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Tigers Earn Another Tombstone with Win Over Miami


  by - Senior Writer - Saturday, October 24, 2009 10:16 PM
    |

MIAMI – Get the chisel and the granite ready, because another tombstone is coming to Clemson.


Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker capped an outstanding day by hitting Jacoby Ford on a 26-yard touchdown pass in overtime, lifting the Tigers (4-3 overall, 3-2 ACC) to a 40-37 “tombstone” win over the 8th-ranked Miami Hurricanes (5-2, 2-2) on Saturday, giving head coach Dabo Swinney his first signature win and ending a Tiger win that saw numerous lead changes and big plays, with Clemson making the biggest play on the last one of the game.


The Tigers had tied the score on a Richard Jackson field goal with five seconds remaining in regulation, and when Clemson won the toss, they elected to go on defense, and eventually forced a Miami field goal, setting the stage for Parker’s and Ford’s heroics.


Two running plays netted a one yard loss and facing a 3rd-and-11 at the 26-yard line, Parker stood tall and hit Ford on a crossing pattern, and Ford then split the defenders and went into the end zone, setting off a celebration on the Clemson sideline.


“This is a great, great win, and I am proud of our team for hanging in there and showing maturity,” Swinney said. “I have a birthday next month, and I am going to turn 50 instead of 40. But we have a special group of kids, and they have something that keeps them going and allows them to break through like they did this week.


“They played til the last play, and all year they have practiced hard. We told them coming down here that this was no David and Goliath deal, that we expected to win. But we knew we would have to put on our Superman capes, and if you watched the game you understand that. We did not play perfect, and we made plenty of mistakes that could have cost us. But they played with poise and they played with confidence and believed all the way to the end.”


On the day, Parker was 25-for-37 for 326 yards and three touchdowns, while C.J. Spiller had a career high of 310 all-purpose yards, including 14 rushes for 81 yards, six receptions for 104 yards and another kickoff return for touchdown, hopefully propelling the speedster into the talk for the Heisman Trophy.


“C.J. Spiller had over 300 yards, and I hope the country watched him tonight,” Swinney said. “If they didn’t, what a shame. He’s the best player in college football, period. He has done it every week, and he has one play of 60 yards in every game. Name another player in the country that has done that. I am still waiting to see some hands raised on that one. He has been unbelievable.”


The Tigers’ Richard Jackson missed a 41-yard field goal on Clemson’s initial drive, and 44 penalty yards halted the second Tiger drive, setting up a Miami field goal of 49 yards by Matt Bosher and a 3-0 Miami lead.


Clemson dented the scoreboard midway through the second quarter when Kyle Parker hit tight end Michael Palmer on a 15-yard pass. Palmer initially bobbled the pass, then secured it and stuck the ball over the pylon for the 7-3 Tiger lead.


Miami responded with a 10 play, 80-yard drive that ended on a Damien Berry 23-yard touchdown run, and Miami was back in front 10-7, but left 57 seconds on the clock for Spiller, who took the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, getting great blocks from Jacoby Ford and Andre Ellington downfield as he raced almost untouched into the end zone for a 14-10 Clemson lead, which they held at the half.


Miami took the first drive of the second half, gashing the Clemson defense yet again, and marched 80 yards for the go-ahead touchdown, the drive culminating when Harris hit Leonard Hankerson on a five-yard pass for the 17-14 lead.


Clemson responded, with Spiller again, on their next drive. With Clemson just short of midfield, Parker faked the handoff to Spiller, then waited patiently for Spiller to run a wheel route, and Spiller outran the Miami linebacker down the left sideline, catching Parker’s lofted pass, for the touchdown and a 21-17 Tiger lead.



Clemson took over after a Miami fumble on the ensuing possession, but Miami blitzed Parker, whose fumble was picked up by Hurricane linebacker Marcus Robinson and returned 53 yards for a Miami touchdown and a 24-21 lead.


Clemson tied the score late in the third quarter on a 43-yard field goal by Jackson, but Bosher hit his second career long field early in the fourth quarter, this one from 51 yards away, to put the Hurricanes back in front 27-24.


Clemson’s DeAndre McDaniel made his presence felt yet again, picking off Harris at the Miami 23-yard line and returning the pick for a touchdown, and Clemson had a short-lived 31-27 advantage. However, Harris made up for the mistake on his next throw, hitting Travis Benjamin in stride for a 69-yard touchdown that threw the Hurricanes back in front at 34-31, the eighth lead change of the game.


Clemson missed a golden opportunity to change the game late in the fourth quarter, moving ball down inside the Miami five-yard line, but instead of running a safe play on third down, the Tigers opted to try a third-and-goal pass and Parker was intercepted, and Clemson had to rely on their defense for the stop.


The defense indeed did stop the Hurricanes, and Clemson drove down the field, and played for the game-tying field goal, getting that from Richard Jackson with five seconds remaining. Jackson split the uprights from 30 yards away, setting up the overtime.


Swinney said that he hopes the Clemson program has turned the corner with the landmark win.


