CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) – Saturday night the No. 7 University of Miami Hurricanes football team will play its biggest game in more than a decade.
The undefeated Canes will meet the No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Hard Rock Stadium.
It’s the renewal of a rivalry that was once considered among the best in college football.
The current crop of Hurricanes players got some advice on Tuesday from one of the most popular ‘Pro Canes.’
“Yea there’s absolutely a rivalry,” said Miami offensive lineman KC McDermott. “This is Miami, Notre Dame dude. They made a 30 For 30 out of this. This is a rivalry.”
It may be an old school rivalry – but this new school group of Hurricanes is well aware of the Miami Notre Dame history. In recent years, the Irish have won the last three meetings including a showdown last season in South Bend. The U is out for revenge.
“You know it’s really been a payback season to everybody that we lost to last season and we’re just working down the line,” said Miami linebacker Shaq Quarterman. “We just can’t wait to line up Saturday.”
It’s obviously a sentiment that many of the Hurricanes are feeling.
“We have to beat them,” said Miami safety Jaquan Johnson. “We have to find a way to win. That’s our mentality. We have to find a way. It’s a big rivalry and we want to win. We want ti for us – we want it for this city.”
Helping them is Hurricane great Ed Reed. Miami’s former safety is sitting in on meetings and watching practice. So far he’s impressed.
“Man these guys get after it,” Reed said of the Hurricanes defense. “They’re getting after the ball, they’re aggressive, I love that man. I love to see them communicating and that extra effort that they’re giving. You see the old Canes spirit in them.”
Reed loves the way Manny Diaz’s defense attacks the ball and dare I say a little jealous of a new tradition.
CBS4’s Mike Cugno: “Where was your turnover chain?”
Reed: “Haha I didn’t wear jewelry man… I’d wear it now though I like that. I like the competitiveness that comes with that.”
Any motivation will help – but the biggest boost this group is getting is coming from the stands. And Miami’s 12th man could be the difference maker against number 3 notre dame Saturday night in primetime.
“I got chills right now just thinking about that crowd last Saturday and I can’t wait to see what it’s like this Saturday,” McDermott said. “When we drive over that over pass to do that Hurricane Walk and we see how many cars are there – we were rocking the bus on the overpass. We need our fans there. That is something that gets us juiced and ready to go.”