« University of Miami Coach Mark Richt: 'Let's send our seniors out in style this Saturday!' | Main | Hurricanes to face the Aggies home in Miami and "Home of the 12th Man'' »

Game Day: Hurricanes meet Duke in regular-season finale at Hard Rock Stadium -- and reasons to go

Richtkaayafsu

The final regular-season game of the season is upon us, and it's another beautiful day in MIami. Some reasons to attend today's 3:30 p.m. UM (7-4, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) vs. Duke (4-7, 1-6) finale at Hard Rock Stadium:

*** It's Senior Day, and the Hurricanes will honor 18 student-athletes who have persevered despite some ugly times -- a coaching change that followed UM's worst loss in history (58-0 to Clemson last season) and three years of probation that ended Oct. 21.

    The seniors, both scholarship and walk-ons, to be honored today: Gage Batten, Kevin Carroll, Jamal Carter, Wyatt Chickillo, Adrian Colbert, Stacy Coley, Standish Dobard, Corn Elder, Frank Gabriel, Alex Gall, Danny Isidora, Rayshawn Jenkins, Hunter Knighton, Malcolm Lewis, Austin Pfenninger, Justin Vogel, Michael Welch and Marquez Williams.

*** To honor a team that did not quit this season, despite a horrible October with four consecutive losses. Miami has now won three straight and is going for its fourth. If the Canes win today (a louder stadium would help), it would be the first time since 2002 that a UM team has ended the regular season with four consecutive victories. Do that and a nicer bowl awaits.

*** To honor a coaching staff that has done wonders in 2016, grooming an exceptionally young team -- particularly on defense -- to likely contend for bigger and better things in the future.

*** To possibly be watching some talented underclassmen at home for the last time. It's no secret that junior quarterback Brad Kaaya and redshirt sophomore tight end David Njoku are contemplating entering the NFL Draft. Some believe that junior defensive end Chad Thomas also might enter the draft.

*** To possibly witness Kaaya pass for at least 276 yards today, which would move him past Ken Dorsey for first all-time on the Miami career passing yards list. What a feat that would be.

*** To celebrate the closure of the long, nightmarish Fidel Castro saga with so many loyal Cuban-American Hurricanes fans.

SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

Comments