Mark Richt: Orange Bowl is big for Miami Hurricanes’ growth


FORT LAUDERDALE – Miami coach Mark Richt said tomorrow night's Orange Bowl is another opportunity for his Hurricanes to continue the program's development back toward national prominence.

Richt agreed with what defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said earlier – that Miami might have been a little wide-eyed in a 38-3 loss to Clemson in the ACC title game.

"Sometimes you can't learn a lesson until you go through the trial," Richt said during Friday morning's news conference at the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port Hotel.

Richt spoke highly of No. 6 Wisconsin, a 12-1 team that battled Ohio State close in the Big Ten title game.

"The more film I watch, the more impressed I am," Richt said. "I'm a big guy on just fundamentals – blocking and tackling and playing hard… That's all you see from them."

Richt said Miami might have gotten a little too used to winning after starting the season 10-0 and rising to No. 2 in the country. In that case, the last two games – double-digit losses to Pitt and Clemson – should serve as a reminder.

"It's not fun," Richt said. "Losing stinks."

Miami does have the kind of weird experience of playing its bowl game at home. But it's not really at home, Richt said, because of the accommodations. While Richt's roster is obviously loaded with Florida natives, none of them live on the beach.

"We're living at the beach now," Richt said.

I'll have more coming later on the Orange Bowl.

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