After Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong rushed for 87 yards and escaped Clemson’s pressure this past Saturday, some are wondering if No. 1 Clemson has what it takes to stop Miami’s D’Eriq King this coming Saturday when the No. 7 Hurricanes visit Death Valley in Clemson.
King ranks third in the ACC in total yards, averaging 297.7 yards per game. He also second among all ACC quarterbacks with 157 rushing yards, 52.3 yards per game.
“As I was watching the game, I thought, if Brennan Armstrong can do this, D’Eriq King must be watching this game thinking, ‘Boy, I might have an opportunity to have a big game,’ especially after what we have seen out of D’Eriq leading up to this,” ESPN writer Andrea Adelson said on the ACC Network’s Packer & Durham Show Monday morning. “Miami had a week off and had an extra week to prepare for this game.”
The Cavaliers also exploited Clemson’s linebackers, exposing a possible weak link, which could cause matchup issues with Miami tight ends Will Mallory and Brevin Jordan.
“The tight end situation, and I am glad you have brought this up, has been an issue for the last several years for Clemson,” Adelson said. “If you go back and look at some of the elite tight ends in this conference and what they have been able to do against Clemson, defensively, there is no doubt that if you are Miami and you got Will Mallory and Brevin Jordan in your starting lineup and they can do some things to create some matchup problems, that is something Miami is going to take advantage of.”
Adelson also pointed out Clemson’s youth on defense and how Miami offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee will try to use that knowledge against the Tigers. The Hurricanes (3-0, 2-0 ACC) lead the conference in total yards (499.0) and scoring offense (43.3).
“By the way, Brent Venables talked extensively after the (Virginia) game how this is a relatively young Clemson defense, comparatively speaking, considering what we are used to seeing out of Clemson,” she said. “Virginia did some things that maybe took the defense out of their game a little bit, but now Miami comes in with their athletes and who they have at quarterback.”
Clemson’s defense, so far through three games, is allowing 303.0 yards per game, including 417 against Virginia, the most by an ACC offense against the Tigers since 2017. The Tigers (3-0, 2-0 ACC) rank fourth in the ACC in total defense and second in scoring defense at 12.0 points per game.
“That defense is going to have to make adjustments if they want to try and slow down Miami and have the type of game and performance on what we all expect out of Clemson,” Adelson said.
Clemson and Miami are scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m., on Saturday and the game will be televised by ABC.
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