Clemson football kicking off against Miami is big for many reasons.
It was shocking yet not so shocking to learn that Saturday night’s Clemson football matchup against Miami will be just the fifth Top 10 ACC game hosted within the confines of Death Valley. You would have hoped that there would have been more but the reality of the ACC football history smacks you in the face.
Regardless of the circumstances, how many people will be in attendance, hosting a Top 10 matchup in your home stadium always has been, is, and will be a big deal!
There were conversations during the offseason and as the season has started about who in the ACC could compete with Clemson? Nationally there was excitement when it was announced Notre Dame would join the ACC as a football member this fall because it created a sense that there was a team that could challenge the Tigers.
Teams like North Carolina were mentioned, the leadership in Greensboro has been waiting for Miami to move the needle since they joined the conference. Virginia Tech is off to a fast start. People are still stupefied by Virginia’s performance in Death Valley.
Can anyone in the ACC actually catch Clemson football on the field?
At the end of the day, I care about Clemson. That said, it sure would be nice if a team or two could make real and tangible steps towards closing the gap and creating competition with the Tigers. Much has been said on the Miami side that this is not a big game for Clemson.
Certainly, Clemson does not win Saturday to prove its worth as a mover and shaker in college football. The Tigers do not need to win Saturday to prove they are “back”.
Saturday represents a marquee opportunity and challenges for the 2020 Clemson team as they write their story in the history books of Clemson football.
If this Clemson team is going to make the run and rectify what was lost in New Orleans earlier this year, Saturday is huge. This is a different Miami team than we have seen the last two times these programs have faced each other.
The most significant difference in Miami having D’Eriq King as a dynamic playmaker at the quarterback position. The Hurricanes have always had athletes but now they have a quarterback and offense that showcases their talent and that will make for an exciting back and forth Saturday.
The objective for Clemson is to win the game, whether that is by 35 or 1. Long and short term a well contested, competitive game Saturday night benefits the growth and ascension of both teams.
It is an opportunity to shift the narrative surrounding the ACC and most important it is an opportunity to enjoy a high profile conference matchup in Death Valley.