Trying to improve fundraising efforts, Miami will have logos painted on its home field this weekend to commemorate the 40th anniversary of its Hurricane Club.
Something else on the field might draw some eyeballs as well.
Picked to finish next-to-last in the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coastal Division before the season, the surprising Hurricanes could improve their hold on first place Saturday when they host North Carolina State in the first meeting between the schools in nearly four years. Miami is trying for its first three-game winning streak since 2009; N.C. State is aiming to win four straight games for the first time since 2010.
"As always with Miami, they have great skill, great speed, great change of direction, great explosiveness with their people," N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien said. "It will be a big challenge for us, but we look forward to the opportunity to go play."
With the ACC schedule starting to pick up, it would seem both teams are finding a stride. The Hurricanes are coming off wins over Bethune-Cookman and Georgia Tech, the latter a wild one where Miami blew a 19-0 lead and then rallied from a 17-point deficit. N.C. State opened with a loss to Tennessee, following that with wins over Connecticut, South Alabama and The Citadel.
The biggest key for the Wolfpack of late has been defense — they allowed 35 points in Week 1, and 28 points, total, in the three games since.
"I grew up a Miami fan, and went to quite a few games in the old Orange Bowl," said N.C. State safety Brandan Bishop, who grew up in Boca Raton, Fla., about 45 minutes north of Miami. "I remember going to a lot of games down there. We paid to park in somebody's backyard, we would be blocked in after the game. It was good times at the old Orange Bowl."
They haven't exactly been replicated at Sun Life Stadium, which is often half-filled — at best — for Miami games since the Hurricanes moved north.
There's plenty of other things to do in Miami. The weather is often cited as a reason, either because it's too hot to sit outside for three hours and watch a game, or because it's too nice to spend three hours not sitting on the beach or getting into the water. Of course, when the Hurricanes are winning, fans tend to show more regularly.
For years, that hasn't been the case. This team might change that, provided it keeps winning.
"We have a great stadium," Miami coach Al Golden said. "They've played the World Series there. They've played Super Bowls there. They've played national championships there. The stadium is not the problem. We've got to take care of our business. We can't make any excuses. Clearly we had a big win last week, but that's over. Now we have to take on another team and we have to learn how to do that week-in and week-out."
The Hurricanes won 34 straight games about a decade ago, and still hold the major-college record of a 58-game home winning streak.
By those measures, winning three in a row would seem modest, or maybe even minute.
But for a program that was widely considered to be rebuilding at the start of the season — and one that will still face a daunting schedule over the next seven weeks, starting with next week's trip to Chicago to face unbeaten Notre Dame — a taste of a winning streak again could be a jumping-off point toward progress.
Miami entered the weekend 62nd nationally in average attendance at home this season.
"It's always nice to see a lot of people there," Miami defensive back A.J. Highsmith said. "We love the support. The more people there, the more we enjoy it. But we know we can't control that."
The attendance stat isn't one that the Hurricanes are fixated upon. And it probably isn't on O'Brien's scouting report, either.
Miami has two players — Mike James and Duke Johnson — with four-touchdown games already this season, and quarterback Stephen Morris is coming off a 436-yard effort against Georgia Tech.
So there's the clash of styles for the week. Miami is winning games with explosive offense. N.C. State is winning with tough, gritty defense, and O'Brien isn't looking toward getting into a shootout on Saturday.
"The first goal is to not let them score so many points so that we don't have to match it," O'Brien said. "That's the dilemma we're working through right now, especially as a defensive staff. Offensively, we're working on how to get one more point than they do."