CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - Students and University of Miami fans are showing off their school spirit days before the Canes take on a legendary rival.
The buzz is building in Cane Country, as a radio show is nearly underway at the Sandbar Grill, and it all has to do with a big game against Notre Dame at Hard Rock Stadium.
“It’s all about the U, baby, all about the U right now, boy! That’s how we rockin,’ boy! That’s how we do it!” yelled an excited fan.
Head Coach Marc Richt and some of his players showed up to Wednesday night’s pep rally.
“There’s no way that we could do it without your guys’ support,” said Richt.
The Hurricanes will host Notre Dame on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium.
“We’re gonna be getting after it on Saturday, and it’ll be a lot of fun,” said UM Athletic Director James Blake.
Alumni Chris Meyers is amped up. He played center for the Canes before going into the NFL.
“Being back down here right now, the energy is live,” he said. “I’m a Cane through and through. I bleed orange and green, and now my kids do. We’re watching every single Saturday. I think this rivalry is something to be spoken on in terms of college rivalries.”
The last time this rivalry game was played in South Florida was in 1989, when the Hurricanes prevailed over the Fighting Irish at the Orange Bowl.
Last year in South Bend, Indiana, Notre Dame got the best of Miami, but this year the stakes are higher.
Fresh off their win last Saturday against Virginia Tech, the Hurricanes are without a single loss and are ranked seventh in the country. Notre Dame is ranked third.
“All right, listen up, America: We’re gonna win this weekend. Notre Dame, we’re coming for you,” said a fan. “This is our moment, home territory, we ain’t playing no more games no more. You know we’re undefeated, and we’re coming for you right now!”
The momentum is building. Hurricanes football hasn’t been this relevant nationally in 15 years, and the sales back it up.
At All Canes near campus, Hurricanes gear is selling like hotcakes.
“Something we haven’t seen in a very, very long time,” said All Canes General Manager Harry Rothwell. “I mean, I’ve been here 25 years, and this week will probably go down as one of the top three or four, excluding national championship type runs.”
ESPN’s iconic “College GameDay” will be in town, too. It will be the first time the show will visit South Florida on a Saturday to preview a Hurricanes game since 2001 – the year UM football last won a national title.
Former ‘Canes linebacker and fullback D.J. Williams was on that legendary 2001 team. Now, he’s delivering hits from a fashion standpoint.
After retiring from the NFL, Williams started Dyme Lyfe, a clothing company that sells Hurricanes-branded merchandise. He sells a replica of the popular turnover chain, which ‘Canes defensive players get when they force a turnover.
“We haven’t felt this type of excitement around Miami in a very, very long time,” said Williams.
People can start gathering at the lakeside patio area on campus as early as 5 a.m. on Saturday for “College GameDay.”
The game kicks off at 8 p.m. at Hard Rock Stadium.
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