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Football: Notre Dame accepts invitation to play Miami in Sun Bowl

Matt Gamber | Monday, December 6, 2010

The July announcement of a three-game series between Notre Dame and Miami, set to begin at Chicago’s Soldier Field in 2012, excited fans who remember the bitter rivalry that reached its peak in 1990.

Those fans likely felt another jolt of excitement Sunday, when Notre Dame and Miami agreed to meet in the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, on Dec. 31.

“We are thrilled about getting Notre Dame back to a bowl game, especially one with tradition like the Hyundai Sun Bowl,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said. “This game will serve as a perfect prelude to the three-game series we’ll experience in the coming years. We look forward to the great reception our school will receive in El Paso and experiencing the hospitality that has been a trademark of the Sun Bowl.”

The Irish and Hurricanes, both 7-5 this season, have met 23 times, with Notre Dame holding a 15-7-1 series advantage that includes an Irish win in the last meeting at Notre Dame Stadium in 1990.

“The University of Miami has got a tradition in the past and the present,” Kelly said. “Certainly when you talk about some of the great programs, Miami is going to be involved in that. So even though these kids weren’t alive, or were too young to remember, the last time these two teams played, they do obviously recognize this program.

“There’s a great buzz. Our kids are excited about the matchup.”

That excitement is matched, if not exceeded, by Sun Bowl officials, who are thrilled with the matchup.

“You can’t imagine in your wildest imagination how excited we are about this football game,” Sun Bowl chairman John Folmer said. “It couldn’t be any better.”

Miami, which fired head coach Randy Shannon after a loss to South Florida ended the Hurricanes’ regular season, will be led by offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland. Stoutland said he looked forward to the chance to get on the field with his team, which started 5-2 but lost three of its last five games.

The Sun Bowl will be broadcast nationally by CBS at 12:15 p.m. local time, which is 2:15 p.m. in South Bend.