Miami Hurricanes QB D’Eriq King matches up well against Clemson

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 19: (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

D’Eriq King has the ideal skill set at quarterback for the Miami Hurricanes to have for a chance to defeat Clemson on Saturday.

The Miami Hurricanes have their biggest task on the field since 2017 when they play at Clemson Saturday night. D’Eriq King brings an ideal skill set at quarterback for Miami to have a chance to pull the upset against the Tigers. King is the best running QB Clemson has faced in a few seasons and rarely turns the ball over.

Through the first three games of 2020, King has completed 62 passes in 93 attempts for 733 yards and six touchdowns and has 28 carries for 157 yards and another TD. Add in 115 carries by the Miami running backs, most of those from handoffs from King, and the top Hurricanes QB has been extraordinary avoiding turnovers.

The element King provides the Miami offense as a runner will put a lot of pressure on the Clemson defense. Virginia QB Brennan Armstrong ran for 89 yards on 22 carries and threw for 270 yards with three TDs and two interceptions. One of the interceptions was an improbable catch by Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr.

Clemson defeated Virginia 41-23 but the game could have been a lot closer. The Tigers had a slight 466-417 edge in total yards and a significant three to none advantage in turnovers with the Booth interception in the end zone. Teams that have had success against Clemson take care of the ball and have a QB that can run.

David Lake of Inside the U examined how teams have had success against Clemson offensively over the last few seasons. LSU crushed Clemson 42-25 in the National Championship Game in January in an outcome not as close as the score. LSU had a 631-296 advantage in total yards and had a 1-0 advantage in turnovers.

LSU QB Joe Burrow who won the 2019 Heisman Trophy and was the first pick of the 2020 NFL Draft was 31-49 for 463 yards and five TDs and added 58 yards rushing and a TD. In the 2017 college football national semifinal Alabama’s Jalen Hurts was 16-24 for 120 yards passing and two TDs and ran for 40 yards.

Alabama won 24-6 on their way to the National Championship. Alabama finished with only 266 yards of offense and lost one fumble. Taking care of the ball against Clemson cannot be stressed enough. Clemson was also defeated in the 2017 regular season by Syracuse. Orange QB Eric Dungey was 20-32 for 278 yards and three TDs

Dungey added 61 rushing yards. Clemson lost starting QB Kelly Bryant with an injury. That hindered the Tigers offense. In 2018, Bryant lost his starting job to current Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence. According to Lake, QBs who defeated Clemson averaged 300 passing yards, three TDs, and completed 63 percent of their passes.

None of the opposing QBs who have defeated Clemson since 2015 have thrown an interception. Clemson has appeared in each college football playoff since 2015 despite two regular-season losses. The Tigers also have three postseason losses since 2015. Two national championship game losses and the 2017 semifinal.

Next. Miami at Clemson biggest since 2017 ACC Championship. dark

Having King at QB provides the Miami Hurricanes with an elite QB needed to compete with Clemson. If King can come close to the averages by the QBs who have defeated the Tigers over the past five seasons Miami will have a chance for the upset.