The Clemson Tigers once again continued to turn their season around with a thrilling 40-37 overtime win in South Florida versus currently ranked #10 Miami. Very few gave the Tigers a shot coming into this one but Solid Orange proved that they were not willing to give up on the season. In a game of momentum changes, big plays, bad turnovers, and drama throughout, Clemson prevailed in the first overtime when QB Kyle Parker hit senior WR Jacoby Ford over the middle for a 26 yard touchdown pass on 3rd down and 11.
The 43,778 in attendance were given a show as team speed, individual brilliance, and lots of points made this must-see television. RB CJ Spiller continued to impress totaling 310 yards in all-purpose yards and breaking yet another school record. He had a 90 yard kickoff return and also caught a 56 yard pass from Frosh QB Kyle Parker.
Parker also played well but made two timely mistakes that nearly cost his team the ball game. He had a fumble returned for a touchdown, 53 yards, and threw an interception in the ‘Canes end zone taking points off the board for his team. However, he continued to battle driving his team for a game-tying field goal in the fourth, and later threw the game winning td. That play was designed on the sideline by Head Coach Dabo Swinney just before his team ran it.
The Tigers move to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in the ACC. They welcome in Coastal Carolina next weekend. The Hurricanes drop to 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the league. They will travel to Winston-Salem to face Wake Forest.
Swinney was elated after the game. He spoke of the character of his team and the fight they displayed on the field. Swinney was pleased with the play of his quarterback and praised Spiller as the best player in the country. Here is more of what he had to say.
Head Coach Dabo Swinney (16:31)
Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele struggled with the Miami offense all day long. Afterwards, he offered little excuses. Steele says that there were a few plays that were bad play calls on his part but credited the Hurricanes team speed and athletic ability for many of the big plays they were able to hit during this one.
DC Kevin Steele (6:26)
QB Kyle Parker spoke of how proud he was of his teammates and was quick to give credit to his offensive line. He says he felt they were able to protect him well all game. Parker was happy to have been given the chance to redeem himself in overtime and was ecstatic about this win.
His Offensive Coordinator, Billy Napier, also had very kind words for his starting quarterback in this win. He says that Parker has done an excellent job of preparing himself each week to play.
According to Napier, Parker is putting himself in a position to play well by the way he has practiced and by the way he has studied game film. Napier was careful to say, however, that though this is a big win, his guys need to continue to focus on a weekly basis.
OC Billy Napier (4:26)
The hero of this one, in the end, was senior wide out Jacoby Ford. Ford was somewhat silent this entire game as Spiller wowed the crowd with his play-making ability. Ford would have the final say. With his family on hand, the Florida native ran what was designed to be a skinny post a little too fat, according to Swinney, but pulled it in and scampered the last 8 yards into the end zone to the send the Tiger faithful home jubilant. As his teammates emptied the bench, Ford found his brother and presented him with the football.
WR Jacoby Ford (3:49)