It took less than two minutes for the turnover chain to make its Orange Bowl debut Saturday night.
On the fifth play of the game, Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor ran to the left for a 14-yard gain before Miami defensive back Jaquon Johnson forced the ball out of Taylor’s hand. Dee Delaney recovered the ball and the celebration on the Hard Rock Stadium sideline began.
The turnover did little for the Canes though, as Michael Badgley missed a 54-yard field-goal attempt on the ensuing drive.
Regardless, the five-and-a-half pound turnover chain made of 10K Cuban gold has been a fan favorite all season and gave early excitement for the Hurricanes in their first Orange Bowl appearance since the end of the 2003 season. Fans have bought replicas of the 36-inch chain with the Miami “U” hanging on the bottom.
The results on the field have been noticeable, too.
With the first-quarter fumble recovery, the Hurricanes have now recorded 31 turnovers this season, which leads Power Five schools and is tied for the second-most nationally with Memphis and Central Michigan. Wyoming out of the Mountain West Conference tallied a nation-leading 38 turnovers this year. The Hurricanes’ 31 forced turnovers are the most since forcing 35 in 2003.
And it won’t be the last time Hurricane fans will see the chain. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz on Wednesday said the turnover chain will return next season.