CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WSVN) – The MIami Hurricanes will arrive in Charlotte, Friday, for Saturday’s ACC Championship matchup — and a College Football Playoff birth may be on the line.
Hurricanes Head Coach Mark Richt has his eyes on winning what would be the school’s first conference championship, but it would have to be done against the number-one ranked Clemson Tigers.
On Thursday night, people gathered to partake in pre-ACC Championship festivities. ACC mascots, including UM’s Sebastian the Ibis, donned fans with a Turnover Chain of their own.
“They walk so proud every time they get the turnover,” said a woman. “They go to the sideline and get their Turnover Chain and look at the camera!”
As for the players, they’re a bit more focused on the prize at hand: becoming conference champions and possibly getting into the Playoffs. “It means a lot to this team, to the university, to this program and everybody in the building,” said Hurricanes wide receiver Braxton Berrios. “Even our fans that, for the first time in our history, will be in an ACC Championship game.”
Richt, ACC’s Coach of the Year, said his team knows how much this game means for everyone involved. “They understand the magnitude of the game,” he said. “In my experiences, you don’t have to do a lot of motivating in a game like this. You just gotta teach and make sure everyone knows what to do.”
At the University of Georgia, Richt won two ACC championships.
The Hurricanes come into Saturday’s game ranked seventh in the Playoff poll and nine-and-a-half point underdogs.
On the other side, Clemson players remember their 58-0 rout against the Hurricanes in 2015. Those old memories still linger in the minds of Hurricanes like offensive lineman K.C. McDermott.
“Definitely something I’m not forgetting,” said McDermott. “That’s definitely in the back of our minds.”
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