Shannon: Canes will have to play at a high level to beat Tigers


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University of Miami head coach Randy Shannon said on Wednesday that in order for his 16th-ranked Hurricanes to beat host Clemson on Saturday, it will take a special effort.

“They are a big, fast, physical football team that will get after you,” Shannon said. “They have two good running backs in Harper and Ellington, and their tight end [Dwayne Allen] is unbelievable. Their offensive line does a good job of blocking. They are as talented as any we will face this season. This is a big game for us, and to win, we’ll have to play at a level we’ve never played before.”

Shannon said that Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker is the same Parker as last season – willing to take a lesser play and make the right decision rather than force a play.

“Kyle does a great job,” Shannon said. “We watched him last year and this year. He gets it out quick, he doesn’t sit in the pocket. He will take the 8-10 yard route, and say ‘ok, I have all these athletes around me.’ Those are things we have to concentrate on, and we have to try and get him off his rhythm. We have watched him a lot on film and we understand what we can do and what he possesses.”

Former Tiger C.J. Spiller hurt the Hurricanes in several ways last season – running the ball, catching a huge touchdown pass and making plays in the return game – but Shannon said the Tigers don’t lose anything with Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper.

“They are both physical and fast,” Shannon said of the duo. “Harper is a little bit bigger, but they can do the same things that Spiller did. They like to get them on the edge, and 1-on-1 with a linebacker. They still run the wheel routes, and they run screens. They like to get the ball in their hands with a short, quick passing game.”

The game is the first in conference play for the two teams, and Shannon said he is excited to finally begin ACC action.

“This is going to be a pivotal ACC game for us,” he said. “It’s the first for us in ACC play, and I’m excited about it. It’s on national TV, and it’s a great opportunity to play a great team like Clemson. They have really great players. Their safety [DeAndre McDaniel] is the best defensive player in the conference. He is very exciting. He lines them up, and does their corrections and fixes problems.

“They also have a defensive end in [Da’Quan] Bowers who does a great job. He has improved since last year. He is dominating now, and he we have to recognize where he is on that side of the ball. Parker does a great job of orchestrating, and doesn’t make any mistakes. He will nickel and dime you, and we have to get pressure on him in some form or fashion. This will be a good opportunity for both teams to bounce back and have fun.”

Hurricane notes: Freshman right tackle Seantrel Henderson should see plenty of action against the Tigers this Saturday. The massive and highly-touted youngster played several snaps against Pitt last week. Joel Figueroa, who has started the past two games at that position, had trouble in pass protection against Pitt last week, and would line up on the side opposite where Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers lines up.

Figueroa spent his first three seasons at Miami at guard, and has practiced back at guard this week as Henderson, Figueroa and Jermaine Johnson have rotated at the tackle position. It will be interesting to see which player gets the most snaps opposite of Bowers.

Sophomore safety Ray Ray Armstrong will be back in the starting lineup on Saturday against the Tigers. Armstrong was replaced as the starter against Pitt by JoJo Nicolas, who finished with three tackles.

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