The Homecoming football game has been a cherished tradition among University of Miami students since its inception in the 1930s. UM students have packed the stands of a crowded stadium to end the Homecoming celebration for decades, whether it be the beloved Orange Bowl or Hard Rock Stadium. Although every Homecoming football game is sure to be memorable, there are some Homecoming games that have left their mark in Miami football history.
One of those games took place October 31, 1981, when Miami, ranked 19th at the time, faced off against Penn State, ranked first in the nation. Led by former coach Howard Schnellenberger, the Hurricanes defeated the Nittany Lions 17-14, ending the Pennsylvania team’s 6-0 winning streak. With the combination of Halloween and Homecoming, the crowd at the Orange Bowl was electric. The game winning interception made by former safety Fred Marion with 1:25 left in the fourth quarter remains one of the greatest plays in Miami football history, ensuring a memorable Homecoming for all those attending.
In 2002, almost twenty years later, Homecoming memories were made when the Miami Hurricanes faced off against the Florida State Seminoles. Following their 2001 National Championship title, the No.1 Hurricanes were eager to play their rivals, ranked ninth at the time. Fans were excited to see the rivalry in action as well, compromising the largest home crowd in Orange Bowl history. By the fourth quarter, Miami led Florida State 28-27. With the Seminoles in field goal territory, appearing as if they were going to win the game on a field goal, the kick went left of the uprights, establishing the historic “Wide Left” and creating one of the most unforgettable Miami football moments to end the 2002 Homecoming Week.
Hard Rock Stadium has had its fair share of eventful Homecoming games, including the Homecoming game against Virginia Tech on Nov. 4, 2017. Ranked ninth in the nation, the undefeated Miami Hurricanes faced off against Hokies. The 2017 football season marked the first year of the “U” turnover chain, causing an uproar from students, alumni and faculty alike. The game resulted in a score of 28-10, the Hurricanes beating No.13 Virginia Tech. This win ultimately led to a 10-game winning streak and advancement to the 2017 ACC Championship, making its Homecoming win even more memorable.
Saturday’s game against the Louisville Cardinals was yet another Homecoming win for the Miami Hurricanes, contributing to an overall Homecoming record of 54 wins 28 losses.