After 13 weeks of college football, there is a contest between two ACC teams competing for the ACC championship. These teams are the Clemson Tigers and the Miami Hurricanes. Both teams started the season with bowl game expectations but no one expected Miami to be competing for a national championship. Virginia was expected to make a bowl game this season and that goal has already been reached. With both teams seeking to improve their resume, expect this game to be closer than people think.
Clemson started the season with the weight of the world on its shoulders. Not only were the Clemson Tigers the defending NCAA football champions, but the university also had to replace the team’s starting quarterback in Deshaun Watson. In his college career, Watson led the Tigers to two consecutive championship games including a thrilling 35-31 victory against Alabama. In that title game, Watson was magnificent as he threw for over 400 yards along with 4 total touchdowns. As a result, Watson was drafted by the Houston Texans with the 12th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Replacing Watson is junior quarterback Kelly Bryant. Bryant, the 20-year-old from South Carolina, has looked promising this season. Statistically, Bryant has thrown for 12 touchdowns and six interceptions. However, Bryant has also contributed heavily in the running game with 639 rushing yards and ten touchdowns. If Bryant is able to use his mobility to pick up first downs, I do not think Miami will be able to win this contest.
However, the main reason for the Tigers’ success this season is its defense. Clemson’s defense currently ranked fourth in points allowed and is regarded as one of the best defenses in all of college football. Clemson’s defensive line has struck fear into the hearts of quarterbacks this season and will look to maintain that against the Hurricanes. One player, in particular, to look out for is a junior defensive end, Austin Bryant. Bryant had four sacks against Auburn and will play a vital role if Clemson plans on dominating the line of scrimmage on Saturday. Clemson is currently the #1 ranked team in the country and a victory against the #7 ranked Miami Hurricanes would lock Clemson in the college football playoff.
The Miami Hurricanes entered the season with several question marks. The largest issue was the departure of starting quarterback Brad Kaaya. Kaaya, in his college career, had 69 touchdown passes and over 9,000 yards passing. Replacing him was going to be extremely difficult for the Hurricanes until they stumbled upon junior quarterback Malik Rosier. So far this season, Rosier has 25 touchdown and nine interception. His mobility and throwing accuracy are a lethal combo that helps keep defenses on their toes whenever he touches the ball. If Miami plans on winning this game, Rosier will need to play extremely well. This game is especially important for Miami considering the fact that Miami needs to win in order to potentially make the college football playoff.
As for my prediction, I have to side with Clemson. I expect Clemson’s defensive line to dominate the game as Bryant will use his legs to generate some points on offense. Clemson should win this game by a few possessions.
Clemson vs. Miami FL: Game Time, TV Channel & Viewing Details
Event: Clemson vs. Miami FL
Date: Saturday, December 2, 2017
Start Time: 8:00 P.M. EST
Location: Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC
How to Watch Clemson vs. Miami FL: Game Time, TV Channel & Viewing Details On Your Tablet Or Mobile Device
You can live stream the game on the ABC app.