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Meltdown in Miami: Tigers collapse and fall to Hurricanes in overtime

Katie Bradham
Clemson lost a third ACC game on Saturday when it fell to Miami in double overtime.

Despite entering the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead and momentum in hand, Clemson ultimately fell to Miami in double overtime on Saturday night.

After a back-and-forth first half that ended in a tied score, the Tigers pulled away from the Hurricanes to open the second half, taking a 10-point lead with 2:01 left in the third quarter. But Miami ultimately went on two scoring drives, one for a touchdown and one for a field goal, to tie up the game and force overtime.

In the first overtime period, both teams’ defense held the opposing offense to a field goal, and the game went into double overtime, with Miami taking possession first and reaching the end zone. In need of a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion to stay alive, quarterback Cade Klubnik and the Tigers’ offense trotted down to inside the 1-yard line. But with the game on the line on fourth-and-goal, Klubnik rushed for a loss, sealing the win for the Hurricanes.

After the game, head coach Dabo Swinney said the play on fourth-and-goal was supposed to be a handoff to running back Will Shipley instead of a quarterback keeper.

“No, it was a handoff, 100 percent,” Swinney said. “We didn’t hand it off. Just spoiled it. I got no answer. Just trying to do too much. So, no RPO. It’s a give, and we just didn’t do it. We made a lot of plays, but again, you just gotta play within the system.”

The Tigers put themselves in trouble with three turnovers in regulation, including a costly lost fumble by Will Shipley on Miami’s one-yard line in the first quarter. After taking over on offense, Miami running back Brashard Smith ran for an 80-yard score to put the Hurricanes on the board. In field goal range early in the second quarter, Klubnik also lost a fumble, possibly costing the Tigers three points. The sophomore signal-caller was also responsible for the team’s third giveaway, as he threw an interception with less than two minutes left in the first half.

In the fourth quarter, Clemson’s offense gained a mere five total yards and did not record a first down. The poor offensive production came after Klubnik and tight end Jake Briningstool connected on several big plays, including a 32-yard touchdown reception midway through the second quarter that put the Tigers on the board.

Briningstool finished with a career-high 126 receiving yards, the most by a Clemson tight end in a single game in program history.

With the loss, Clemson is out of contention for the ACC Championship game and is middle of the pack in the conference standings.

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About the Contributors
Justin Robertson
Justin Robertson, Associate Editor
Katie Bradham
Katie Bradham, Senior Videographer
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