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HTS 2018: Miami

The U is back...up in Atlanta, like they are every other year.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Miami
Might as well jump.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to From the Rumble Seat’s weekly historical matchup lecture. Throughout the season, each unit in this class will examine the head-to-head matchups of our opponents in the 2018 season. This week we welcome the polite and well-mannered Miami Hurricanes to the Flats.

Miami Hurricanes

Opponent Background:

  • Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference (2004 - present)
  • Location: Miami, Florida
  • All-time Record: 628–355–19 (.636)
  • Home Stadium: Hard Rock Stadium (Capacity: 65,326)
  • National Championships: 5 - 1983, 1987, 1989, 1991, 2001
  • College Football Playoff Appearances: N/A
  • New Year’s Six Bowl Games: 23 (Orange: 10 - 1939, 1946, 1951, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1995, 2004, 2017 Peach: 3 - 1981, 2004, 2005 Fiesta: 4 - 1985, 1987, 1994, 2003 Sugar: 4 - 1986, 1990, 1993, 2001 Cotton: 1 - 1991 Rose: 1 - 2002)
  • Conference Championships: 9 — (Big East: 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003)
  • Division Championships: 1 — 2017
  • 2017 Season Record: 10 - 3 (7 - 1 ACC)

Past Results:

  • Team Head-to-Head Record: 11-12-0 (.478)
  • Recent Meetings:
    2014 - 28-17 Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA)
    2015 - 38-21 Miami (Miami Gardens, FL)
    2016 - 35-21 Miami (Atlanta, GA)
    2017 - 25-24 Miami (Miami Gardens, FL)
  • Coach Head-to-Head Record: 2-7-0 (.222)
  • Tech record against Miami in this week’s venue: 9-5-0 (.643)

2018 Football Schedule

Date Time (if known) Opponent Conference Historical Record Venue Result Notes
Date Time (if known) Opponent Conference Historical Record Venue Result Notes
September 1 12:30 p.m. Alcorn State Southwestern Athletic 2-0-0 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 41 - 0 W FCS
September 8 12:00 p.m. @ South Florida American Athletic 0-1-0 Raymond James Stadium - Tampa, FL 38 - 49 L First Meeting, Group of Five
September 15 12:30 p.m. @ Pittsburgh Atlantic Coast 5-8-0 Heinz Field - Pittsburgh, PA 19 - 24 L
September 22 3:30 p.m. Clemson Atlantic Coast 50-31-2 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 21 - 49 L Rivalry, Hall of Fame Day
September 29 12:00 p.m. Bowling Green Mid-American 1-0-0 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 63 - 17 W First Meeting, Family Weekend, Group of Five
October 5 7:00 p.m. @ Louisville Atlantic Coast 1-0-0 Cardinal Stadium - Louisville, KY 66 - 31 W First Meeting
October 13 12:20 p.m. Duke Atlantic Coast 51-34-1 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 14 - 28 L Homecoming
October 25 7:30 p.m. @ VPISU Atlantic Coast 7-9-0 Lane Stadium - Blacksburg, VA 49 - 28 W Rivalry
November 3 12:15 p.m. @ North Carolina Atlantic Coast 30-21-3 Kenan Memorial Stadium - Chapel Hill, NC 38 - 28 W
November 10 7:00 p.m. Miami Atlantic Coast 12-12-0 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 27 - 21 W Whiteout
November 17 3:30 p.m. Virginia Atlantic Coast 21-19-1 Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA 30 - 27 W (OT) Senior Day
November 24 12:00 p.m. @ u[sic]ga Southeastern 44-67-5 Sanford Stadium - Athens, GA 45 - 21 L Rivalry
December 26 5:15 p.m. vs. Minnesota Big Ten 0-0-0 Ford Field - Detroit, MI - First Meeting

Historic Tech Whiteouts:

Here’s a little bonus before we get to the matchup history. From what I could find, the whiteouts started as a somewhat hodge-podge response to the first blackout game in Athens. Since then, they have cropped up annually, with mixed success.

