As excited as Canes fans are for the renewal of UM's long-dormant rivalry with Notre Dame, head coach Al Golden prefers to instead focus on the present. Golden said Tuesday that he is not planning on hyping the history of the Miami-Notre Dame rivalry to his players in the lead-up to Saturday night's neutral-site match-up against the Irish.
The Miami Herald reported Tuesday that former Canes WR Randall Hill wants to address the Canes this week during their preparations for Notre Dame, while other UM alumni have been weighing in on the game through social media.
Al Golden would rather his players pay attention to the present, and not the past, though. "If it's important to our former players, and people that have been a part of the program, it's important to us," he told the media on Tuesday.
"But in terms of getting into all that this week, I don't know how that's going to help our team grow and accomplish the things we need to accomplish," he added. "I'm just trying to teach them how to get better and stay focused."
"I think everybody that's in the program, former players, we know what it means to them. I think it's important that our team plays focused right now."
Not that former Canes aren't looking forward to Saturday's game regardless. Alonzo Highsmith, who played RB for Miami from 1983-1986, said on Twitter Tuesday, "Gonna drop kick that leprechaun right through the uprights and stamp a U on his butt!!"
His son, current UM safety AJ, told the Herald in response, "He has got a lot of energy."
Besides the alumni enthusiasm, Golden also addressed the notion that Saturday's tilt in Chicago will be a "neutral-site" game. "Well, I prefer it to be neutral," he said. Chicago is only 90 minutes from South Bend, and Soldier Field is expected to be dominated by Irish fans.
Besides the hostile environment, the Canes will likely have to deal with cold weather, though Golden said he does not think that should bother his squad. The forecasted high temperature for Chicago on Saturday is just 53 degrees, with lows expected to dip into the thirties.
"I think we'll be alright," Golden said. "If we have a team that's thinking about heaters at that time or looking to get sweatshirts or stuff, that's on me."