It took the Miami Hurricanes 13 years to get to the ACC title game. The beat goes on next stop the Orange Bowl.
Back to the ACC title game for a moment. Kelly Bryant is who the Hurricanes are slowly erasing out of their psyche. Bryant ran for a touchdown, threw for another and passed for 252 yards to help the number one ranked Tigers get atop the College Football Playoff poll with a 38-3 victory over No. 7 Miami.
Miami has now lost to Clemson by a combined score of 96-3 in their past two meetings.
“Well congratulations to Clemson, they thoroughly whipped us,” Hurricanes head coach Mark Richt stated.
Bryant set a championship game record by completing his first 15 passes eclipsing the mark held by a teammate named Deshaun Watson from two years ago.
30,000 fans were in attendance in Charlotte wearing the orange and green in support. Hurricanes dropped to 10th in the final playoff pole.
“The U” is not back. However, they have leaped further than expected. This Hurricanes team won the ACC coastal division as predicted. Defeating the Florida State Seminoles on the road, immense back-to-back wins over Virginia Tech and rival Notre Dame on primetime stages.
Also, winning ten games with a trip to the ACC championship for the first time where they played a Clemson defense who dominates everyone. For the U to be back, it will take more than two seasons. The lesson is Clemson is the measuring stick.
“We are not there yet. We have some more recruiting to do. We have some more developing to do,” Richt indicated. “We have some guys who can play against anybody in America, but I don’t know if we have enough of those guys yet.”
The Orange Bowl, one of the New Year’s six bowls is the final destination for the season.
Hurricanes are the first team in 40 years to go to Orange Bowl on a two-game losing streak. Their opponent, the Wisconsin Badgers out of the Big Ten conference. Miami is the designated home team, literally with the game being played at Hard Rock Stadium.
“It is going to be somewhat of a home game for us,” Richt added. “It is our home stadium. Our fans have been phenomenal all year long. It will be a great ball game. And great atmosphere for college football.”
Miami is heading to the Orange Bowl for the first time in 14 years and is 7-0 at home. Wisconsin is making its Orange Bowl debut.
The first team to score the most touchdowns wins. The will be a defensive battle all game. Wisconsin has the top-ranked defense in the country and Miami isn’t bad themselves, allowing just 4.77 yards per play. And while Miami may be a bit behind when it comes to allowing yardage, the Hurricanes have forced 29 turnovers and lead the country in turnover margin.
Combine that with Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook’s tendency to turn the ball over and the absence of three of Miami’s most prominent offensive weapons, and you can easily see why I think this will be a defensive struggle.
Repeat after me, turnover chain, turnover chain, and turnover chain.