No one young enough to be a college player could well remember the days when Miami’s teams stalked the landscape breathing fire and exuding intimidation, when the program won five national titles between 1983 and 2002.
Since the Hurricanes won the national title after the 2001 season — featuring a roster so crammed with N.F.L. prospects that it eventually produced 17 first-round picks — and endured a devastating overtime loss to Ohio State in the national title game a year later, the Hurricanes have been in the wilderness, mired in coaching changes and mediocre records.
“I had an older brother and he talked to me about when he first got here, The U was back on the rise,” said left tackle K.C. McDermott, a senior and the younger brother of Miami’s center from 2012 through 2014.
“This wasn’t just a one-year thing,” he added. “This has taken years, and taken blood, sweat and tears out of a lot…