|Monday, October 26, 2015, 9:15 AM- -|
I expected a win against Miami, but I didn't expect a historic win. This game left my friends and me wondering how this game ranks in terms of Clemson wins and Clemson road wins.
There were several notes from Saturday that tell us just how dominating Clemson was in this contest. The 58-0 loss was the worst in Miami football history. Clemson’s 58-point victory margin tied the most in an ACC game (82-24 vs. Wake Forest in 1981).
The Tigers’ 58 points were the program’s second-most in an ACC road game, trailing only the 59 scored at Virginia in 2013. The shutout was Clemson’s first in any road game since 1995 at Maryland.
The Tigers’ 42 points in the opening half were the most by Clemson in an ACC game since 2012 at Duke. Clemson’s 42-0 halftime lead was the program’s biggest margin in an ACC game since at least 1977. The Tigers led Duke 41-0 at halftime in 1984, the most lopsided margin on record.
This was one of those days where everything that could go right for the Tigers went right, and everything that could go wrong for the Hurricanes went wrong.
Clemson was the better team in every phase of the game. The Tigers have balance on offense, and the past two games have given us a glimpse of that. Clemson has now had a 400-yard passing game and 400-yard rushing game in its last two contests. That is the first time in history a Tiger team has done both in the same season. Clemson finished the contest with a season-best 416, most by the program since 2000 against Wake Forest.
As good as the offense played, the defense may have been even more impressive. The defense outscored Miami's offense. The Tigers allowed only six first downs. Miami was just 4-19 on third and fourth down conversions. Clemson limited the Canes to just 146 including 53 on the ground.
Perhaps the best long-term news on defense was the ability to play a lot of players and get some much-needed experience for the reserves. Van Smith recorded his first career interception. Austin Bryant and Richard Yeargin recorded their first career sacks in the third quarter, on back to back plays.
On offense, the Tigers started fast with four touchdowns on their first four drives but kept running the ball right at the Canes. For the day, Clemson outgained Miami 567-146. They outrushed the Canes 416-53. The Tigers had 33 first downs to Miami's six.
The offense was almost clinical in the way they moved the ball at will. The offensive line was dominating once again which opened the door from some huge plays in the running game as Wayne Gallman and Deshaun Watson combined for 216 yards and two scores on the ground.
The Tigers didn't have to throw it often, but Watson was efficient going 15-19 for 143 yards and a touchdown without an interception.
Like the defense, it was nice to see the reserves get valuable playing time. Tyshon Dye, CJ Fuller, CJ Davidson and Zac Brooks combined for 114 yards rushing. But the top reserve news came with Kelly Bryant scoring twice including a 59-yard touchdown run.
The dominance led to questions of whether Clemson is that good, or is Miami that bad? I would guess a little of both. The Tigers are deep and talented. They are balanced on offense and have talent at all three levels on defense. Miami had shown some signs earlier this season of rebuilding and were 4-2 coming off a good win over Virginia Tech and good performance in a loss to FSU on the road. They were outmanned Saturday, but the loss of the starting quarterback in the first half helped the game get even further out of hand.
Clemson's 58-0 victory was historic in many ways and this team took another step towards a potentially historic season.
The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency
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