MIAMI (CBSMiami)- The Miami Hurricanes and Notre Dame Fighting Irish had a bitter, heated rivalry in the 1980’s. “Catholics vs. Convicts” is a a term that will live on for generations to come.
Even though none of the current Hurricanes players are old enough to have lived through the golden era of Miami vs. Notre Dame football, they are very aware of the history.
Hurricanes senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios joined the Joe Rose Show on 560 WQAM to discuss 7th ranked Miami’s upcoming clash with Number 3 Notre Dame.
“Honestly, I don’t know how you can be part of this program without knowing the history of this game and this rivalry,” said Berrios. “Everybody in the building, at least the ones I talk to, understand exactly what’s on the line. They understand who [the Fighting Irish] are and why we hate each other so bad. We understand that nobody can bring up Notre Dame vs. Miami without bringing up ‘Catholics vs. Convicts’ first.”
“This is why you come to Miami, to play these games,” Berrios added. “And this is why you become a Miami fan.”
Rose asked Berrios if Hurricanes players have a problem with being painted as the bad guy in the Notre Dame rivalry.
“We like it,” proclaimed Berrios. “Who wants to be the good guys of football? Miami has that history and tradition and that aura around them. Regardless of how we act and how we play for the next ten years, we’ll always be looked at in that light. We don’t care to change that. We’re not here campaigning for people to look at us in a brighter light.”
Berrios, a straight-A student and one of thirteen finalists for the William V. Campbell Trophy – known as the “Academic Heisman” – takes no issue with Miami’s reputation, even if it’s not earned by the current roster. Although Miami’s current crop has managed to stay out of trouble and do great work in the community, they’ve still managed to recreate some of the old school “swagger.”
The famed ‘turnover chain,’ awarded on the sidelines to every player who catches an interception or recovers a fumble, has become a viral sensation. Miami leads the ACC with 19 turnovers though 8 games, and the chain has clearly added to the aura of Hurricanes Football.
“I think it’s the coolest thing in college football,” said Berrios. He then added, perhaps jokingly but perhaps not, that he’s trying to figure out a way he can earn the chain on special teams or offense. “I’m jealous,” said Berrios of the defense. “I’m thinking of a way I can get it before I leave. Maybe, god forbid, if we give up a turnover and they start to return it, that’s an opportunity for me to get it back.”
Braxton’s quest for the turnover chain continues this Saturday, and so does the classic rivalry between Miami and Notre Dame.
The game has heavy College Football Playoff implications. The Hurricanes will likely crack the coveted top 4 with a victory. Whoever loses could find themselves out of the playoff picture completely.
“We just have to stay focused,” Berrios said. “We can’t let the moment be bigger than us. At the end of the day, it’s still college football, and it’s something we have to mentally prepare for all week.”
Kickoff for Number 3 Notre Dame and Number 7 Miami is set for 8:00 PM this Saturday, November 11th from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. You can listen to the game on 560 WQAM and KISS 99-9.
You can listen to the full interview with Braxton Berrios on The Joe Rose Show above.