Miami Hurricanes WRs will be tested by elite Clemson CB tandem

`CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 02 (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
`CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 02 (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) /

The Miami Hurricanes wide receivers will face their toughest test of the 2020 season against elite Clemson cornerback tandem Andrew Booth Jr. and Derion Kendrick.

The Clemson cornerback tandem of Andrew Booth Jr. and Derion Kendrick will be the toughest test of 2020 for a still-developing Miami Hurricanes wide receiver corps. The Miami pass offense has primarily been led by tight end Brevin Jordan and big plays from the running backs out of the backfield this season.

Jordan leads Miami with 15 receptions for 212 receiving yards and three touchdowns receptions. Senior Mike Harley and junior Mark Pope have contributed this season but need to become a bigger part of the Hurricanes offense against Clemson. Booth and Kendrick were ranked the sixth-best outside CB tandem by Pro Football Focus.

Booth is the 25th ranked CB according to PFF and Kendrick would be fourth if he had enough snaps to qualify. The overall defensive grade for Booth is 72.8 to rank 25th out of 224 CBs nationally, a 72.9 grade in coverage to rank 28th out of 234 CBs and a 68.1 grade against the run to rank 55th out of 192 CBs.

Kendrick received an 82.1 grade overall, an 81.0 grade in pass coverage and 74.1 grade against the run. The Miami receiving corps will be challenged far more than they were in the first three games of 2020 against UAB, Louisville and Florida State. PFF profiled Booth and Kendrick ranking “The Top 10 outside CB tandems.”

"6. CLEMSON: ANDREW BOOTH JR. & DERION KENDRICKBooth logged just 68 snaps in his freshman year in 2019, but everyone already knows his name just three games into his 2020 season thanks to this ridiculous interception he had against Virginia last week:"

"Booth has split time with a few players at outside corner thus far, but by the way he is playing, it’s only a matter of time before he locks up that spot full time. He has allowed only three catches on 10 targets on the outside while intercepting one and forcing three incompletions.Last weekend, he shut down the 6-foot-7 Lavel Davis and the rest of the Cavaliers with just three yards allowed in coverage (which was a touchdown, I should add).Kendrick started for the Tigers in the 2019 season and performed exceptionally well by allowing 50 yards or fewer in every single game played until the National Championship against LSU.He missed the season opener against Wake and played just a handful of coverage snaps against The Citadel, but Kendrick got the start against Virginia and was his same old shutdown self; he didn’t allow any of his three targets to be caught with two pass breakups."

Clemson also has Mike Jones who is ranked as the 13th best CB by PFF. Jones received a grade of 76.7 overall and 81.3 in coverage to rank seventh out of 234 CB. Jones has taken over the role of a hybrid defensive back/linebacker played by Issiah Simmons for Clemson in 2019. Simmons went 11th by Arizona in the NFL Draft.

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Jones would likely be a striker in the Miami Hurricanes defense. PFF ranking Jones at CB is a bit puzzling but whatever position he plays Miami will have to contend with him in pass coverage. With the high ranking Jones received from PFF he could be matched up against Miami tight end Brevin Jordan.