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(140) 1983 Florida - 18
Wilber Marshall and a boatload of running backs (Neal Anderson, John L. Williams, Lorenzo Hampton) weren't enough to overtake the Buckeyes.
(245) 2004 California - 21
(12) 1989 Notre Dame - 27
There were some pretty good running backs on display in this contest. The Cal duo of J.J. Arrington and Marshawn Lynch (2,600+ rushing yards combined in 2004) met their match against a fantastic Notre Dame defense.
(117) 2005 Ohio State - 20
(12) 1989 Notre Dame - 24
Whoa, this is a good Notre Dame team. If not for the loss to Miami in the national championship game, this might be regarded as one of the best teams of all time. But here in The Greatest Tournament of All Time, you have to earn everything you get, and the Irish had to beat a very good Buckeye team to secure their berth in the Bracket of Champions.
Notre Dame started off the game leaning heavily on their running game. Tailbacks Ricky Watters and Rodney Culver didn't find the kind of running lanes against Ohio State they were accustomed to, but quarterback Tony Rice piled up 54 rushing yards in the first quarter alone.
But the Ohio State defense held their own, giving their offense a chance to score some points. Troy Smith matched Tony Rice skill-for-skill, finding Anthony Gonzalez on a 29-yard touchdown pass to get the Buckeyes on the board in the second quarter.
That's when Rocket Ismail struck. Rice rolled out on a run/pass option and hit Ismail for a 63-yard touchdown pitch and catch.
From there the Notre Dame defense locked down. Defensive tackle Chris Zorich and linebacker Scott Kowalkowski all but eliminated Antonio Pittman and the Buckeye running game. When Pat Terrell intercepted a Troy Smith pass late in the fourth quarter it put the finishing touches on an Irish win.
1989 Notre Dame (#12 overall seed) advances to the Bracket of Champions. The Fighting Irish will face the winner of Bracket 53 in the first round.