Clemson coach Dabo Swinney spent 10 minutes on the ACC Teleconference Wednesday morning talking about Saturday's game against the 16th-ranked Hurricanes.
Among the keys to beating the Hurricanes, Swinney said, forcing quarterback Jacory Harris to feel uncomfortable in the pocket. The Tigers rank 10th in the country in sacks and have two terrors at defensive end in Da'Quan Bowers and Andre Branch, who each have three sacks through the first three games of the season.
"We’ve got to just try to not give up big chunks of plays," Swinney said. "They like to get their offense in chunks. They’ll throw it up and they got really talented wideouts that we’re going to have to do a great job with. The biggest thing is just getting pressure on the quarterback. We’ve definitely got to affect him, not let him get comfortable in the pocket. He likes to be in the pocket. We have to make him get on the run, so to speak.
"Against these guys you better tackle well because if you don’t there’s a lot of yards after the catch or some type of homerun score. So we’ll have to do a super job on that. they have an excellent group on offense. they like to be balanced. They do a lot of formations, a lot of unbalanced type of alignments which can create some issues for you as far as getting lined up on defense and stuff."
Swinney said he was impressed by the growth he's seen from UM's defense under second-year defensive coordinator John Lovett. They key will be the battle up front. The Tigers have only given up two sacks this season -- one against Presbyterian and another in their loss to Auburn. Left guard David Smith, though, one of four returning stareers, will miss Saturday's game with an ankle injury.
"They’ve got pretty good people and stats to back it up," Swinney said of the Canes. "No. 1 defense in our conference and we have total respect for them.
"Our offensive line has got to win at the line of scrimmage. No doubt about it. we cannot let them tee off on us. We have to do a great job at the point of attack whether we’re running the ball or throwing the ball. That’s a big matchup. We’re not giving up a lot of sacks – we’re one of the better teams out there and they’re obviously one of the better teams in getting sacks, so that matchup is going to be critical throughout the game."
> Gene Sapakoff from the Post and Courier writes about the Tigers' search for receivers after the depature of Jacoby Ford.
HERBSTREIT THINKS CANES CAN RUN THE TABLE: ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit told WQAM's Joe Rose Wednesday morning the 16th-ranked Hurricanes should finish the regular season 11-1.
"If I were a Miami Hurricane fan, instead of spending time worrying about Jacory Harris and taking shots at him, I would be looking at this week as pretty much, if you win this game, Miami's not losing another game the rest of the year. That's how much is at stake this week," Herbstreit said. "I don't see anyone beating Miami. I've told you since August, this team's gonna win 10 or 11 games and go to a BCS bowl game, and I don't see any reason to change my mind. This game Saturday at Clemson is two of the best teams in the ACC going at it. I think Miami wins this game and goes on to win the rest of their games."
So what happens if the Canes do go undefeated the rest of the way? Could they play in the national championship game? There's always that possibility -- but vaulting an undefeated team like Boise State isn't likely. In fact, there's a chance the Canes might not face a ranked team the rest of the regular season. And that would obviously hurt them in the BCS standings.
The Seminoles, who will play at Sun Life Stadium on Oct. 9, are the only remaining team on UM's schedule who is even receiving votes in the Associated Press poll. Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and North Carolina -- all teams most expected to give UM fits in conference play -- each have two losses. And South Florida (2-1) hasn't looked very good. The Bulls struggled to beat Western Kentucky 24-12 last week.