Miami did things to Notre Dame that no other team could do. It held the offense to 250 yards and, except for Southern Cal, was the only team that out-gained the Irish. But when Notre Dame's opportunities presented themselves, Hanratty was right there, checking off at the line of scrimmage and giving Halfback Bob Gladieux and Fullback Jeff Zimmerman cracks at the places Hendricks and Smith and Tackle Bob Tatarek could not reach. Notre Dame ran on Miami like no other team could. Hanratty passed only once in a drive to a first-quarter field goal. He threw to Seymour for 14 yards, then whipped a neat little screen to Zimmerman—who is neither neat nor little—for 39 yards to set up the touchdown that cut Miami's edge to 13-10. The touchdown that put Notre Dame ahead in the third quarter was all leg—50 yards, mostly drives off tackle. Hanratty caught Miami's tackles lining up too tight, convinced the ends to stay loose and powered into the gaps, with Zimmerman getting five, 10 and 18 yards. On short yardage plays the Irish even dusted off a reasonable facsimile of the flying wedge: nine men on the line—four of them tackles—with only the quarterback and Zimmerman behind them. Straight ahead. Brute force.
The touchdown that made it 24-16 came after Miller threw for an interception at the Miami 38. Gladieux got the whole business on two carries. Hanratty caught Miami overshifting to the strong side of Notre Dame's unbalanced line and came back to the weak side with Gladieux zipping behind blockers. The play is called a tear sweep. The sweeps were Gladieux's—the tears Miami's.
So the season ends well for both these late-bloomers. Miami has a nationally televised date with Florida coming up, then gets to take its new-found appreciation to the Bluebonnet Bowl because, as they say in Miami, the Orange Bowl committee jumped to conclusions and jumped to Oklahoma. Notre Dame stayed the weekend in Miami, languishing in the sand on Key Biscayne. Hanratty could not wait. As soon as he got back to the hotel after the game he rounded up a partner and headed for the ocean. Parseghian's swim was in the shower stalls. He and the other coaches were delivered there, fully clothed, by the Notre Dame team. He said he loved it. He now has some leisure and some golf to contemplate. It's a long way to April, when everybody will start picking him to win the national championship again. He won't love that.