Jacksonville Sports Day

ACC: Hurricanes Fall to Clemson in Title Game, 38-3

CHARLOTTE – The Clemson Tigers rolled past No. 7 Miami 38-3 on Saturday night in the ACC Championship game, earning what is expected to be a trip to New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 in the College Football Playoff semifinals.

“Before the year started if you said we were going to play in the (ACC) championship and have an opportunity to play in the Orange Bowl, I’d have been excited,” Miami coach Mark Richt said. “If that’s where we’re fortunate enough to land, we’ll be excited about it.”

No. 7 Miami was competing in the ACC Championship Game for the first time in program history. The loss was Miami’s second straight overall after the Hurricanes won the first 10 games of 2017.

Miami QB Malik Rosier finished 14-for-29 for 110 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions. He had thrown at least one touchdown pass in each of his 12 prior career starts at Miami before Saturday’s game against Clemson.

Michael Badgley connected on a 22-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. He has now scored 119 points on the year. His 119 points on the year rank second all-time for points scored in a single season.  Badgley’s 22-yard field goal was his 76th of the year. His 76 field goals are the most ever by a Miami kicker in a single season.

Tight end Michael Irvin II made his second straight start and the second start of his career. He finished with three catches for 18 yards. Travis Homer finished with 41 rushing yards. Braxton Berrios led all Hurricanes with seven catches and 51 yards including a long catch of 21 yards.

“You’re very surprised when you come out and get beat in all phases of the game,” Berrios said. “They jumped us from the beginning. We had a chance to do something more, but came up short.”

Miami’s Shaq Quarterman led Miami with 10 total tackles, coming just one shy of his career high (11). He added 1.5 tackles for loss. Chad Thomas finished with seven total tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack. Derrick Smith set a career high with six tackles. His previous career high for a game was three.

Trent Harris recovered a muffed punt return by Clemson’s Ray-Ray McCloud in the first quarter. He became the 16th different Hurricane to wear the “turnover chain” this season.

Clemson junior quarterback Kelly Bryant completed 23 of 29 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a second score and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

Miami’s all-time series lead against Clemson was cut to 6-5. The Tigers now carry a 2-1 lead in neutral site games in the series. Clemson’s senior class improved its record to 50-6, becoming the first team in school and ACC history to accumulate 50 wins in a four-year period.

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