Richt calls turnover chain 'the greatest thing since sliced bread'

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Miami's turnover chain, which gained national attention during the 2017 season, has left quite an impression on coach Mark Richt.

"It's the greatest thing since sliced bread," Richt said Wednesday at ACC media days. "It's really the greatest thing since the 10-bite sandwich, actually."

Miami debuted the gold link chain during the 2017 season opener against Bethune-Cookman after recording two turnovers. The turnover chain became a weekly symbol as Miami recorded 31 takeaways, tied for third in the FBS and most among Power 5 conference teams. The Hurricanes won their first ACC Coastal Division title and finished 10-3 after losing in the Orange Bowl.

The turnover chain became a favorite on social media and inspired a song by Miami rapper SoLo D.

Richt said Wednesday that he didn't know about the chain until the season opener when defensive coordinator Manny Diaz told him about it. Richt, a former Miami quarterback, didn't hold the chain until after the season, although he addressed it several times last fall.

"That thing is about six pounds," he said Wednesday. "I mean, it is a thick, Cuban-link chain with that big U. It is gaudy and it's beautiful. But like I've said all year long, or since the season ended, if we got three turnovers last year, it would have been mocked. It would have been laughed at.

"But when you get 31 turnovers, maybe there's something to it."

Miami safety Jaquan Johnson, who had four interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 2017, said the turnover chain will be back when the Hurricanes open the season Sept. 2 against LSU in Arlington, Texas.

"We definitely look forward to getting a turnover and then putting the chain on our neck," Johnson said. "It motivates the team, it excites the crowd and it bothers the other team."