Despite having an extra week to prepare, Clemson is still being plagued by some of the same critical mistakes that have plagued them all season, as the Tigers head to the locker room tied 7-7 with Miami at halftime.
The offense committed three turnovers in the first half, one with Will Shipley going into the end zone for a score. However, the defense has come to play, and outside of one play, has totally shut the Hurricanes down.
- Once again, Clemson just can’t get much going on the ground. Will Shipley and Phil Mafah combined for just 34 yards. That is less than the 40 they combined to rush for in the first half against Wake Forest.
- Cade Klubnik does have 165 passing yards. He made some impressive throws, along with a couple of critical mistakes, including an intentional grounding late in the half. He was also fortunate he did not take a safety with under 30 seconds left in the half.
- Turnovers continue to plague this offense. And at the most critical times. On the Tigers’ second possession, and just as they were starting to get some momentum, Will Shipley fumbled as he was going in to score a touchdown, with Miami recovering. On the Hurricanes’ very next play, Brashard Smith breaks free for an 80-yard run and fumbles as he is going into the end zone. Miami’s Jacolby George pounced on it for a touchdown.
- Then early in the second quarter, Cade Klubnik coughed one up inside the Miami 30-yard line. On a 3rd-and-6, Klubnik was sacked and fumbled it away as he was going down. This time the Clemson defense was able to hold and force a punt.
- Late in the second quarter, Klubnik rolled to his right on a 3rd and long and threw an interception, the Tigers third turnover of the first half.
- Clemson did finally force a turnover late on Miami’s ensuing possession, as Sheridan Jones picked off Emory Williams
- One of the bright spots in the first half was Jake Briningstool. The 6-foot-6 TE has been missing in the downfield passing attack all season. In that first half, he came up with some clutch grabs, one being a beautiful over the shoulder catch for a 32-yard touchdown. Those are the kinds of plays Briningstool was recruited to make. He currently has 3 catches for 57 yards.
- Clemson’s defense has been stout, despite the absence of Xavier Thomas. There was the 80-yard run, but outside of that, the Tigers allowed just 59 total yards. They have limited the Canes to just 31 passing yards.
- In Thomas’ absence, we have seen a lot of freshman T.J. Parker. Fellow freshman Peter Woods and veteran Ruke Orhorhoro have both lined up at end, as well.
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