One of the defining characteristics of this Miami team has been its ability to play with a chip on its shoulder — to find motivation from perceived slights and translate that into its preparation and performance.
Head coach Mark Richt even noted in his press conference Tuesday that the team plays better when its angry.
“I think everybody plays better when they’re angry,” Richt said. “I think I coach better when I’m mad. I think I get my point across better when I’m mad.”
One source of motivation for the Hurricanes this season has been revenge. During Miami’s 10-1 regular season, the team avenged all four of its losses from last year by beating Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame.
Defensive end Chad Thomas told Christopher Stock of 247sports that those teams that beat the Hurricanes last season were on the team’s “hit list.”
Thomas said another opponent has been added to the hit list.
Miami didn’t play Clemson last season, but the last time the two teams matched up, Clemson handed the Hurricanes the worst loss in program history, a 58-0 defeat in 2015. Thomas said the team hasn’t forgotten about the loss.
“I’ve been telling them (my teammates) to add them on the ‘hit list,'” Thomas told Stock. “We had a little ‘hit list’ for the teams that beat us last year. But they’re still on there, so just add them to it.”
Forget about the fact that beating the Tigers would clinch Miami’s first ever ACC title and a spot in the College Football Playoff. For Thomas and the Hurricanes, there’s an even more powerful source of motivation: revenge.
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