Hello again, Canes fans. We’re back for another GameThread as your UNDEFEATED Miami Hurricanes look to continue their strong season.
Today, the Miami Hurricanes return home to Hard Rock Stadium to take on the Syracuse Orange at 3:30pm on ESPN.
Here’s our Game Preview by Stefan Adams.
Here’s our Opponent Q&A by Cam Underwood.
Here’s the other side of that Q&A (my answers to their questions) over on Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician
Here’s our X’s and O’s Scheme Preview by Justin Dottavio.
Here’s our Matchup of the Week by Matt Washington.
Here’s this week’s injury report by Cam Underwood.
Here’s our picks from around the CFB world for this week by John Pickens.
Here’s a tailgating guide for this week from Donovan Hutchins.
Here’s a look at the season stats coming into today’s game:
Additional Game Notes from Miami Athletics:
#8/#7 MIAMI HOST SYRACUSE LOOKING TO EXTEND WIN STREAK
• #8/#7 Miami (5-0, 3-0 ACC) will be looking for its 10th straight win on Sat., Oct. 21 when it takes on ACC Atlantic foe Syracuse (4-3, 2-1 ACC) at Hard Rock Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 PM.
• Though the two teams have not met since 2003, Miami is looking to extend a run of dominance against the Orange; UM has won the last five meetings dating to 1999 and 11 of 13 since 1990.
• Both Miami (1991-2003) and Syracuse (1979-2013) were former members of the BIG EAST.
• The Hurricanes are looking to start a perfect 4-0 in ACC play for the first time in program history.
• The other three years where Miami has started ACC play 3-0 were 2004, 2012 and 2013.
• The Hurricanes' current 10-game winning streak is their longest since 2003-2004 and the second-longest winning streak at the FBS level nationwide, trailing only South Florida (11).
• Celebrating the 30th Anniversary year of the 12-0 "perfect season" that culminated in the Orange Bowl Classic with a 20-14 victory over Oklahoma and the 1987 National Championship, more than 60 players, coaches and staff from the 1987 team return to The U this weekend. The team will go "through the smoke" and be recognized at halftime of Saturday's game.
LAST TIME OUT: CARDIAC CANES CAPTURE A THRILLER OVER GT
• For the second straight week, the Hurricanes earned a victory in the game's final moments – this time on a 24-yard field goal by senior K Michael Badgley with four seconds remaining to take down Georgia Tech, 25-24. It was Miami's 10th straight win dating back to October 2016.
• Trailing 24-22 with 2:34 left, QB Malik Rosier orchestrated a 15-play, 85-yard drive that included a grab by WR Darrell Langham on a tipped pass on a 4th & 10 play to keep hope alive late.
• Facing one of the nation's top-ranked offenses in the Georgia Tech triple option, Miami outgained the Yellow Jackets 481-281. It was just the ninth time the Jackets have been outgained by 200 or more yards since 2004, and the second time by the Hurricanes in that span (2009).
• Langham finished with a career-high 100 yards on a career-high five catches, none more important than his final grab on the winning drive. He had four career catches entering Saturday.
• Making the first start of his career at running back, sophomore Travis Homer finished with a career-best 170 rushing yards and two total touchdowns on a 17-yard catch and 27-yard run.
• Homer's 170 rushing yards were the most by a Hurricane in his first start since at least 2000.
ROSIER AIMING TO IMPROVE TO 7-0 AS MIAMI'S STARTING QB
• QB Malik Rosier will be making the seventh start of his career and fourth home start when he lines up versus Syracuse on Oct. 21. He has a career mark of 3-0 both at home and on the road.
• Rosier became the first Hurricane starting QB to open his career with a 6-0 record since Brock Berlin did so in 2003. He is fifth in the ACC in passing efficiency (146.1) with 12 TDs & three picks.
• In his career at home as a starting QB, Rosier has completed 67 of 101 passes (66.3 percent) with seven TD passes and just one interception. He has added 72 rushing yards and one TD at home.
• Rosier's only start prior to 2017 came on Oct. 31, 2015, when he played in place of injured Brad Kaaya in a 30-27 win at Duke. Rosier finished 20-for-29 for 272 yards with two touchdowns.
• Rosier was announced as Miami’s starting quarterback by head coach Mark Richt on Aug. 22 during the final week of Hurricanes fall camp, winning a four-man quarterback race for the job.
BERRIOS BALLING IN FINAL SEASON AT THE U
• Senior WR Braxton Berrios has been one of Miami’s top offensive threats in the first five games of 2017, and leads all players with 24 receptions, 326 yards and five touchdowns in five starts.
• Berrios' stat line in 2017 either matches or exceeds his combined stat line from the past two years (2015-16), when he totaled three starts, 24 catches, 264 yards and two TDs in 24 games.
• Last time out on Oct. 14 against Georgia Tech, Berrios caught a game-high six balls for 44 yards
• Berrios came up big against Florida State, on Oct. 7, starting and hauling in a career-high eight receptions for 90 yards with two scores. He was named ACC Receiver of the Week on Oct. 9.
• Berrios caught two passes for first downs on the game-winning drive against the Seminoles.
