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ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME OPEN THREAD: Miami Hurricanes vs Clemson Tigers

The Miami Hurricanes play for their FIRST ACC Championship. Discuss the action.

Getty Images photo, Mike Meredith/State of the U illustration

WELCOME TO ACC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SATURDAY, CANES FANS!!!!!!

Took a bit longer than we thought it would, BUT WE HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your Coastal Division Champion #7 Miami Hurricanes (10-1) take on the Atlantic Division Champion #1 Clemson Tigers (11-1) in the Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Game this evening.

There will be PLENTY to talk about during the game, but here’s your information to get ready before you watch.

Here’s today’s uniform combo:

STORM TROOPERS!!!

Here are your captains:

Here’s our Game Preview by Stefan Adams.

Here’s our X’s and O’s Scheme Preview by Justin Dottavio.

Here’s our SOTU Staff Predictions for today with 14 contributors chiming in.

Here’s our Opponent Q&A with our SBN brothers at Shakin’ the Southland by Cam Underwood

Here’s our Matchup of the Week by Matt Washington.

Here’s our picks from around the CFB world for this week by John Pickens.

Here’s this week’s food and football tailgating guide by Donovan Hutchins

Can Malik Rosier bounce back in the ACCCG? Donovan Hutchins wonders....

The ACCCG is a test of wills according to Donovan Hutchins.

Here’s a guide to fandom and managing expectations by Evan Hadrick.

Here’s this week’s injury report by Cam Underwood

Here is a GREAT hype video for the ACCCG

And here are additional game notes from Miami Athletics:

Notables

MIAMI MAKING FIRST TRIP TO CHARLOTTE FOR ACC TITLE GAME

• ACC Coastal Division champion #7 Miami (10-1, 7-1 ACC) will take on Atlantic champion #1 Clemson on Dec. 2 in the Hurricanes' first-ever appearance in the ACC Championship Game (8 p.m., ABC).

• Miami checked in at No. 7 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings released on Nov. 28, marking its fourth straight week inside the CFP top 10. Miami had never been ranked by the CFP prior to 2017.

• With a 44-28 win over Virginia on Nov. 18, Miami clinched its first 10-win season since 2003 (11 2).

• Miami's 7-1 record in ACC play was its best in history; its previous best ACC mark was 6-2 in 2005.

• The Hurricanes opened the season with ten straight victories for the first time since the 2002 season.

• The Hurricanes dropped their season finale, 24-14, to host Pittsburgh at Heinz Field on Nov. 24.

• Before the loss to Pitt, UM had won 15 games in a row for the first time since 2001-02 (Nov. 24, 2001 - Dec. 7, 2002). UM's last loss before Pitt came more than a year ago at Notre Dame (Oct. 29, 2016).

• With a win over Virginia on Nov. 18, UM closed out a perfect home slate for the first time since 2002.

LAST TIME OUT: CANES DROPS FIRST GAME OF SEASON, 24-14, TO PITT

• The Hurricanes dropped a game for the first time in over a year last time out, falling to Pittsburgh at Heinz Field, 24-14, on Nov. 24. The loss snapped what was the longest winning streak in FBS (15).

• QB Malik Rosier threw for 187 yards on 15-of-34 passing with two touchdowns. With a fourth-quarter touchdown to WR Braxton Berrios, Rosier tied Miami's single-season touchdowns responsible for mark of 30, set by Vinny Testaverde in his Heisman Trophy campaign in 1986.

• Miami struggled to get anything going offensively against Pitt, who beat Miami for the first time since 2014 and for just the second time dating to 1998. UM had won 11 of the previous 12 matchups.

• DB Sheldrick Redwine set a career high with 12 total tackles (eight solo) and added one forced fumble. LB Zach McCloud also set a career mark in tackles with 10 against the Panthers (eight solo).

• WR Braxton Berrios led all Hurricanes with four receptions for 61 yards, including a 39-yard score.

ANOTHER FIRST: RICHT LEADS MIAMI TO ACC CHAMPIONSHIP APPEARANCE

• Since taking over at his alma mater in December 2015, head coach Mark Richt has led Miami to its first bowl win since 2006 (31-14 over West Virginia, 2016 Russell Athletic Bowl), its first 10-win season since 2003 (10-1, 2017) and its first ACC Coastal Division Championship in history (2017).

