Nov. 13, 2000
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Final Stretch for 19 Clemson seniors Clemson’s 19 seniors (15 on scholarship and four walk-ons) are heading down the home stretch with just one regular season game left and then a bowl game. These seniors have been the corps that has provided one of the great comebacks in school history. The Tigers have gone from three wins in 1998 to six wins in 1999 to eight wins so far in 2000. A win today would give Clemson an increase of at least three wins in consecutive years for just the third time in school history. Clemson did that from 1926 -1928 and from 1976-1978.
This year’s senior class features wide receiver Rod Gardner, who needs just eight receptions to become Clemson’s career leader in that area. Fellow receiver Justin Watts will receive his fifth varsity letter this year, the first Clemson player to do that since Stumpy Banks in 1917. The offensive seniors also include two year starters John McDermott, Theo Mougros and Terry Witherspoon.
Robert Carswell is the senior defensive leader. He has 351 career tackles, more than any other defensive back in Clemson history and sixth best in school records overall. The senior defenders include three-year starter Terry Bryant and two-year starters Terry Jolly and Jason Holloman.
As a team, this class has helped Clemson to a pair of second place ACC finishes, three bowl games and 24 total victories. This class can also become just the 10th in Clemson history to defeat South Carolina four straight years. The Clemson classes that were 4-0 against the rival Gamecocks were the senior of 1900, 1919, 1930, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1983, and 1991. That 1991 senior class featured Levon Kirkland and Ed McDaniel, two linebackers who are still stars in the NFL.
Clemson Senior Class for 2000Player, Pos Hometown Terry Bryant, DE Savannah, GA Robert Carswell, FS Stone Mountain, GA Gary Childress, DE Nashville, TN Darrell Crutchfield, CB Jacksonville, FL @Duane Goodine, DB Seneca, SC Rod Gardner, WR Jacksonville, FL Jason Holloman, DT Decatur, GA Freddie James, DT St. Stephens, SC Terry Jolly, DT Fort Valley, GA @Marcus Mauney, WR Greenville, SC John McDermott, OT Woodstock, GA Theo Mougros, OG Tarpon Springs, FL Kenzi Ross, LB Fort Valley, GA Jamie Somaini, P Moore, SC Chad Speck, FS Nashville, TN @John Strait, PK Blythewood, SC Justin Watts, WR Florence, SC @Matt Whinghter, OL Beech Island, SC Terry Witherspoon, FB Monroe, NC@Denotes walkon
Tigers Look for Nine-Win Regular Season Another significant accomplishment for this senior class would be to leave with a nine-win regular season. Clemson has not won nine in the regular season since 1991 when Clemson was 9-1-1 in the regular season. A total of 10 Clemson teams have won at least nine games in the regular season. The list of teams to accomplish this feat are: 1948 (10-0), 1978 (10-1), 1981 (11-0), 1982 (9-1-1), 1983 (9-1-1), 1987 (9-2), 1988 (9-2), 1989 (9-2), 1990 (9-2) and 1991 (9-1-1).
Clemson and South Carolina Both Ranked This is just the fourth time in the history of the Clemson vs. South Carolina series that both teams are ranked in the AP national ranking heading into the game. Clemson is 14th in the latest AP poll, while South Carolina is 25th. The other seasons both teams were ranked heading into the game were 1979, 1987 and 1988. Only once have both teams been in the top 15 in the nation heading into the game and that was in 1987. For the game in Columbia, Clemson was eighth and South Carolina was 12. South Carolina won that game by a 20-7 count.
Clemson has been ranked in the top 25 heading into the South Carolina game 22 previous games. Clemson has a 15-5-2 record in those previous 22 games. South Carolina has been ranked coming into the game with Clemson five previous occasions. Clemson has won six of the last seven times the Tigers have been ranked coming into the South Carolina game. But, the Gamecocks won the last won, 34-31 against a 22nd ranked Clemson team in 1996.
The Gamecocks are 3-2 against Clemson when they enter a game ranked against the Tigers. South Carolina holds a 2-1 advantage when both teams enter the game ranked by AP.
It should be noted that Associated Press national rankings date to the 1936 season. In 1928, before the days of national polls, Clemson and South Carolina were both 5-0 heading into the game in Columbia. Clemson won that game 32-0. The two teams were almost both ranked heading into the 1956 game. In the October 15, 1956 poll, Clemson was 15th and South Carolina was 16th. Neither team played on Saturday, October 20th, yet Clemson dropped to 20th and South Carolina dropped out of the October 22nd poll.
Years Both Clemson and South Carolina Have Been Ranked by AP entering the contest
Clemson and South Carolina Have Combined for 15 wins Clemson and South Carolina have combined for 15 total victories entering this weekend’s game. Clemson is 8-2 and South Carolina is 7-3. This is just the sixth time in history that the two teams had 15 wins combined entering the game. It is the first time since the 1988 season when both teams were 8-2 entering the contest. Clemson won that game 29-10. Here is a list of the seasons in which the two teams have combined for at least 15 wins entering the game:
Oldest Rivalry in the South The Clemson vs. South Carolina game is the longest active uninterrupted series in the South. This will be the 92nd consecutive year that Clemson and South Carolina have met on the gridiron, every year since 1909. There are just two rivalries that are longer nationally in terms of an uninterrupted series. Those are the Kansas vs. Nebraska rivalry and the Minnesota vs. Wisonsin rivarlry.
