Miami running back Mike James will never forget the first time he got to play against Notre Dame. Not the date. Not the time. Not a single detail.
And that has nothing to do with football.
It was Dec. 31, 2010. The Hurricanes and Fighting Irish met in the Sun Bowl, a game that started simultaneously with the funeral for James' mother, Elgusta James, who died 11 days earlier in a car crash.
James went to the bowl game after family members convinced him that's what his mother would have wanted. Miami lost 33-17, and James had only 14 yards on four carries.
On Saturday night, Miami and ninth-ranked Notre Dame play in Chicago. James describes it as the "biggest game I've ever played," for obvious reasons.