Miami Hurricanes able to keep perspective after loss to Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 24: Ahmmon Richards
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 24: Ahmmon Richards /

It had been 391 days since the Miami Hurricanes lost a football game. That was a 30-27 loss to Notre Dame in South Bend. The Hurricanes had won 15 games in a row since then.

The Miami Hurricanes began the 2017 season as the nation’s 18th ranked team. A 10-1 season and the Coastal Division Championship are a success by any measure. They were favored to win the Coastal, but the 10-1 record exceeded expectations.

The loss to Pittsburgh is a tough one to take, but not devastating in terms of their goals. Under Mark Richt in just two seasons, the Hurricanes have already reached several goals.

They won their first bowl games in ten years last season, ended the seven-game losing streak to Florida State earlier this year and won their first ACC Coastal Division title. They will play in their first ACC Championship game next Saturday.

At the beginning of the season, no one would have speculated that the Miami Hurricanes would have been a candidate for the College Football Playoff. The loss doesn’t give Miami any margin or error against Clemson next week. A win will still likely give them a spot in the playoff.

After the game, Miami Hurricanes Head Coach Mark Richt and some of his players were able to put the loss in perspective. Richt said:

"“We haven’t lost in a while…We just went 15 games in a row without a loss and had to go in the locker room and do something besides cheer, jump up and down and celebrate. It’s a little bit different. It’s been over a year since we’ve had to do that. I know the guys are hurt. I’m hurt.“The good news is we’re about to play for the ACC Championship. We have to get rested, get a good plan and get ready to play that one.”"

Miami flirted with losses frequently this season. They had to come back to defeat Toledo after trailing at halftime, won their four October games by a total of 18 points and had to twice rally from 14 down to defeat Virginia last week.

More from Canes Warning

If you continually play with fire you are going to get burned. Miami finally did. It’s a lot to expect a team to continually have to rely on coming from behind to win. Linebacker Shaq Quarterman spoke about how he and his teammates need to learn from the loss and move on.

"“The mentality is to not let it happen again,…We can’t sulk in the moment. We have to move on. We still have something to play for that is very important for us.”"

A loss will usually allow a coach to get the intention of his team. The Miami locker was no different after Friday’s loss. Richt said:

"“They listened intently,…I think they understand how to act. I told them I was proud of them. We’ve never had any kind of effort issue, that’s No. 1 … But yeah, it was tough in there. It was tough. It should be…"

Quarterman is a player wise beyond his years. He became a team leader the moment he stepped on campus in 2016. Senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios was a little more reflective after the loss.

"“Everything was out in front of us, and everything was in our own control. We gave that up. It’s a terrible way to end the regular season.”"

Quarterback Malik Rosier suffered his first loss as a starting quarterback. He had possibly his worst game in a Miami uniform. After the game, he said: “I felt like I let my team down.”

Next: Down years for some of Miami Hurricanes opponents could hurt in CFP race

The loss should be a learning opportunity for the coaching staff and the players. Asked what he learned from the loss Rosier said: “Don’t miss opportunities that can change a ball game.”