#9 Clemson Wipes Out Hurricanes from Miami 40-10 in Death Valley

Clemson Miami: Postgame Impressions

The Clemson Tigers and the Miami Hurricanes have matched up on a wild weekend of college football! Clemson looked to sweep their ACC schedule, and the Hurricanes looked for a signature win that the program desperately needed. Here is how today’s matchup went.

The first quarter began with Clemson in possession of the football. A primary key for today is could the Tigers play a complete game offensively. Clemson has shown some big sparks in every game but has not been able to put together four quarters of complementary football.  The offense’s first drive was excellent, with DJ finding Antonio Williams and Joseph Ngata for two big third-down throws. They mixed outside runs for Shipley and attacked the middle of the field through the air. DJ would find Davis Allen for the game’s first score, and Allen made an incredible contested catch to put the Tigers up 7-0. After a defensive three and out, Clemson would make the most of the opportunity and go up two scores on two consecutive drives. DJ, through the first two drives, saw the field exceptionally well. He made some tremendous third-down throws and surveyed the field with composure. Clemson played a complete first quarter, keeping Miami’s electric freshman quarterback in check, and at the end of the first, Miami was unable to gain a single first down. Would we see the Tigers put together back-to-back successful quarters? Here is how the rest of the first half played out.

The second quarter began with a great play by RJ Mickens, tipping a pass at the line of scrimmage, and Jalyn Phillips coming up with the pick. The Tigers continued their offensive success with the short field they received and got senior tight end Luke Price involved from a very creative play call from Streeter to put the Tigers up 21-0. Clemson was making plays on both sides of the ball, playing a very complimentary style we have not seen from them all year. You can see the defense creating havoc on the inexperienced Miami offense and allowing DJ and company to have a short field, allowing them to add to the monumental lead. A notable thing to point out is the improved play of the secondary. They have been all over the field on defense today, wreaking havoc and making big plays contesting catches, breaking through screens, and tackling well. Overall, Clemson had one of their better halves of the season and controlled the game, not giving Miami an inch…literally. Going into the half, Miami had less than ten total yards, with negative four rushing yards in the first half, as Clemson would extend their lead to twenty-four going into the half.  Could Clemson put together a dominant performance, or would Miami hang around? Here is how the second half progressed.

The second half began with Miami showing some fight with a designed run from Jacurri Brown going 40 yards. This was Miami’s most explosive play thus far. They would not see it replicated on their opening drive as Clemson’s star linebackers Barrett Carter and Jeremiah Trotter Jr. made athletic plays to force a turnover on downs that would give the ball back to the Tigers. While Clemson could not get any points with the ball back, we witnessed some funky events as Briningstool attempted to pull a Will Shipley and hurdle the defender but was unsuccessful. That would lead to a near-fumble that Antonio Williams was in the area to grab and get yardage. While gifted with a roughing passer penalty, Miami’s offense put up their first points

of the game and scored a field goal to cut the lead to twenty-one. Mentioned above is whether Clemson could put together a complete game on both sides of the ball and make a statement. So far, Clemson’s offense in the third quarter was not holding up their end of the deal. Conservative playcalling and some mistakes from DJ would lead to the Tigers stalling out on offense through the third quarter. Again, Clemson would have a shot to extend their lead as Davis Allen caught a ball down the seam but, unfortunately, would fumble the ball and give the Hurricanes another shot on offense. Clemson’s defense, like have all game, would not provide the Hurricanes any room to breathe as the Tigers forced a safety to score 26-3.

The fourth quarter began with more mistakes from the Clemson offense as DJ Uiagalelei was stripped of the ball, and the Hurricanes would take over with the best field position they would have all game starting at the eleven-yard line in the red zone. Clemson’s ball security is a glaring issue that has gone under the radar since the Syracuse matchup what feels like ages ago. Clemson and Miami would be locked into a stalemate in the fourth, with neither team being able to give up an inch. Clemson’s inability to put away teams could hurt their slim chances of being considered one of the four best teams in the country if there is chaos come rivalry week. You could see Dabo bring the offense together and try to light a fire in them in the middle of a TV timeout. He recognizes the situation’s urgency, a game where you must convincingly put away a struggling team. Whatever Dabo had to say, it worked in a big way, as the Tigers would put up a scoring drive and go up 33-10 on the Hurricanes. The roller coaster of quality drives would have another twist and turn as the defense would create another turnover and allow Cade Klubnik to get some action late in the fourth quarter. Cade would lead the team down the field for more points and help the Tigers walk off with a thirty-point victory.

While 40-10 looks great on the stat sheet, this game was not one Clemson indeed dominated, with some grave concerns about ball security and inconsistencies within offensive drives. The offense tends to start strong but has quarters where no ground is gained. If Clemson truly has a shot at being one of the last teams standing with a postseason picture, they have very little room to clean up these errors before it is time to get in that mode of football. With rival South Carolina and an ACC crown to reclaim in Charlotte, the Tigers have two games left to prove they have one of the four best teams in the country. If they can find a groove, overcome specific periods offensively, and limit turnovers, Tiger fans should be happy with the result.

Clemson now hosts Carolina for the first time since 2018 next Saturday, looking to extend their home record and series record against the Gamecocks.

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