• It was the first career weekly ACC honor for Berrios and the first for a Hurricane this season.
• Berrios posted his first career 100-yard receiving game in a win over Toledo on Sept. 23, catching five passes, including a career-long 55-yarder, for 105 yards with one receiving score.
• Berrios became the first Hurricane since legendary WR Reggie Wayne in 2000 to record a touchdown catch in each of his first four games of the season. Berrios’ two-touchdown performance against Florida State on Oct. 7 was the first multi-score game of his career at UM.
• Berrios' streak of a touchdown catch in five straight games ended Oct. 14 vs. Georgia Tech. It started in a win over West Virginia in the 2016 Russell Athletic Bowl, and was the longest such streak for a Hurricane pass-catcher since WR Leonard Hankerson in 2010.
TEN IN A ROW
• The Miami Hurricanes have won 10 games in a row dating back to Nov. 5, 2016, and have not lost since a 27-30 defeat at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. on Oct. 29, 2016. The 10-game winning streak is the second-longest nationwide at the FBS level (South Florida - 11).
• The 10-game winning streak is the longest for UM since 2003-04 (Nov. 15, 2003 - Oct. 23, 2004).
• UM’s average margin of victory during its current 10-game winning streak is 17.3 points.
• Since taking over, Mark Richt has guided Miami to a 14-4 record and Miami’s 14 wins have come by an average of 22.9 points. The four losses have come by an average of just 8.0 points.
• UM has not win 11 games in a row since the 2002 season (Sept. 7 - Dec. 7), when they went 12-1.
HOMER DAZZLES IN FIRST CAREER START AT RUNNING BACK
• RB Travis Homer delivered a dominant performance in the first start of his career - no running back has ever had more rushing yards in his first career start at Miami since at least 2000.
• Homer assumed starting duties when RB Mark Walton suffered a season-ending injury Oct. 7.
• The Palm Beach native became the eighth Miami tailback to have recorded a 100-yard game in his first career start since 2000, and the fourth to do it in an Atlantic Coast Conference game.
• Homer recorded the first career receiving touchdown of his career on an impressive display of athleticism with less than a minute before halftime, stretching for the pylon and sneaking in.
• Homer's performance was just the 22nd game of 170 yards or more by a Miami back since 1980.
UM A TOP-TEN TEAM FOR SECOND STRAIGHT SEASON UNDER RICHT
• Miami jumped three spots in both the Associated Press (No. 11 to No. 8) and Amway Coaches Poll (No. 10 to No. 7) to rank in the top 10 of both polls for the second straight year under Mark Richt.
• Miami was ranked No. 10 in both the AP and Coaches Polls on Oct. 2, 2016 after starting 4-0.
• The Hurricanes' rankings are their highest since checking in at No. 7 / No. 6 on Oct. 27, 2013.
CLOSING IT OUT: MIAMI DOMINATING IN SECOND HALVES AGAIN
• Since Mark Richt's arrival as head coach, Miami has outscored its opponents in the second half in 15 of 18 games, including 11 straight games dating to Oct. 29, 2016 (+10, at Notre Dame).
• Miami has a second-half point differential of +197 in 18 games under Richt, good for an average of 10.9 points in the half. The Canes have lost the second-half point battle just twice under Richt.
• Miami's only two games on the wrong end of second-half scoring came against Florida State (-11) and at Virginia Tech (-14) in 2016. Miami and Georgia Tech finished with an even 7-7 half in 2016.
• The Hurricanes have outscored opponents 345-148 in the second half in 18 games under Richt, and have held an opponent to 10 points or fewer in the second half in 14 of 18 games.
DIAZ, DEFENSE DELIVER DOMINANT DISPLAY VS. YELLOW JACKETS
• Georgia Tech entered the Sat., Oct. 14 matchup at Hard Rock Stadium ranked sixth nationwide in total defense (260 yards per game) and 20th nationwide in total offense (479.3 yards per game).
• The Hurricanes outgained the Yellow Jackets 481-281 in the 25-24 win, marking just the ninth time Georgia Tech has been outgained by 200 or more yards since the 2004 season.
• Coordinator Manny Diaz & Miami held Tech to just 226 rushing yards - 170 below its season average.
• The Hurricanes defense posted 7.0 tackles for loss totaling 24 yards and finished with two sacks of Georgia Tech QB TaQuon Marshall in the victory. Marshall threw for just 55 yards in the loss.
• DB Jaquan Johnson tied LB Shaq Quarterman for the team lead in tackles vs. GT with eight.
WHO’S ROCKING THE TURNOVER CHAIN?
• The University of Miami “turnover chain” made its debut Sept. 2 against Bethune-Cookman, when sophomore DB Malek Young was rewarded for his interception with an oversized sparkling “U” chain on the sidelines at Hard Rock Stadium.
