CLEMSON, S.C. — With the exception of a banged-up Malik Cunningham, Clemson’s defense has not faired too well against running quarterbacks.
The ninth-ranked Tigers, who host Miami Saturday at Memorial Stadium, struggled at stopping Georgia Tech quarterback Jeff Sims, Florida State’s Jordan Travis, and Syracuse’s Garrett Shrader. All three used their arms and their legs to keep Clemson off-balance.
They also used the Tigers’ tendency to over pursue against them. Sims rushed for 42 yards, Travis 64 and Shrader 71.
Cunningham had an injured left hand, and it was obvious Louisville was trying not to run him as much because of the injury. When they finally did, he hurt his hand worse and did not return to the game.
The Tigers (9-1, 7-0 ACC) are not sure who they might see at quarterback when they kickoff against Miami at 3:30 p.m. from Memorial Stadium. Regular starter Tyler Van Dyke injured his right shoulder in a loss to Duke on Oct. 22 and then re-injured it against Florida State on Nov. 5.
Last week, the Hurricanes (5-5, 3-3 ACC) started true freshman Jacurri Brown, who played well in a 35-14 win over Georgia Tech. Miami head coach Mario Cristobal will not say who will play quarterback on Saturday. Only saying Van Dyke was day-to-day.
In the win over Georgia Tech, Brown completed 14-of-19 passes for 136 yards, while tossing three touchdowns. He also ran for 87 yards on 19 carries.
It was his 87 rushing yards that really have the Tigers concerned.
“He is a tremendous athlete,” Clemson defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin said. “They talk like he’s maybe one of the better athletes on the team down there. So, a huge challenge from a quarterback run game standpoint and containing him in the pocket.”