The last of the Miami-Notre Dame meetings turned out to be the most well-behaved in years. In an effort to avoid the scuffles and the taunting during pre-game warm-ups of previous years, the coaching staffs of both teams went to great lengths to keep the squads away from each other.
Miami coaches formed a line when the Hurricanes entered and left for pre-game warm-ups and none of the players came close to the Irish. For their part, the Notre Dame players concluded their warm-ups a few minutes early. After the game, the teams met at midfield and shook hands.
Tickets to Saturday's game were a hot commodity in South Bend this week. At least half of the classified ads in the student newspaper dealt with people buying or selling tickets.
By Friday morning, several people were lined up on U.S. 31 in South Bend with signs seeking tickets. Outside the stadium, scalpers were asking as much as $300 for good seats.
Two Notre Dame students will likely split $100,000 in profits from their Catholics vs. Convicts III T-shirt enterprise, according to the university's newspaper.
The back of the shirts read "The Final War, Oct. 20 1990." They've been selling for $11.
Actor George Wendt, who plays Norm on the television show Cheers, showed up at a Notre Dame pep rally Friday night and led a crowd in a few cheers.
Wendt, a Notre Dame dropout, also tried to get into the Fighting Irish locker room after the game. Despite hundreds of people chanting "Let Norm in," security guards refused to open the door.
Winning the Big One
Notre Dame players have a term for games like Saturday's. They call them "Big on Big."
The Irish seem to be the biggest of them all in those situations. In its last 14 games against teams ranked in the Top 20, Notre Dame has won 13 times. Last year's loss to Miami was the only exception.
_ JOHN ROMANO