What They Are Saying: 'This is Not a Big Game For Clemson'
The ACC was confident this summer it would have at least one marquee matchup this season when No. 1 Clemson travels to No. 5 Notre Dame on Nov. 7.
As fate would have it, the ACC will get that match up now when No. 7 Miami visits Death Valley seeking to turn the recent tide of the meetings. While it is no doubt worthy of a visit from the College Gameday Crew, Miami realizes this is a monster game for the Hurricanes but becoming the norm for Dabo Swinney's Tigers.
"This is not a big game for Clemson, this is just what they do," Manny Diaz said. "What you see with Clemson is a culture that is used to winning. The leadership of the team has been able to pass it down through generations that when freshmen come it's 'hey, this is the way we do things here'. You see the stability on their staff which is immeasurable."
Clemson is in the midst of arguably one of the greatest runs in modern college football. While it remains to be seen if Miami could be that next team to push the Tigers in the ACC, Diaz wants his Hurricanes to return to a place where games like these happen more frequently.
"What we're trying to do is get ourselves into a position where playing these games is not extraordinary for Miami anymore," Diaz said. "We want to be in these primetime matchups. This is how you build a program to be in these positions and have it feel natural and normal--exactly what it does for Clemson."
The Hurricanes have lost the previous two matchups against the Tigers by a combined score of 96-3. However, Miami could make it three straight wins in Death Valley with the upset on Saturday.
Diaz said Saturday will be a great measuring stick for where they are as a program and how far they've come from not only from the previous two humbling meetings against the Tigers but to show the progression from a season ago.
"We've got to get our program where its the same way, where we can go play football against those guys," he said. "This is a great opportunity for us in terms of what we've done over the first three weeks to go test ourselves against a team that is very comfortable in these settings. But they had to earn the right to be there, they weren't always this way. They had to move through these same guideposts to get where they are today."