Miami Hurricanes Defeat Clemson Tigers 31-20, Remain In Orange Bowl Hunt

Matthew WilderContributor IOctober 3, 2010

Damien Berry continues to fuel the Miami Offense.
Damien Berry continues to fuel the Miami Offense.Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Several teams were battling it out in conference openers yesterday and Miami was no exception. The Hurricanes fought their way to a tough 31-20 win over the Clemson Tigers on the road.

Miami struggled in the first quarter, which ended in a 7-7 tie. Leonard Hankerson caught a 22 yard pass for a touchdown. Then Clemson answered back with a 71 yard touchdown run by Andre Ellington.

However, the Hurricanes stormed through Clemson in the second quarter, outscoring the Tigers 20-7. Leonard Hankerson hauled in a 65 yard touchdown pass from Jacory Harris. Hankerson scored three touchdowns on the day and had 7 receptions for 147 yards.

Jacory Harris threw for 205 yards and 4 touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions.  Miami running back Damien Berry continues to impress as he rushed for 101 yards on 24 attempts.

The defense played a huge role in securing the victory. Miami scored 13 points off of three turnovers. According to the Miami Herald, Head Coach Randy Shannon said, "It breathes something into your defense."

Shannon also spoke of Harris' interceptions saying, "You don't want the turnovers, but he made some great plays for us today." "We just have to keep working on it and cleaning it up."

The sensational defense of Miami continues to be one of the best units in the nation. They are 42nd against the rush giving up 130.8 rushing yards per game. They rank sixth on passing defense giving up just 136 yards per game. The defense is ranked twelfth overall.

With the win, Miami improves to 3-1 and are currently destined to play in the Orange Bowl. They could face West Virginia, Oklahoma, or Iowa if current projections by remain the same. The Florida Gators could be in the mix, but the huge loss to Alabama has set them back for now.

Miami will host Florida State next Saturday at 8:00 p.m. in one of the biggest rivalries in college football. Then, they will face Duke on Oct. 16 on the road.