Aided by three overtimes and a constant pounding by the Miami offensive line, the players up front on the Tigers defense wore down to a point of no return. They, for the most part, were done, which enabled No. 13 Miami to escape with a 36-30 victory Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.
"I thought we stoned them until overtime," defensive coordinator Vic Koenning said. "I thought we held up pretty good. … We got the ball in a lot of not so good field positions on defense and held them, and held them, and held them, and held them and kept holding them again.
"Without a doubt we got tired, without a doubt."
Members of the Miami offensive line said they could see a look of desperation on the faces of the Tigers defenders, especially as the game kept going and going.
"I think we decided to take the game in our hands and we went out there and just decided that we were going to pound them, pound them, pound them," Winston said. "They don't like to get hit too much and after we saw that, we came out there and just pounded it some more.
"You can see it in their eyes. You can see, ‘I don't know if I want this anymore.' As much as we were running it, we kept getting to the line faster and faster and kept pushing them."
And with the physical fatigued for Clemson came mental breakdowns. As had been the case against Texas A&M, players found themselves in the wrong position to make a play.
"We've got to correct the (missed assignments)," said Tigers Bandit Gaines Adams. "That's what's holding us back, the MAs. They got a great offensive line, but I'm not saying they contained us or we couldn't do anything. I think we just had a lot of MAs.
"I was tired, but you can't give up. You've just got to keep going."
In that second half, including the three overtimes, the Hurricanes rolled up 122 rushing yards after gaining just 73 in the first two quarters. They also threw for 126 yards and allowed just one sack after passing for only 36 yards and allowing four sacks in the first half.
"We definitely finished them instead of the other way around," Miami left guard Tyler McMeans said. "We've still got a lot of work to do. We've got be where we don't get in that situation. Not to take anything away from Clemson, but in my opinion we're clearly a better team than they are."
While that may be a extremely far from the truth, Miami was better in the end.
Tigers Run Out of Gas
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