CLEMSON AT MIAMI
Kickoff: 12 noon ET/9 a.m. PT
Las Vegas Line: Miami +7
What I mention in the intro about upsets oftentimes being difficult to pinpoint? I’m not so sure that applies in the case of undefeated Clemson’s visit to Miami.
The Hurricanes nearly pulled off the upset at Florida State two weeks ago, taking the lead in the fourth quarter on a terrific touchdown catch by wide receiver Stacy Coley.
— Jarrett W. Payton (@paytonsun) October 11, 2015
Had Heisman candidate Dalvin Cook not run wild down the stretch, Miami would be well-positioned in the ACC race and taken some of the heat off embattled head coach Al Golden. As it stands, the Hurricanes are in need of a marquee win, both for their chances in the Coastal and for Golden’s outlook.
The wildly inconsistent Miami defense is faced with containing another Heisman candidate, this time quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Watson was questionable ahead of Clemson’s rout last week of Boston College, but came on to hit the Eagles for three touchdowns and over 400 yards passing. He was also picked twice, however, extending his streak of games with an interception this season to five.
Turnovers are often a key ingredient to any upset. If Artie Burns or Corn Elder (or both) can exploit any mistakes Watson might make, the Hurricanes can score a win that shakes up both the ACC and College Football Playoff landscape.
On the flip-side, talented Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya is prone to lapses in his consistency. Faced with an aggressive Clemson defense, Miami’s hopes rest largely on Kaaya’s ability to sustain drives.
The Hurricanes will be in position to pull off an upset. Whether they get it done, however? That’s another matter.