Miami Hurricanes: Keys To Beating the Clemson Tigers

David MayerCorrespondent ISeptember 28, 2010

PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 23:  Jon Baldwin #82 of the Pittsburgh Panthers is tackled by Brandon McGee #21 of the Miami Hurricanes on September 23, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Having already faced Pittsburgh and Ohio State on the road, it doesn't look to get any easier this weekend as they head back on the road to visit the Clemson Tigers.

After losing superstar CJ Spiller to the Buffalo Bills, you would think Clemson would not be as good as they were last year.

In reality, the Tigers are better.

The first thing Miami has to do is not only stop the 24th-ranked rushing team in the country (215 yards per game), but contain the Tigers Freshman All-American Quarterback from a year ago, Kyle Parker.

So far this year, running backs Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper have combined for 427 yards on just 67 carries, for an average of 6.3 yards per carry and five touchdowns.

Parker has started a little slow, passing for 503 yards and six touchdowns in three games, but with a solid rushing attack from Ellington and Harper, passing yards have become irrelevant.

Secondly, quarterback Jacory Harris needs to make better decisions with the ball.

Harris has the second most interceptions in the country with six.

Granted, a few of them have been poorly run routes by the receivers, but he still needs to make better decisions on who and where he is throwing the ball too.

Harris got by with poor decisions against a stagnant Pittsburgh Panthers offense, but he will not get by with it against the Tiger's offense.

The Tigers are 17th in the country in scoring offense, averaging 39 points per game.

Miami also needs to establish the running game.

I have been saying this since the beginning of the year and it is starting to get old, but Miami's 85th-ranked rushing offense (125 yards per game) is outright embarrassing.

In order to make Harris's job easier in the pocket, Miami needs to start gaining some yards on the ground, and honestly, I place most of the blame on offensive coordinator, Mark Whipple.

Whipple has been conservatively calling dives and counters like clockwork. 

Every defense so far has been to able to read the run.

The only reason Miami even has that many yards rushing is due to the fact that Damien Berry has been able to break at least one long run per game.

On the defensive side, there really isn't much to talk about that already hasn't been said about this great defense.

Miami is ranked eighth in total defense in the country.

Miami leads the country in tackles for loss and are ranked second in the country in sacks.

So as long as Harris and the offense can limit their mistakes and run the ball, they should have no problem getting back to the high powered offense everyone thought they would have this year.

My prediction is Miami's defense pulls through again and stops the high powered Tigers, 28-13.