Our Miami Hurricanes kickoff their 2020 season in 81 days, so it’s only right we remember the most famous #81 in the history of UM.....Darrell Langham.
This former wide receiver doesn’t hold any Miami records, he wasn’t a first-round pick, he wasn’t even the leading WR for the Canes during his time. But in 2017, Langham cemented himself into Miami lore, in back to back weeks.
Tallahassee, Florida, October 7th. The 3-0 Hurricanes, ranked 13th in the country, traveled up-state to face the Seminoles. FSU had beaten Miami for seven consecutive years, and with just over a minute left and the Noles now up 20-17 after a go-ahead touchdown, it just seemed that the streak would reach eight.
Quarterback Malik Rosier drove his team down however, picking up key first downs, and moved Miami into field-goal range with 11-seconds to play. At the FSU 23-yard line, the Canes had one more shot to get it in the end zone, or else they’d have to attempt a field goal to tie the game and send it into overtime.
“Rosier gonna take a shot...and it is CAUGHT! Into the end zone....TOUCHDOWN MIAMI! Darrell Langham with the grab! Canes in front! Six seconds left!”
24-20 was the final. It was over, the streak was finished. It was without a doubt the greatest moment that the Hurricanes had in perhaps a decade.
I’ll never forget, I was sitting at a restaurant on Hollywood Beach, and I had tears strolling down my face. I thought it was a dream. I kept expecting a random referee to call offensive pass interference or holding, but it never happened. It was real.
The very next week, Langham pulled out another miracle.
Against Georgia Tech seven days later, back home at Hard Rock Stadium, the Hurricanes again found themselves down to a final drive and trailed 24-22, on the verge of being upset.
Rosier, once again, drove Miami down the field which had been rained on all afternoon, but at the Yellow Jackets 43-yard line and facing a 4th-and-10, the Canes seemed to have run out of luck.
I was in an Uber, driving to Game 1 of the NLCS between the Dodgers and the Cubs in Los Angeles. I kept refreshing my phone, trying to keep up with the Canes game, and when I saw 4th-and-10, I knew it was over. And then I refreshed again......
“Taking a shot....CAUGHT BY LANGHAM! Another magic miracle by Miami!”
Classic Cane of the day: Darrell Langham pic.twitter.com/EAKcljgEAn— Bring Jake Garcia To Miami (@hurricanesmarsh) May 1, 2020
Rosier lofted it to Langham, who was double-covered, and somehow, someway, he came down with the catch. The gain of 28-yards moved the Hurricanes into field goal range, and Michael Badgley kicked it through for the win. Lightning had struck twice, for the same guy.
Without those two miraculous catches by Langham, the rest of the 2017 season doesn’t happen the way it did, Trajan Bandy doesn’t return a pick-six against Notre Dame, and heck the streak to FSU may still be going today.
As a Hurricanes fan who has never seen Miami win a national championship, and gone through the last 15 years, both of those plays are at the top of the list when it comes to my favorite moments. And if we’re honest, Langham’s catch to beat FSU, I can honestly say, one of the happiest moments of my young life.
So Darrell, I just want to thank you again.
81 days away!