• Richt has also led Miami to its highest position ever in the CFP rankings (#2, Nov. 21, 2017), its first #2 ranking in both major polls since 2003 and its longest winning streak since 2001-02 (15, 2016-17).

DEFENSE DAZZLING UNDER DIAZ, A BROYLES AWARD SEMIFINALIST

• Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has directed the' defense into one of the more dominant units once again, and was named a Broyles Award semifinalist for the nation's top assistant coach.

• Miami's defense ranks 10th nationally in opponent yards per play (4.5), one of the most important metrics when measuring a college football defense in 2017. In 2016, UM ranked No. 16 in OYPP (4.7).

• The Hurricanes lead the nation in team sacks (3.55) and rank second in the nation in team tackles for loss (8.6). Miami ranks third in turnovers gained (29) and is tied for first in turnover margin (+1.55).

• The Canes rank No. 15 nationally in scoring defense, allowing an average of 18.3 points per game.

• Miami has gained 21 turnovers over its past six games - more than 93 FBS teams have gained all year.

TEN HURRICANES EARN ALL-ACC RECOGNITION; BADGLEY FIRST TEAM

• Headlined by senior K Michael Badgley's placement on the All-ACC First Team, 10 Miami Hurricanes earned all-conference recognition in the league's year-end voting selection by coaches and media.

• Miami's 10 selections were second-most in the ACC, trailing only Atlantic champion Clemson (13).

• Badgley, who became Miami's all-time leader in field goals made earlier this season, earned All ACC recognition for the third time; he was an All-ACC Third Team selection by coaches in 2015 & 2016.

• TE Christopher Herndon IV, RB Travis Homer, DT RJ McIntosh, CB Michael Jackson and S Jaquan Johnson were all named to the All-ACC Second Team. It was the first honor for each of those Canes.

• LB Shaq Quarterman picked up the second All-ACC honor of his career, earning a second-team spot. Quarterman was named to the All-ACC Third Team by ACC coaches during his 2016 freshman season.

• WR Braxton Berrios, LT Kc McDermott and DE Trent Harris were all named to the All-ACC Third Team. It was the first honor of each of those Hurricanes' careers, all coming in their senior season.

• Six more Canes earned All-ACC Honorable Mention recognition, bringing the total to 16 honored.

RICHT NAMED ACC COACH OF THE YEAR, LEADS UM TO ANOTHER TOP-10 RANKING

• On Nov. 28, Mark Richt became the first Miami Hurricanes head coach to win ACC Coach of the Year.

• With his selection, Miami became the only school in the ACC whose active quartet of head coaches across football (Richt), men’s basketball (Jim Larranaga – 2013, 2016), women’s basketball (Katie Meier - 2011) and baseball (Jim Morris – 2008) have each won ACC Coach of the Year.

• Despite a 24-14 loss to Pitt last time out, UM was ranked in the top 10 of both major polls for the seventh straight week. Miami was ranked No. 7 in the Nov. 26 Associated Press and Coaches polls.

WEATHERING A STORM ON THE WAY TO THE ACC CHAMPIONSHIP

• UM's season was rocked in the early going by Hurricane Irma, forcing Miami to abruptly change the course of 2017, including the cancellation of one game and its bye week, as well as two reschedulings.

• Saturday's game against Clemson will mark the 11th straight weekend UM will play a football game.

• The Hurricanes' Sept. 9 game at Arkansas State was cancelled, and a Sept. 16 game at Florida State was postponed and rescheduled for Oct. 7, when both teams shared a mutual bye week.

• Miami's scheduled Oct. 12 game against Georgia Tech on a Thursday night at Hard Rock Stadium was pushed back two days to Oct. 14 due to the long Hurricane Irma-induced layoff.

• The Hurricanes were dismissed on Sept. 7, regathered as a team at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando on Sept. 15 and returned to Miami for a Sept. 23 game against Toledo.

ROSIER TIES TESTAVERDE'S SINGLE-SEASON UM TOUCHDOWN RECORD

• After throwing for two touchdowns last time out against Pittsburgh (Nov. 24), QB Malik Rosier has accounted for 30 total touchdowns in 2017 - tying Vinny Testaverde's single-season record (1986).

