A Look Back at the Notre Dame-Miami Series

In light of last week’s news that Notre Dame and Miami appear to be on the verge of renewing one of the late 80’s great rivalries in college football, here’s a quick look back at the series thanks to YouTube.

First off, the intro to the classic ’88 showdown that propelled Notre Dame to it’s last national championship.

The ’88 game might be best known for the pre-game brawl in the tunnel.  I’ll let Rocket Ismail describe the scene since he does a much better job doing it than I ever could.

Here’s the full highlights from the game narrated by the great Harry Kallas.

Unfortunately Miami knocked off the Irish and ended Notre Dame’s 23 game winning streak.  The loss knocked Notre Dame out of the national championship picture.  This one was best known for Miami’s 3rd and 43 conversion in the third quarter.

This next video is an excerpt from ESPN’s documentary “The U” and shows how the Miami players viewed the Notre Dame rivalry. (The Notre Dame portion starts at the 2:50 mark).

Lastly, here’s some highlights from the 1990 game – the last time the two teams played.

Notre Dame Football Preview '18: The Navy Midshipmen

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  1. Frank Harris 4 years ago

    Interesting that the most memorable home game in Notre Dame history (as voted by it’s fans), is a game the Notre Dame should have lost. If instant replay were in effect in 1988, that would have been a Miami win. (Remember Cleveland Gary’s knee did not touch the ground. Additionally the other times Miami played Notre Dame when those games had meaning, it was not even close. Case in point: 1984: Miami 31-ND 13, 1985: Miami 58-ND 7, 1987: Miami 24- ND 0, 1988: ND 31-Miami 30, 1989: Miami 27-ND 10.

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  2. joey d 8 years ago

    JOIN THE BIG TEN NOW!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. Shazamrock 8 years ago

    Just saw where the Irish extended the series with Boston College.
    Outside of a bowl game, the game agianst the Irish is BC’s highest paying game. And they actually get to play on real TV too.
    Anyone remember that dweeb “angry eagle”? He wanted so badly for his BC Eagles be just like ND. Alas, they will always play second fiddle to the mighty Fightin Irish of ND.
    I wounder how his shock therapy went… and his AA meetings… and his anger management classes… and his Turrets counseling… and his..

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    1. IrishChan 8 years ago

      Yeah I remember that guy. Lol, that ol’ boy was a trip!

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  4. Irish68 8 years ago


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  5. Shazamrock 8 years ago

    I was saddened to hear the news about former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden and his passing at age 99. Some might say that other than ND’s win over UCLA in 1974 to break their historic 88 game winning streak, the two schools have little in common.
    But I always thought of Wooden as college basketball’s version of Knute Rockne. The man accomplished great things and was larger than life.
    But he held dear many of the same values as we here at ND deem important.
    His goal in life was to not only build great basketball teams, but men of great character as well.
    In an era where winning and money are considered everything, coaches, teachers, and mentors like John Wooden, are truley a dieing breed.
    R.I.P. Coach Wooden.

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  6. Shazamrock 8 years ago

    I agree whole heartily.
    Mayo admitted that he recieved improper gifts including a $1000 to attend USC.
    Who was the AD at USC at the time? Mr. Garret.
    Bush’s parents recieved a free, fully furnished Condo. Anyone care to wager a guess on the total value of that?
    Who was the AD at USC at the time? Agian, Mr.Garret.
    Who failed to testify on behalf of his own college? Reggie Bush.
    Is this Loss of institutional control? I would say so since both occurances happened within the 5 year period allotted by the NCAA and Mr.Garrett was at the helm (and still is) both times.
    Take away wins, scholarships, championships, bowl games, Heisman trophy’s. Big deal. USC still gets to keep all the money. A lot of money.
    Not only do they get to keep the money, they get away with pissing on a bunch of fair minded teams that they played, not to mention Auburn’s national championship parade. The team that should have rightfully won the National Championship that year. How do you make it right with those folks after all these years?
    It’s like playing high stakes poker and getting caught cheating, but they get to keep all the money. What the hell is up with that?
    It’s that same money they are now useing to make their current coach the highest paid college coach in the counrty.(4 million a year) Approved by who else… Mr. Garrett. Kiffin was there then. And he is back as head coach now. The same guy who used (pimped???) attractive college girls at Tennessee to swoon underage high school recruits. What a gutter ball. What a slap in our collective faces!
    We all know the USC football program is coated in Teflon. How thick that Teflon coating goes, and what does, and doesn’t stick, is yet to be seen.

