#7 Miami at #1 Clemson
Memorial Stadium, Clemson SC
7:30 pm ABC
For the first time since 2016, Clemson fans are being treated to a top ten matchup in Death Valley, and unfortunately due to Covid, it is happening in a season in which attendance is severely limited. Ironically, if not for Covid, we wouldn’t be getting this game in the regular season at all.
However, while Clemson hasn’t played many big games at home in recent seasons, they are no stranger to the games biggest stages. Since the start of the 2016 season, the Tigers are 7-2 in these types of games, with both losses coming in the College Football Playoff.
One of the biggest questions this Miami team will have to answer is are they prepared for a game of this magnitude. Can they keep their composure and not let their emotions get the better of them. Make stupid mistakes against this Clemson team and the Canes could find themselves behind the eight ball and in a hurry. Unfortunately, Miami isn’t having to deal with a capacity crowd, and it does make a difference.
On the field, the Hurricanes have the piece they have been missing in recent seasons. D’Eriq King transferred in from Houston and so far has been the perfect player to lead this Rhett Lashlee offense. He can beat you running the ball or throwing ball, and he is at his most dangerous when making something out of nothing.
The Clemson defensive front is going to have to bring it this weekend, as will the linebackers. They can not allow King to get rolling. While the front four wasn’t at its best last weekend against Virginia, the linebackers were solid and the Tigers are still only allowing teams 2.3 yards per rush. Plus, they will get Tyler Davis back on the interior and that is going to make a big difference.
This Miami offense is good, but they haven’t faced a test anywhere close to the magnitude of what they are about to see. Brent Venables will have his guys dialed in and ready. Especially after the lackluster performance last weekend.
On the defensive side, the Hurricanes have a lot of talent up front. With their best pass rusher opting out before the season, the pass rush hasn’t been quite as dominant as expected, but is has still been pretty good. Jackson Carman and Jordan McFadden will have their hands full on Saturday, so expect them to be at their best.
The Hurricanes secondary is where Clemson can attack. They have talent on the backend and they are good at forcing turnovers but at times they are to aggressive and that is not a recipe for success against a quarterback as talented as Trevor Lawrence.
This Miami team is really good. Clemson isn’t going to go out and completely shut that offense down. They will make some plays. At the same time, they just don’t have the depth to compete for all four quarters, especially on the lines of scrimmage. Even if they can hang around for awhile, they will start to wear down.
Some think the 14 point line is to big. However, I do not. This Miami team is plenty good enough to make some noise but The U isn’t quite all the way back yet.
Clemson 38 Miami 17
Freddie Huth (Lead Writer): This weeks game pits two of the ACC’s best. To this point in the season anyways. Yes, last week Clemson did not look perfect, but no one expects that to happen two games in a row out of a Dabo Swinney coached team. Especially heading into a Top-10 matchup under the lights in Death Valley. Now, Miami is not the Hurricanes of old and I do expect them to give the Tigers the biggest fight (hopefully more-so on the field and not after plays are over) that they’ve had to deal with so far this season. I expect more rushes out of Travis Etienne and company due to the weather forecast and the defense to give a better showing because they want redemption. Clemson will end up enduring the Miami Depression and wins by two touchdowns…..Clemson 34-20
Nathan Shipman (Contributor): Saturday’s game will not be a cake walk like it was the last two times Clemson played Miami. With a torrential downpour and high winds in the forecast for Saturday night, expect more rushing than passing, a lot of conservative playcalling, and a lot of BT Potter and Will Spiers on the field doing their thing (not that they are bad at it, they are doing great). I predict an intense battle that, let’s face it, normally happens around this time of year anyways. Although, if Miami players come in talking trash to Clemson players like they did the last time and try to start a fight again, open the flood gates! Literally….. Clemson 27-24
And as always we like to include some of our readers predictions as well. We take them every week over in our Facebook group. And of course, as usual, not a soul is picking the Tigers to lose.
David Howard 45-27
Aubrey Nickles 34-17
Sandy Moody 45-13
Lloyd Timms 48-10
Joey Rogers 31-14
Chase Carter 38-24
Leonard Wade 42-27
Dean Smith 28-17
Robert Rambow 31-7
Ryan Kearse 38-28
Albert Schlageter 33-31
Charles Chip Carter 38-17