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(41) 1977 Notre Dame - 27
(297) 2004 Miami - 17
The excellent Miami defense (Antrel Rolle, Leon Williams, Anthony Reddick, Baraka Atkins, Santonio Thomas, Orien Harris) were outsmarted repeatedly by Dan Devine's Fighting Irish.

(169) 1994 Texas A&M - 16
(88) 1998 Florida State - 23
Leeland McElroy returned a kickoff for a touchdown, but Corey Pullig and the rest of the offense couldn't move the ball on the Seminoles, wasting an excellent performance by the Wrecking Crew defense (Ray Mickens, Brandon Mitchell).


(41) 1977 Notre Dame - 22
(88) 1998 Florida State - 20
Bobby Bowden brought the athletes, but Dan Devine came away with the victory and the berth in the Bracket of Champions.

Despite a ridiculously loaded defense (Corey Simon, Jamal Reynolds, Roland Seymour, Tommy Polley, Tay Cody, Derrick Gibson - shall I continue?), and an overall talent edge at just about every position, Florida State was out-performed in clutch situations. Every time it seemed like the 'Noles were about to deliver the death blow, a turnover or penalty would get in the way.

For instance, in the third quarter with Florida State nursing a 20-12 lead, Peter Warrick returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown. But instead of taking a seemingly insurmountable 27-12 lead, they were called for two illegal blocks in the back, pinning FSU deep in their own territory.

Notre Dame quarterback Joe Montana answered the bell in the fourth quarter - as he has been known to do - leading the Irish on an 83 yard scoring drive capped by a Jerome Heavens touchdown catch. Montana completed 5-of-6 passes on the drive for 68 of the 83 yards, but more importantly, he found his reliable tight end Ken MacAfee for the game-tying two point conversion.

On the ensuing possession, disaster struck once again for the Seminoles. On the first play of the drive Chris Weinke tried to call an audible out of the shotgun, but center Eric Thomas snapped the ball over his head. Notre Dame's Ross Browner had the ball for a second, but Weinke came out with the ball in the scrum in the end zone and the Irish only registered a safety. But it was the deciding score of the game.

1977 Notre Dame (#41 overall seed) advances to the Bracket of Champions. The Fighting Irish will face the winner of Bracket 24 in the first round.

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