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  7. JC 8 years ago

    Nothing less than the death penalty for USC football will be satisfactory. Realignment of Universities who follow the rules are the future of college football not USC.

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  8. Shazamrock 8 years ago

    The latest rumors has four star QB Bubba Starling leaning toward the Irish. A duel sport athlete (football & baseball) Starling is the ideal QB for Kelly’s spreed offense. 6’5″ 190lbs. He passed for 1433 yards and 18 TD’s. He rushed for 1381 yards and another 19 TD’s, in a season where he missed 2 games because of injuries.
    Keep your fingers crossed on this one. He’s a keeper!

    Judgement day FINALLY comes this Friday for USC. I want to believe that it took so long not because the NCAA was trying to determine guilt or innocents, but rather the penilities that should be imposed.
    As we all know, USC running backs have a knack for getting away with murder. Then you have Pete Carroll. This guy was cutting edge when it came to recruiting. A real innovator. Never missed a trick. Then all of a sudden he becomes stupid and doesen’t know what’s going on in his own locker room? Give me a break! Friday should be very interesting indeed.

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    1. IrishChan 8 years ago

      Going to have to keep an eye out for Bubba.

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  9. Jack 8 years ago

    On a different note, lets hear it for the Irish Lacrosse team. Go Irish. It is just shows how this school is one of the best in the nation academically and in sports. I am proud to be an irish fan in all sports.

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  10. DeltaIrish 8 years ago

    I’m 34 years old….my greatest memories of being a child watching ND come from that 88 game….I was 13….and I never prayed so much in my life. As an Irish fan i hope we kill SC, i wanna beat michigan and a loss to BC is unacceptable. But i absolutely hate those barbarians form Miami.

    This renewed rivalry is the absolute best scheduling coup we have seen.

    We even get to still use the “Beat SCum” shirts….just change the cpaitalization “scUM”….hot damn, things are really lookin up!

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  11. JC 8 years ago

    I think the ND administration should walk out Miami’s football tunnel to experience the full force of MIAMI FANS spitting on them INSTEAD OF OUR FOOTBALL TEAM!!! Maybe a large oyster egg in Swarbrick’s eye will clear this silly proposal up.

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  12. C-Dog 8 years ago

    I always felt like the ’88 game was truly a victory of good over evil.

    Jimmy Johnson like Pete Carroll seemed to get away with blatant disregard for the rules. And in Miami’s case, you had a program in which the players were exposed for not taking real classes. Ref. a CBS news expose’ by Dan Rather. There were reports of players dealing drugs at one time or another. We know what Michael Irvin eventually got caught for. The school itself was known as a party school where drugs were readily available.
    And so when the 88 Irish made themselves ready, it wasn’t one football team against another. It was our guys who went to the same classes as the rest of us, lived in the same dorms as we did. I can vouch for several of the players studying after practice and training table. Our guys were students with an extra football workload, true student athletes, not a bunch of gang bangers, prostituted by their university.

    That game was like the Miracle on Ice in 1980. Never since has the atmosphere been so charged in Notre Dame Stadium. We never doubted. We felt is was going to happen even before kickoff. The tunnel fight only confirmed that our guys were going to take it to them, like a SWAT team arresting looters. We even felt like we all willed the failed 2 point conversion on Miami and Pat Terrell’s play was an extension of the collective energy in the stadium.

    Oh yes! It was more than a game that day! Would love for you younger Irish fans to have an experience like that.

    Go Irish!

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    1. Shazamrock 8 years ago


      I remember seeing ND play Miami well before there was any rivalry. Well before it was a hot ticket game.
      Howard Schnellenburger was their coach.
      They were a Independent.
      And they ran the option.
      This was back in the late 60’s early 70’s.
      ND granted them a small series of games. Those games, when their program was young, helped Miami gain much needed recognition and national exsposure.
      Of course, years later, they had to bite the hand that fed them. That’s Miami graditude for you!
      We had high hopes for them. Back then they were committed to high academic standards, a classy institution, with a fine reputation.
      Then they became consumed with greed and the pursute of the holy dollor. They hired the wrong sort and in the process sold their soul.