“We have what it takes,” Swinney said. “We have the ability to be a Top 15 program year in and year out, but we are not there yet. I don’t think there is any turning back. We said it last week when we called it the Clemson Surge. There is no turning back, and I hope this win teaches our kids that it is never over til it’s over.”


Swinney said the game was simply a battle of two good teams.


“My hats are off to Miami, because holy smokes they are a good football team,” Swinney said. “I wish nothing but the best for them. But now we have to come and go to work Monday morning. We are still a 4-3 football team, and we have a lot of things to work on.”


Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4 OT [ 5 ]   Score
-----------------    -- -- -- -- -- [ - ]   -----
Clemson.............  0 14 10 10  6 [ 6 ]  - 40
Miami (Fla.)........  0 10 14 10  3 [ 3 ]  - 37

Scoring Summary:
2nd 13:54 UM - Bosher, M. 49 yd field goal
                                                    8 plays, 33 yards, TOP 4:21, CU 0 - UM 3
    05:21 CU - Michael Palmer 15 yd pass from Kyle Parker (Richard Jackson kick)
                                                   11 plays, 72 yards, TOP 4:12, CU 7 - UM 3
    00:57 UM - Berry, D. 23 yd run (Bosher, M. kick)
                                                  10 plays, 80 yards, TOP 4:24, CU 7 - UM 10
    00:46 CU - C.J. Spiller 90 yd kickoff return (Richard Jackson kick)
                                                                               CU 14 - UM 10
3rd 10:52 UM - Hankerson, L. 5 yd pass from Harris, J. (Bosher, M. kick)
                                                  9 plays, 80 yards, TOP 4:08, CU 14 - UM 17
    05:49 CU - C.J. Spiller 56 yd pass from Kyle Parker (Richard Jackson kick)
                                                  3 plays, 73 yards, TOP 1:21, CU 21 - UM 17
    04:43 UM - Robinson, M. 53 yd fumble recovery (Bosher, M. kick)
                                                                               CU 21 - UM 24
    00:44 CU - Richard Jackson 43 yd field goal
                                                 10 plays, 48 yards, TOP 3:51, CU 24 - UM 24
4th 11:42 UM - Bosher, M. 51 yd field goal
                                                  8 plays, 46 yards, TOP 4:02, CU 24 - UM 27
    09:40 CU - DeAndre McDaniel 23 yd interception return (Richard Jackson kick)
                                                                               CU 31 - UM 27
    09:20 UM - Benjamin, T. 69 yd pass from Harris, J. (Bosher, M. kick)
                                                   1 play, 69 yards, TOP 0:08, CU 31 - UM 34
    00:05 CU - Richard Jackson 30 yd field goal
                                                 10 plays, 47 yards, TOP 3:23, CU 34 - UM 34
OT  15:00 UM - Bosher, M. 22 yd field goal
                                                  5 plays, 20 yards, TOP 0:00, CU 34 - UM 37
    15:00 CU - Jacoby Ford 26 yd pass from Kyle Parker
                                                  3 plays, 25 yards, TOP 0:00, CU 40 - UM 37



Kickoff time: 3:36 pm   End of Game: 7:23      Total elapsed time: 3:47
Officials: Referee: Jeff Flanagan; Umpire: Keith Roden; Linesman: Sam Stephenson;
Line judge: Jack Weiland; Back judge: Ron Boyd; Field judge: Billy Beckett;
Side judge: Angie Bartis; Scorer: K.C.Colebrooke;
Temperature: 83        Wind: E 2mph    Weather: Mostly Cloudy, 75%rh

Team Statistics 

                                     CU       UM

FIRST DOWNS...................       23       18
  Rushing.....................        7        6
  Passing.....................       15       11
  Penalty.....................        1        1
NET YARDS RUSHING.............       84      177
  Rushing Attempts............       34       35
  Average Per Rush............      2.5      5.1
  Rushing Touchdowns..........        0        1
  Yards Gained Rushing........      141      210
  Yards Lost Rushing..........       57       33
NET YARDS PASSING.............      326      256
  Completions-Attempts-Int....  25-37-1  17-27-3
  Average Per Attempt.........      8.8      9.5
  Average Per Completion......     13.0     15.1
  Passing Touchdowns..........        3        2
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS...........      410      433
  Total offense plays.........       71       62
  Average Gain Per Play.......      5.8      7.0
Fumbles: Number-Lost..........      3-2      2-1
Penalties: Number-Yards.......     4-39    11-79
PUNTS-YARDS...................    3-136    3-139
  Average Yards Per Punt......     45.3     46.3
  Net Yards Per Punt..........     46.3     46.3
  Inside 20...................        1        0
  50+ Yards...................        0        1
  Touchbacks..................        0        0
  Fair catch..................        1        2
KICKOFFS-YARDS................    7-457    7-408
  Average Yards Per Kickoff...     65.3     58.3
  Net Yards Per Kickoff.......     45.4     33.6
  Touchbacks..................        4        0
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD.    0-0-0   1--3-0
  Average Per Return..........      0.0     -3.0
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD  7-173-1   3-59-0
  Average Per Return..........     24.7     19.7
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD..   3-50-1    1-0-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD.    0-0-0   1-53-1
Miscellaneous Yards...........        0        0
Possession Time...............    31:44    28:16
  1st Quarter.................     7:22     7:38
  2nd Quarter.................     6:51     8:09
  3rd Quarter.................     8:33     6:27
  4th Quarter.................     8:58     6:02
  OT  Quarter.................     0:00     0:00
Third-Down Conversions........  7 of 14  8 of 14
Fourth-Down Conversions.......   1 of 1   0 of 0
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      2-3      2-2
Sacks By: Number-Yards........     3-19     2-38
PAT Kicks.....................      4-4      4-4
Field Goals...................      2-3      3-3

