With that, Holtz’s team stormed out of its locker room, even though the coach tried telling them he wasn’t done talking. Notre Dame won 31-30, considered by many the finest home win in Fighting Irish history and a loss that still stings Miami for two reasons _ it took away a national title shot, and a debated fumble by Cleveland Gary near the goal line that the Hurricanes insist came after he was down may have decided the outcome.
“Robbed. We were robbed,” former Miami star Randal Hill said.
Much in the same way Miami never forgot 31-30, Notre Dame never forgot 58-7.
“When the game was well out of sight, they ran fake punts and reverses, I don’t remember everything they did, but they did everything they could to run the score up,” Holtz said. “That was a game on TV when it was over, Ara Parseghian said: `From these ashes, Notre Dame will rise.’ That is when the game really took on emotional meeting.”
There was talk in the early 1990s about renewing the series _ Holtz said he wanted to keep playing Miami, but Notre Dame officials shot down his request because they felt “it brought out the worst sides of fans” _ and for two decades, they remained rivals in name only. That is, until the summer of 2010, when they signed a deal to play this “neutral-site” game (Golden scoffs at that description) and then a home-and-home in 2016 and 2017.
It appears more meetings are inevitable, given Notre Dame’s recent decision to align with, though not join, the Atlantic Coast Conference for football. Notre Dame will soon start competing in the ACC in all other sports, besides hockey.
And just like that 58-7 Miami win, where Parseghian predicted that Notre Dame would rise, the Hurricanes have one of those moments as well.
At the Sun Bowl two years ago, a game played about a month after Randy Shannon was fired as Miami’s coach, Golden had been hired to lead the program _ but was not coaching the bowl game. He watched from the press level instead, and was getting interviewed on live television during a Miami drive that ended with an interception thrown by Jacory Harris.
“Whoa,” Golden said, watching.
His program has gotten better since. So, too, has Notre Dame’s.
On Saturday, they just might bring out the best in each other once again.
“We can’t get caught up in the emotions surrounding the game,” said Miami defensive back A.J. Highsmith, whose father Alonzo played in the heyday of the Irish-Hurricanes rivalry. “History’s a big part of it, but it’s a football game today. It’ll get decided by teams doing what they do now, not what teams did 20 years ago.”
Associated Press Writer Tom Coyne contributed from South Bend, Ind.
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