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  13. Irisheyey62 8 years ago

    I hate Miami.
    Anyone with any sense of honor HATES Miami.
    Ghetto, thugs, trash and no good. The U?? Please.
    The U is for University which means classes, declared majors, standards,
    academia and all. THAT part of Miami exists in their School of Business,
    Law, Music and Music Business. The Football boys have NOTHING to do with that. Straight up America’s most wanted-future Jerry Springer guests.
    Dogs, perverted and psycho.
    I saw a shirt at the 90 Miami game : “EVEN GOD HATES MIAMI”
    Indeed, the precepts which Miami football builds itself upon is frowned on by the Almighty in the Proverbs and are a contrast to the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. ( Notice I did NOT say EVERY Player-just the program)
    ND MUST have it together for this -and have the first and second and FINAL word in this series. The National Guard may have to be called.
    1988 and 90 were AWESOME memories. Bring BACK the option, a defense which can shake the rhythm of the opponet and SPECIAL TEAMS ( think HENTRICH-the last GOOD kicker ND has in the 90’s –too long of a wait)
    I will be there. I have two favorite teams. Notre Dame AND ANYBODY who plays Miami ( and that —believe it or not includes SC or OHio state –and that is a stretch)
    KILL THE CANES and fry that damned mascot bird of theirs!
    WE ARE ND!!!
    NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. spiceyirish 8 years ago

      I take offense to you labeling ghetto with thugs, trash, and no good. I’ve meet, and I’m sure you have meet, someone who has come out of poverty, overcome the financial odds; to become a productive citizen of this great nation. One can also look at our cultural revolutions that started in the ghettos.

      On Wall Street, would you call those guys thugs, trash, and no good? Is it because they wear a suit and tie that makes them different?

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      1. C-Dog 8 years ago

        I’ve met several who have raised themselves up. ND’s own Jerome Bettis could have succombed to the ghetto. I worked near where he grew up. Gang violence bad enough that the highschool shut down it’s football program for a while.

        What a true ND fan loathes is the celebration of the gang mentality in sports. The idea that sports programs, both pro and college use these kids for entertainment. It’s truly a farce that the NCAA does anything significant to help the youths in these bad areas. They are truly used as prostitutes and since they aren’t paid in college, they are almost used as slaves. Consider the schools where the football player goes into a fake classroom, doodles in a notebook for an hour and is given college credits for doing so.
        Notre Dame makes all their athletes attend the real classes. Like Stanford, northwestern and a few others, these kids can function and will come away with something much more than time on the football field.
        Wall street brokers might be good or no good. But you can bet that celebrating the ghetto culture will turn the US into a 3rd world nation. If you want that, then commit to living in one first and report back in 20 years. Personally, I’d rather strive to make something better, not settle for something worse.

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      2. spiceyirish 8 years ago

        I’m a lucky person in my life. My parents came from a low social economic setting and worked their way to the middle class status that me and my brothers and sister enjoy today.

        We do celebrate many things that came out of the poor areas of this country. Blues, Jazz, Soul, Hip-Hop, Rock-N-Roll, Gospel Music, and many other types of artforms were developed and fine tune in poor areas of this country. Not to mention, like you said above, celebrating athletes who came out of improvish settings.

        We should even celebrate President Bill Clinton who grew up poor, only to get to the highest office in this country.

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      3. SteelFanRob 8 years ago


        Amen! Well said!!!

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    2. JC 8 years ago

      Amen Irisheye62,

      Miami fans are moronic pigs, our football team does not need another shower of spit from these genetic misfits.

      Let Ohio State play these prima donnas since they both have the same mental illness.

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    3. Adam 7 years ago

      What if I told you I own that “Even God Hates Miami” tee shirt from 1990? I was born in 88′ but my dad gave me the shirt. It’s in pretty good shape. I believe there are some speckles of paint on it. If you’re interested I can send you a picture.

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  14. Shazamrock 8 years ago

    So Michigan got caught with it’s hand in the cookie jar and decided to self impose it’s own punishment. The broken rules…too many assistants and coaches. And too much time practicing. To me it’s like going 65mph in a 60. Of course their version of punishment to these rules violations is pretty amusing as well. Slap on the wrist stuff.
    Actually I like Michigan (when they aren’t playing us). I have great respect for their football program, their history, and their traditions. I pull for them in most games. And especially when they play Ohio St.
    I think the embaressment that they are having to deal with now is probably punishment enough.
    The only thing that sticks in my craw, is Rodriguez’s excuse “I didn’t know what I was doing was wrong.” Hey RichRod, That’s what they say out in California my friend. Not at Michigan.
    It reminds me of that episode of Sienfield where George gets caught having sex on his desk at work and then gets dragged into his bosses office to explain himself. His reply “Was that wrong? Should I have not done that?”
    All I can say is “man is it nice to be able to start the season without having OUR coach on the hotseat for a change.”

