CLEMSON, SC - Well, it was looking at halftime like the Tigers might finally put together their first complete game of the season, but it was not to be. They turned the ball over 3 times in the 2nd half, and the offense was scoreless in the 3rd quarter, letting Miami get to within 2 touchdowns at one point. The Tigers finally got their offensive act together after a safety made it 26-10. DJ played pretty well overall but made a couple big mistakes, particularly the interception and the fumble. He and the rest of the offense MUST start protecting the football like it's solid gold! They have one more game in which they can get away with that, and then it's the ACC Championship. I guarantee they won't be able to get away with minus 2 or minus 3 in the turnover margin against the Heels! The Tigers have 12 turnovers in the last 4 games after just 5 in the first 7 games. They were minus in the turnover margin for a 4th straight game for the first time since 2011! The good news is that they are somehow still 3-1 in those games, but, again, they won't win the ACC Championship doing this.
DJ had a few fantastic runs, including his 6th rush TD of the season and second straight game with a rush TD. He rushed for 89 yards net of sacks, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. He was 22-34 for 227 yards with 2 touchdowns through the air. The Tigers scored a TD on their opening possession for the 6th time this season, but for some reason, the offense always goes through a bad stretch for a quarter or two after starting hot.
The defense was unbelievable! They held the Canes to just 8 yards in the first half and 98 total yards for the game, despite the 3 giveaways by the offense. Trotter was tremendous for the second straight game. The diving tackle he made on 4th and one when they had a 24-0 lead? That showed the commitment and want-to that you want to see from your team leaders and best players. The Tigers were without DT Bryan Bresee, who has strep throat, CB Malcolm Greene, who is out for the season and Tyler Venables, who has a pulled hamstring, but they didn't miss them! Trenton Simpson missed last week with a concussion but came back and had 2 big sacks and a forced fumble today. Pride also recorded a sack, I believe a career-first for the freshman, which resulted in a safety. The Tigers finished with 5 sacks, 2 more than the No.5 sack team in the nation. Phillips intercepted a tipped pass by Mickens in the fist half, and Simpson forced a sack fumble recovered by Tre Williams in the second half. They also forced a turnover on downs.
OG Marcus Tate tweaked his knee and will have an MRI. Mitchell Mayes came in and did a good job. He filled in nicely in the other guard spot last week when Walker Parks was out. Bresee is almost over his strep and should be back for the Tigers regular season finale next week.
The Tigers have won 10 games for a 12th straight year, joining Alabama and FSU as the only programs to do so! They also extended the nation's longest home win streak to 40, tying Notre Dame for the 8th-longest streak all-time. Dabo joins Bear Bryant (Alabama), Fielding Yost (Michigan) and Darrell Royal (Texas) as the only head coaches to win 40 straight home games.
It's too bad both TCU and Michigan barely survived with last-minute come from behind wins! As I wrote before, I still think the Tigers have a good shot at making the playoff, but that would have almost sealed the deal if they had both lost!
I'll have more in a bit. In the meantime, highlights, post-game interviews and notes are below!
WITH THE WIN...
Clemson produced its 19th 10-win season in program history and its 12th 10-win season under Head Coach Dabo Swinney.
Clemson won 10 games for a school-record 12th consecutive season. Clemson became only the third FBS program ever to post 11 consecutive 10-win seasons alongside Florida State (14 from 1987-2000) and Alabama (14 from 2008-21). Clemson was already the only school to win 10 games in double-digit consecutive seasons as a member of the ACC, as only the final nine of Florida State’s 14-straight 10-win seasons came during the Seminoles’ tenure in the ACC.
Clemson has now won at least 10 of the first 11 games of a season for the 12th time in program history, joining the 1948 (11-0), 1978 (10-1), 1981 (11-0), 2012 (10-1), 2013 (10-1), 2015 (11-0), 2016 (10-1), 2017 (10-1), 2018 (11-0), 2019 (11-0) and 2020 (10-1) campaigns.
Clemson won its sixth home game of the season to push its active streak of winning at least six home games at Memorial Stadium to 12 years. The next longest streak of six-plus home wins in the country entering 2022 was five years (Notre Dame).
Clemson won its 40th consecutive home game to extend the longest home winning streak in ACC history. No member of Clemson’s roster has lost a home game at Clemson in their careers.
Clemson tied the 1907-18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (40) for the eighth-longest home winning streak in FBS history.
Clemson produced only the ninth 40-game home winning streak in FBS history. It is the first 40-game home winning streak in the FBS since Nebraska from 1991-98 (47).
Head Coach Dabo Swinney joined Alabama's Bear Bryant (57 from 1963-82), Michigan's Fielding Yost (50 from 1901-07) and Texas' Darrell Royal (42 from 1968-76) as the only FBS head coaches ever to preside over the entirety of a program's home winning streak of 40 games or more.
