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Diaco on the defense

Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco was made available for the first time to talk to the media since October, and one of his messages was how the defense got better as a whole throughout the year.

The Irish closed the season giving up only one touchdown in the last three games and 22 points in November.

"There has been improvement almost to a man," Diaco said. "I really can't think of one person in the overall unit that hasn't gotten better each week."

Notre Dame's defense will be tested in the Sun Bowl against Miami on Dec. 31 in El Paso, Texas.

The Hurricanes averaged 27.1 points and 422.6 yards per game, and their quarterback is an unknown at this point.

Jacory Harris and Stephen Morris are competing for the start, and Miami will not announce its starter until the team is in Texas.

Harris started eight of the nine games he played in throwing for 1,756 yards with 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Morris started four of the five games he played in throwing for 958 yards with five touchdowns and eight interceptions.

"I think (Harris) does a great job of throwing the ball on the move, both players do, they are very similar," Diaco said. "They run really well, athletic players who throw very well on the move. Trying to keep him contained back there will go a long way to help."