• Rosier will be making the 13th start of his career and sixth start away from home when he lines up vs. Clemson on Dec. 2. As a starting QB, Rosier has career records of 7-0 at home and 4-1 on the road.

• With 25 touchdown passes this year, the Mobile, Ala., native is tied with Bernie Kosar (1984) and Ken Dorsey (2000) for sixth-most at UM. The single-season Miami record is 29 (Steve Walsh, 1988).

• Rosier is third in the ACC in passing efficiency (138.6) with 25 passing TDs and nine interceptions.

• Rosier ranks fifth in the ACC in passing yards per game (254.4) and fourth in total offense (291.5).

• In five career starts away from home, Rosier has thrown for 1,339 yards on 85-of-171 passing for 12 touchdowns and four interceptions. He is averaging 267.8 yards passing per game on the road.

• 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 in the victory.

• The Mobile, Ala., native was announced as Miami’s starting QB by head coach Mark Richt on Aug. 22 during fall camp. He won a four-man race for the job; Evan Shirreffs was named the team's back-up.

• Rosier redshirted the 2014 football season and served as back-up in 2015 and 2016. He was on the 2015 UM baseball team that went to the College World Series, though he did not travel to the CWS.

WHO’S ROCKING THE TURNOVER CHAIN?

• The now famous University of Miami “turnover chain” made its debut Sept. 2 vs. Bethune Cookman, when sophomore DB Malek Young was rewarded for an interception with an oversized sparkling “U” chain on the sidelines at Hard Rock Stadium. 15 different players have worn "the chain."

• Miami has forced 21 turnovers over the past six games, more than 93 FBS teams have all season.

• The 15 Hurricanes who have "officially" worn the chain: DB Jaquan Johnson (four interceptions, two fumble recoveries), LB Michael Pinckney (interception, fumble recovery), DB Malek Young (two interceptions, fumble recovery), DB Michael Jackson (four interceptions, fumble recovery), DB Sheldrick Redwine (fumble recovery, two interceptions), DL RJ McIntosh (fumble recovery), DL Ryan Fines (fumble recovery), DL Pat Bethel (fumble recovery), DB Dee Delaney (interception), LB Shaq Quarterman (fumble recovery), DL Demetrius Jackson (interception), LB Charles Perry (interception), DB Trajan Bandy (interception), DL Jonathan Garvin (two fumble recoveries) and RB Travis Homer (fumble recovery). Johnson has worn the chain six times, most on the Hurricanes.

• Beginning with a game against Syracuse on Oct. 21, Miami forced four turnovers in four straight games - the first time an FBS team has done it vs. four Power-5 opponents since at least 2004.

RICHT'S ROAD WARRIORS

• Since becoming head coach, Mark Richt has led Miami to a 8-3 record in games played outside of Hard Rock Stadium, including UM's first bowl win since 2006 in the 2016 Russell Athletic Bowl.

• The Hurricanes finished 2017 with a 3-1 road record; its first scheduled road game, at Arkansas State on Sept. 9, was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. Miami is 1-0 in neutral site games under Richt.

• 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 ACC road games for the fourth time ever and first time since 2012.

JAQUAN ONE OF JUST FOUR D PLAYERS TABBED AS POY SEMIFINALISTS

• Junior DB Jaquan Johnson has been one of the nation's top defensive backs this year, and was one of just four defensive players named a semifinalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year on Nov 15.

• Johnson was named ACC Defensive of the Back three weeks in a row (Nov. 6, Nov. 13, Nov. 20), becoming the first Hurricane to ever be honored by the ACC in three consecutive weeks.

• The last ACC player to earn honors in three straight weeks was Deshaun Watson of Clemson in 2014.

• Johnson leads UM in tackles with 81 and is also tied for the Miami lead in interceptions with four.

BALLHAWKING IN THE SECONDARY

• The Hurricanes rank first in the ACC and are tied for first nationally with an average turnover margin of +1.55 per game (+17 for the season), and a big reason is standout play in the Miami secondary.

• Miami's 29 gained turnovers are the third-most nationally and its 17 interceptions are seventh most.

• UM, who ranks first in the ACC in turnover margin & turnovers gained, forced just 19 turnovers in 2016.

