Miami, Florida – The Miami Hurricanes continue to look for its first ACC victory of the year this time versus the Clemson Tigers in week 8. Visiting Chapel Hill showed North Carolina was clearly the better team and now UM must break its two-game losing skid. Clemson sits at 4-2 (2-2 ACC) coming to the Hardrock fresh off their bye week. Previously, they slipped past Wake Forest 17-12. The Tigers have won two consecutive games winning the last four meetings against the Canes, not a single one of them close. In the previous year, then No. 9 Clemson won handily 40-10. In fact, the last time Miami tasted victory was in 2010 beating the Tigers 30-21 at their house.
Jacory Harris was the quarterback. Harris tied a career-best with four first-half touchdowns in the win.
— Miami Hurricanes Football (@CanesFootball) October 19, 2023
The Hurricanes will look to right the ship against a familiar foe consisting of old and new faces. Perhaps a helping of home cooking will give them the dub they sorely need. The matchup features some of the best units in the ACC on both sides of the ball in terms of total yards, rushing, points allowed, and yards allowed. Clemson is a 3.5-point favorite per Caesars Sportsbook and a four-point favorite in Draft Kings.
Catching up on Clemson. Will Shipley is still good! Looks like a day-two pick in an iffy class, should be declare after this season. pic.twitter.com/mvKO80sR6n
— Christian Williams (@CWilliamsNFL) October 9, 2023
Averaging nearly five yards a carry, Will Shipley has accumulated 450 so far this season complemented with three touchdowns. In last year’s preview, I mentioned that the Hurricanes needed to keep him contained. Shipley was held to 61 yards and a TD but this proved to be inadequate in the grand scheme of things. The Tigers still put the hurt on UM through the air. Regardless, he’s the leading rusher who rumbled for 97 yards and a touchdown versus Wake Forest. Neutralize the opposing ground game.
Cade Klubnik pic.twitter.com/zlivkFZd6b
— Seldom Used Reserve (@seldomusedres) October 11, 2023
Spending most of 2022 as a backup to DJ Uiagalelei, Cade Klubnik took the reins during the Subway ACC Championship and started in the Capital One Orange Bowl. The sophomore from Austin, Texas is having a terrific year racking up 1,370 yards and 11 TDs. Klubnik has only been picked off twice thus far. His performance versus the Demon Deacons was nothing to write home about. Klubnik threw for 131 yards and recorded one rushing touchdown. If Wake Forest can do that, Miami’s defense is sure to have a great night.
Eye of the Tiger
Highest graded Linebacker against the run this season:
🐅 Jeremiah Trotter Jr: 90.9 pic.twitter.com/E5TjlIu2tZ
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 11, 2023
Clemson has really kept the Hurricanes’ offense in check for a long while now. One of the players to keep a watch on is Jeremiah Trotter Jr. Leading the team with 37 tackles (20 solo), the linebacker is credited with 1.5 sacks, two pass breakups, an interception, and a forced fumble. He isn’t the only potential problem for The U’s signal caller. Toriano Pride Jr. has four pass breakups of his own, three of those on Wake Forest, adding to a stingy secondary. At the front, we have T.J. Parker who has 11 tackles leading the Tigers with four sacks. UM’s O-line buckled some last weekend and will be challenged once more.
— GO ‘CANES! (@83_87_89_91_01) October 19, 2023
As previously mentioned, it’s been a long time since any of these meetings have been competitive. Miami can’t stop just one aspect of Clemson’s offense, they’ll need to neutralize both. Look no further than last year’s game. UM halted Shipley but Uiagalelei tore up the secondary. Kamren Kinchens and company need to keep a lid on the explosive plays Klubnik is capable of. This goes hand in hand with pressuring the quarterback into making mistakes. A perfect example is how Kinchens zoomed into an opening within the trenches and sacked Drake Maye. It was nullified by a penalty but it’s safe to say Kinchens will be all over the field in this one looking for the precise time to strike.
Big time INT by Francisco Mauigoa!!!! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/90AKLZcRtQ
— North Fresh RNG (@NorthFreshCane) October 8, 2023
Speaking of, here’s someone I don’t feature too often. Leading the team with 28 tackles (18 solo) Francisco Mauigoa has had his moments this season. Recording his first sack of the year against the Tar Heels, Kiko is another individual who will need to step up. Whether it’s stopping the run or the pass, Mauigoa can be a piece to the puzzle of ending the cold streak and getting his team back in the win column.
Henry Parrish, Jr.
— QSportsMedia (@QSportsMedia2) October 15, 2023
All right, it’s time for the running game to get back into gear. In a matchup where the Hurricanes will need to be firing on all cylinders, the rush should be fairly more productive than what’s been seen the last two weeks. Henry Parrish was the only player who found any success against the Tar Heels and that isn’t saying much. When the team is held to less than 100 yards, you’re not controlling the clock much less the game. If Parrish can’t get it done, might as well increase someone else’s carries and see what sticks. If Clemson pulls away, all bets are off on the ground attack.
For the Miami Hurricanes, this battle with the Clemson Tigers is a pivotal one. Their goals remain within reach, however, a loss here will put the rest of the season in doubt. They need to play with urgency making a strong start to set the tone. I’m going to stress this again, whatever happens, no matter how ugly, the Miami Hurricanes must win at home versus the Clemson Tigers. Momentum is precious, it’s been said before. Frustration will only mount within the locker room and the fan base if The U takes another L. With the home crowd, the Canes should squeak by 34-28.