Death Valley – The Miami Hurricanes (5-6) entered their visit to Clemson (10-1) as 19.5-point underdogs. Turns out, Vegas left a little wiggle room as Miami lost 40-10.
When you enter a game as a huge underdog, you know that pretty much everything must go your way. The Hurricanes had an early chance to punch Clemson back after the Tigers scored on their opening drive to make it 7-0. On 2nd and 8 from Miami’s own 27, true freshman quarterback Jacurri Brown missed wide receiver Xavier Restrepo on what would have been a sure touchdown pass. X did not have a defender within 20 yards and the ball sailed over him. The Canes would end up going three-and-out, Clemson responded with a nine-play 57-yard touchdown drive to go up 14-0.
While it was a miserable day for the offense (more of that later), the defense did what they have done for much of the season. Bend, do not break. Miami was only down 16 early in the fourth quarter after the defense held Clemson’s offense to a missed field goal, three turnovers, and a punt on the Tigers first five possessions of the second half. Miami won the turnover battle 3-2. Meanwhile, the offense could not find any rhythm under the direction of offensive coordinator Josh Gattis.
On Miami’s first drive of the second half, the Canes drove 49 yards to the Clemson 26, down 24-0. On 3rd and 1, the call was a handoff in between the LT and TE for zero gain. In fact, they are lucky they did not lose a yard. After a timeout due to it taking so long for the ‘check with me’ offense, the Canes finally had 4th and 1. They came out with Jacurri in the gun and three wideouts to go along with Mallory spread out. Rooster was 2 steps behind Jacurri on his right-hand side. The ran an option toss to the right. It was DOA. How it was not checked into a pass is a question that should be asked.
For the game, Miami’s offense totaled 98 yards. 68 through the air and 30 on the ground. If you take away the sacks, Miami had 78 rushing yards. The Canes averaged 2.3 yards per play and lost the TOP battle 38 minutes to 21. The managed six first downs. You can make all the excuses you want about injuries and talent, but Furman, an FCS school managed 384 yards against this same team. You cannot say with a straight face that Furman has better talent on the field or in the coaching box than Miami. 98 yards or 143 yards, whichever you want to go with, it is still utterly inexcusable and indefensible.
The Hurricanes season and bowl eligibility will come down to Saturday night at The Rock for the season finale and Senior Night versus Pittsburgh. Kick-off is set for 8p.