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By J.T. Wilcox | Staff Writer

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MIAMI GARDENS (CBS Miami) – If any Miami fans were still looking for a reason to rabble-rouse about the state of the football program, they sure got it now.

It was a bit of Murphy’s Law for the Hurricanes Saturday – whatever could go wrong, pretty much did as quarterback Brad Kaaya left the game during the first half with a concussion and the Canes suffered their most embarrassing loss in program history, a 58-0 rout at the hands of No. 6 Clemson at Sun Life Stadium.

The Hurricanes (4-3, 1-2 ACC) were outgained 567 to 146, committed seven penalties for 88 yards and turned the ball over three times in what was easily one of the program’s worse performances in its 90 years of existence.

Previously, Miami’s largest margin of defeat was a 70-14 loss to Texas A&M in 1944. But this was the worst shutout loss in school history – surpassing the 52-0 loss to Howard College in 1927.

Head coach Al Golden, who had to endure the multiple choruses of “Fire Golden” during his team’s drubbing, tried to fall on the proverbial sword for his team after the game.

“We got beat top to bottom,” Golden said. “[Clemson] out-played us and out-coached us. It’s my responsibility to get the team ready to play and I have to do a better a job. We all have to do a better job than what we did today…but it starts with me. I have to do a better job of preparing the team.”

Golden also continued to stress that the Canes are still in line to play for an ACC Coastal championship.

“We’re in a five-game playoff now,” Golden said. “We still have divisional games ahead of us. We have to win out and we can still win the Coastal.”

Fans have not minced words about their want for change on Miami’s sideline, however school president Julio Frenk has said that he will leave the decision on Golden’s future largely up to athletic director Blake James.

And James said before the Florida State game that any decisions and all evaluation to be made about Golden and the coaching staff would happen at the end of the season.

But the way things went for the Canes Saturday though, those feelings might have been put to the fire.

Media asked Golden if he felt as though his job was in jeopardy during the postgame press conference.

“No.” Golden said almost dismissively. “I’m not worried about that. We have to get our minds right for Duke.”

And what about all the “noise” coming from the outside coach?

“We’ll see how mentally tough we are. We’ll see how unified we are definitely. We have to move on and not get distracted…we’re in a five-game playoff,” Golden said.

Miami does travel to North Carolina next week for a night time showdown with 5-1 Blue Devils, but it has an even bigger issue to deal with first – the health of its starting quarterback.

The lackluster play of the Hurricanes offensive line finally caught up with Kaaya and he had to leave the game during the second quarter after getting sacked by Clemson’s talented defensive line.

He was examined on the sideline and reportedly failed the concussion protocol tests and was taken to the locker room, not to return.

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Kaaya was 6-for-10 with 51 yards and an interception and Miami trailed 21-0 when he left the game.

Before he left the game, Kaaya led the Canes on their most productive first half drive. After Clemson took a 7-0 lead, Miami marched down to the Tigers 19 yard line. However Kaaya was intercepted by Jadar Johnson on third down – Kaaya’s fifth career interception thrown in the red zone, which ranks 163 out of 164 qualified quarterbacks in that span.

Offensive lineman Joe Brown said that the offensive line play has fallen off as of late.

“We’re playing as good as [we were earlier in the season],” Brown said. “We have to get better. You don’t want to see your quarterback like that.”

Golden and staff continued to shuffle the offensive line around Saturday, but with meager results.
“We didn’t protect well. We had one quarterback get knocked out and one get knocked around,” Golden said.

Sophomore Malik Rosier came in to replace Kaaya, but he didn’t fare much better than his roommate did against the Tigers defense.

Rosier completed just 7 of 22 passes for 42 yards with two interceptions.

“You never want to go in the game under those circumstances,” Rosier said after the game. “You always hear ‘you’re one play away, be ready’ but you don’t know how it’ll be until you experience it. It was tough going in, especially after seeing how Brad went out.”

Joe Yearby was the most productive Hurricane on the day, rushing for 42 yards on 13 carries. Also, Stacy Coley caught eight passes for 54 yards but Miami only totaled six first downs compared to 32 for Clemson.

Worse yet for the Canes, Rashawn Scott left the game during the fourth quarter after taking a big hit from a Tigers defensive back. Scott, who many questioned why he was still in the game as Miami trailed 51-0, laid motionless on the ground for a few minutes while being tended to by trainers. He did get up with help and walked gingerly to the bench and did not return to the game.

Things snowballed on Miami rather quickly.

Clemson (7-0, 4-0 ACC) put together an 8-play, 82-yard drive – capped by a 34-yard throwback screen pass to Jordan Leggett – and took a 7-0 lead not even three minutes into the game.

Then Tigers would score on their next three offensive possessions and ended up scoring touchdowns on five of six offensive drives during the first half. The lone time Clemson didn’t score before halftime came midway through the second quarter thanks to a 73-yard Justin Vogel punt that perfectly rolled out of bounds at the Tigers’ 1-yard line and allowed the Canes defense to force a three and out.

Clemson took a 42-0 lead into the locker room after Cordrea Tankersley picked off a Rosier pass and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown. Oddly enough, the Tigers didn’t sprint directly into the locker room as the half ended, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney gathered his team around him and appeared to admonish them for their first half performance.

Hurricanes head coach Al Golden, on the contrary, made a beeline for the locker room but said to a field reporter on the way that he “wanted to see who’s a fighter” as his team faced a monumental deficit.

Wayne Gallman rushed for a game-high 118 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries as he was one of five Clemson ball carriers to gain at least 40 yards. Tigers third-string freshman quarterback Kelly Bryant scored twice in the second half and starter Deshaun Watson rushed for 98 yards and completed 15 of 19 passes for 143 yards.

After the game, Golden and some of the players spoke as to the team needing to show unity after suffering a record-breaking loss. But safety Deon Bush was more succinct with his feelings.

“It’s disappointing. It hurts,” Bush said. “We didn’t execute and when you don’t execute, the score board will end up looking like it did today.”

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“Me being an older leader on the team, I can’t dwell on it. I have to rally the guys and get them up. I feel like we can bounce back. We can’t [lie] down. I know I’m not going to lie down on my team and I believe they’re not going to lay down on me.”