Miami Hurricanes turnover chain getting in the head of opponents

CHAPEL HILL, NC - OCTOBER 28: Zach McCloud /

Miami Hurricanes Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz created the sensation of the year with the turnover chain. Not only has it captured the attention of his team, the Miami fan base, and college football, it has also gotten in the head of opponents.

Opposing teams have frequently commented on the turnover chain both before and after playing the Miami Hurricanes this season. Ahead of the ACC Championship game, Clemson players have become the latest to diss on the turnover chain.

Despite the focus on the turnover chain this season, the Miami defense is more than the jewelry. The chain was created by Diaz to entice his defense to create more turnover this season. Miami had a good plus, minus on turnovers last season largely because the offense didn’t turn the ball over.

Miami is third in the country with 29 turnovers, seventh in the country with 17 interceptions and first in turnover margin at plus 17. The focus has become more on the chain than it has on the incredible season that the Miami defense has had.

The turnover chain has become an obsession.  From a coach from Notre Dame to a knockoff by Oregon to nearly every opponent over the last few weeks taking verbal swipes at the chain.

Virginia was the latest of the Miami opponents to troll the Hurricanes. After three straight weeks of forcing four turnovers, the Miami Hurricanes continued the parade against Virginia. The Cavaliers mocked Miami by using a towel after a first-half turnover. Miami got the last laugh by forcing three turnovers against UVA.

Virginia wide receiver Joe Reed doubted Miami’s ability to force turnovers without the chain.

Clemson is the latest team that seems to be psyched out by the turnover chain. Even the two time defending ACC Champion and defending national champion Tigers seem to be preoccupied with the turnover chain. Clemson defensive end Austin Bryant commented on the Miami Hurricanes bling earlier this week.

"“It doesn’t really matter to us. It’s cool that they have it. It helps them play well, I guess. I don’t think we need anything like that around here to create turnovers or to make turnovers a priority…We make turnovers a priority every week… That’s something that we harp on around here, but we just don’t have the flash of the chain on Saturdays.”"

Earlier this month, Miami Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz


with Sports Illustrated what effect the turnover chain has had on his team and opponents.

"“It sort of puts blood in the water, and maybe it’s planting a seed in the other team’s minds.”"

Diaz discussed the power of the turnover chain with the Palm Beach Post earlier this month.

"“There’s no doubt it does seem it does have an effect that, for whatever reason, when we get the first one, the second one is not going to be far off…And it feels almost it has a similar effect in a negative way to the other team.”"

The key for the Hurricanes against Clemson will be to get off to a good start. If they can get an early turnover it will give the Hurricanes some early momentum. Head Coach Mark Richt discussed the importance of big plays to momentum during his weekly appearance on the Joe Rose show on Monday.

"“Any game it helps to have something to get excited about…In the course of any game when you are making plays you create more energy…More of an execution issue than anything else”"

The majority of pundits are expecting Miami to lose to the Tigers. setting the tone early, specifically with a turnover can help put more pressure on Clemson. The Tigers recent success have created pressure and expectations that they make the playoff every year.

Next: Can one loss Miami Hurricanes make College Football Playoff

A few turnovers and some big plays should be able to create enough doubt in the minds of the Tigers to put more pressure on them than they already have.