Miami and Clemson face off for the title two years after the blowout game


The songs of "Golden Fire" began in the first quarter on October 24, 2015 when Clemson took a 21-0 lead over the University of Miami on a 1-yard touchdown led by Zac Brooks. It was a sunny afternoon, 81 degrees, and the mood had turned on before the game, in the field and in the stands. A plane flew over Sun Life Stadium with a sign saying: "Our driver has the top 25 victories #FireAlGolden"

At halftime, the Hurricanes lost 42-0, and many of the fans in the announced crowd of 45,211 they had left, avoiding the rest of the 58-0 beating, the worst defeat in Miami's 90-year history and the Tigres' biggest win in a century.

How bad was it? The Tigers did not immediately go to the locker room at halftime, but chose to chop orange slices in the field.

"They hit me from top to bottom," Golden said, as he left the gloomy UM dressing room that day. . "They beat us, they beat us, I just told the team that it's completely my responsibility not to prepare them to play, they hit us deeply in every facet of the game, period."

A day later, Golden was fired. Tight head coach Larry Scott was named interim coach and led the Canes to four wins in the remaining five games. Mark Richt was hired as head coach for a lot of fanfare on December 2, 2015. Two years later, to this day, the seventh hurricanes (10-1) will face Clemson (11-1) in the ACC Championship. Game in Charlotte, North Carolina: a high profile game with national implications in the title.

It is the first trip of Miami to the championship of the conference. Although the UM payroll has players who were there for the 58-0 fiasco, the pbadionate, confident and dynamic team of the rotation chain that will line up on Saturday is hardly recognizable by the uninspired group that got rid of the Tigers. two years.

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Hurricane head coach, Al Golden, after the University of Miami lost Clemson 58-0 at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday, October 24, 2015.

AL DIAZ [email protected]

According to UM coaches and players who were there that The sad day, the minutes, the hours and the days that followed that defeat forced the Hurricanes to look for souls, to recommit themselves to each other and to start having fun again.

"Obviously, it was the lowest point in which You could be as proud and rich in tradition as Miami to be defeated in this way, at home, "said Scott, now the offensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee." Then, his pride is hurt, his ego is hurt, his confidence shaken. And then, so that the training changes on Sunday, and then on Monday the death of [cornerback] Artie Burns' mother, who was very close to the players, was very hard on these young men and they needed guidance.

According to UM coaches and players who were there that sad day, the overwhelming minutes, hours and days that followed that loss forced the Hurricanes to search for souls, re-engage each other and start having fun again.

Scott, a powerful speaker, used the situation to teach players about life.

"I told you, this is not just about football, it's about life." In the darkest hours, it's where your true character is built and revealed. When you have your lowest of the low, what do you do? You have to fight to get out of it and get back to the core of why you even play football. You play with pbadion Play for the love of the game and the love of the people around you. We focus the team on learning how to face adversity, and we stress that not only will it make us a better football team now, but it will make us better men, better parents, better husbands.

"The way they are playing". At this time, disinterested, enjoying a good and clean fun, it can be said that they clung to those principles, and relied on them with Coach Richt, who has made great progress to put that program back where he needed, entering the address correct, and I do not think they're finished yet. "

425 Yards then kicker Justin Vogel made 10 punts, including a 73 yard carry

Green Bay Packers kicker Justin Vogel has vivid memories of that 58-0 game. it was a bright light from Hurricane on a dark day, he threw 10 shots for a total of 425 yards, including a 73-yard run that he imposed on the Tigers on his 1-yard line in the middle of the second quarter.

"Unfortunately, I played really well that day, but you never want your player to be the highlight of the game, "Vogel said." I had that 73-yard punt, but it was bittersweet. I prefer to win the game. It was really hard for all the guys because they all came from really good high school teams, so most of the people had never experienced a loss like that before. We got together and decided not to let that happen again. We start playing loose, with more confidence, and you can still see that energy in the team now. "

Former UM cornerback Corn Elder, now with the Charlotte Panthers, plans to be in Saturday's game." Definitely I'll be there, it's a great game and I'm very happy that it's in Charlotte, "Elder said." Clemson is a great team, but I think the Miami guys will come out on fire. "

That was shameful, terrible, We were beaten in everything, offensive, defense, special teams, everything, after the game, we were very depressed, we did not want to see anyone.

Corn Elder, former UM cornerback

Elder expects the The game is very different from the one two years ago

"That was shameful, terrible, the worst," he said. "They beat us in everything." Offensive, defense, special teams, everything After the game, we were very depressed, We did not want to see anyone, but we are a brotherhood, and we had to keep going and did not let Let that feeling remain. I definitely think that the mood in the team changed after that loss. The talent was always present, so I'm not surprised by what they're doing. "

Minnesota Vikings catcher Stacy Coley said the seeds for this season's success were planted in those days after the 58-game loss. 0 before Clemson, 19659002] "That game was so embarrbading, we disappointed all the alumni, and everything changed after that," Coley said. "Coach Golden was fired, Larry Scott told us to have fun and play for ourselves. , and we start to win. Miami always had talent and was built from adversity. "

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Miami Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier (12) set to pbad in the third quarter while the University of Miami receives Clemson in Sun Life Stadium on Saturday, October 24, 2015.

AL DIAZ [email protected]

Among the many bad memories of unified messaging of the loss came early in the second quarter when Field Marshal Brad Kaaya He was hit hard and left the game with concussion symptoms Malik Rosier entered the 7-for-22 for 42 yards with two interceptions.

"To a certain extent, Yes, with that game going on, coach Richt was hired and put us where we are now, "said Rosier. The most important thing I learned from that game is to always be prepared. Brad, it was his second year of initiation. types of games, I will not play being the backup. I think in the middle of the second quarter, Brad is down and I'm in. [19659002] "I learned that Clemson is a very fast and physical team that year, just like they are this year, so the important thing is to simply take what they give me and try to make the least amount of mistakes, because That's what they live in. They live in QBs making mistakes. "

That game was so embarrbading, we disappointed all the alumni, and everything changed after that. Coach Golden was fired, Larry Scott told us to have fun and play, and we started to win. Miami has always had talent and built from adversity.

Stacy Coley, former recipient of UM

Rosier said she has talent in this UM team and 2015 is no different.

"The difference now is only one set mind," Rosier said. "I felt that a couple of years ago, more people were worried about going to the NFL, more concerned about themselves than about the team. I think that's the biggest difference between then and now. Yes, people want to enter the league, but at the same time we are worried about getting a ring more than we are about our NFL Draft actions. "

JaQuan Johnson was a freshman in that game. , but remember the game well.

"I was able to force a loose ball, but for the most part it was just an explosion," Johnson said. "The transformation is quite simple. It is night and day. I had a different coaching staff in my first year so far in my third year. I think we are maintaining ourselves at a higher level. We are playing Miami style. "


The University of Miami presents Mark Richt, the 24th soccer coach in the history of the school, on Friday, December 4, 2015.

Walter Michot [email protected]

Clemson's coach, Dabo Swinney, agrees.

"Night and day," he replied, asking to compare the UM teams of 2015 and 2017. "The Last time we played them, I had a lot of talent, but just for whatever reason that day, everything was as we wanted … Give Mark a lot of credit. He has come and has really made everyone have a clear identity. They are playing with a lot of energy. They look like Miami. When you think of Miami, a certain image appears in your head, and that's what they look like.

"It's been a great year for them, and we know it's going to be a big challenge for us, but that's the way it should be when you get into a championship game, it should be good-in-good, and that's what you have "

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