2008: I presumed it would have been the Miracle on North Avenue. It wasn’t.
TECH 41 – #23 Miami 23
2009: Clemson scores their first touchdown in Atlanta since 2003, but Tech gets the win.
#14 TECH 30 – Clemson 27
2010: North Carolina State chooses to wear white uniforms, so we wore gold to our own whiteout, and got whacked.
NC State 45 – TECH 28
2011: No. 10 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University wrecks Tech.
#10 VPISU 37 – #20 TECH 26
2012: Miami Hurricanes rain on our parade.
Miami 42 – TECH 36
2013: “I like losing to Virginia Tech on national TV” – definitely not Paul Johnson, but that made it two of the past three years and four whiteouts in a row.
VPISU 17 – TECH 10
2014: First win against the U at home since the first whiteout.
TECH 28 – Miami 17
2015: What a time to be alive!
TECH 22 – Florida State 16
2016: Thursday night, national television, defending ACC Champs. Ouch.
#5 Clemson 26 – TECH 7
2017: Coming back from a double-digit deficit? Yeah, that was the “unofficial” homecoming whiteout against Wake Forest. In the real one, Tech played North Carolina on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
TECH 33, North Carolina 7

We Played Miami Last Year?

Miami’s first football season was in 1926, when they fielded just a freshman team. That team played eight games and won each one, including two against the University of Havana. For its first two varsity seasons, it was an independent and played solely home games. When it joined the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1929, most of the big name teams had already begun to splinter off. In 1932, they hosted the first Palm Festival, which later became the Orange Bowl, defeating Manhattan College. In 1937, the Hurricanes moved out of University Stadium and into Burdine Municipal Stadium, which later became more famously known as the Miami Orange Bowl. Miami saw success mixed with recruiting violations and lower points for a while. The 1970s, though, proved to be the nadir of the program. Year after year of dwindling win totals and attendance numbers proved too much for even a talented coach like Lou Saban to fix, and he left town for Army when his players threw a guy into a lake. Perhaps, though, on the edge of dropping down a division or even eliminating the team all together, this was the best thing that ever happened to Miami, as they were convinced to give football one last shot and rolled the dice on a man lacking any college head coaching experience, a man named Howard Schnellenberger. The rest, they say, is history, for better or for worse.

Within five years, Miami had its first national championship, after Nebraska’s Tom Osbourne rolled the dice in the 1984 Orange Bowl and decided to play for the win. In what was literally a home game for the Hurricanes, they were able to upset the unbeaten Cornhuskers for the 31-30 win. Unlike at Louisville, here Schnellenberger actually lived up to his promises. He promptly left for the USFL shortly after. The next season, the first of Jimmy Johnson’s tenure, saw Miami regress to 8-5, including being on the losing end of the “Hail Flutie” play in the final game of the regular season. This was the year that, regrettably, saw the invention of the U hand signal as well. They won another championship with Johnson at the helm, and cultivated a thug vibe that pervades their school even today, to some extent. The final season with Johnson saw the first edition of Catholics vs. Convicts, yet another memorable game, and one that cemented the idea of Miami as a ruthless band of ne’er-do-wells.

Miami took two more national titles in Dennis Erickson’s first three seasons, and also joined the Big East Conference. In the meantime, though, Miami’s reputation for skullduggery and rambunctious, obnoxious antics reached new highs, with Notre Dame refusing to continue the rivalry and a Boston Globe writer deeming the nine unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and personal fouls “the most disgusting thing [he’d] ever seen in college sports.” the “Miami Rule” was instated to reward belligerent or egregious behavior with a fifteen yard penalty. After that, though, was a slide to normalcy in the Butch Davis years. However, the Hurricanes responded to his departure by immediately winning their fifth and final national title in 2001. Since then, they’ve joined the Atlantic Coast Conference and won one division title in a division quite literally designed for them to win and face Florida State every year. Meanwhile, some nerds up in Atlanta and a Polytechnic Institute from Blacksburg have done locked up that crown the vast majority of the past decade and a half.

