The Notre Dame rivalry might seem like ancient history to today’s players, but old-school Miami Hurricanes energized about Mark Richt’s arrival have another reason to be fired up.
“I still can’t stand Notre Dame,” former UM wide receiver Randal “Thrill” Hill, who took part in a pre-game confrontation with Notre Dame players in 1988, said Wednesday.
Players get into it before the 1988 UM-Notre Dame game in South Bend. (Jonathan Daniel/Allsport/Getty Images)
2016 SPRING FOOTBALL
On Oct. 29, UM visits South Bend for the first time since 1990. On a spring-wrapup conference call with other ACC coaches, Richt and Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly were asked about the matchup.
“We always look towards the Miami game as one that has some very good tradition to it,” Kelly said. “A lot of respect for Miami’s tradition and certainly the games that have been played have been great ones.”
Miami has lost the last three, falling in the 2010 Sun Bowl in El Paso and at Chicago’s Soldier Field in 2012, in addition to that 1990 meeting where No. 6 Notre Dame beat the No. 2 Hurricanes 29-20.
The rivalry, infamously branded “Catholics vs. Convicts,” was one of the best of the 1980s. The winner of the game went on to win the national championship in 1988 (Notre Dame) and ’89 (Miami). After losing 11 straight times to Notre Dame from 1965-80, the Hurricanes won six of eight games from 1981-89.
This year’s team visits the Irish to end a tough October. Miami plays at Georgia Tech on Oct. 1 before home games against Florida State (Oct. 8) and ACC Coastal champ North Carolina (Oct. 15). UM visits Virginia Tech (Oct. 20) on a Thursday before the trip to South Bend.
“I quite frankly haven’t thought that far down the road yet,” said Richt, who wrapped his first spring as Hurricanes coach with last Saturday’s spring game. “I know it’ll be an exciting time for everybody. Hopefully we’ll have a team that’s worthy of playing on that day. Our goal is to try to get better on a daily basis throughout the summer, throughout fall camp.
“By then, we should have played enough to be ready to compete and hopefully we’re healthy and executing well enough to make it a good ballgame.”
Notre Dame, which leads the all-time series 16-7-1, visits Miami on Nov. 11, 2017. They are scheduled to play again in 2024-25.
The Irish, who get a bye before hosting Miami, went 10-3 in 2015, losing to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. They finished 11th in the final Associated Press poll and return quarterback DeShone Kizer.
Miami hasn’t beat Notre Dame since the seventh-ranked Hurricanes handled the top-ranked Irish at the Orange Bowl in 1989. Their last win in South Bend: 1984, when No. 14 beat No. 16.
“There’s always the attention paid to it by our players and our alumni base,” Kelly said. “For them coming here I think it will rekindle that great matchup between (coaches Lou) Holtz and Jimmy Johnson. And I think that that’s going to be one that is hyped up pretty big.”
“But they’re different teams and they’re different coaches. I know Mark – great respect for him and the program that he’s run for so many years (at Georgia). He’s going to do the same thing at Miami. It will be a little bit different – different coaches, different styles of teams.
“But still, when it’s the ‘U’ and Notre Dame, it will kind of take a life of its own from coast to coast.”