• DB Trajan Bandy's pick-six vs. Notre Dame on Nov. 11 was Miami's first defensive score of the season and the first interception returned for a TD by a Hurricane since Tyriq McCord vs. Cincinnati in 2014. DB Jaquan Johnson followed up Bandy's pick-six with his own against Virginia (Nov. 18).

• A week after matching Syracuse QB Eric Dungey's entire season interception total in a single game (four), Miami had three more interceptions on Oct. 28 in a 24-19 win over North Carolina.

BRAXTON BALLING IN FINAL SEASON AT THE U - ON THE FIELD & OFF

• Senior WR Braxton Berrios served as Miami’s top offensive threat during the regular season. He leads all Hurricanes pass catchers with 45 catches, 583 yards and nine receiving touchdowns.

• Berrios' stat line in 2017 either equals or exceeds his combined stat line from his first three seasons, when he totaled 45 catches, 496 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns in 36 games.

• Berrios was named a finalist for the Campbell Trophy, considered the "Academic Heisman," in early November. He holds a 3.96 GPA as a double major in entrepreneurship and finance at The U.

• Last time out vs. Pittsburgh (Nov. 24), Berrios led Miami with four catches, 61 yards and one TD.

• Berrios posted his first and only career 100-yard receiving game vs. Toledo on Sept. 23. He hauled in five passes, including a career-long 55-yard reception, for 105 yards with one receiving score.

• The Raleigh, N.C., native was a CBS Sports Midseason All-American as an "all-purpose player."

THE NATION'S LONGEST ACTIVE WINNING STREAK COMES TO AN END

• The Miami Hurricanes had won 15 games in a row dating back to 2016 before falling to Pittsburgh, 14-24, on the road on Nov. 24. The loss snapped what was the longest winning streak in FBS.

• UM had not lost since a 27-30 defeat at Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., on Oct. 29, 2016. The 15- game winning streak was the fourth-longest in ACC history and longest in Mark Richt's career.

• Miami's average margin of victory during its 15-game winning streak was an impressive 16.9 points.

• Since taking over, Mark Richt has guided Miami to a 19-5 record and Miami’s 19 wins have come by an average of 20.9 points. The five losses have come by an average of just 8.4 points.

CLOSING IT OUT: MIAMI IMPRESSING IN SECOND HALVES UNDER RICHT

• Since Mark Richt's arrival as head coach, Miami has outscored its opponents in the second half in 19 of 24 games. A streak of 11 straight games ended in a win over Syracuse on Oct. 21 (14-16).

• Miami has a second-half point differential of +228 in 24 games under Richt, good for an average of +9.5 points in second halves. UM has lost the second-half battle just four times under Richt.

• Miami's only four games on the wrong end of second-half scoring came vs. Florida State (-11) and at Virginia Tech (-14) in 2016, and against Syracuse (-2) and on the road at Pitt (-7) in 2017.

• The Hurricanes have outscored opponents 441-213 in the second half in 24 games under Richt, and have held an opponent to 10 points or fewer in the second half in 17 of 24 games.

"BADG-O-MATIC" THE TOP KICKER IN MIAMI FOOTBALL HISTORY

• With two field goals against Notre Dame on Nov. 11, K Michael Badgley made history by becoming UM's all-time leader in field goals made with 74. He hit his 75th field goal against Virginia (Nov. 18).

• Badgley, who was named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award, moved past Hurricane great Carlos Huerta (1988-1991), who had 73 in his career. Badgley hit a UM-record 25 field goals in 2015.

• Badgley 392 career points are the second-most in UM history; Huerta (397) owns the UM record.

• The New Jersey native, who was named to the All-ACC First Team for the first time in his career, has enjoyed a strong final season at Miami, going 15-for-18 on field goals and 42-for-43 on PATs.

• Badgley's 83.3 field goal percentage ranks 24th nationally and is the third-best mark in the ACC.

• Badgley connected on a game-winning field goal with four seconds remaining against Georgia Tech (Oct. 14), his fourth of the game. He has scored 87 points for Miami this season.

"TOOLBOX TRENT" MAKING PLAYS IN FINAL SEASON AT THE U

• Senior DL Trent Harris has been among Miami's top defensive playmakers in his final season at UM, and was recognized for his standout play by earning a spot on the All-ACC Third Team.

