Clemson University

Ford alerts coaches to winning play-call

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - The play was called "Vol," with "alert" added on before Clemson commenced its overtime drive.

During its final series in regulation, senior receiver Jacoby Ford noticed that on "Vol," Miami's safety to his side in the three-receiver bunch was playing Ford to go outside to the corner.

So Ford conferred with the coaching staff about an adjustment that spawned his 26-yard touchdown catch in Saturday's 40-37 overtime triumph at No. 8 Miami.

Facing third-and-11, the Tigers executed the play they had just drawn up on the sideline, when quarterback Kyle Parker had proclaimed, "then we catch this and leave."

"And you know what happened," Parker said.

Working from the slot, Ford gave a quick fake toward the right corner of the end zone, sending the defender in man coverage, Miami safety Vaughn Telemaque, briefly to the outside.

That step was all the native of nearby West Palm Beach, Fla., needed to separate from Telemaque. Ford cut inside on a post route.

Parker stared left long enough to lure weak-side safety Randy Phillips in that direction, then fired back across the middle to Ford inside the 5.

Phillips recovered late and took out Telemaque as Ford flew by, allowing Ford to turn the corner for the game-winning touchdown.

"It just shows you these guys have taken ownership," offensive coordinator Billy Napier said. "It's a tribute to him (Ford) being a smart football player, coming over with an idea that ended up winning the game for us."

Playing with a purpose. Before Saturday, former Clemson corner Justin Miller held the school's record for single-game all-purpose yards with 282 - all coming on kick returns against Florida State in 2004.

Senior running back C.J. Spiller broke that mark with 310 against the Hurricanes.

Spiller notched 104 receiving yards, including a 56-yard touchdown catch, and rushed for 81. He added to his ACC record with his sixth career kickoff return touchdown, this one a momentum-swinging 90-yard score in the final minute of the first half. That also extended his seasonlong streak of games with a play of 60-plus yards

"If people don't want to put him in the Heisman talk, then shame on them," coach Dabo Swinney said.

Pick seven. Clemson junior safety DeAndre McDaniel was another Florida native who had a big game. He made a pair of interceptions - his sixth and seventh of the season - with the second resulting in a 23-yard touchdown return that briefly put Clemson ahead in the fourth quarter.

Extra points. Redshirt freshman kicker Spencer Benton had not registered a touchback in 37 kickoffs, until Saturday - when he tallied four, one aided by penalty. ... Clemson extended its streak of games without an offensive touchdown in the fourth quarter to 11. ... Parker became the second Tigers freshman quarterback to defeat a top-25 team on the road. The other was Patrick Sapp (1992, at North Carolina), a Jacksonville native in attendance.

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