MIAMI GARDENS — Live updates from the postgame press conferences:
“We are so excited. We beat a great team.”
“It was a night of turnovers. When you take shots, that’s going to happen. We were going to be aggressive.”
“I thought the O-line played great. The D-line, too.”
Richt was high on his offensive line. “We knew if we didn’t play physical up front, it was going to be over. … They did a beautiful job. Best game of the year, in my opinion.”
* Did Miami rally around being the underdog, and nationally disrespected? “I didn’t think anyone was disrespecting us. … I didn’t expect to be ranked real high. I didn’t care. It doesn’t really matter at this point. Or this Tuesday.”
That said: “It was a great game against a great team. We proved we could do it. There’s no doubt in my mind our fans helped us get it done.”
* Richt on GameDay coming: “I hope [fans] enjoy it. … When GameDay comes, it means something good is happening at your school.”
* “When you take the job, you dream of these moments, you dream of these games, you dream of these types of seasons. … Who knows how it’s going to end up. All I know is we’re going to go back to work.”
* Richt said he “stole” the Berrios receiver pass (first offensive series) from North Carolina. UNC used that same play with a great deal of success.
* Richt joked he wishes he had registered the trademark for the Turnover Chain. “There’s nothing wrong with having a little fun.”
Hard Rock Stadium “had that feel.” You know the feel. “Student section brought it. Fans brought it. … It let our guys know the city is with them.”
* “If we get the run defense where we want it, you get to the quarterback and sooner or later the turnovers come.”
* On the Turnover Chain: “It created a connection with our community. … That bond is starting to grow again. People are starting to get excited again about the Canes.” Recruits, he said, “are seeing that for the first time.” Diaz, 43 and a Miami native, remembers what it’s like. The 18-year-olds he’s recruiting, don’t. “And it’s only going to get better.”
* Jaquan Johnson “said some things” at the team hotel last night. “It doesn’t matter what he said, but it got our guys pretty fired up.”
* “We’re really, really desperate to score on defense.”
* Derrick Smith, Amari Carter, Trajan Bandy played a lot. Fellow freshman Jon Garvin blocked a punt. Diaz loves it. “You can never have enough depth.”
“It doesn’t matter who we play, we’re always picked to lose.” (I mean, not here. I had 24-20.)
“Nobody wants Miami to win. … It’s really us against the world.”
He called it “magical — like love, you know?” when the offense bounces back from turnovers, the defense creates big plays, and special teams outplays their opponent.
Did Miami make the statement it needed to? “I feel we keep making the same statement. It’s all about the win.”
* “This was the livest game I’ve ever been a part of here at Miami. I’ve never seen so much love from our fans. … We rarely saw any other color that wasn’t orange and green (and black, of course).”
* On GameDay, an 8 p.m. game against Notre Dame: We’ll prepare with a chip on our shoulder. “People will pick Miami to lose.”
“We’re not done yet.”
On his pass: “People don’t know I played quarterback a lot in high school.”
The crowd was “incredible. … They’ve been through a lot with us, throughout the years. They deserve it just like people on this team. … They change everything. They really do. That is a huge advantage, when Hard Rock gets going like that.”
“We control our own destiny. That’s all we can ask for.”
What did he say in his Friday night hotel speech?
“What are we waiting for? Let’s go dominate these people.”
“Everybody’s wearing the chain.” He meant on his team, and in the crowd.
He was wearing a wrap on his right (throwing) shoulder. Not unusual for a quarterback, of course.
On his interceptions to Thomas: “We’ve got to get better chemistry.” He noted Thomas is still learning routes (he was a slot receiver and is now working outside).
On not winning the game on the last series: “It was great.” He said Richt “cussed me out” after he was joking on the sideline with Lawrence Cager with four minutes left on the sideline. “We have to learn how to win.”
He said he “feels great” after spending “10-15 hours” in the training room this week. He said it was tight at times.
“Don’t panic. We’re fine. We have a great defense” is what his coaches told him after the picks.
He “played a little quarterback in high school,” but had never run as long as he did on a 35-yard fumble recovery. He said it was special to him because his brothers and father play/played running back.
On the Turnover Chain: “I finally got it.”
Miami’s defensive performance tonight will “change a couple people’s thoughts.”