• Miami has recorded seven turnovers on defense so far, and eight different student-athletes have worn the chain: Young, DB Amari Carter (forced fumble vs. Bethune-Cookman), DL Ryan Fines (recovered fumble vs. Bethune-Cookman), DB Sheldrick Redwine (recovered fumble vs. Toledo), LB Michael Pinckney (interception vs. Duke), DL Pat Bethel (forced fumble and fumble recovery vs. Duke), DB Michael Jackson (interception vs. Florida State), DB Dee Delaney (interception vs. Florida State) and LB Shaquille Quarterman (fumble recovery vs. Georgia Tech).
• The chain, which was the brainchild of Miami’s defensive staff in an effort to reward players for creating turnovers, has since inspired an adidas-designed t-shirt and been the source of viral social media posts since making its debut on Sept. 2.
• Is it the chain? Miami is tied for second in the ACC with a turnover margin of +5 (1.00 / game).
• Senior K Michael Badgley, who earned third-team All-ACC honors for the second straight year in 2016, has enjoyed a strong start to 2017, going 9-for-10 on field goals and 20-for-20 on PATs.
• Badgley connected on a game-winning field goal with four seconds remaining last time out against Georgia Tech (Oct. 14), his fourth of the game. He totaled 13 points against the Jackets.
• Badgley, who was named to the preseason watch list for the Lou Groza Award, ranks second in Miami history in career made field goals (69). He hit a Miami-record 25 field goals in 2015.
• Badgley needs just four field goals to tie Carlos Huerta’s (1988-91) Miami career record of 73.
• Badgley 352 career points are the second-most in UM history; Huerta (397) owns the UM record.
• Badgley’s lone miss this season came on a season-long 53-yard attempt vs. Duke (Sept. 29).
RICHT OFF TO SIZZLING START IN COACHING CAREER AT ALMA MATER
• Head coach Mark Richt's 14-4 start to his head coaching career at Miami is the third-best mark through 18 games in the modern era of Miami Hurricanes football (since 1979).
Head Coaching Record at Miami Through First 18 Games:
• Howard Schnellenberger (1979-1980) - 9-9
• Jimmy Johnson (1984-1985) - 12-6
• Dennis Erickson (1989-1990) - 15-3
• Butch Davis (1995-1996) - 13-5
• Larry Coker (2001-2002) - 18-0
• Randy Shannon (2007-2008) - 8-10
• Al Golden (2011-2012) - 10-8
• Mark Richt (2016-17) - 14-4
#TIGHTENDU TRADITION ALIVE AND WELL
• The Hurricanes were expecting a big year from senior tight end Christopher Herndon IV, and he has delivered so far, including a career-high eight catches for 65 yards and a TD versus Toledo.
• The Georgia native, who has started all five games this year, ranks second on the team with 18 receptions totaling 175 yards. He had five catches for 41 yards last time out vs. Georgia Tech.
• Herndon hauled in 28 receptions for 334 yards and two touchdowns as a junior a season ago.
• In 34 career games, Herndon has made 20 career starts and totaled 64 receptions, 746 yards and four touchdowns. He started 12 of 13 games in 2016, when he set career marks in every category.
• Sophomore Michael Irvin II has added to the mix, with three catches for 39 yards in four games.
• Herndon’s tight end partner last season, David Njoku, was selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns (No. 29 overall). Njoku has three TDs with Cleveland already.
• Njoku became the fifth Hurricane tight end drafted in the first round since 2000, joining Bubba Franks (2000), Jeremy Shockey (2002), Kellen Winslow (2004) and Greg Olsen (2007).
OFFENSE LOSES WALTON TO SEASON-ENDING INJURY VS. NOLES
• The only returning running back in the ACC who posted a 1,000-yard rushing season in 2016, RB Mark Walton was off to a sizzling start to 2017 before suffering an ankle injury at Florida State.
• Walton started and recorded 25 rushing yards against the Seminoles before what coach Mark Richt deemed a “season-ending” right ankle injury - Walton was carted off the field in Tallahassee.
• Walton was averaging 107.0 rushing yards per game through four games and 7.6 yards per carry.
• Sophomore RB Travis Homer, who has served as Walton’s backup since the first game of the season, has 377 yards on 45 carries. He is averaging 8.4 yards per carry with four touchdowns.
• Homer has caught seven passes out of the backfield for 89 yards, averaging 17.8 yards per catch. He recorded the first receiving touchdown of his career last time out against Georgia Techt (Oct. 14).
• Walton had seven receptions for 91 yards (13.0 yards per catch) at the time of his injury vs. FSU.
• Miami opened ACC play on the road for the eighth time in the past nine seasons (at Duke, Sept. 29) and with back-to-back road games for the fourth time ever and first time since 2012.
• Since joining the conference in 2004, the Hurricanes are now 8-6 all-time in ACC openers.
• When opening ACC play on the road, the Hurricanes have an all-time record of 5-4.
• Since becoming head coach, Mark Richt has led Miami to a 7-1 record in games played outside of Hard Rock Stadium, including UM's first bowl win since 2006 (2016 Russell Athletic Bowl).
• Miami's lone loss away from home under Richt came at Notre Dame on Oct. 29, 2016 (27-31).
So there you have it. All the info you need for today’s game.
Now hop in the comments and discuss the action as your Canes beat Syracuse, move to 6-0 on the year, gain bowl eligibility, and keep the season moving.