For the first time since Miami joined the ACC they managed to keep a meeting with Clemson out of overtime, and despite some frustratingly sloppy play, numerous drawn-out official reviews and problems with penalties the 'Canes never lost control of the game. With a 30-21 win Miami left their first week of ACC play with Orange Bowl hopes not only alive, but, at least for now, expected.
Jacory Harris threw only two interceptions this time. Which, for him, is a pretty good showing. Unfortunately one of those was a frustrating pick off coming just after the six minute mark in the end zone during the second quarter.
Miami's offense managed to get it into the end zone with little problem three other time in the second quarter. Including a TD in the first, Harris threw four touch down passes. Three of those were to Leonard Hankerson.
Harris' two INTs were matched by Clemson QB Kyle Parker throwing three of his own. Clemson aslo gave up three fumbles, including two swagga induced turnovers late in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
Miami wasn't with out problem though. They only managed to put a three point Matt Bosher field goal on the board in the second half. The team also racked up 105 penalty yards, including numerous sloppy false starts and two screw ups after Clemson called fair calls on punt returns. The receiver corps also failed numerous time to complete what should have been easy catches.
Then again, Miami after overcoming a brief tie in the first quarter Miami never gave up the lead. Coming off two wins over a three game road trip the 'Canes are looking pretty good right now and in the minds of a lot of people are deservedly the cream of the crop of the ACC.
Not to get too ahead of ourselves, but can Miami emerge as the cream of the crop in the state as well? If Florida loses tonight to number one ranked Alabama, the Gators and Canes will have pretty similar looking records. There's a a bit of a chance the 'Canes could leap the Gators in the polls, making them the highest ranked team in the state in a hell of a long time. It's hard for those who are also fans of the Dolphins to root for Saban, but we might issues the most bitter "Roll Tide" tonight ever.
That may be out of Miami's hands, but next week Miami takes on the other member of Florida's big three in FSU. Considering Miami has had pretty decent success on the road, you've got to feel pretty good about their chances at home next week.