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Clemson defeats Miami 38-3 in ACC Championship Game

Kim Montuoro, Photo Editor

Kelly Bryant celebrates a touchdown against Miami in the ACC Championship game.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Clemson defeated Miami 38-3 Saturday night to claim its third consecutive ACC Title.
Clemson’s offense started the game with a quick score. The Tigers marched 68 yards in 4:24 to take the early lead. The drive featured a lot of Hunter Renfrow, who had three receptions for 41 yards on the drive. Travis Etienne ran the ball in from the four-yard line for the score.
Clemson’s defense also got off to a good start, forcing a three-and-out on the Hurricanes’ first drive after K’von Wallace broke up a long pass play. Ray-Ray McCloud muffed the punt, forcing the Tiger defense to come back out on the field. Clemson was once again able to hold up and force a field goal attempt, which Miami missed wide left.
On the ensuing Tiger drive, McCloud fumbled again after catching a 25-yard pass from Bryant, but Milan Richard was able to jump on the ball. A few plays later, Bryant ran the ball in from 11 yards out to put the Tigers on top 14-0 in the first quarter of play.
At the end of the first quarter, Clemson had out-gained the Hurricanes 164-22.
To start the second quarter, the Tigers relied on Adam Choice to power their way into the end zone for the third Clemson touchdown of the night, putting them up 21-0.
After that drive, the Clemson offense began to sputter a bit. After completing all 15 of his passes to start, Bryant proceeded to throw five straight incompletions. The Tigers did not score again before half, but the defense also prevented Miami from scoring.
At the half, Clemson had out-gained Miami 231-64 and the Tigers had the ball for 17:40 of the first half.
Clemson’s offense got a jump start in the third with a nice punt return from McCloud, assisted by a facemask penalty that set them up in Miami territory. The drive ended with Alex Spence connecting on a 46-yard field goal, giving Clemson a 24-0 lead.
Clemson’s defense created three turnovers in the third quarter, and Clemson scored touchdowns off two of them.
Ryan Carter intercepted Malik Rosier at the Miami 43, and Clemson later scored on an 11-yard rushing touchdown from Tavien Feaster.
Later in the third, Kendall Joseph picked off Rosier and returned it to the Miami 13. C.J. Fuller fumbled the ball, but Clemson recovered at the 27. The next play, Bryant found Cain for a 27-yard touchdown, giving Clemson a 38-0 lead heading to the fourth.
Hunter Johnson and Zerrick Cooper entered the game at quarterback in the fourth. Bryant ended the game 23-29 for 252 yards and a touchdown.
Miami broke the shutout with 3:29 left in the game with a 22-yard field goal.
The College Football Playoff Selection Show will air Sunday at noon. Clemson will find out its playoff spot and opponent during the show.

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