October 24, 2009

Caroline's Tiger Pause: Clemson vs. Miami - a needed win.

Last week was the best game of the season for the Clemson Tigers! It was refreshing to see us live up to expectations. The Tigers had a complete game and were as impressive on offense as they were on defense. The Tigers face their biggest remaining challenge of the season today. Miami is worthy of their top 10 ranking. They have one of the top Quarterbacks in the country. Jacory Harris has a strong and accurate arm and can run the ball well; most importantly is his pocket presence though. He is cool and calm-he does not become rattled. He makes great decisions and is a terrific leader.

Miami is solid in all positions, but where their strength lies is in Harris, their WR corp, and their linebackers which are one of the top corps in the nation. The Hurricanes biggest weakness is their offensive line. Clemson has one of the premier defensive lines in the nation and if we are to pull the upset they are going to have to dominate the Miami offensive line. Miami's OL lacks depth and has injuries and and our deep physical d-line should really be able to wear them out in the second half. It is going to be difficult to beat Miami but it can be done if Clemson can dominate on defense, score on special teams, and Spiller and Ford do something special.

This game is important to our season for a variety of reasons. First of all if we win this game we are in the driver's seat for taking the ACC Atlantic. A loss does not spell disaster but it does make winning the Atlantic much more difficult. A win also shows that this team is turning a corner. I hope to see offensive play calling similar to the Wake Forest game, especially in the use of our Tight Ends.

Clemson started to put the pieces of the puzzle back together after the debacle at Maryland in the Wake Forest game. I look forward to seeing this team show maturity and some killer instinct the rest of this season. Our biggest test is today. Win or lose-I think Clemson plays hard today. I see this game being close. Watching the Miami-Virginia Tech game gives me hope that a great defense and solid special teams play can tame Miami. The opportunity of watching our defense take on Miami's offense really makes this one of the most compelling match-ups of the week. I am looking forward to seeing Kevin Steele go toe to toe with Miami's OC Mark Whipple. This is going to be a great game and I am hoping that Clemson can pull the upset. Go Tigers!!

On a special note Chris Chancellor will be wearing the number 6 in honor of his former high school friend and teammate Jasper Howard. He was the starting cornerback for the University of Connecticut that was murdered last week.

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