It’s hard to even comprehend this, but the Hurricanes have now been out of the beloved Orange Bowl for over 10 years now, leaving after the 2007 season. Since 2008, the Canes have been at Hard Rock Stadium, though it’s gone through several name changes since then.
Through this rather-painful, sometimes joyful decade of Miami football, we have seen some incredible highs, and quite-depressing lows.
Randy Shannon, Al Golden and Mark Richt have all graced the sidelines with their presence as Miami coach, and we’ve been “blessed” to see the basement of Hurricane football, back to glorious times, and now reverting again to depression.
Whether you call it Hard Rock Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, or just prefer the classic Joe Robbie, it’s our home, so let’s take a look at five of both the best and worst moments.
Starting off on the wrong foot, let’s painfully dive in.
5. USF 2010 (23-20) In a year that resembled this season, Miami was ranked high in the pre-season poll, and expected to stroll through the regular season. It was a total nightmare, and Senior-day against our “rivals” from Tampa was the culmination of the disaster-season.
In front of a half-full crowd at then Sun Life Stadium, banners were flying overhead, calling for the firing of coach Randy Shannon, as the Canes hosted 6-4 USF. What is there to say really? Jacory Harris threw an interception at the USF 12-yard-line as Miami was driving-in to attempt a game-winning field goal in regulation. That may be the most depressing you thing you read all day.
Canes could only manage a field goal in the first possession of overtime, and then the Bulls ran it in to the end zone for a game-winning touchdown. USF 23 Miami 20. Shannon was fired after the game.
4. Clemson, 2009 (40-37 OT)
A year prior, the Canes were riding high at 5-1 and ranked 10th after victories against teams like FSU and Oklahoma, and a home game against the Tigers seemed like a sure-win as Miami looked like they were pressing toward a Coastal championship.
2009 Clemson vs Miami Kyle Parker to CJ Spiller pic.twitter.com/UMfZ4RdeAq— ClemsonEditz (@ClemsonEditz_) April 4, 2018
However, in typical post-2002 Miami fashion, it was not to be. Jacory Harris again reminded us why we often incorporate his name with frustration, with three interceptions, including a pick-six. Kyle Parker tossed for over 300-yards, Miami’s defense couldn’t hold a lead in the fourth, offense couldn't score a touchdown in overtime and the Tigers did. Final. Another potential conference-championship season down the drain.
3. Virginia Tech, 2013 (42-24)
Quintessential Al Golden game. Miami has a chance to put a strangle-hold on the ACC Coastal, they’re at home, ranked 11th, what happens? Not one, not two, but three special-teams miscues for the Canes, and it’s over. Yes I know Duke Johnson wasn’t playing this game, but this was a 6-3 unranked Hokies team that the Hurricanes were simply better than.
And to make matters worse, the worst uniforms in school-history were out and about.
2. FSU, 2010 (45-17)
A game from the season-from-hell makes another appearance. Even after losing against Ohio State earlier in the year, the Hurricanes were back home, ranked 13th, and could jump right back into the top-10 win a win over the Noles. Few times since being a Miami fan had I been so confident that the Canes would win.
Before we could even blink an eye, FSU was up 21-0 early in the second-quarter, and it was completely over. Jacory Harris finished the night with a QB rating of 37.3, Chris Thompson (remember him? me neither) rushed for over 150 yards, and just like that, the first loss of a seven-game losing-streak to the Seminoles had begun.
- Clemson, 2015 (58-0)
Do I really have to say much more? Worst loss in school-history, Al Golden gets fired the next day.
Now let’s have some fun!
5. Oklahoma, 2009 (21-20)
The biggest win of the Randy Shannon era, it wasn’t anything like the Canes-Sooners games in the 80’s, but man, we were on cloud nine. At 2-1, 17th-ranked Miami upset 8th-ranked Oklahoma while Sam Bradford watched from the sideline.
Javarris James had 150 yards on the ground and Jacory Harris had two touchdowns, his second coming in the third-quarter, giving the Hurricanes the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
4. Florida, 2013 (21-16)
Yes, Oklahoma was ranked higher than Florida, who came into their 2013 matchup with the Canes at number-12. But come on, it’s the Gators! When you beat an in-state-rival, it almost always trumps anything else.
Also, it was the Canes first big-win in what felt like a long time. On a hot-afternoon in Miami, Stephen Morris threw for two scores, and a Duke Johnson touchdown with three-minutes to go sent Sun Life Stadium into a frenzy, and secured the signature win for Al Golden.
3. FSU 2018 (28-27)
The Seminoles weren’t even ranked at the time, but this game was life-changing. Down 27-7 in the third quarter, N’Kosi Perry and the Turnover Chain provided enough of a spark to complete the largest comeback in the history of the rivalry.
Perry connecting with tight-end Brevin Jordan on the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth-quarter, and a smothering Miami defense in the second-half helped create one of the best Canes-Noles memories in recent-memory.
2. Virginia Tech, 2017 (28-10)
Ahh, the wonderful season of 2017. Miami came into this November matchup with the Hokies ranked 10th and Va Tech being 13th, with the Coastal division at stake. In the debut of the “Miami Nights” jerseys, Hard Rock was in full force while the Canes were in all-black.
Travis Homer ignited the crowd with a 64-yard touchdown run in the second-quarter, while Manny Diaz’s defense swarmed Virginia Tech all night, forcing three-turnovers in the biggest win for Miami in years.
Until the following week.
- Notre Dame, 2017 (41-8)
This shouldn’t surprise anyone at all. Everything about this game, the week leading up, College Gameday the morning of, was absolutely perfect. In a top-10 showdown, the 3rd-ranked Irish came to Miami Gardens, and witnessed a full-on Hurricane beatdown.
A full-capacity Hard Rock Stadium, and the best home-field advantage that the Hurricanes have ever had in their new home, saw Miami run all over the Irish.
Miami scores ✅— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) November 12, 2017
Gets the turnover chain ✅
Scores again ✅ pic.twitter.com/KbWJc1yA7l
In the 41-8 complete domination of Notre Dame, the evening can be summed up in one phrase, that all Canes fans will remember forever, “BREAK OUT THE CHAIN AGAIN!”
What has been your favorite, or least-favorite moment at Hard Rock Stadium?