The Clemson Tigers used a touchdown pass on their first possession of overtime to upset the Miami Hurricanes 40-37 on Saturday night to cap a back and forth game. Miami kicked a field goal on their first possession of overtime to take the lead, but Clemson responded with a seldom used play on third and 11 to get the victory as quarterback Kyle Parker completed a 27 yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Ford. Clemson improved to 4-3 with the win while Miami slipped to 5-2.
College football betting devotees who backed Clemson as +4 road underdogs eventually cashed their tickets, but they definitely earned their money in a game that saw twelve lead changes and two ties. Clemson improved to 5-2 against the spread with the cover, while Miami dropped to 4-3 against the money.
After the game, Jacoby Ford explained his logic for suggesting the surprise play in the huddle:
“We knew this game was going to come down to who made more plays. And we did.”
Miami has a history of winning when their offense is clicking-this loss was only the second in 115 games when the Hurricanes score 37 or more points dating back to’85.
For his part, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is glad this one is over:
“I have a birthday next month and I think I’m going to turn 50 instead of 40. We had to put on Superman capes. We made plenty of mistakes that could have lost us the game, but they played with poise and confidence. We just kept battling.”
CJ Spiller was also a big factor for the Tigers as he set a school record with 310 all purpose yards including a 90 yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He also added 81 yards rushing and 104 yards receiving with a 56 yard touchdown catch.
Clemson QB Parker suggested that last week’s win over Wake Forrest was a turning point for his team:
“I think last week we realized that we could be really good and this week we acted on it. I thought we really got some explosive plays and we played well.”
Miami’s quarterback Jason Harris sounded a different tone in his postgame comments:
“This has to be my toughest loss here. We fought so hard throughout the game as a team and didn’t come out with the victory. We let Clemson outwork us, we turned the ball over too much — little things that made us get to this point.”
Clemson will host FCS foe Coastal Carolina next Saturday before resuming ACC play the following week at home against Florida State. Miami plays two of their next three on the road, starting next weekend at Wake Forest. They’ll face the University of Virginia at home the next week before traveling to Chapel Hill for a game against North Carolina on November–.