Postgame comments following Miami-Notre Dame:
“Just really impressed with our team tonight. … I never would have predicted what happened. But it happened, and I’m thankful for it.”
“They were struggling blocking our guys. We do have some quickness, for sure. We do have some pretty big boys in there, too. I thought the offensive and defensive lines played very well tonight.”
Richt said he got a lot more confidence in the running game after the Virginia Tech game, and “we’re watching DeeJay Dallas grow up before our eyes.” The Mark Walton injury pushed him into a running back role, and it’s worked out well, clearly.
On winning the Coastal: “We weren’t ready to talk much bigger than that. By the time we got to this game, it became … an opportunity to be in consideration for a playoff bid. We didn’t run from it. We didn’t dwell on it, either.”
“How can you not play hard for that crowd? It was amazing. I’m still sweating from the humidity. … Which I loved. I’m sure it was” tough on Notre Dame.
“I still wouldn’t say we’re a dominating football team. … I don’t know if we can truly sit there and impose our will on any team we play. We can bring it” against the teams in their league.
On Rosier: “He did some things tonight that only a veteran quarterback can do.”
Are you a top-4 team? “I don’t know. We’ll see on Tuesday when they vote.”
Richt said Miami’s defensive staff, via the radio chatter in his headset, was “predicting” what Notre Dame was going to do.
“When I decided to coach, I didn’t want to enjoy it — I wanted to have fun. What better place than Miami to have fun?”
“I think they took offense to the assertion we’d have trouble stopping the run game. … Our guys took that personal.”
“This is, to me, natural order restored. This is the way a Saturday night in Miami should be.”
Diaz said Trajan Bandy’s pick-six was predicted. “We did say on the headset, Trajan’s going to intercept this pass.” Diaz credited Mark Richt, who walked into the meeting room and asked why Miami hadn’t scored a defensive touchdown this year.
Why is this staff working so well? “Because of the head coach. … The way he runs everything in this program.” Players sense it, he said. “They love structure. When everyone’s singing out of the same hymn book …”
Jonathan Garvin (sack-fumble in the fourth-quarter of each of the last two games) filled in remarkably well for Demetrius Jackson. “We missed DJax,” Diaz said. “But we’re excited about Neo.”
On his “Convicts” touchdown celebration: “Just having fun. … If you want us to play that, we can play that.”
What does it mean to win the Coastal, and be in the hunt, as a senior?
“It’s incredible.” He said nothing was said about it before the game. “We had bigger things to attend to.”
He said it:
“The U is back. … I don’t think anyone can say [Miami is] a fluke.”
What changed for this team, after walking a fine line in October and blowout out top-15 teams in November:
“I think coach Richt was going to have a heart attack if we didn’t change it up.”
(That was a joke. He answered seriously: offense, defense and special teams are getting better.)
Did they expect to have that speed advantage?
“It’s Miami. I think we have a speed advantage over a lot of teams.”
“It’s just a great feeling, a great moment as a whole. It’s a long time coming.”
Is the U back?
“No. We’ve got to get a ring first.”
“We got our payback from last season. We’re not satisfied with that. We’re going to keep going.”
How was the energy tonight?
Quarterman affected a stage whisper.
“Oh, it’s amazing.”
“We wanted to prove everybody wrong. … They had the best rushing offense, but we’ve got a damn good one.”
“We just don’t quit. .. We’re going to go win some games,” they told themselves early in the season.
What does it mean to have clinched the Coastal?
“Everything,” the senior left tackle said with a relieved sigh. “We did that, and it’s on to the next goal, which is win the ACC Championship Game, then we’ll be talking about the playoffs.”
“All that talk this week [the offensive line] heard, they came out here and shut them up. Simple as that.”
“We played to our standard.”
“The Turnover Chain is an accomplishment for making a play.”
Ed Reed didn’t get a chance to play Notre Dame, Johnson said. “I think we gave him the performance he wanted.”
On his pick-six: “It was a game-changing moment.”
“It was my first time getting the Turnover Chain. Everything happened so fast. … Everybody was coming for me.”
Part of Miami’s motivation: “There was so much disrespect in the media.”
Rosier and Chad Thomas spoke after the game. They both agreed: “We’re not back until I have a ring on my finger.”
Difference in confidence: Rosier mentioned a dominant run game (220-plus yards in the last two games). Plus, Rosier said, “we have a great defense.”
Rosier had one of the lines of the night, when asked about Berrios’ “convicts” TD celebration:
You can’t call Miami convicts, he said. They’re No. 1 in FBS in community service.
“Convicts don’t do that. Not willingly, anyway.”