In the showcase game of the week in college football, the Miami Hurricanes and Clemson Tigers meet at Death Valley for a must-watch confrontation. Miami has been the talk of college football with their hot start in the 2020 campaign. They’re off to a 3-0 start with wins over UAB, Louisville, and Florida State.
Are they for real, though? We might have to pump the brakes on Miami, but they have a glorious opportunity to show that they’re a national threat on Saturday night against the vaunted Clemson Tigers. Miami’s biggest win to date is against Louisville on September 19. At the time, it looked like a big win, but I’m not so sure that it can be counted as such now.
Louisville are a 1-3 team and looked clueless versus a mediocre Georgia Tech squad last night. In other words, Miami needs to prove to me that they’re good, but the media has already run with the national contenders narrative.
Following their 47-34 win over the Cardinals, the Hurricanes followed up with a 52-10 win over the dysfunctional Florida State Seminoles. Sure the margin of victory was impressive, but there are a lot of teams in the country who can blow the doors off Florida State.
Bearing this all in mind, I do believe that D’Eriq King is an exciting quarterback to watch play. It will be interesting to see how he holds up against a very talented Clemson defense. Their defensive front is light years ahead of anything he’s seen yet. Go ahead and put King in the Heisman race if he does damage against the Tigers on the road.
Clemson hasn’t really faced much competition of their own in 2020. They have wins over Wake Forest, The Citadel, and Virginia. In their most recent outing, Clemson dispatched Virginia with ease by a score of 41-23. That’s not going to excite too many people, but Virginia isn’t that bad of a team, and we already know what Clemson is all about with Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne.
Pick your poison with those two. Both are projected to be gone quickly in the draft, with Lawrence likely gone with the No. 1 selection in April. It’s going to be a long night for the Hurricanes at Death Valley. Sloppy weather is expected in the area, so we may see a heavy dose of Etienne on Saturday night. Head below for our free Miami vs. Clemson pick for October 10, 2020.
Miami Hurricanes vs. Clemson Tigers NCAAF Betting Odds:
Miami vs. Clemson Prediction:
This matchup is another audition for Trevor Lawrence. He doesn’t have to do much more to show that he deserves to be the No. 1 overall draft pick, but Saturday night presents a unique situation in bad weather. Playing in rainy conditions is part of playing in the NFL. Some college quarterbacks never experience it in the south. Saturday night calls for rain in Clemson, so Lawrence can show that he can still play at a high level in the elements.
It helps to have a player in the backfield like Travis Etienne to lean on. Etienne is averaging 6.3 yards per carry on 23 carries this season. He’s accumulated 243 yards rushing along with 2 touchdowns. He has also caught 9 receptions for 172 yards and an additional touchdown through the air. NFL scouts will appreciate that aspect of his game. Pass catching running backs are all the rage in the NFL right now.
The main concern for Miami in this game is that Etienne is going to go wild on the ground. While Lawrence is going to get all of the media attention going into Saturday night, rightfully so, I think Etienne could steal the spotlight on the field in poor weather. The best running back that Miami has faced up to this point is Javian Hawkins of Louisville.
Hawkins ran for 164 yards on 6.1 yards per carry against Miami a few weeks ago. That opened the passing game for Malik Cunningham, who threw for 307 yards and 3 touchdowns. Lawrence and Etienne are a far bigger challenge for the Miami defense than Cunningham and Hawkins. Louisville were able to register 34 points in that 47-34 loss.
King has some wheels and he can run. However, if the threat of the pass isn’t there in the rain, Clemson can just stack the box and wreak havoc at the line of scrimmage. King isn’t a good enough passer to play this game out of the pocket, so that could pose a problem for the Hurricanes. The Tigers have already registered 13 sacks and 27 tackles for a loss through three games. Additionally, they’ve allowed only 2.2 yards per carry on the ground. Look for this one to be a close game early, with Clemson ultimately pulling away for a 38-17 win or thereabout.