Oct 24

Tiger Tracks

Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC  Tags:

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Photo: USPresswire (click to enlarge)

In the end, it was Jacoby Ford that got the game winner. After CJ Spiller - Ford's trackmate and good friend - had already picked up two scores and over 310 yards all-purpose in the game, he got the call on a crossing route for a 26-yard score and a Clemson win, 40-37. For the Tigers, it puts them in a tie for first place in the ACC Atlantic. For Miami, an outside shot at the national title is now gone.
CJ Spiller will go down as probably the best offensive Tiger of all-time. With today's game, he now has 17 games with a run of over 50 yards, including each game this season. Tonite, he had 310 all-purpose yards. He caught a td pass, he scored on a kick return, and he picked up third down runs when Clemson needed them. He played for the first time tonite as a collegiate with his father in the stands, and he turned in an A-plus performance. His father, who drives a sanitation truck in the Jacksonville area, witnessed perhaps his son's greatest Clemson performance. CJ Spiller is months away from a huge contract, and his dad will be able to toss those truck keys to someone else.
Kyle Parker (25 of 37 for 326 yards) played well enough to lead Clemson to the win, but he definetly showed his freshman ways. He had an interception at the worst of times (late in the 4th quarter deep in Miami territory), and also fumbled for a Miami 53-yard touchdown return. In the end though, he hit his man Ford and led Clemson to a win.
Miami was thinking about an outside shot of reaching the national title game, and ESPN even showed a graphic of what it would take for them to get there. It was at that point in the game - just after the ESPN graphic - that DeAndre McDaniel picked off a Jacory Harris pass and took it to the house for a Clemson score. The lead changed nine times in this game, and this was one of them.
The ACC is as wide-open tonite as it was the day the season opened. Clemson now is tied for first in the ACC Atlantic with Boston College, with whom they have the tie over. Miami is now in a heated battle with Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech in the ACC Coastal.

Kicker Richard Jackson missed a 41-yarder for Clemson, but responded by making kicks of 43 and 30 yards when the Tigers need them.

Coach Dabo Swinney and the Clemson team needed this win in a major way after losing close to Georgia Tech, Maryland, and TCU. Finally, a close game went the first-year coach's way.

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