No. 1 Clemson proves it is still in a class of its own in the ACC with 42-17 win over No. 7 Miami
Clemson is still in a class of its own at the ACC.
The high-ranking Tigers welcomed Miami No. 7 to town on Saturday night and won 42-17.
And if there hadn't been a few Clemson mistakes, the score would have been even more one-sided. The only time Miami hit the end zone before garbage time was a self-described "terrible" decision by head coach Dabo Swinney.
Swinney sent his field goal team onto the field for a 61-yard attempt in the final seconds of the first half. Predictably, the low-trajectory kick was blocked, picked up by Miami, and returned for a touchdown after the first half.
The game, one of three blocked field goals for Miami in the game, gave the Hurricanes a brief glimmer of hope that they could trigger a gigantic road injury, but it wouldn't be long.
The teams traded punts to open the second half until Travis Etienne made a game that only he could make. The All-American who ran back was tied to the sidelines and exploded for a ridiculous 72 yards touchdown.
It was one of many highlight role-playing games for Etienne that evening. He rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns while scoring eight passes for 73 yards in the win. Trevor Lawrence threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns, distributing the ball to eight different targets. Tight end Braden Galloway went ahead with 74 yards and two touchdowns.
His first came on a nifty throwback screen that froze the entire line of scrimmage before stepping out in the open to lead Galloway into the end zone.
It was a game that set the tone when Clemson thoroughly outplayed another overtaken opponent. However, Miami has improved significantly. Last year the Hurricanes hobbled to a miserable 6-7 result that included a 14-0 loss to Louisiana Tech in the Independence Bowl.
In the off-season Manny brought in Diaz D'Eriq King, a Houston graduate transfer quarterback, and Rhett Lashlee as his offensive coordinator. This pairing was seen at the 3-0 start in Miami, but never had a great chance against the Tigers. King rushed through the air for 84 yards and a score but was only 12 of 28 for 121 yards and two interceptions.
It was just further proof of the gap between Clemson and the rest of the conference. And it's likely that Swinney won't face a ranked team until November 7th when they face Notre Dame, which is currently number 5 in the country.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns in defeating Miami. (Photo by Dannie Walls / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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