Miami and Notre Dame are set to face off at Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida for what could end up being an elimination game for a potential College Football Playoff berth. With so much on the line, the game is reminiscent of the Hurricanes vs. Fighting Irish showdowns of the late '80s.
However, those games were a small part of a larger story. Miami and Notre Dame have played 25 times since 1955, with the Irish maintaining a 17-7-1 lead. There have been several great games over that period, including one involving current Miami head coach Mark Richt. Here are the five best.
5. Notre Dame 0, Miami 0
Nov. 27, 1965 — Miami
Sixth-ranked Notre Dame closed out its season in the Orange Bowl and was shut out for the first time since 1962. Miami exploited the Irish’s poor passing game by virtually putting 11 men on the line and shutting down their rushing attack. To be fair, Notre Dame stymied the Hurricanes' offense too, holding it to minus-17 yards on the ground. Each team also missed two field goals to play to the only tie in the series’ history.
4. Notre Dame 30, Miami 27
Oct. 29, 2016 — South Bend, Ind.
The Irish jumped out to a 20-0 lead and then Miami responded with a 27-0 run of its own. The Canes took the lead with 6:49 left in the game when Michael Jackson recovered a muffed punt in the end zone. Notre Dame then tied the game at 27-27 and was driving for the winning score. Quarterback DeShone Kizer hit tight end Durham Smythe who fumbled the ball near the goal line. Kizer, who was running towards the end zone to celebrate what he thought was the winning touchdown, dove into a pile of players and recovered it. The Irish settled down and Justin Yoon kicked a game-winning field goal to provide one of the few highlights in what was an otherwise disappointing 4-8 season for Notre Dame.
3. Notre Dame 16, Miami 14
Oct. 9, 1982 — South Bend, Ind.
Current Miami head coach Mark Richt was the starting quarterback for the Hurricanes in 1982 and had his team up 14-10 in the fourth quarter in South Bend. The Irish closed the gap to 14-13 with a 42-yard field goal by Mike Johnston. Miami hoped to run the clock out and faced third-and-2 on its 28-yard line. Richt came to the line and audibled to a quarterback sneak. The Notre Dame defense adjusted and stopped him short of a first down. The Irish then responded with a game-winning, 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds left. At the postgame news conference, Miami assistant Tom Olivadotti asked Richt if he was okay. Richt said, “Coach, I just feel sick” and put his face in his hands and began crying. Miami would finish 7-4 that season, but beat Notre Dame the next season on its way to the 1983 national title.
2. Notre Dame 24, Miami 22
Nov. 24, 1967 — Miami
Miami took a 16-10-halftime lead, but Notre Dame responded in the third quarter with an 11-play drive that included six carries by fullback Jeff Zimmerman. The workhorse back punctuated the drive with a one-yard touchdown to put the Irish up 17-16. Notre Dame halfback Bob Gladieux extended the lead to 24-16 in the fourth quarter with a 10-yard TD run. Miami responded with its own scoring drive that culminated with quarterback Bill Miller’s one-yard sneak to close the gap to 24-22. The Hurricanes attempted a two-point conversion but Notre Dame linebacker Bob Olson knocked down Bill Miller’s pass to preserve the win.
1. Notre Dame 31, Miami 30
Oct. 15, 1988 — South Bend, Ind.
Could it be anything else? After four straight losses to Miami — including a nasty 58-7 beatdown in 1985 — the sixth-ranked and undefeated Irish faced the top-ranked and defending national champion Hurricanes. What followed was an epic game with an infamous name, “Catholics vs. Convicts.” The defeat was Miami’s first regular season loss since 1985. The Irish would go on to win the national title and Miami’s only loss for the season would be this one. This game has since been replayed in many different forms, one of the most recent being ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary.
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.