Individual Statistics 

Clemson

Rushing              No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
-------------------------------------------------
C.J. Spiller         14   88    7   81  0 48  5.8
Jamie Harper          6   19    0   19  0  7  3.2
Jacoby Ford           2   16    0   16  0 14  8.0
Andre Ellington       6   14    2   12  0  5  2.0
TEAM                  1    0    2   -2  0  0 -2.0
Kyle Parker           5    4   46  -42  0  3 -8.4
Totals...            34  141   57   84  0 48  2.5

Passing              Cmp-Att-Int Yds TD Long Sack
-------------------------------------------------
Kyle Parker            25-37-1   326  3   56    2
Totals...              25-37-1   326  3   56    2

Receiving             No.  Yds   TD Long
----------------------------------------
C.J. Spiller            6  104    1   56
Michael Palmer          5   74    1   18
Dwayne Allen            4   36    0   12
Andre Ellington         3   25    0   12
Jacoby Ford             2   37    1   26
Terrance Ashe           2   26    0   14
Jamie Harper            2    9    0   14
Xavier Dye              1   15    0   15
Totals...              25  326    3   56

Punting               No.  Yds   Avg Long In20   TB
---------------------------------------------------
Dawson Zimmerman        3  136  45.3   47    1    0
Totals...               3  136  45.3   47    1    0

                       Punts   Kickoffs  Intercept
All Returns          No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg
--------------------------------------------------
C.J. Spiller          0   0  0  3 125 90  0   0  0
Andre Ellington       0   0  0  2  30 16  0   0  0
Jacoby Ford           0   0  0  2  18 10  0   0  0
Rashard Hall          0   0  0  0   0  0  1   0  0
DeAndre McDaniel      0   0  0  0   0  0  2  50 27
Totals...             0   0  0  7 173 90  3  50 27

Field goal attempts
----------------------------------------
Richard Jackson      1st 11:03  41 yds - Missed
Richard Jackson      3rd 00:44  43 yds - Good
Richard Jackson      4th 00:05  30 yds - Good

Kickoffs         No.  Yds  TB  OB   Avg
---------------------------------------
Benton, S          7  457   4   0  65.3



Miami (Fla.)

Rushing              No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
-------------------------------------------------
Cooper, G.           17   99    0   99  0 25  5.8
James, J.             6   56    0   56  0 44  9.3
Berry, D.             8   55    0   55  1 23  6.9
Benjamin, T.          1    0   14  -14  0  0 -14.0
Harris, J.            3    0   19  -19  0  0 -6.3
Totals...            35  210   33  177  1 44  5.1

Passing              Cmp-Att-Int Yds TD Long Sack
-------------------------------------------------
Harris, J.             17-27-3   256  2   69    3
Totals...              17-27-3   256  2   69    3

Receiving             No.  Yds   TD Long
----------------------------------------
Hankerson, L.           5   87    1   26
Benjamin, T.            3   82    1   69
Collier, T.             3   36    0   20
Epps, D.                2   27    0   16
Byrd, L.                1   15    0   15
Graham, J.              1    8    0    8
Cooper, G.              1    4    0    4
James, M.               1   -3    0    0
Totals...              17  256    2   69

Punting               No.  Yds   Avg Long In20   TB
---------------------------------------------------
Bosher, M.              3  139  46.3   55    0    0
Totals...               3  139  46.3   55    0    0

                       Punts   Kickoffs  Intercept
All Returns          No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg
--------------------------------------------------
Benjamin, T.          1  -3  0  0   0  0  0   0  0
Cooper, G.            0   0  0  1  27 27  0   0  0
James, M.             0   0  0  2  32 27  0   0  0
Phillips, R.          0   0  0  0   0  0  1   0  0
Totals...             1  -3  0  3  59 27  1   0  0

Field goal attempts
----------------------------------------
Bosher, M.           2nd 13:54  49 yds - Good
Bosher, M.           4th 11:42  51 yds - Good
Bosher, M.           OT  15:00  22 yds - Good

Kickoffs         No.  Yds  TB  OB   Avg
---------------------------------------
Bosher, M.         4  235   0   0  58.8
Uribe, A.          3  173   0   0  57.7

FUMBLES: Clemson-C.J. Spiller 2-1; Kyle Parker 1-1. 
Miami (Fla.)-Collier, T. 1-1; Harris, J.
1-0.

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