Tigers will claw Miami

Nov 2, 2004 4:06 AM

Clemson (+17) at Miami: We finally saw that the three "power" programs in the state of Florida may have finally come back to the mean in their respective conferences.

They will all get their share of wins, but most will not come as easy as first thought back in August. Look for Clemson to give the Hurricanes all they can handle this week. The Tigers tripped up early in the year against Georgia Tech. Bad clock management and a bad snap from center led to a tailspin that wasn’t corrected until reeling off three straight wins, highlighted by last week’s victory over NC State.

This is known around Tiger Country as the "saving Tommy’s job" time of year. Bowden’s Tigers need just two wins in the remaining three games to become bowl eligible. It is not far fetched to think the string could begin at Miami.

The Hurricanes were fortunate to prevail in their two toughest games (Florida State, Louisville). The bubble burst against an emotional, but much less talented North Carolina. Even Roy Williams (UNC basketball coach) was clapping with joy. Although never documented, it seems when one of these power teams fall as huge favorites they are more apt to struggle the following week.

Clemson QB Whitehurst can be iffy at times, but played well against an NC State defense that is as good if not better than Miami. The Hurricanes are out of the hunt for the big prize and, although Coach Larry Coker will say the diplomatic things this week, playing second fiddle is not on their dance card. Look for this ACC clash to be decided late. CLEMSON.

Take care, Jimmy V.

Last week: 0-1

Season: 6-3