CLEMSON - Head coach Dabo Swinney, the coordinators, Andre Ellington, DeAndre McDaniel, Kyle Parker…
Six turnovers doom Clemson
All six turnovers were in Clemson territory.
"It's really miraculous that it was that close," said head coach Dabo Swinney. "When you turn it over six times…you're not going to win many games. That's just extremely disappointing."
Clemson threatened to take the lead early in the fourth quarter before Andre Ellington was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-1 at the Miami 20.
On the ensuing drive, the Tigers were hit with an off-sides penalty before third-and-10. The drive ended with a 29-yard field goal by Matt Bosher and Clemson trailing 30-21.
"Again, we've got to stop shooting ourselves in the foot," said defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. "We've got to overcome the fact of being really good or looking like wow. We've got to find that button and get it pushed."
Kyle Parker looked "wow" in the first half, completing just 5 of 17 passes for 34 yards. He finished 14 of 33 for 149 yards and took "full responsibility" following the game.
"I thought I played pretty poorly. I didn't put those guys in a good situation. I definitely could correct that," Parker said.
The first interception was made by Miami defensive tackle Marcus Fortson after a deflected screen-pass. Jacory Harris threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Mike James on the ensuing play.
Parker's second pick came with less than a minute to play in the first half. That led to Harris' third touchdown pass to Leonard Hankerson. The 7-yard score capped 20-straight points and gave Miami a 27-14 halftime lead.
Hankerson had seven catches for 147 yards and touchdown scores of 22 and 65 yards.
"He was pretty much the main guy for them," Swinney said. "We didn't do a good enough job of holding him down."
Harris completed 13 of 33 passes for 205 yards, tied a career-high with four touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions.
The first was to Rashard Hall. The second was made by Marcus Gilchrist in the Clemson end zone with Miami threatening to score again after Ellington fumbled at the Clemson 22-yardline.
Ellington still rushed for a game-high 107 yards on 17 carries and scored touchdowns on runs of 71, 14 and 3 yards. He had a tough time finding anything good to come of the day, even with his second-straight 100-yard performance.
"I don't want to take that credit. I'm a team player. We didn't win the game. That's the bottom line," Ellington said.
Clemson's second fumble came on the second play of the fourth quarter when DeAndre Hopkins hauled in a 20-yard, third-down completion at the Miami 45. Parker fumbled on a Colin McCarthy sack in the fourth quarter after Bosher's field goal and threw his third interception on Clemson's ensuing drive.
"Even with all the mistakes, all the mess, to have a chance to win the game at the end, again, I think it shows good resolve of the football team," Swinney said.
The loss dropped Clemson to 2-2 on the season (0-1 in ACC). Miami improved to 3-1 (1-0 in ACC).
DeAndre McDaniel, who had a team-high nine tackles, would like to see the Hurricanes again in December.
"We wanted to start off this ACC play correctly," he said. "We're going to try to win out. Hopefully they win out and we can meet back up with them in Charlotte."
Swinney said he's prepared to see the bandwagon become a little less crowded.
"I know a lot of people will give up. That's just the kind of nature of most people—give up and starting pointing fingers and all that kind of stuff," he said. "This football team will rally. We've got a lot of ball left. They don't cancel the season after one conference game.
"I expect, when all the smoke settles, for us to be a very good football team."
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