In football, every detail matters.
Especially when you’re a team that has far exceeded expectations and are on the brink of your first undefeated regular season since 2002, which also just so happens to be the last time you appeared in a national championship game.
The No. 3 Miami Hurricanes (10-0, 7-0 ACC) have played five FBS opponents with .500 or worse records in 2017 and won all five contests by an average margin of 8.6 points, and that includes a 25-point victory against Duke. And after destroying Virginia Tech and Notre Dame by 51 total points, they needed to overcome a 14-point second-half deficit vs. Virginia (6-5) at home — though they did score 30 consecutive points to finish ahead 44-28.
Clearly the Canes have earned their right to the College Football Playoff conversation. But coach Mark Richt understands there’s more work to do if they want to stay there for another two weeks as they prepare for a finale against Pitt (4-7) on the road before traveling to Charlotte, N.C. to face off against No. 2 Clemson (10-1) in the conference title game.
“You don’t normally make those many mistakes on special teams, on offense, giving up big plays on defense like that and win the game,” Richt said about Saturday’s come-from-behind win during his weekly interview with WQAM. “We found a way to win, but we better tighten up the screws or we’re going to be in trouble.
“…Every little detail matters. That’s where we gotta tighten up the screws on offense, defense and special teams. I mean, we made enough mistakes in all three phases to get beat.”
Miami enters Week 13 as a 14-point favorite, having beaten the Panthers two years in a row and 10 out of the last 11 meetings combined. Kickoff is scheduled for noon ET on ABC.