Clemson’s Football History vs. Miami

Editor’s Note: This is part of an All Clemson series of stories, which breaks down Clemson Football’s history against its 10 Power 5 Conference opponents for the 2023 season. In each story, All Clemson Tigers will recap a Memorable Game, Memorable Play, Significant Win, Significant Loss, Did You Know, Top Individual Performances, as well as detailed facts from the series’ history.

Clemson and Miami have met 13 times on the gridiron, with eight of those meetings coming since 2004 when the Hurricanes joined the ACC.

The Tigers have won the last four meetings between the two schools in blowout fashion, but the four previous meetings went down to the final minutes of the game, and in three cases were decided in overtime.

On Oct. 21, Clemson will make its first trip to play the Hurricanes in Miami since 2015, when the Tigers dismantled them 58-0 on their way to an undefeated regular season and ACC Championship.

Clemson tied the program’s largest margin of victory against an ACC opponent at the time and handed Miami its worst defeat in history at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. The Tigers rushed for over 400 yards that afternoon.

Memorable Game: In what many still believe is the loudest game in Memorial Stadium history, No. 13 Miami survived No. 20 Clemson in a triple-overtime thriller in 2005. Miami running back Tyrone Moss scored the eventual game-winner with a 25-yard touchdown run to start the third overtime. Safety Kenny Phillips secured the victory when he intercepted Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst on the Tigers’ ensuing possession. It marked the first time Clemson lost an overtime game after winning their first five. The Tigers had an opportunity to win the game in regulation when wide receiver Chansi Stuckey found himself wide open in the left side of the end zone on third down-and-10 with 19 seconds remaining. However, Whitehurst overthrew Stuckey, forcing Clemson to settle for a 27-yard Jad Dean field goal with 15 seconds to go to force overtime. The Tigers got the opportunity to force the extra period after what is described as the loudest moment in Death Valley history. With Miami attempting to run out the clock, defensive end Charles Bennett sacked Hurricanes’ quarterback Kyle Wright, causing a roar so loud it produced the second loudest recorded decibel level in college football history (132.8). Despite the loss, Whitehurst completed 31-of-54 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 54 yards and another touchdown. He also had a 61-yard run—the longest of his career—to set up Clemson’s first touchdown of the afternoon. Wide receiver Curtis Baham caught six passes for 98 yards and a touchdown. The Tigers’ defense had five sacks, but they could not stop Moss, who finished his day with 135 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries. The official length of the game was fours and 10 minutes, the longest game in Clemson history.

Memorable Play: In 2009, with Clemson trailing Miami in overtime and facing third down-and-11 from the Hurricanes’ 26-yard line, wide receiver Jacoby Ford drew up a play on the sideline he knew was going to work. Ford noticed the Miami cornerbacks were jumping the corner route all day. So, with the game on the line, he pretended to run the corner route and then suddenly jumped to the post. Ford was wide open and quarterback Kyle Parker delivered a strike over the linebackers’ heads. The Clemson receiver caught the ball at the seven-yard line and then ran left into the end zone, giving the Tigers a stunning 40-37 win over No. 8 Miami. The victory was Clemson’s first over a top 10 team on the road in eight years and is still tied as the highest ranked win in a true road game in school history. It was also Dabo Swinney’s first win over a top 10 opponent.

Significant Win: Top-ranked Clemson met No. 7 Miami in the 2017 ACC Championship Game in Charlotte with a spot in the College Football Playoff on the line. Quarterback Kelly Bryant made sure it was the Tigers who earned a playoff berth. The game’s MVP completed 23-of-29 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown, while also running for another score in a 38-3 rout. The Clemson defense held the Hurricanes to 214 total yards, forced three turnovers and harassed quarterback Malik Rosier all night.  Rosier completed just 14-of-29 throws for 110 yards and was picked off twice. Miami was just 3-of-16 on third down. With the win, Clemson earned the No. 1 ranking in the CFP Poll the next day.

