Linebacker Brandon Maye accepted responsibility Monday for the missed assignment that left a Wake Forest receiver uncovered for a 19-yard gain in the second quarter - the longest play Clemson's defense allowed.
Maye wouldn't be surprised if this week's opponent, No. 8 Miami, took notice.
First-year coordinator Mark Whipple has predicated a hefty portion of the Hurricanes' offense off play-action, creating mismatches underneath the coverage with his running backs and tight ends.
Tight ends Dedrick Epps and Jimmy Graham - a converted basketball forward - have combined for 220 yards and five touchdowns on 18 catches. Miami's trio of backs have tallied 160 yards and a touchdown on 19 catches.
Pass coverage for Clemson's linebackers has been a liability in recent years, prompting defensive coordinator Kevin Steele to rely heavily on a dime package as his base scheme against TCU.
"They do a good job of isolating the backs on linebackers and forcing us to cover them," Maye said. "We have to do a good job of getting up in their face before they get out of the backfield and make them uncomfortable."
Crazy eights. A win Saturday would match Clemson's mark for the highest-ranked opponent defeated on the road.
The Tigers prevailed at No. 8 North Carolina 10-8 en route to their 1981 national title. Since then, Clemson has lost nine road contests to teams inside the top eight, six times to Florida State.
Successful switch. Offensive line coach Brad Scott said he was pleased with the outcome of his shuffling, featuring redshirt freshman Dalton Freeman's first start at center and redshirt sophomore Mason Cloy's debut as the backup at center and both guard spots.
Cloy finished with 34 snaps against Wake Forest - five more than Freeman, with about a dozen coming at guard.
Cloy notched the key block on Jamie Harper's touchdown run, while Freeman's only noticeable mistake came when he slid too far in protection and allowed Clemson's only sack.
"That really helped our offensive line, no doubt," Scott said.
Extra credit. Parker attributed his efficient performance against Wake Forest to improved preparation.
He said he decided to try to take more thorough notes during meetings and stay late after several practices to watch film on his own.
"I really went back and put a lot more time and effort in," he said. "The biggest thing was I don't like losing, and no one on this team does."
Extra points. Junior safety DeAndre McDaniel was named the ACC's defensive back of the week. ... Second-string defensive tackle Jamie Cumbie tied linebacker Kavell Conner for the team high with eight tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss. Said tackles coach Dan Brooks: "I think that guy's got a lot of potential and a lot to give, and he's coming toward that." ... Scott also was pleased with backup right tackle David Smith, a redshirt sophomore who graded out at 81 percent - less than a month after shifting from guard.