No one young enough to be a college player could well remember the days when Miami’s teams stalked the landscape breathing fire along with exuding intimidation, when the program won 5 national titles between 1983 along with 2002.
Since the Hurricanes won the national title after the 2001 season — featuring a roster so crammed with N.F.L. prospects of which the idea eventually produced 17 first-round picks — along with endured a devastating overtime loss to Ohio State from the national title game a year later, the Hurricanes have been from the wilderness, mired in coaching improvements along with mediocre records.
“I had an older brother along with he talked to me about when he first got here, The U was back on the rise,” said left tackle K.C. McDermott, a senior along with the younger brother of Miami’s center via 2012 through 2014.
“This particular wasn’t just a one-year thing,” he added. “This particular has taken years, along with taken blood, sweat along with tears out of a lot of recruits.”
When Mark Richt was fired in 2015 after a long along with successful tenure at Georgia, the Miami job pulled at the former quarterback who had backed up Jim Kelly at The U.
“When I decided to continue to coach, I truly did want to enjoy the idea — I wanted to have fun,” Richt said. “along with what better place than Miami can you have some fun?”
With the arrival This particular week of a showcase game against Notre Dame — not only a significant obstacle This particular season, nevertheless one of Miami’s most bitter rivals — former Miami players appeared like the ghosts of championships past. Ed Reed, the former safety for the Baltimore Ravens, attended practice every day last week, along with on Saturday night he joined ex-Hurricanes-turned-N.F.L. stars Warren Sapp along with Clinton Portis on the sideline pregame as living monuments to better times, trying to show current players the way to a similar future.
“Those guys actually did the idea,” said linebacker Shaq Quarterman, a sophomore, “so how could you not take heed in what they’re saying?”
along with today, The U is actually back.
Ranked No. 7 entering Saturday by the committee of which determines the four-team College Football Playoff, Miami enhanced to 9-0 by handing the Irish their second defeat. Miami is actually set to face defending champion Clemson (9-1), ranked 4th, from the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game on Dec. 2, with the winner all nevertheless certain to be invited to the national semifinals.
The postseason picture came into firmer relief Saturday even before Miami’s victory over Notre Dame. No. 1 Georgia (9-1) lost at No. 10 Auburn (8-2) earlier Saturday, a serious blow to the Bulldogs’ aspirations along which has a lift for the Tigers, who face Alabama in two weeks. Stanford’s upset of No. 9 Washington (8-2) on Friday night most likely ended the Pacific-12’s chance at the playoff.
The clearing of the field most conspicuously aided No. 7 Wisconsin (10-0), partially neutralizing its soft schedule. nevertheless the idea also set up the annual game between Auburn along with Alabama (10-0) as the most consequential Iron Bowl since the 2013 iteration, of Kick-Six fame.
The Fighting Irish dropped to 8-2, with their No. 3 seed from the Associated Press poll along with the playoff rankings due for a serious readjustment. While frequently derided as (to quote Miami’s crowd during the second half) “overrated,” Notre Dame entered Saturday with wins over two ranked teams along which has a loss to a third, Georgia, by 1 point, along with the idea arrived with the country’s seventh-best scoring offense, averaging more than 41 points per game.
For a game with clear along with severe playoff implications, much of the pregame chatter tended from the direction of mythology.
Notre Dame along with Miami were once yearly rivals, along with from the late 1980s played several games of which defined the entire season nationally. Their ostensibly divergent identities — the Irish as pious Midwestern schoolboys; the Hurricanes as bold, athletic along with steeped in hip-hop culture — were crystallized in a Notre Dame fan-made T-shirt of which summarized the rivalry as “Catholics vs. Convicts.”
The dynamic was exaggerated even then (along with also loaded with ugly racial subtext). College football has deracinated since those days, with teams’ ties to place along with culture evaporating in a fog of national broadcast deals along with coast-to-coast recruiting. Such extratextual contrivances are today mainly ways for teams along with fans to imagine communities.
This particular year, for instance, Miami brought out the turnover chain, a heavy hunk of Cuban link chain of which goes to defensive players who steal the ball via the offense. the idea harks back not only to past defensive Hurricanes standouts like Sapp, Reed along with Sean Taylor, nevertheless to Miami’s culture of unsubtle audacity.
The turnover chain changed hands many times Saturday night, beginning from the first quarter, when the junior safety Jaquan Johnson picked off Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush, along with peaking when cornerback Trajan Bandy, a true freshman who like so many Miami stars past is actually a South Florida native, jumped a route just before the end of the first half, caught a Notre Dame pass in stride along with returned the idea 65 yards to give Miami a 27-0 halftime lead.
He happily slipped on the chain for his turn with the idea, nevertheless The U aspires to a different piece of jewelry This particular season.
“We’re not back,” said quarterback Malik Rosier, a redshirt junior, “‘til there’s a ring on my finger.”
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