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  15. cane4life 8 years ago

    God made Notre Dame 1st but the Canes made them 2nd!

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    1. SteelFanRob 8 years ago


      The “U”‘s 15-minutes of fame (compared to the histories of programs like ND, Michigan, Ohio State, etc.) has come and gone. As a result of increased academic standards for student athletes and abiding by NCAA rules (unlike USuCk and Me-chigan), the “U” now finds itself struggling for wins and respectability, just like ND. When was the last time UM was elite? Almost a decade ago (coinciding with increased standards). No doubt you’d prefer to see the “U” return to its cheating ways to get back on top. You can’t spell “scumbag” without “UM”!

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  16. StEds 8 years ago

    Notre Dame vs Miami! Can. Not. Wait. 2012 is going to be a great schedule. Football fans from South Bend to South Florida can all cheer for this one in particular: the return of a compelling series and a classic rivalry T-shirt.
    All new for 2012, it’s Domers vs The U:


    Nicely done.

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    1. Shazamrock 8 years ago

      The Catholics are still here and going strong, but the convicts are long gone.
      Maybe they should change it to
      the con-artists since everyone now calls “BS” on them?

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  17. Shazamrock 8 years ago

    The ND / Miami series provided me with one of my all time favorite Irish memories. I think it was the 1990 game in South Bend. At that time Rocket Ismail was well known as the premier kick returner in all of college football. By that time, opposing teams would kick away from the Rocket. Useually out of bounds giving us great starting field posistion.
    But big bad Miami, being who they are, stated that they weren’t going to be intimidated by the Rocket. They spouted off about how they spent extra time working on their kick off coverage and how they were going to bury the Rocket everytime he touched the ball.
    Miami kicked off to start the game.
    Here is the replay of that kick off. Listen to the crowd erupt as the Rocketman turns it loose. (Don’t blink or you will miss it!)


    Right there, in less than 30 seconds, the game was over. A dagger through their heart. All their brashness and bravado gone. ENJOY!

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  18. spiceyirish 8 years ago

    Notre Dame-Miami is one of the few games that the whole college football world will center on. It doesn’t matter how bad the programs are, ND-Miami is a special game. I hope I can make it to the Soldier Field game.

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  19. SteelFanRib 8 years ago


    Agree on Minter. You make a good case for the end of the Faust era being an all-time low point in ND football history. I’d say, however, that by the end of the over-hyped Weis regime we were pretty close to getting there as well. After all, 2 defeats to navy AT HOME is something that not even Faust managed to do!

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  20. westcoastirishfan 8 years ago

    Minter had to have been the DC for the 89 game. Giving up big plays was a specialty of his.

    Really no Miami/ND review should leave out the drubbing Miami handed Faust as his tenture came to end. A snapshot of the program pre Holtz. Perhaps the lowest point for ND football in in the last 40 years.

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    1. SteelFanRob 8 years ago

      Agree about Minter.

      While I also agree that the at the end of the Faust era was an all-time low for ND football, I’d add that the end of the over-hyped Weis era was just as bad — if not worse. After all, not even Faust managed to lose to Navy twice at home!

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    2. C-Dog 8 years ago

      Barry Alvarez was the DC until after the 90 season.

      Miami prototyped what a QB and receivers can do when the class load is such a joke that they can practice patterns and timing 40 hours a week.

      Notre Dame won the 88 game because our linebackers disrupted that timing by getting to Steve Walsh, the QB. Corners and safeties can only cover for so long. a stout defensive line and aggressive, ranging linebackers truly make the largest difference.

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  21. William Mulgrew 8 years ago

    I enjoyes the series with Miami especially the 1988 game.

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  22. William Mulgrew 8 years ago

    I think the series will be good for the Irish, a lot better than sc.

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  23. Shazamrock 8 years ago

    Pretty sweet deal for the Irish. A game in South Bend, a game in Miami, and a nuetral site game at Solders Field in Chicago which might as well be another home game for us.
    Seems like our Flordia recruiting trail has dried up a little bit. Maybe these games will open things up in Florida once agian.

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