With his 160th career victory, Swinney tied Oklahoma's Bob Stoops (160) for the second-most victories in the first 15 seasons of a head coaching career in FBS history.
Clemson pushed its national-best record at home in the College Football Playoff era (since 2014) to 59-1.
Clemson took the all-time series lead against Miami at 7-6. It represents Clemson’s first lead in the all-time series.
Clemson evened its all-time home record against Miami at 2-2.
Clemson won a fourth straight game against Miami for the first time in series history.
Clemson (8-0) finished with a perfect record in ACC regular season play for the ninth time in program history, joining the 1967 (6-0), 1978 (6-0), 1981 (6-0), 1982 (6-0), 1983 (7-0), 2015 (8-0), 2018 (8-0) and 2019 (8-0) seasons.
Clemson’s 2022 team joined the 2015 (8-0), 2018 (8-0), 2019 (8-0) and 2020 (8-1) squads as the only teams in school history to win eight conference games in a regular season.
Clemson won its 11th consecutive game against conference opponents, dating to last season. It tied for Clemson's fourth-longest streak against conference opponents since the formation of the ACC in 1953.
Clemson improved to 36-9 against opponents historically from the ACC Coastal Division, including postseason play, under Head Coach Dabo Swinney. That figure includes games against traditional Coastal opponents in a divisionless season in 2020. Clemson has now won 22 of its last 24 games against the Coastal Division since 2015.
Clemson is now 124-14 against AP unranked teams under Dabo Swinney.
Clemson is now 75-4 when scoring first since 2015.
Clemson has now won 105 of its last 107 games, including each of its last 68, when leading at halftime.
Clemson improved to 126-2 since 2011 when leading after three quarters, including wins in its last 67 games in which it takes a lead into the fourth quarter.
Clemson now has a 123-2 record when totaling more first downs than its opponent since 2011 and has won its last 63 such contests.
Clemson improved to 76-1 when rushing for 200+ yards under Dabo Swinney.
Clemson is now 58-0 when both passing and rushing for 200+ yards under Dabo Swinney.
Clemson has now won 105 of its last 106 games when holding teams under 23 points (dates to 2010).
Clemson has now outscored Miami 178-30 in its four-game winning streak against the Hurricanes.
Clemson held Miami to 98 total yards, the third-lowest single-game total in Miami history, trailing the Hurricanes’ 22-yard performance against Kentucky in 1951 and their 87-yard effort against Notre Dame in 1965.
The 98 yards were Clemson’s fewest allowed since holding South Carolina State to 44 yards in 2014. It was Clemson’s first time holding an ACC opponent below 100 yards since 2009 (54 vs. Boston College).
Miami only ran 42 offensive plays, the fewest by a Clemson opponent since 1992 (North Carolina, 42). It marked only the eighth time since 1954 that a Clemson opponent has run 42 or fewer plays in a game.
Clemson reached the 40-point mark for the fourth time this season and for the first time since a 51-point performance at Wake Forest in late September.
Clemson recorded 447 total yards, including 240 passing yards and 207 rushing yards. It was Clemson’s 58th game under Dabo Swinney in which it has reached 200 yards in both categories. Clemson is 58-0 in those contests.
Clemson reached 400 yards of offense in consecutive games for the second time this season (vs. Furman and Louisiana Tech).
Clemson held a 27-6 edge in first downs. The plus-21 margin in first downs is Clemson’s largest since producing 22 more first downs than Georgia Tech in 2020.
Clemson’s six first downs allowed were its fewest since holding Wake Forest to five first downs in 2019.
Clemson converted 14-of-19 on third downs (73.7 percent), Clemson’s highest third-down percentage since 2018, when Clemson converted 87.5 percent against Louisville.
Clemson possessed the ball for 38:15, Clemson’s longest time of possession since the Tigers’ previous game against Miami (38:23 in 2020).
Clemson held a 24-0 lead at halftime, Clemson’s first time holding an opponent scoreless through two quarters since shutting out South Carolina last season.
Clemson outgained Miami, 228-8, in total yardage in the first half and held a 15-1 advantage in first downs in that span.
Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei completed 22-of-34 passes for 227 yards with two passing touchdowns.
Uiagalelei also recorded career highs in rushing attempts (17) and rushing yards (89) and added a rushing touchdown.
Uiagalelei’s 89 rushing yards were the most by a Clemson quarterback since Trevor Lawrence’s 90 rushing yards against Notre Dame in the 2020 ACC Championship Game.
The game was Uiagalelei’s fifth of the season with at least 200 passing yards and at least 50 rushing yards. Uiagalelei entered the day as one of six players in the country to reach those marks in at least four games this season (Drake Maye, Brennan Armstrong, Bo Nix, Hendon Hooker and Spencer Sanders).
Uiagalelei improved to 21-5 as a starter. He tied Steve Fuller (21-11-3 from 1957-78) and Mike Eppley (21-5-1 from 1980-84) for the eighth-most wins by a Clemson starting quarterback since World War II.
