No. 9 Clemson tops Miami 40-10 for 40th straight at home

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CLEMSON, S.C. – DJ Uiagalelei understood entering the season there’d be plenty of doubters ready to count out Clemson getting back on top in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Instead, the ninth-ranked Tigers finished off a perfect regular-season conference run with a 40-10 victory over Miami on Saturday.

“I think it shows testament to the guys in the program, sticking with it, staying true to ourselves,” Uiagalelei said. “Just coming out each and every game putting in the work and know it’ll come out.”

Uiagalelei threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third while Clemson’s defense limited Miami to 98 yards, its fewest this season.

With just “98 total yards– in modern day football– that’s hard to do,” Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said. “Really proud of our defense.”

The Tigers (10-1, 8-0) have won at least 10 games in 12 straight seasons and – for a half – had their most dominant showing on both sides of the ball.

Clemson scored touchdowns on three of its first four possessions while Miami (5-6, 3-4) was stuffed by the Tigers defense.

Uiagalelei connected on a 7-yard TD pass to Davis Allen, then ran one in from 8 yards out to lead 14-0 less than 11 minutes in.

After safety Jalyn Phillips‘ interception, Clemson again found the end zone on Uiagalelei’s 2-yard throw to tight end Luke Price.

“I thought the first half was really clean,” Uiagalelei said. “In the second half, (three) turnovers really killed us.”

Miami had no answers. Freshman Jacurri Brown, who sparked the Hurricanes to a 35-14 win over Georgia Tech last week, was hounded by Clemson’s defenders and off target when he was able to throw the ball.

The Hurricanes managed just 8 yards total the first two quarters.

In the second half, Miami took advantage of Clemson’s sloppy play to tighten things up. A fourth-quarter fumble by Uiagalelei was returned to the Tigers 10 and backup Jake Garcia tossed a 1-yard score to Kahlil Brantley to cut things to 26-10.

But that’s as close as the Hurricanes could come. They’ll need a win over Pitt next week to make the postseason in coach Mario Cristobal‘s debut season.

“Yeah, they did a good job up front. They’ve got a really good front seven,” Cristobal said. “We didn’t get a ton of movement to get the ground game going.”

The Hurricanes ended with 30 yards rushing on 24 attempts.

Uiagalelei completed 22 of 34 throws for 227 yards and an interception. He also led the Tigers in rushing with 89 yards.

THE TAKEAWAY

Miami: The Hurricanes were overwhelmed early by Clemson on offense and defense. “The U” Will Likely have to hit the recruiting trail and the transfer portal equally hard this offseason to take steps forward in the ACC.

Clemson: The Tigers looked as good as they have all year in the first half. Then as bad as possible in the second half. Clemson’s been chasing consistency all season long and still has not to find it as it closes in on an ACC title matchup with dynamic North Carolina in two weeks.

RIVALRY GAME

Clemson will look for its eighth straight win over rival South Carolina next week. The Gamecocks haven’t won at Death Valley since a 27-17 win in 2012 when Steve Spurrier was their coach. “Coach always tells us the game is a season of its own,” Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. said. “We’re looking forward to it.

MISSING PLAYER

Clemson starting defensive tackle Bryan Bresee missed his fourth game this season, this latest one due to strep throat, Swinney said. Bresee missed a win over Louisiana Tech after the death of his sister, Ella, in September. He also didn’t play in victories over North Carolina State and Boston College earlier this season after getting diagnosed with a kidney infection.

UP NEXT

Miami closes the regular-season season at home on Saturday against Pittsburgh.

Clemson finishes at home against rival South Carolina on Saturday.

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”