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Miami Fla vs. Clemson

Betting Line: Miami -3 o/u 51

10/2/10

So HC Randy Shannon's Miami Hurricanes are no longer a BCS Title contender. There's no shame in that. The (2-1) 'Canes still have lots of things be happy about. For starters, they are likely the best team in the ACC, and that means a bid to a BCS Bowl. They will get started on that path towards a BCS berth against the Clemson Tigers. The last time these teams met the Tigers came out on top. Clemson will host this game at Memorial Stadium. They have been tabbed as a 3.5 point home underdog.

Things went pretty poorly for Miami when they traveled to Columbus, OH to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes. QB Jacory Harris completely fell apart, tossing 4 INTs, one of which was taken 80 yards for a near score. He was a little better against the Pittsburgh Panthers the following week, passing for 248 yards, 2 TDs, and 2 INTs. Harris is an immensely talented player, but his team can't win consistently if he throws INTs left and right. Clemson has a GREAT secondary, and they will make him pay if he isn't careful with his passes.

Some of the pressure on Harris would be relieved if senior RB Damien Berry is more productive. He did well to have 87 yards and a TD against Pittsburgh, but he must do it on a consistent basis to help his team. The offensive line and offense was very strong as a whole last week. Both have to play big this week to take down a tough ACC foe.

The Clemson Tigers have an absolute gamer in QB Kyle Parker. The dual threat athlete is also a star baseball player for Clemson. He showed grit to stay in the game during last weeks 27-24 OT loss to Auburn despite clearly being injured. He ended the game with 227 yards and 2 TDs. The sophomore is learning on the job, but it's very clear that he has a bright future.

Clemson has a great tandem of slashing RBs in Jamie Harper and Andre Ellington. Harper has 151 yards and a TD on 31 carries in 2010. Ellington carved up Auburn for 140 yards and a TD. So far in 2010, it's been tough to get a big day from both in the same game. If both are able to excel, the Hurricanes will have their hands full. Kyle Parker is going to be slinging the ball, so if Ellington and Harper can set up the pass by running well then it will help the Tigers cause by leaps and bounds. 

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Miami's defense has been stellar in 2010. They completely shut down Pittsburgh QB Tino Sunseri, and they held RB Dion Lewis to a quiet game. Sunseri was sacked a whopping 5 times by "The U". The Hurricanes held Pittsburgh to a measly 232 total yards. If they can keep Clemson to a number anywhere close to that they will almost assuredly win this game.

Clemson's defense is great at keeping pressure on the QB. They have 9 sacks in 3 games. The secondary has played exceptionally well, but Clemson is giving up too many yards on the ground. Auburn had 221 yards rushing. Miami doesn't have a truly good RB, which is lucky for the Tigers. QB Harris has proved that he is susceptible to throwing several INTs. Clemson is great at forcing opposing QBs to make mistakes and then capitalizing on them.

One of the "x" factors of this game could be Miami's excellent special teams play. They took a punt return to the house against Ohio State. Doing that against the Buckeyes stout defense is something worth talking about. The 'Canes and Clemson will surely put on a show.


It's tough to go against Clemson as a home dog. We know they can play with Miami because they beat them last year in a shootout. With most of both teams here intact from a year ago, no reason to expect anything but a close game that goes down to the wire. It's just that we don't know if we can trust Clemson. Two wins came against Presbyterian and North Texas. We can't learn anything from that. We called their number when we played on them against Auburn and looked like a genius for one half of play. But they faded in the 2nd half giving up 3 touchdowns in the 3rd quarter and losing in OT.

Miami has looked better, against better competition. Miami also has a score to settle from a year ago. We're going to lay the field goal on the road with the Canes. Miami -3

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