 1026 YD, 6 TDS, 1 INT
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I. Book 1026 YD, 6 TDS, 1 INT
rushing
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J. Ford 55 ATT, 285 YD, 3 TDS
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J. Ford 55 ATT, 285 YD, 3 TDS
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K. Williams 90 ATT, 524 YD, 5 TDS
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K. Williams 90 ATT, 524 YD, 5 TDS
receiving
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O. Dollison 13 REC, 202 YD
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O. Dollison 13 REC, 202 YD
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J. McKinley 9 REC, 171 YD
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J. McKinley 9 REC, 171 YD
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@NDFootball via Twitter
September 19, 2020, 10:26 PM
@USFFootball via Twitter
September 19, 2020, 9:49 PM

FINAL NOTRE DAME 52, SOUTH FLORIDA 0

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September 19, 2020, 9:45 PM

It's now 52-0 and USF has another QB in Jeff Smith playing. If this game goes any longer, you might get to play.

September 19, 2020, 9:42 PM

Not great!

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September 19, 2020, 9:28 PM

USF just turned the ball over on downs 4 times today.

September 19, 2020, 9:26 PM

Katravis Marsh now in at QB for the Bulls.

September 19, 2020, 9:24 PM

The best part of this game for South Florida fans is that it's moving at a quick pace. Looking like we'll be finished in three hours. You have to take the wins where you can find them!

September 19, 2020, 9:23 PM

USF turns it over on downs, but there was a blatant pass interference against ND that went uncalled on third down.

September 19, 2020, 9:18 PM

The refs are keeping the flags in their pockets.

September 19, 2020, 9:17 PM

Johnny Ford has flashed for the Bulls today. Another nice gain on a jet sweep has the Bulls in the red zone.

September 19, 2020, 9:12 PM

Noah Johnson in at QB for the Bulls now.

September 19, 2020, 9:11 PM

We are through three and it's 45-0 Notre Dame. The only question remaining is whether or not the Irish will get the shutout.

September 19, 2020, 9:06 PM

ND 3rd-string QB Drew Pyne now in the game for the Irish.

September 19, 2020, 9:03 PM

Anyway, it's 45-0 Notre Dame with 3:23 left in the third.

September 19, 2020, 8:57 PM

Wow. USF's punt team just had another epic fail. Another snap over the punter's head, and again the punter picks it up and tries to kick it on the run for the third time today, but this one is blocked and recovered for a TD.

September 19, 2020, 8:55 PM

CJ McCloud takes a deep shot to the end zone and is nearly picked. Can't blame him for taking it, the ball was just underthrown a little.

September 19, 2020, 8:53 PM
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