Dan Scott: Clemson-Miami prediction

by - Correspondent -

Has the karma returned?

Are the Gods of Prognostication again smiling on me? Dare I remember the glory days of 2002-03? Or am I just a fool (shaddup!) for getting overconfident?

As they used to say back home, ain't but one way to find out. So, 2-0 record, back in harm's way you go, where only the Magic Helmet can save you.

God help us all.

No. 11 Miami (0-1) at No. 20 Clemson (2-0)

When Clemson Has The Ball

Run the ball, run the ball, run the ball. This is a recording. The team which controls the offensive line of scrimmage wins this game, and Clemson's best option is to continue slamming James Davis and Reggie Merriweather at the 'Canes and see how they react. Miami's defensive speed is going to be among the best Clemson sees this year. So to counter such speed, expect not only runs right at the defensive front, but also misdirection and quick screens. The Tigers will also have to hit a big play or two in the passing game, taking more than one or two shots downfield to loosen up the Miami secondary. The Hurricanes' defense looked awfully strong vs. Florida State, but then again the FSU offense isn't exactly a juggernaut. Key injuries for Miami along the defensive line and at the linebacker spot will hurt in the long run.

When Miami Has The Ball

While much of the focus this week has been on quarterback Kyle Wright, the success of the Miami offense lies largely in the health of running back Tyrone Moss. Now slated to play despite a badly bruised leg, Moss is a much more complete back than any of his stand-ins. If he's healthy and can provide a spark in the running game, all the better for Miami. Why? Because the 'Canes offensive line gave up a school-record nine quarterback sacks vs. the Seminoles. Run effectively, and it slows the opposition's pass rush. Clemson needs bigger plays - bigger collisions - in the secondary, Bowden said. With Wright throwing the ball, especially down the middle to his tight end, the Tigers should get the chance for the big hit. Better not whiff.

Special Teams

Miami's All-World kick return man, Devin Hester, is bothered by a bad case of turf toe. Plus, he looked somewhat overmatched vs. Florida State's coverage teams a couple of weeks ago. But Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden isn't taking any chances on Hester getting well this week. He has instructed Tiger kickers to keep the ball away from Hester at all costs. Meanwhile, that vibe we had in Week One is beginning to come back. Mr. Dean? Paging Mr. Jad Dean?


While confidence in the new schemes keeps growing in Bowden Country, things in Larry Coker Land aren't so pretty right now. Words being whispered around South Beach say no coach does less with great talent than Coker. Rumor says the UM administration is now finding ways to delay getting Coker's five-year extension on paper and in front of the coach for his signature.

Man for man, Miami has more talent across the board than Clemson. What the 'Canes don't have, right now, is much in the way of good karma or team chemistry. Listen, folks, to the roar return big time to Death Valley.

Clemson 27, Miami 20

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