MIAMI GARDENS (The Sports Xchange) — Sixth-ranked Clemson dominated from the start to crush Miami 58-0 in an Atlantic Coast Conference mismatch on Saturday.
The Tigers led 42-0 at the half in improving to 7-0 for the season and 4-0 in conference play in recording their biggest victory margin since an 82-24 rout of Wake Forest in 1981, their national championship season.
The Hurricanes fell to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in ACC play in absorbing the worst defeat in the history of their program, which started in 1925.
Miami’s best chance for avoiding its first shutout loss under coach Al Golden came when cornerback Artie Burns recovered a fumbled punt at Clemson’s 38-yard line early in the fourth quarter. But quarterback Malik Rosier, who was subbing for injured starter Brad Kaaya, came up a yard short of a first down on his fourth-down scramble and the Tigers took over on downs.
The game couldn’t have started any better for Clemson or worse for Miami.
The Tigers scored touchdowns on their first four possessions to take a 28-0 lead early in the second quarter and had 180 yards in total offense by that point. Quarterback Deshaun Watson was 12-of-13 passing for 113 yards and a touchdown at that time and had a 63-yard run to set up Clemson’s second score.
Miami had only 70 yards of offense by then and had turned the ball over on Kaaya’s second interception of the season. It came with the Hurricanes facing third-and-7 at Clemson’s 19-yard line on their deepest penetration of the game.
The Tigers didn’t let up after, scoring on an 84-yard drive on Watson’s 6-yard run with less than a minute in the second quarter, then getting a defensive score when cornerback Cordrea Tankersley returned an interception for a touchdown just seconds later.
Reserves played much of the second half for both teams.
NOTES: Miami QB Brad Kaaya left the game midway through the second quarter and did not return after showing concussion symptoms. He completed 6 of 10 passes for 51 yards and had one interception for the day. … Clemson QB Deshaun Watson rushed for 98 yards and passed for 143 in completing 15 of 19 attempts before exiting the game midway through the third quarter. … Tigers freshman QB Kelly Bryant rushed for two touchdowns, his first collegiate scores. … TE Jordan Leggett’s 34-yard touchdown reception on Clemson’s opening drive was his team-leading sixth touchdown catch of the season.