The 9th ranked Clemson Tigers finally had a statement game, crushing the Miami Hurricanes 40-10 on a cool, crisp night. On a night when the Tigers defense dominated the Hurricanes from start to finish, there are a TON of accolades to hand out.
It has to be said. Clemson has now won 10+ games in 12 straight seasons. Additionally, the Tigers won their 40th straight home game. This game broke a tie with the Oklahoma Sooners and now the Tigers take aim at 47, held by Notre Dame. Florida State holds the ACC record with 42.
QB DJ Uiagalelei accounted for 316 total yards with 89 rushing yards and a touchdown, and 227 yards through the air on 22 of 34 passing. He threw two touchdowns but had one interception and a lost fumble. He hit the ground running on the first drive of the game and didn’t look back. The 3rd quarter there was a bit of a lull, but with a big lead, the team looked a little lackadaisical. They did, however, pick it back up in the 4th quarter to finish off the Canes.
12 different receivers caught passes, including true freshman Cole Turner. That’s spreading the ball around pretty GOOD. Davis Allen and Antonio Williams led the team in receptions with four each, with Allen getting a touchdown.
Will Shipley ran hard all night, with 61 yards on 17 rushes and a touchdown. He also caught 3 passes for another 14 yards. All in all, the Tigers picked up 447 total yards with 207 on the ground and 240 through the air. Clemson was successful on 14 of 19 (72.7%) 3rd down conversions. That is truly an amazing number. The Tiger offense had 27 first downs on the night. However, the night belonged to the defense.
Clemson’s defense was not just good, it was BAD, as in VERY GOOD!!!!! Make sense? The stats alone don’t tell the story, but they are indicative on just how dominating Coach Wes Goodwin’s defense really was. Miami had six first downs. SIX. The Canes ran the ball 24 times and finished with 30 yards. Two Miami quarterbacks managed to complete 9 of 18 passes for 68 yards. The Tigers allowed 98 total yards on 42 plays, for an average of 2.3 yards a play. These numbers qualify for the term “dominant”. Miami converted on only 3 of 11 3rd down conversions and had 5 drives of 3 plays and out. In the first half, Miami ran only 13 plays for MINUS six yards, and trailed 24-0. The rest is history.
LB Jeremiah Trotter had his 2nd straight BIG game for this Tiger defense, registering nine total tackles (seven solo), a sack and a tackle for loss. Trotter was all over the field. LB Trenton Simpson registered two sacks on the night and was constantly harassing the Miami quarterbacks. The secondary blanketed the Miami receivers and allowed only three Miami receivers to catch passes. This unit has been raked over the coals all season, but has stepped up the last two games.
The UGLY was saved for last and everyone who watched the game already knows what it is. TURNOVERS!!!!! The Tigers had three more turnovers, all in the 2nd half, and now has 12 in the last four games, three fumbles and one bad throw by DJ. The Tiger defense has bailed out the offense all year, and did so again tonight. No one knows this more than Coach Dabo Swinney and staff. The Tigers MUST secure the ball going forward.
All in all, Clemson got a lot done against Miami. The Tigers played a lot of people, and backup quarterback Cade Klubnik got in on the action at the end of the game, leading the Tigers to the final touchdown of the night. Next up is South Carolina. Stay tuned.