CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- When Miami was off to its unbeaten start, coach Al Golden made it very clear that the process of turning the Hurricanes back into contenders was far from over.
Two losses later, Golden's stance hasn't changed. In fact, he feels the task of rebuilding can finally begin in earnest.
"We're still trying to build it," Golden said Monday. "We're still trying to get it right. We're still trying to develop depth. I know no one wanted to listen to me five, six, seven weeks ago. We're not back. We're building.
"We've finally gotten the gloves off and we get to go fight a fair fight, and we're going to go fight a fair fight. In the interim, we're going to keep developing these guys and keep building the program forward."
Miami (7-2, 3-2 ACC) takes on Duke (7-2, 3-2) on Saturday in a matchup of teams looking like they're heading in opposite directions. The Blue Devils have won five straight; the Hurricanes have lost two in a row (to Florida State and Virginia Tech) and have allowed a whopping 1,066 yards in doing so.
If Miami (No. 23 BCS/No. 24 Associated Press) is going to stay in the ACC's Coastal Division race, a win against Duke is a must. And if this team is going to be Miami's first to get to 10 wins since 2003, beating the Blue Devils would help considerably.
"It's hard to do in college football, win 10 games," defensive end Anthony Chickillo said. "It's something we haven't done here in a long time. You're talking about 10 years that that hasn't happened around here. There's a lot of stuff to still play for, a lot of motivation. And the Coastal isn't wrapped up yet. We can only control what we can control."