No. 3 Miami faces Virginia without added fire

From FOX Sports - November 14, 2017

Notre Dame defensive coordinator Mike Elko used some rather profane words addressing Miamis turnover chain in a pregame diatribe in an attempt to fire up the Irish last week.

They can have the chain, he is caught saying on a video that made it to Twitter. Were getting a (bleeping) ring.

That didnt turn out so well for the then-No. 3 Irish, however. No ring will be coming their way following the 41-8 beatdown the Hurricanes delivered before a packed house at the Hard Rock Stadium and a national television audience.

The Hurricanes are now the No. 3 team in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Miami coach Mark Richt said he wasnt aware of Elkos tirade before the game, so it couldnt have been used to add fire to the Hurricanes emotions. But Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall apparently is taking no chances.

Asked this week about the chain, a 36-inch string of 14-karat gold that is the brain child of Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and recognizes any of his players who comes up with a defensive turnover, Mendenhall was more subdued.

I think its really cool, said Mendenhall, whose Cavaliers take on Miami Saturday afternoon. College football istheres an element of youthfulness and fun that sometimes is lost with the pressure and the polls and the salaries and scrutiny and the entertainment version of whether youve had a good game or a bad game.

And so to have kind of a thread of excitement and culture that I think the players like and certainly their fans have gotten behind, I think its really cool.

Mendenhall said he didnt see the chain until after the Cavaliers game with Louisville last week, a 38-21 loss that officially eliminated any chance that the Cavaliers (6-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) had at getting a piece of the ACC Coastal Division crown.

After our game, Miami-Notre Dame, I saw some of it on my phone when we were coming back, he said. I didnt watch the whole thing, but that was my exposure to the chain, and I thought it was fun.

There were plenty of opportunities for the chain to be on display. The Hurricanes (9-0, 6-0 ACC) came up with three interceptions and a strip sack and fumble recovery to turn the Irish over four times for the night. That gave them eight takeaways in their last two games and 24 for the season, good for a tie for fourth-most in the country.


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