In one of the great tragedies of the modern sport, the Hurricanes moved out to what is now known as Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens following the 2007 season. This meant the iconic stadium would be torn down, and the team has suffered as a somewhat lost and disconnected shell of its former self for some time. Its attendance is much lower, the stadium is much harder for students to get to, and, frankly, the atmosphere just isn’t the same in Miami Gardens. But, since Marlins Park now stands on the site of the former Orange Bowl, there’s no going back. This is who the Hurricanes are now. And on Saturday, in a city where we only tear down some of our historic sports monuments (R.I.P. Ponce de Leon Park, the Georgia Dome, et cetera, but nice to still see you, Centennial Olympic Stadium) they visit an actual college football stadium. What a nice change.

As far as Tech football history goes, From the Rumble Seat has been taking a biweekly look at football history since the beginning of the summer over at Rearview Mirror. And it hasn’t changed much since last week. The short version is that Tech football began ignominiously with a middling season in 1892. A game up in Athens in 1893, which Tech won, set the stage for one of the fiercest rivalries in the sport and also is one of the mythic origins of the Ramblin’ Wreck nickname, as well as how Tech got its colors. Tech was pitiful, to put it nicely, for quite some time until one man, Frank Turner, started an initiative to hire a bonafide legend as a football coach. That resulted in John Heisman. Heisman, innovator and champion, saw much success on the Flats until he dramatically left town as part of his divorce. The old man was replaced by William Alexander, who was known for his team’s strong academics and his own 1928 national championship. Coach Alex was, in turn, replaced by his own protege Bobby Dodd. By the end of Dodd’s tenure, Tech had amassed three national championships, twelve conference championships, including five in the Southeastern Conference, which just mean more, and had decided to go independent to make a stand not only for its football prominence, but its foundational academic principles as well. Dodd and Tech would not sacrifice student-athlete education and well-being. The independent years were lean for Tech and did not result in the dream of a “Notre Dame of the South” status. Eventually, Tech joined the Atlantic Coast Conference in the beginning of the 1980s. By the end of the decade, coach Bobby Ross brought the Jackets seemingly from nowhere to win a national championship, Tech’s fourth. Since then, the Jackets have seen average-to-great years, the most recent excellent year being 2014, when Tech was a few plays from the inaugural College Football Playoff. The Jackets have an all-time record of 724-491-43.

Tech and Miami have played a grand total of twenty three times. The Jackets dominated the series early, going 6-2 over a forty year span to close the 20th century. In the dawn of the new millennium, the two teams squared off in the Gator Bowl, a 28-13 Miami victory. Every matchup since then has come as rivals in the ACC Coastal Division. There have been almost a decade and a half of matchups now in that time, and most are pedestrian. The Jackets have lost seven of the last eight to the Hurricanes, with the lone win in that span coming in the 2014 whiteout game on the Flats, though the last two games were quite close. The Jackets look to bottle up a little of that “Time to Turn the Yellow Jackets Loose” magic and set it free tomorrow evening as the Hurricanes return for that annual showdown.

The Jackets took their third straight road win last week, defeating the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tar Heels, before returning to the friendly confines of home to square off against the Miami Hurricanes (11-12-0 all time) Saturday at 7:00 pm. The game will be aired on the Worldwide Second Place of Sports, ESPN2, and can be heard over the radio in the usual suspects, 680 AM / 93.7 FM and the Georgia Tech Football Radio Network.

With the appearance of the historical matchup preview, that means it’s Friday at 10:00 AM. Tune in early tomorrow for How to Watch continuing through the gameday thread and the postgame recap. Less than 36 hours until toe meets leather! As always, go Jackets!