Scouting Report: Tigers vs Miami Hurricanes
Jacory Harris ranks eighth nationally and second in the ACC in passing efficiency. (Photos: Icon SMI)
The Tigers take a trip down to southern Florida this weekend for a key ACC matchup with the 8th-ranked Miami Hurricanes. The Hurricanes (5-1 overall, 2-1 ACC) have one of the more dangerous quarterbacks in Jacory Harris, who will provide a stern test for Clemson’s stellar secondary and front four. The last two meetings between the two teams have been decided in overtime. Both times the road team won, with Clemson winning at Miami in one overtime in 2004, and Miami winning at Clemson in three overtimes in 2005. The two teams have not met since that 2005 game. Miami will come to Clemson in 2010.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jacory Harris, QB – The sophomore quarterback had one of his best performances against Central Florida last week, going 20-for-26 for 293 yards and a touchdown in the 20-point victory. His 293 passing yards marked the second-highest passing total of his career, behind his season-opening 386 yard performance at FSU. This season, Harris has passed for 1,518 yards with 11 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 64.8 completion percentage. Heading into Saturday’s game against Clemson, he ranks eighth nationally and second in the ACC in passing efficiency (157.3). However, he was sacked six times against the Knights.
Javarris James, RB – The senior running back gained 65 yards on the ground against UCF and became just the seventh player in school history to reach the 2,000-yard rushing mark. He passed Frank Gore (1,975) during the UCF game for seventh place all-time, and with 2,032 yards heading into the game this weekend against Clemson, needs just 36 more yards to pass Willis McGahee (2,067) for seventh place on the rushing yardage leaders. In addition, with just three more carries, James will pass his cousin Edgerrin James (474 attempts), for third place all-time on the program’s rushing attempts list.
Sean Spence, LB – The sophomore has averaged over seven tackles per game over the last four games. He recorded his first two sacks of the season at UCF and is currently third on the team with 34 total tackles.
John Lovett, Defensive Coordinator – The last time that Clemson defeated Miami, in 2004, Lovett was Clemson’s defensive coordinator. Lovett served as the defensive coordinator at Clemson from 2002-04, and helped develop one of the ACC's top defenses, while defensive backs Justin Miller and Brian Mance earned All-America honors. In 2004, Clemson was 11th in the nation in pass defense efficiency (103.4) and 26th in total defense (327.3). In 2003, his defense allowed just 19.2 points per game as Clemson finished the year with nine wins and a top 25 national ranking. He left prior to the 2005 season, going to Bowling Green (2005, 2006) and North Carolina (2007, 2008).
RB Graig Cooper (hip), S Randy Phillips (torn shoulder labrum), WR Aldarius Johnson and OL Jeff Figueroa will play. DT Marcus Forston, TE Richard Gordon, LB Jordan Futch and DE Adewale Ojomo are all out for the season.
This will be the eighth meeting be¬tween Clemson and Miami (FL) on the gridiron, but the fifth time Clemson has faced a top 15 Miami team. Miami (FL) has a 5-2 edge in the series that dates to 1945. Both teams have been ranked in the top 25 entering the game three times, including the last meeting at Clemson in 2005 when 13th ranked Miami (FL) defeated 20th ranked Clemson, 36-30 in triple overtime. That is the longest game in Clemson history in terms of overtime periods.
DID YOU KNOW?
Clemson has played seven previous games in the city of Miami, all at the Orange Bowl. This will be Clemson’s first game at Land Shark Stadium. The Tigers are 3-4 in Miami, but have won the last two games. The Tigers won the national championship with a 22-15 win over Nebraska in the January 1, 1982 Orange Bowl, then defeated the Hur¬ricanes 24-17 in overtime in 2004.
DID YOU HEAR?
"They have good people at every position on the field. It looks like the Oklahoma defense pretty much. They've got a two-deep defensive line."- Miami left guard Orlando Franklin.