With his two passing touchdowns Saturday, Uiagalelei (35) tied Nealon Greene (35 from 1994-97) for seventh-most career touchdown passes in Clemson history.
Uiagalelei (21) entered the Top 10 in single-season passing touchdowns in Clemson history by tying Woodrow Dantzler's 2001 season and Charlie Whitehurst's 2003 campaign (21 each).
With his 18th completion of the game, Uiagalelei (504) became the sixth player in Clemson history to reach 500 career pass completions.
During the contest, Uiagalelei (2,406) surpassed his 2,246 passing yards from 2021 to set a new single-season career high for passing yardage.
Uiagalelei rushed for an eight-yard touchdown on Clemson’s second drive, adding to his single-season career high with his sixth rushing touchdown of the season.
Uiagalelei has now rushed for a touchdown in back-to-back games for the first time since his freshman season against Boston College and Notre Dame in 2020.
Clemson has now scored at least one rushing touchdown in 65 of its 66 games since the start of the 2018 season. Clemson’s 65 games with a rushing touchdown in that span are the most in the nation.
Clemson opened the game with a 12-play, 75-yard scoring drive that culminated with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Uiagalelei to tight end Davis Allen. Clemson has scored on its opening drive in eight of its 11 games this season.
With his 11th career touchdown reception, Allen passed Bennie Cunningham (10 from 1972-75) for sole possession of the fifth-most touchdown catches by a tight end in Clemson history.
Allen’s fourth touchdown catch of the season tied his single-season career high in touchdown receptions (four in 2020).
Allen and Jake Briningstool became the first tight end duo in Clemson history to each record four touchdown catches in a single season.
Allen (32) set a new single-season career high in receptions, passing his 28 in 2021. He has now posted the first 30-catch season by a Clemson tight end since 2016 (46, Jordan Leggett).
Briningstool recorded a 49-yard fourth-quarter reception that set up a Clemson touchdown. The 49-yard reception was a career long for Briningstool.
Tight end Luke Price recorded his first career touchdown reception on a three-yard pass from Uiagalelei in the second quarter. It was his first reception of the season and the sixth reception in the career of Price, who has been used primarily as a short-yardage blocking specialist for much of his career since transitioning from linebacker in 2019.
Running back Will Shipley rushed 17 times for 61 yards with a touchdown.
Shipley recorded a three-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, his 13th rushing touchdown of the season and the 24th of his career.
Shipley has now rushed for a touchdown in four straight games and has scored on the ground in nine of Clemson’s 11 games this season.
Running back Kobe Pace returned from injury and scored his third rushing touchdown of the season on a one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Wide receiver Cole Turner made his collegiate debut and caught his first pass on a nine-yard third-down reception for a first down.
Clemson completed passes to 12 different receivers, its most since completing passes to 13 different receivers against UConn in 2021.
Clemson’s five sacks tied its season high set against Syracuse.
Clemson has now recorded at least four sacks in consecutive games for the first time since a four-game streak against Florida State, Louisville, UConn and Wake Forest a year ago.
Linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. recorded his first full sack of the season in the first quarter. The 15-yard sack on third down forced a Miami punt.
Safety Jalyn Phillips recorded the game’s first takeaway, intercepting a pass that had been batted by safety R.J. Mickens.
The interception was Phillips’ first of the season and the second of his career. The interception was his first since 2020 against Syracuse.
Defensive end K.J. Henry recorded his third sack of the season in the third quarter.
Cornerback Toriano Pride Jr. recorded the first sack of his career in the third quarter, dropping Miami quarterback Jacurri Brown for a safety.
The safety by Pride was Clemson’s first since Oct. 31, 2020, when Bryan Bresee forced Boston College’s Phil Jurkovec into an intentional grounding in the end zone.
Linebacker Trenton Simpson ended a Miami drive with a third-down sack in the fourth quarter, Simpson’s first full sack of the season.
Later in the quarter, Simpson added his second sack of the game, forcing a fumble that was recovered by defensive tackle Tré Williams. The forced fumble was Simpson’s second of the season.
Simpson’s 2.0 sacks tied his career high set at Louisville in 2021.
Placekicker B.T. Potter appeared in his 66th career game to pass Nolan Turner (65 from 2017-21) for sole possession of the fourth-most career games played in Clemson history.
Potter made his 51st career start at placekicker, pulling him one shy of the Clemson record at that position set by Chandler Catanzaro (52 from 2010-13).
Potter recorded his 70th career field goal on a 32-yard kick to end the first half. Potter joined Nelson Welch (72) as the only players in Clemson history to kick 70 career field goals.
Clemson faced Miami Head Coach Mario Cristobal for the first time. He became the fifth different coach Clemson has faced in its last five games against Miami (Randy Shannon, Al Golden, Mark Richt, Manny Diaz and Cristobal). Clemson improved to 42-5 since 2011 when facing an opposing head coach for the first time.