Clemson’s offense started the game smoothly, taking an opening drive all the way down the field to finish with a nice grab from Davis Allen in the endzone. DJ converted several third-down conversions through the air and it looked like a great way to open the game.
Miami’s offense had a chance to equalize the score on just their second play of the game, but the freshman QB Jacurri Brown overthrew his wide-open receiver. Brown scrambled and picked up the first down on the next play but a penalty erased that too, and the Hurricanes punted back to the Tigers.
Clemson again marched efficiently down the field with their next drive, taking 12 plays to score off a QB keeper. DJ was 8-10 for 75 yards with one passing TD and one rushing TD after two drives.
Miami’s next possession was snuffed out by a massive third-down sack from Jeremiah Trotter, the Clemson defense again giving their offense excellent field position to work with. This time, however, the Canes' defense held on third down and produced a sack of their own to slow down the Tigers’ momentum.
Miami then picked up its only first down of the game so far but Jalyn Phillips snagged a deflected pass to take possession back once again deep in Miami territory.
Kobe Pace announced his return from injury with a nice snag to push Clemson to 4-4 on third down. On the next play, fifth-year TE Luke Price collected the easy touchdown reception to make the lead 21-0.
Miami and Clemson traded punts until a fantastic Adam Randall catch moved the Tigers to midfield as the clock approached halftime. DJ used his patented lumbering jukes on third down to collect 16 more yards, but another Miami sack prevented Clemson from finding the endzone for the fourth time today. BT Potter hit his 70th career field goal to make it 24-0 as time expired.
Miami had just 8 yards through the first two quarters.
The Hurricanes quadrupled their first-half yardage on the opening play from scrimmage to start the second half, thanks to a 40-yard Jacurri Brown scamper. Inside Clemson territory for the first time all game, Miami faced a 2nd and 2 at the 37, but the Tiger defense, led by Jeremiah Trotter, bared its teeth and stopped the Canes on three straight run attempts.
DJ and the offense kept things humming after the turnover on downs by Miami, moving steadily with some nice runs from #5. On third down, DJ put the ball directly into Brannon Spector's hands but he was unable to hold on and the bobbled pass fell incomplete. Dabo then said why not let BT attempt the 59-yard field goal - it was an accurate kick but fell just short.
Brown escaped a would-be sack (the refs don’t believe in calling holding) and earned a roughing-the-passer penalty on Trotter, but Henry came calling a few plays later for the second Clemson sack of the game. A batted pass on 3rd down forced the 44-yard field goal and Miami avoided the shutout.
DJ threw a sloppy pass to no one in particular which was picked by Miami’s own DJ Ivey, but Miami punted the opportunity away after a 3-and-out. Uiagalelei ran for a big 27-yard pickup, and then found Davis Allen for 16 more, but the ball popped loose and the Hurricanes’ defense forced back-to-back turnovers.
Toriano Pride followed that up with a safety to reclaim some energy for the home crowd. Freshman WR Cole Turner then made his first catch of the season on a nice out-route on third down to wrap things up for the third quarter.
Unable to put things away, DJ was sacked for the third time tonight and fumbled the ball to Miami’s Jordan Miller, who returned it all the way to the Clemson 10. The Canes found the endzone a few plays later on a Jake Garcia pass to Kahlil Brantley, bringing the score to 26-10.
Clemson punted after only gaining 2 yards on their next possession, and Miami suddenly had life. They moved to midfield but Garcia got blown up by Trenton Simpson for a big-time sack to keep the Hurricanes at bay.
Needing to just put things away, the Tigers ran six times and passed twice to Briningstool to tack on another score via Shipley. Trenton Simpson followed that up with another big sack to force the fumble, which was recovered by Tre Williams.
Cade Klubnik finally entered the game to try and score one more time for the Tigers with just three minutes remaining. A few runs and short passes later, Kobe Pace punched it in just before time expired to end things in Death Valley, Clemson winning 40-10.