Big Games Are Why Mark Richt Returned to Miami Hurricanes

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 04: Christopher Herndon IV
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 04: Christopher Herndon IV /

Mark Richt’s hiring as the Miami Hurricanes Head Coach nearly two years ago has reestablished the swagger at Miami. The Hurricanes are once again playing in big games. Richt has said it’s the big games, the big moments that brought him back to his alma mater.

The longest winning streak in the country currently belongs to the Miami Hurricanes. Following their loss last season at Notre Dame, Miami has run off 13 straight wins. That included their first bowl win in ten years over West Virginia last season and avenging three of their four losses from last season.

Miami’s last loss remaining to avenge from 2016 is Notre Dame. The Hurricanes will get a chance to do that on Saturday. Big games are what the Miami Hurricanes brand it all about. Playing in them during the two dynasty eras was a regular occurrence.

The crowd played a huge role in Miami’s win over Virginia Tech. That should be the same against Notre Dame. Saturday is a sellout except for the boxes. Richt spoke about the importance of the crowd and playing big games for the Miami program on his weekly appearance on the Joe Rose show on WQAM on Monday.

"“It’s exciting. We talk about this is why we come here. This is why I came back to my alma mater, these types of moments, and the players too. You get a chance to talk to the seniors and this being their last go-round, the blessing of being on a team like this, who’s gotten this deep in the season with a significant game ahead of us. … You want to embrace the moment without getting carried away with everything that won’t help you win. You have to focus on your job.”"

Miami had one game on ABC’s Saturday night game of the week last season. That was the 20-19 loss to Florida State. They would have played Florida State again in prime time on ABC if not for postponement of this year’s game due to Hurricane Irma.

As it is, the showdown with Notre Dame is the second ABC game of the season and the second week in a row Miami will appear in the eponymous game of the week. This week has the added appearance of ESPN’s College Gameday making their first appearance ever on the Coral Gables Campus.

While the game against Notre Dame has national implications the win over Virginia Tech was a huge step for the Miami program to reach their first ACC Championship game. One more Miami win or Virginia Tech loss will give the Hurricanes their first outright ACC Coastal Division title. Richt discussed the impact the crowd had against the Hokies.

Live Feed

Georgia football: Head coach mistakes the Bulldogs avoided in 2015
Georgia football: Head coach mistakes the Bulldogs avoided in 2015 /

Dawn of the Dawg

  • Georgia Bulldogs news: All-Americans and a honorary captainDawn of the Dawg
  • Florida Football: Gators Still Living Rent Free In Mark Richt's HeadHail Florida Hail
  • Georgia football: Interesting stats from the Deep South's Oldest RivalryDawn of the Dawg
  • Throwback Thursday: Georgia football introduced grown man football to MissouriDawn of the Dawg
  • Throwback Thursday: A Georgia football miracle play in ColumbiaDawn of the Dawg
  • "“You say overall and we’re talking about the whole atmosphere, like you said. When you come to Miami, you know there’s some challenges to get people excited about the program. Right now, people are excited about the program. We’re thankful for that. We’re thankful for everybody being there and creating the atmosphere. It means so much to the players. It means so much in the course of a game when you know you’ve got your team behind you.And it’s tough for the opponent to function and to think clearly that everything’s going to be okay. It makes things worse than they are, probably, for the opponent. I just can’t thank everybody enough for showing up in numbers, being loud and being there for the Cane Walk, the whole thing. Students were there early. It was wonderful.”"

    The question “is the U back” seems to come up every season. Restoring the home field advantage will go a long way towards answering that question in the affirmative. From 1985-94 the Miami Hurricanes set the all-time record with 58 consecutive home wins at the Orange Bowl.

    Next: Miami Hurricanes Thug perception Creates Us Against the World

    It’s nearly impossible to expect that to happen again. Making Hard Rock Stadium an intimidating place to play for opponents would be an important step to returning the Miami Hurricanes among the nation’s elite programs.