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COLLEGE FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE NATION : Tigers Get Heroes’ Welcome in Memphis

<i> Associated Press</i>

Memphis State players rarely come home to cheering fans at the airport, but then it’s not often the Tigers beat teams such as USC.

“This lets people know Memphis State is not at the bottom any more,” linebacker Rod Brown said. “We’re a team that’s on the rise. One day we’re going to be a front-runner, and this is what it takes.”

The Tigers were met by some 75 sign-waving boosters when they arrived at a Memphis airport at 2 a.m.

“It was a great feeling,” said quarterback Keith Benton, who threw two touchdown passes while directing the Tiger victory.

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Ticket sales were brisk throughout the day as Tiger fans prepared for Saturday’s game against Mississippi.

“We expect the game to be a sellout, if not by today, possibly by tomorrow,” Memphis State spokesman Bob Winn said.

Notre Dame quarterback Rick Mirer, saying he has recovered from the shock of being handcuffed and taken to jail by police, defended himself against accusations of drunken and disorderly conduct.

“It was a misunderstanding, and the only thing I can say about that is I was not publicly intoxicated and my conduct was not disorderly,” Mirer said.

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Coach Lou Holtz called the involvement of Mirer and linebacker Demetrius DuBose in Friday’s off-campus party that attracted 500 people a “very innocent thing.”

“The security man who called the police told me that there was no rowdiness, that there was no problem, no destruction,” said Holtz, who added that the security man had been told to call police if the crowd “became large.”

For now, starting positions for Mirer and DuBose appear secure. No charges have been filed.

Notre Dame opens its season Saturday at home against Indiana.

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