Three decades after ‘Catholics vs. Convicts,’ Notre Dame and Miami to square off again

In perhaps the teams' most famous meeting, a game dubbed “Catholics vs. Convicts” in 1988, the then-No. 1 Miami Hurricanes faced fourth-ranked Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
(Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images)

Nearly three decades after their famed “Catholics vs. Convicts” game, No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 10 Miami will meet again in a matchup with enormous national implications.

Saturday’s game will either cement Notre Dame’s position as a College Football Playoff contender or give Miami evidence that it deserves more respect for its 8-0 record.

“I’m pretty sure everybody’s going to be riled up,” Miami linebacker Shaquille Quarterman said. “It’s really us against the world.”


In 1988, both teams were undefeated heading into a mid-October showdown. A pair of Notre Dame students created the “Catholics vs. Convicts” T-shirts, playing off Miami’s reputation for swagger and trash-talk.

The No. 4 Fighting Irish ended up winning, 31-30, when top-ranked Miami scored a last-minute touchdown but decided to go for two rather than kick the extra-point to tie. Notre Dame batted away the pass attempt and ultimately won the national championship that season.

“Two programs that have great traditions, they have won national championships,” Irish Coach Brian Kelly said. “You would think sooner or later they’re going to meet again with something that’s on the line.”

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