• Harris, who had 6.5 career sacks entering 2017, has three multi-sack games this season alone and ranks first on the team in sacks with 8.5. His 10.5 tackles for loss is tied for second on the Hurricanes.

• For his career, Harris has 25.0 tackles for loss & 15.0 sacks. Both of his 2017 marks are career bests.

HURRICANES DROP TO #7 IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS

• After a 24-14 loss at Pitt, UM fell to No. 7 in the College Football Playoff rankings on Nov. 28.

• The Hurricanes earned their highest ever position in the College Football Playoff rankings released on Nov. 21, jumping one spot from No. 3 to No. 2; it was their second straight week in the "top four."

• After a 41-8 win over Notre Dame on Nov. 11, UM moved up four spots in the playoff rankings released on Nov. 14, jumping from No. 7 into their first position ever inside the "top four" at No. 3.

• Miami's four-spot leap matched the biggest jump by any team into the top four since the CFP's inception in 2014, matching Alabama's four-spot jump in 2014 and Oklahoma's similar leap in 2015.

• Miami debuted at No. 10 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings of 2017 released on Oct. 31.

HERNDON'S SENIOR CAMPAIGN COMES TO AN END WITH INJURY

• Miami was expecting a big year from senior tight end Christopher Herndon IV and he delivered a dominant campaign, earning second-team All-ACC recognition in his final season at The U.

• Herndon, who was one of eight semifinalists for the Mackey Award honoring the nation's top tight end, saw his season ended with a left knee injury suffered against Pittsburgh on Nov. 24.

• Herndon set career marks in catches (40), receiving yards (477) and receiving touchdowns (four) in 11 games, besting his previous highs set as a junior in 2016 (28 catches, 334 yards, two touchdowns). Herndon recorded career-high totals of 10 catches and 96 yards with one TD vs. Syracuse on Oct. 21.

• The Georgia native, who started all 11 games this year, ranks second on the team with 40 receptions for 477 yards. He was named ACC Receiver of the Week on Oct. 23 for his performance vs. Syracuse.

• In 43 career games, Herndon made 26 career starts and totaled 86 receptions, 1,048 yards and seven touchdowns. He started 12 of 13 games in 2016, when he set career marks in every category.

• Herndon's 2016 tight end partner, David Njoku, was selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. Njoku has 24 catches for 258 receiving yards with three TDs this season.

• Njoku (2017) became the fifth Miami tight end drafted in the first round since 2000, joining Bubba Franks (2000), Jeremy Shockey (2002), Kellen Winslow (2004) and Greg Olsen (2007).

THE QUARTERBACK WHISPERER

• Under the watchful eye of head coach and quarterback guru Mark Richt, play at the QB position was instrumental during Miami's 15-game winning streak - the fourth-longest in ACC history.

• Miami's quarterbacks threw for 37 touchdowns compared to just 10 interceptions over the 15-game winning streak and compiled a total of 4,184 passing yards - an average of 278.9 yards per game.

• In 24 games since taking over as head coach at The U, Richt has helped his quarterbacks compile a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 52:16 and 6,387 passing yards - an average of 266.1 per game.

RICHT OFF TO SIZZLING START IN COACHING CAREER AT ALMA MATER

• Head coach Mark Richt's 19-5 start to his head coaching career at Miami is the third-best mark through 24 games in the modern era of Miami Hurricanes football (since 1979).

Head Coaching Record at Miami Through First 24 Games:

• Howard Schnellenberger (1979-1981) - 15-9

• Jimmy Johnson (1984-1985) - 18-6

• Dennis Erickson (1989-1990) - 21-3

• Butch Davis (1995-1997) - 18-6

• Larry Coker (2001-2002) - 24-0

• Randy Shannon (2007-2008) - 12-12

• Al Golden (2011-2012) - 13-11

• Mark Richt (2016-17) - 19-5

That’s it. The stage is set.

#7 Miami Hurricanes

#1 Clemson Tigers.

It’s a clash of titans for the ACC Championship.

Hop in the comments and discuss all the action.

MAN, it’s great to be a Miami Hurricane!!!

Go Canes