Returning home

CLEMSON - There's something a little bit special about playing in his home state of Florida.

But by the time the whistle sounds around 3:30 from Land Shark Stadium on Saturday, C.J. Spiller will have quickly forgotten that he's back in the Sunshine state.

After Clemson's 38-3 win over Wake Forest last Saturday, Spiller said he believes the Tigers are back to having fun.

"We're just going out there and playing for each other, really," he said. "The main difference (last Saturday) is that we executed this time around in what we haven't been doing in the losses we've received."

Execution is a must Saturday if Clemson's offense is going to have its way against the fastest team the Tigers have seen this year, outside of their own practice fields. The Sunshine State speed possessed by Spiller and Jacoby Ford will also be on display from Miami's defense.

"This is by far the fastest defense we've faced this year. These guys fly around, gang tackle, play with a high energy--I'm sure they talk a little bit. That's the way the game is supposed to be played," Spiller said, "with high energy, flying around and playing with emotion."

There's no room for any drop off against the Hurricanes. Spiller said Miami is very capable of handing out an embarrassing defeat.

"We can't just go out there and go through the motions. That's a team that is very capable of putting up some high points," he said.

Playing a third Top 15 team this year (BCS No. 10) is a matchup that Spiller relishes.

"I'm pretty sure they're talking about a National Championship. If we our team was number 10 in the country and we only had one loss, that's what I'd be preaching to those guys," he said.

"This is a good opportunity for us."

Coach Dabo Swinney said the Tigers must to learn how to win on the road. If that happens on Saturday, it will bring Clemson a step closer to the program that Swinney envisions.

He feels it would be the sign of a maturing program.

"Then again, it doesn't matter where we play what the weather is--any of that stuff," he said. "It's about who shows up and plays, executes and is focused on the right things."

Swinney doesn't talk much about adding a 20th road win to the Clemson graveyard. (A new tombstone is added just outside the practice fields after every Clemson road win over a ranked team.)

"The kids walk by it everyday. At some point, somebody will say something about that," Swinney said. "We are really just focusing on how to execute."

Spiller would like to see another Tombstone added to the yard one more time before he leaves. In all likelihood, this is probably his last shot for a road win against a ranked opponent.

Ranked or not, he sees Miami at a similar crossroad that Clemson sits at right now.

"They're very similar to us. They're trying to turn things around, trying to get back their roots--how they used to do things," he said.

Spiller became the ACC's career leader in all-purpose yards at Maryland and now has 6,053 in his career. The three FBS players to reach 7,000 yards are DeAngelo Williams (Memphis), Ricky Williams (Texas) and Napoleon McCallum (Navy).

Spiller and Reggie Bush are the only FBS players to reach 2,500 yards receiving, 1,000 yards rushing, 1,500 kick return yards and 500 punt return yards. Top Stories