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ND’s running game comes to life

Updated: October 30, 2013 7:00AM


Running game comes to life with 220 yards

SOUTH BEND, Ind. —George Atkinson III broke free for an 80-yard run on Notre Dame’s first offensive play in the second half.

The touchdown run was just part of a revitalized running game for the Irish on Saturday. Notre Dame finished with a season-high 220 rushing yards. The team hadn’t cracked 100 rushing yards since the season opener against Temple

Atkinson had a career-high 148 rushing yards and one touchdown.

“I just saw our linemen blocking and I did my job,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson’s run got the Irish within 21-14 at the start of the third quarter.

“We told [Atkinson] if he wanted to be the starter, that he can’t get tackled by his ankles. He can’t be the guy that goes down,” coach Brian Kelly said. “He’s 220 pounds and I thought he ran the ball like I expect George Atkinson to run the ball. He’s got to do that every week.”

Hendrix in action

Backup quarterback Andrew Hendrix saw some time at quarterback for the Irish. He had five carries for 10 yards. He went 0-for-1 passing.

“We’re just trying to diversify the offense a little bit, trying to add some more looks,” Kelly said. “He’s got some work to do. We’ve got to continue to work with him, but it gives us some things that the defense has to defend as well with him in there.”

Councell tossed

Notre Dame linebacker Ben Councell was ejected ­after a big hit on Brennan Clay drew a flag for targeting on a pass play over the middle early in the fourth quarter.

— LaMond Pope

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