Miami football line of scrimmage dominance difference versus Clemson

Oct 21, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 21, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Mandatory Credit: Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team ran for 211 yards on 38 carries, held Clemson to 31 yards on 34 carries and freshman defensive lineman Rueben Bain dominated the Tigers’ offensive line as the Hurricanes won 28-20 in double overtime on Saturday night. Miami showed the toughness Mario Cristobal has been preaching.

The Miami football team set the tone early at the line of scrimmage. With Clemson inside the Miami five on their first drive, running back Will Shipley fumbled. Miami safety James Williams recovered in the end zone for a touchback. What happened on the next play was completely unexpected.

Miami Wide receiver Breshard Smith burst up the middle for 80 yards untouched on what appeared to be an easy touchdown. Smith had the ball stripped at the goal line. Miami WR Jacolby George recovered the fumble in the end zone to give Miami a 7-0 lead. Fumbles on opposite goal lines on consecutive plays are nearly unprecedented.

The Smith TD was the last score Miami had until the fourth quarter. Miami stayed in the game by moving the ball on the ground. Smith led Miami with four carries for 87 yards and the one TD. Don Chaney Jr. had 17 carries for 63 yards and Ajay Allen had 16 carries for 54 yards and the game-winning double-overtime touchdown.

Miami dominated on the ground against the Clemson defense who entered the game with the top-ranked run defense in the ACC allowing 86.33 yards per game. Miami entered the weekend third in the ACC averaging 191.00 rushing yards per game. The Hurricanes struggled versus Power Five teams averaging 111.00 rushing YPG.

Clemson was fourth in the ACC averaging 188.17 rushing YPG entering the weekend. Miami was second in the ACC allowing 87.67 rushing yards per game. Clemson finished with 34 carries for 31 yards and no TDs. Will Shipley finished with 15 carries for 44 yards and Phil Mafah had five carries for 14 yards.

Clemson QB Cade Klubnik had 14 carries for a loss of 27 yards. The Miami defensive line sacked Klubnik five times for a loss of 37 yards. Bain led the Miami defense with eight tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks, two QB hits and one forced fumble. K.J. Cloyd, Te’Cory Couch and Francisco Mauigoa had the other three Miami sacks.

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Couch had a strip sack, but Shipley recovered after Klubnik fumbled and nearly ran for the first down. Miami won by nearly every measure at the line of scrimmage. The Hurricanes’ offensive line kept Williams clean as Clemson did not record a sack. The culture of toughness Mario Cristobal has initiated was on full display versus Clemson.