No. 9 Clemson leads Miami to 40th straight home win

CLEMSON, SC — DJ Uiagalelei was aware that early in the season, many doubters would be waiting for Clemson to get back on top at the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Instead, the Tigers ended a perfect conference regular-season run in ninth place with a 40-10 win over Miami on Saturday.

“I think it shows that the guys in the program are sticking to that and staying true to themselves,” Uiagalelei said. “I just come out every single game, put in the work and know it’s going to come out.”

Uiagalelei threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third, while Clemson’s defense limited Miami to 98 yards, the fewest this season.

With only “98 total yards — in modern football — that’s hard to do,” said Tigers coach Dabo Swinney. “Really proud of our defence.”

The Tigers (10-1, 8-0) have won at least 10 games in 12 straight seasons and — for a half — produced their most dominant performance on either side of the ball.

Clemson scored touchdowns on three of his first four possessions while Miami (5-6, 3-4) were stuffed by the Tigers’ defense.

Uiagalelei connected with Davis Allen on a 7-yard TD pass, then ran in from 8 yards to lead 14-0 in under 11 minutes.

After intercepting safety Jalyn Phillips, Clemson again found the end zone on Uiagalelelei’s 2-yard throw at Luke Price.

“I thought the first half was really clean,” said Uiagalelei. “In the second half,[three]turnovers really killed us.”

Miami had no answers. Freshman Jacurri Brown, who ignited the Hurricanes to a 35-14 win over Georgia Tech last week, was pursued by Clemson’s defenders and missed the goal when he managed to throw the ball.

The Hurricanes only managed 8 total yards in the first two quarters.

In the second half, Miami used Clemson’s sloppy play to tighten things up. A fourth-quarter fumble by Uiagalelei was returned to the Tigers 10, and backup Jake Garcia threw a 1-yard score to Kahlil Brantley to level things down to 26-10.

But that’s as close as the hurricanes could come. They need a win over Pitt next week to make the postseason in coach Mario Cristobal’s debut season.

“Yes, they did a good job up front. They have a really good front seven,” Cristobal said. “We didn’t get much movement to get the ground game going.”

The Hurricanes finished rushing for 30 yards on 24 tries.

Uiagalelei completed 22 of 34 throws for 227 yards and one interception. He also led the Tigers in rushing with 89 yards.

take that away

Miami: The Hurricanes were overwhelmed early on by Clemson on offense and defense. “The U” will likely have to hit the recruitment path and transfer portal equally hard this off-season to progress in the ACC.

Klemson: The Tigers looked as good in the first half as they have all year. Then as bad as possible in the second half. Clemson has been chasing consistency all season and still hasn’t found it as they face an ACC title matchup with dynamic North Carolina in two weeks.

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rivalry game

Clemson will seek his eighth consecutive win against rival South Carolina next week. The Gamecocks have not won at Death Valley since a 27-17 win in 2012 when Steve Spurrier was their coach. “The coach always tells us that the game is its own season,” said Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. “We’re looking forward to it.

Missing player

Clemson starts on the defensive. Bryan Bresee missed his fourth game this season, the last due to a sore throat, Swinney said. Bresee missed a win against Louisiana Tech following the death of his sister Ella in September. He also didn’t participate in wins against North Carolina State and Boston College earlier this season after being diagnosed with a kidney infection.

Next

Miami wraps up the regular season at home to Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Clemson finishes at home and is aiming for his eighth straight win over rival South Carolina on Saturday.

By PETE IACOBELLI AP Sportswriter

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