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Less than an hour to kickoff

The Sun Bowl will be kicking off in a little less than an hour with Notre Dame and Miami renewing a classic rivalry from the late '80s.

If the temperature holds – it's in the mid-30s – today's game will be the fourth coldest in Sun Bowl history. The coldest Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, was 24 degrees in 1983.

As for the game, Notre Dame will be starting running back Robert Hughes.

It is the senior's final game, and the start will be the first of this year and seventh of his career.

Hughes – who is also a captain along with fellow seniors Brian Smith, Ian Williams and Chris Stewart – came on strong in the last three games running for 129 yards and three touchdowns.

Hughes and Cierre Wood, who averaged 82.7 yards in the last three games, will need strong performances today to keep Miami's defense at bay.

The Hurricanes lead the nation in tackles for loss per game with 8.6 per game.

Notre Dame will be trying to contain Miami quarterback Jacory Harris and a strong running game.

Harris threw for more than 1,700 yards this season with 14 touchdowns, but the junior – who was named the starter Thursday – has also thrown 12 interceptions.

Miami averages 190.4 rushing yards per game, led by Damien Berry's 78.6 yards per game.

The Sun Bowl will likely look very similar to Notre Dame's victory over USC in the regular-season finale as Miami shares similar athletic traits with the Trojans.

But if the Irish follow the same game plan they did in California, let Tommy Rees pick his spots to attack the secondary and control the game with Wood and Hughes, they should pick up their fourth win in a row.

Prediction: Notre Dame 20, Miami 17

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