Significant Loss: In 2010, Clemson was coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss to eventual national champion Auburn, a game in which the Tigers blew a 17-0 lead and then later misfired on what could have been a game-winning touchdown in overtime. Unfortunately for Clemson, it was unable to pick itself up in time to play No. 16 Miami the next week. Miami quarterback Jacory Harris tied a career best with four first-half touchdown passes while cornerback Brandon Harris stuffed running back Andre Ellington on a fourth-down-play to end Clemson’s best chance at a comeback. The Hurricanes defeated the Tigers, 30-21, at Memorial Stadium. Miami did most of its damage in the first half, as Harris helped the ‘Canes jump out to a 27-14 halftime lead. The Tigers rallied to cut the lead to six points late in third quarter and was driving to take the lead midway through the fourth quarter when Ellington was stopped on fourth-and-short. Miami took the football from there and drove 69 yards in 10 plays, eating nearly six minutes off the clock and put the game away with a field goal. The loss dropped Clemson to 2-2 at the time. The Tigers lost the next week at UNC and fell to 0-2 in ACC play. Clemson finished the year 6-7 and 4-4 in the ACC, its worst season under Dabo Swinney.

Did You Know? Starting with Clemson’s 24-17 overtime win at Miami in 2004, the road team in the series won three consecutive games. Miami won in triple overtime at Clemson in 2005 and the Tigers won in overtime at Miami in 2009. The stretch represented just the second time in FBS history two teams played three straight overtime games in a series.

Series Record: Clemson leads, 7-6

Games played at Clemson: Tied, 2-2

Games played at Miami: Clemson leads, 4-3

Neutral Site Games: Tied, 1-1

First Meeting: 1945, Miami won 7-6 in Miami

Last Meeting: 2022, Clemson won 40-10 in Clemson

First Meeting as ACC opponents: 2004, Clemson won 24-17 (OT) in Miami

First Clemson win in the series: 1951, 15-14 in the 1951 Orange Bowl

Last Game at Miami: 2015, Clemson won 58-0

Last Miami win: 2010, 30-21 in Clemson

Last Miami win at Miami: 1956, 21-0

Current win streak: Clemson has won 4 straight

Longest win streak in the series: Clemson’s current 4-game stretch

Miami’s longest win streak: Three

Other series facts: Prior to a neutral site victory by Clemson in 2017 and a home win in 2020, the road team had won five consecutive meetings in the series … Prior to 2004, Clemson and Miami had not met since the 1956 season, a 21-0 Hurricanes victory. The Tigers went on to finish with a 7-2-2 record in 1956 and were ranked 19th in the final AP Poll, while the ‘Canes finished 8-1- 1 and were ranked No. 6. The Tigers also played in the 1957 Orange Bowl that year against Colorado and lost 27-21. Thus, both of Clemson’s losses in 1956 came in the same stadium … Clemson has won four straight games in the series and has outscored Miami 178-30 (a 44.5-7.5 average) … In 1951, Clemson appeared in the Orange Bowl for the first time and squeaked out a 15-14 win against Miami to complete an undefeated season. Sterling Smith’s tackle of Frank Smith in the end zone gave Clemson a safety with under six minutes left in the game. Don Wade also had two interceptions. It was a second undefeated season in a three-year stretch for Frank Howard’s Tigers … Vice President Richard Nixon was in attendance for Clemson’s game against Miami at the Orange Bowl in 1956. Surrounded by security from various agencies, a loud explosion sounded and alarmed the bodyguard along with the Vice President. To everyone’s relief, it was discovered that it was just the cannon fired off by a Clemson cheerleader when Clemson kicked off … In 2004, Clemson scored 21 unanswered points and held No. 11 Miami scoreless in the second half to upset the Hurricanes, 24-17, in overtime at the Orange Bowl. It was Clemson’s third win over a top-10 (AP and Coaches Polls) team in two seasons, as running back Reggie Merriweather rushed for 114 yards and three touchdowns including the game-winner.  

Clemson’s Top Individual Performances vs. Wake Forest

Quarterback: Kyle Parker – 23-of-37 for 326 yards and 3 TDs, 2009 (Clemson won 40-37 in OT at Miami)

Running back: Travis Etienne – 17 carries for 149 yards and 2 TDs, 2020 (Clemson won 42-17 at Clemson)

Receiver: Airese Currie – 7 catches for 128 yards

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