Clemson vs. Miami Matchups

Quarterback                Advantage: Miami

UCF’s secondary was no match for Jacory Harris as he threw for 293 yards and a touchdown. Harris was sacked six times against UCF and needs to throw the ball away more when the pocket is collapsing. First year starter Kyle Parker leads a Clemson offense that is only averaging 182 yards per game through the air.

Running Backs            Advantage: Clemson

The Canes were only able to gain 70 yards on the ground against UCF. Javaris James and Damien Berry each had a touchdown in the game. The player to watch throughout the entire game was Clemson running back C.J. Spiller. Spiller is a big play threat every time he touches the ball and he has racked up over 6,000 all-purpose yards in his time at Clemson.

Wide Receiver/ Tight End      Advantage: Miami

The trio of LaRon Byrd, Leonard Hankerson, and Travis Benjamin has emerged as Jacory Harris’ go-to guys. All three of them are averaging over 40 yards receiving a game and together have accounted for five touchdowns. Clemson wide receiver Jacoby Ford simply put his lighting in a bottle. The preseason first-team All-ACC receiver leads the team in all major receiving categories and is second in all-purpose yards.

Offensive Line            Advantage: Clemson

Just as the Canes o-line started to receive some praise, they allow Jacory Harris to be sacked six times against UCF. The Canes o-line struggled against the quick defensive ends last week and will have to go against arguably faster defensive ends this week. They also failed to open running lanes for the running backs. Clemson’s o-line has only allowed 13 sacks on the year and has paved the way for C.J. Spiller to break off huge runs.

Defensive Line            Advantage: Clemson

The d-line remains one of the biggest concerns for the Canes due to the amount of injuries this unit has suffered. Allen Bailey and Marcus Robinson have stepped up and both lead the Canes with three sacks. There may not be a more intimidating d-line than Clemson’s in the entire country. They have 17 sacks on the season and are led by starting defensive ends Da’Quan Bowers and Ricky Sapp who each have three sacks on the year.

Linebackers                 Advantage: Miami

Colin McCarthy, Darryl Sharpton, and Sean Spence are all respectfully one, two and three in tackles for the Canes. After a slow start to the season, sophomore Sean Spence appears to be back to his freshman All-American form as he recorded his two sacks on the season. Clemson is lead by senior linebacker Kavell Conner who has 43 tackles on the year.

Secondary       Advantage: Clemson

Sophomore Brandon Harris currently ranks second in the nation in passes defended with 11. Ten of those were deflections and one was an interception. Harris has had a remarkable season but will be the second best defensive back in the game. Junior safety DeAndre McDaniel leads the ACC with five interceptions and is fourth with 50 tackles. McDaniel is the leader of the defense that has 10 interceptions on the year.

Special Teams             Advantage: Clemson

Poor special teams have burnt the Canes twice this season resulting both times in opponent touchdowns. There was a blocked punt against Virginia Tech and the high snap on a punt attempt against UCF. Clemson has two of the fastest collegiate athletes on kickoff and punt return. Jacoby Ford and C.J. Spiller have career best in the 100m dash respectfully at 10.04 seconds and 10.22 seconds. The two have totaled for four touchdowns on kickoff and punt returns this season.

Coaching                     Advantage: Miami

Randy Shannon has led the Canes to a 5-1 record which is their best start since 2005. Shannon has kept his team motivated the past two weeks even when playing lesser opponents. He should have no problem motivating the Canes this week as they host arguably the most talented team they will see the rest of the season. First year head coach Dabo Swinney has Clemson sitting at 3-3 but needs a marquee win this season after an embarrassing home loss to Maryland to secure his job.

Matt Reed may be contacted at

October 21, 2009


Matt Reed

Contributing News Writer

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

The Miami Hurricanes, still waiting for a starting quarterback to be named, are in the top 25 again. ...

Happy first day of school for everyone out there, including the University of Miami students. We jus ...

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.