The passion of the intrastate rivalry between Miami and Florida State is unmatched in college football. The week prior to the game is important for the players, coaches and fans involved, and Hurricanes coach Mark Richt has been an active participant from both sides of the rivalry.
Richt was quarterback at Miami for five seasons, an assistant coach under Bobby Bowden for 15 years before returning back to Hurricanes as head football coach after 15 seasons with Georgia in the same capacity.
“Coach Bowden took a chance on a 24- year-old kid that coached quarterbacks for him,” Richt recalled during his Wednesday press briefing, “I don’t even know that I shouldn’t be coaching QBs that early in my career.”
Richt’s brief resume was pretty impressive, having played under Howard Schnellenberger at Miami, and working with a couple NFL teams. His time in the pros was short, but very important in his development as a football coach. Bowden allowed Richt to continue his growth as a coach, first as graduate assistant then as quarterback coach before becoming FSU’s offensive coordinator.
“For him to have faith and confidence in me to do that was huge.” Richt added, “I just learned a lot of football from him but I learned probably a lot more about life and I also learned about — I got my life in order with God under his guidance. I mean, I game a born-again believer in Jesus Christ back in ’86. His priorities were things that meant a lot to me.”
It’s been 30 years since Bowden went for two against the Canes to win the game, and Richt reminisced a little about one of the famous endings in the rivalry.
“I don’t really remember, other than every time you lose, it stinks. I think I do remember the play and we didn’t get the coverage we thought we might get,” Richt recalled, “I think Danny McManus was throwing — now that my memory is starting to come back. We had a big tight end, Pat Carter might could have put up there high and let him jump-ball it.”
He added that Miami defended the play better than the Seminoles’ execution.
The Hurricanes travel to Tallahassee to play FSU on Oct. 7. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.