Tigers will face improved front

CLEMSON - The Miami pass rush scheme is pretty cut and dry, according to Clemson offensive tackles/tight ends coach Danny Pearman.

"They're not too overly complicated," he said. "They just beat you. That's kind of what they're doing again this year."

Miami's has generated the second-most sacks per contest in the nation. The No. 16 Hurricanes average 4.7 sacks a game, second only to Florida State.

Defensive ends have tallied the majority of Miami's sacks this season. Oliver Vernon leads the team with 3½ while Andrew Smith and Adewale Ojomo both have a pair. All-ACC First-Team selection Allen Bailey has one.

"I think Bailey's pretty good. I think he's really good," Pearman said. "I think the other kid on the other side for them, Oliver Vernon, is really good, too. They're both good ends."

He added that they're pretty similar to one another.

"Bailey's extremely quick and extremely strong. I think that's the same thing you can say for Oliver Vernon, No. 35. I think he's extremely quick and extremely strong. I think he uses his speed extremely well," Pearman said. "I think they do a good job up front. Miami has always been that way."

The two starters at defensive tackle have also chipped in with sacks this season.

"The two inside guys, Josh Holmes and [Micanor] Regis are extremely big kids," Pearman said. "They're quick. They don't get knocked off the ball. They make plays. They get around the football. They're kind of glued to it."

Clemson's offensive tackles are short a man this week because of the injury to David Smith. Backup left tackle Brandon Thomas was moved inside to left guard to provide depth behind Mason Cloy, who's subbing in for the injured Smith.

"I think he's progressed pretty well, but we'll see how far along he's come with another week's work," Pearman said of Thomas. "We have to get him plenty of work this week in order for him to be ready to go on Saturday."

That wasn't the only change in Pearman's groups. Former wide receiver Brandon Ford was moved to tight end last week.

The learning curve for Ford is quite steep.

"The passing game, he's pretty up to speed on what the tight ends do. The running game is where he has the furthest to go…we've been pleased with his progression so far," Pearman said.

He admitted the move was made to provide a quick fix behind Dwayne Allen, who played every snap in the 27-24 loss to No. 15 Auburn.

"Right now, it's short-term. But who's to say, down the road, he might be one of the best answers we've got," Pearman said.

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