Arguably their toughest opponent of the 2020 season, the No. 7 ranked Miami Hurricanes travel to Death Valley to take on No. 1 ranked Clemson.
Our 305Sports UM writers gave their take on Saturday’s primetime.
Anthony Yero, Lead Hurricanes Writer (Season Record: 3-0)
40-30 Clemson: Miami was 0-2 off of bye weeks in 2019, with ugly losses to Virginia Tech and FIU. While the culture has most definitely changed from last year to now, they haven’t faced a team as talented as Clemson.
Expect both teams to battle it out and score a lot, but the Tigers appear to be the much deeper team and are playing at home.
Michael Yero, Lead Hurricanes Writer (Season Record: 3-0)
42-28 Miami: Tonight, D’Eriq King’s third-down efficiency rate comes on full display, ultimately helping Miami notch a much-needed statement victory.
King ranks as the third-highest graded quarterback on third down, totaling a 94.0 rating, behind Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler (94.1) and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence (94.9). He’s been the leader in those big-time gains, as Miami’s impressive outing puts their third-down conversion percentage at 52.2 percent, a drastic improvement compared to last season’s 25.97 percent success rate, the worst in college football in 2019.
By doing such, expect King and the Canes to start the game and electric and quick, leading to early points and a commanding lead. The X-factor of tonight’s game will be controlling the first-half. Forcing Lawrence and the Tigers to comeback late is exactly what Miami desires.
Only time will tell.
Art Moreno, Lead Hurricanes Writer (Season Record: 2-0)
38-34 Miami: This is simply a different team from last year. We heard all last season, ‘why weren’t the Canes winning with the caliber of talent they had?’
It seems to have been clearly a coaching issue. This team has been prepared and for the most part, has been mistake-free at the quarterback position.
So how could this game pan out?
OC Rhett Lashlee takes advantage of Tigers DC Brent Venables’ downhill style of play and the Hurricanes win over the top and in the middle of the field primarily with the tight ends.
Clemson will look to take away the rushing ability of King but he still does enough on the ground to be a threat. This allows the Canes to win passing as well.
The defense does enough to give us a chance. They allow some big plays but Miami is able to do enough to win in the end.
Miami at this point is more of a finished product. Clemson surely has a higher ceiling but the Canes are clicking on almost all cylinders. Clemson still has young, inexperienced units. One being the most crucial, the offensive line. Remove the Clemson lore and history of both teams and this is a pretty even matchup.
Trent Lima, Hurricanes Writer (Season Record: 2-0)
31-27 Miami: I believe the Hurricanes will take care of business on a rainy night. Their run game is superior to Clemson’s and I believe that will be the biggest factor since the throws aren’t going to be there all night.
Miami makes a statement tonight by going into Memorial Stadium and slaying the ACC giants.
Jose Zarraluqui, Hurricanes Writer (Season Record: 3-0)
27-38 Clemson: The Hurricanes will have a very challenging matchup tonight against Clemson. The Canes need to get D’Eriq King going not only in the air but on the ground as well. The running back core needs to keep exceeding everybody’s expectations tonight, just as they’ve had throughout the early part of this season. Mark Pope and Mike Harley need to have very efficient games, which include no dropped passes. The offensive line is going to be very interesting to look at. They’ve played phenomenal throughout the season, but need to limit penalties.
Defensively, this is where I see Miami struggling. Clemson has arguably the most talented running back in Travis Etienne. Miami’s front seven can’t allow him to break through for big plays. The Canes secondary will again have a big question mark on them. Many believe Trevor Lawrence should have a field day going up against Miami’s secondary. Al Blades Jr. and DJ Ivey need to step up. So far, UM’s safeties have played out of their mind, and hopefully, they do the same against Clemson. Still, I believe the Tigers will be Miami’s first loss of the season, and possibly only loss. Clemson simply has more talent and a way more experienced coaching staff.