Miami looking to defuse explosive Clemson offense

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Joshua S. Kelly/Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Miami’s defense put forth a solid effort during its 30-20 victory over Virginia Tech last weekend, but head coach Al Golden knows his unit faces a much taller task this Saturday when the Hurricanes (4-2,1-1 ACC) host No. 6 Clemson (6-0, 3-0 ACC) at noon.

Last Saturday the Tigers offense dismantled a stingy Boston College defense last week in their 34-17 victory over the Eagles. Star quarterback Deshaun Watson led the assault as he threw for 420 yards and three touchdowns, while wide receiver Artavis Scott pulled in 10 passes for 162 yards and a score.

The Clemson offense can strike fast, which could spell bad news for a Miami defense that has had a habit of allowing big plays this season.

“We got to fix some things,” Golden said during the ACC weekly teleconference. “We’ve given up more explosive runs this year than we’ve had in a long time. Especially last year, we didn’t give up as many. We have to do a better job there.”

“We have to tackle on the second level and our secondary contain has got to be there.”

The key for the Hurricanes is stopping Watson, a sophomore, who has thrown for 1,410 yards and 14 touchdowns to help the Tigers score an ACC third-best 35.2 points per game.

“He has tremendous poise,” Golden said. “He has all the tools in terms of being able to sit in the pocket and throw.

“He can make all the throws, but he has the ability to create. He’s tough in the read game because if you fall asleep he’s going to pull it and get in the alley. He’s just a great competitor.”