This will be the 98th meeting between Clemson and South Carolina. The 97 games played so far rank as the 14th most games between two schools in college football history. Minnesota and Wisconsin have played the most with 110 games overall.
Longest Active Uninterrupted Series in College FootballGms Matchup 1st Meeting 94 Kansas vs. Nebraska 1906 93 Minnesota vs. Wisconsin 190791 Clemson vs. South Carolina 1909 90 Wake Forest vs. NC State 1910 89 Kansas vs. Kansas State 1911 88 North Carolina vs. Virginia 1910
Other Notes on the Series *This is the 98th game in the history of the series, Clemson has a 58-35-4 advantage in the series. Clemson has scored 1834 points and South Carolina has 1240. *Clemson has beaten South Carolina more than any other team. In fact, 10 percent of all of Clemson’s wins in history are over South Carolina. Wake Forest is second on the list of Clemson victims with 51. *Clemson has won 9 of the last 12 games against South Carolina and the average score has been 29-19, which was nearly the exact score of last year’s game, a 28-19 Clemson victory in Death Valley in 1998. And, it was close to last year’s result, 31-21 in favor of the Tigers. *Clemson has an 12-7-1 (.625) lead in the series with South Carolina in games played in Death Valley. Clemson has a 27-16-2 (.622) advantage in games played in Williams Brice Stadium. As you can see, Clemson has nearly the same winning percentage at home as it has on the road. *Over the last 38 games, or since the game was moved to the end of the season for both teams, Clemson has had the better record 26 times. Clemson has a 17-7-2 record since 1962 when the Tigers have had a better overall record entering the contest.
Visitor Has Upper Hand Recently There are many unusual notes and statistical oddities about the Clemson vs. South Carolina rivalry, but the one that sticks out currently is the success of the visiting team. The road team has won eight of the last nine games between the two teams dating to 1990. Clemson broke the streak of seven straight wins by the road team in 1998 with a 28-19 Tiger victory in Clemson.
Clemson has had great success at South Carolina in recent years. In fact, Clemson has won six in a row at Williams Brice dating to a 45-0 victory in 1989. Clemson won in 1991 by a 41-24 count, took the 1993 game by a 16-13 score, then won in 1995, 38-17. Clemson won the 1997 game by a 47-21 score, then won last year 31-21. That is an average Clemson victory of 37 to 16 in the last six games in Columbia combined.
Holtz and Bowden Both Semifinalist for Coaching Award Both coaches in today’s game have guided terrific turnarounds in their respective programs. Clemson’s Tommy Bowden took over a 3-8 team and took the Tigers to a bowl game in his first year. Clemson has improved on that victory total by two more so far this year, giving Clemson it first eight-win regular season since 1995.
South Carolina Coach Lou Holtz has taken South Carolina to seven wins, after an 0-11 season last year. A victory over Clemson would give the Gamecocks an eight-win improvement in one season. That would tie for the second best one-season turnaround in NCAA history. Hawaii’s 1999 team holds the record with an 8.5 game improvement over the previous year. Purdue’s 1943 team and Stanford’s 1940 team are the only teams to make an eight-game improvement in one year.
As a result, both coaches are listed as semifinalists for the Football News National Coach of the Year. The other eight coaches on the list are Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech, Mike Bellotti of Oregon, Bob Davie of Notre Dame, Dennis Franchione of TCU, Rick Neuheisel of Washington, Gary Nord of UTEP, bob Stoops of Oklahoma and Randy Walker of Northwestern.
South Carolina’s Turnaround South Carolina has shown this improvement through a much improved offense and a consistent defense. The Gamecocks are 7-3 entering this weekend’s game and is headed to a bowl game for the first time since 1994 when current Clemson assistant head coach Brad Scott defeated West Virginia in the CarQuest Bowl.
Derek Watson needs just 84 yards this afternoon to reach 1000 yards for the season. The sophomore has 10 touchdowns in leading a South Carolina running game that averages 156.5 yards per game. Andrew Pinnock, a sophomore replica of former Notre Dame running back Jerome Bettis, who played for Holtz from 1990-92 before joining the Pittsburgh Steelers, has seven touchdowns and a four-yard average on 91 attempts.
Phil Petty is the quarterback for South Carolina. The junior has thrown for 1910 yards a game, leading the Gamecocks to a 212 yard average per game, virtually the same total as Clemson. South Carolina is balanced when it comes to receiving stats. Senior Jermale Kelly leads the way with 35-511 and four scores. Ryan Brewer has 30 for 301, while Brian Scott is a big play performer with 29-474. Watson has shown his pass catching ability with 20-177.
South Carolina is one of the top defensive teams in the nation, allowing jsut 15.8 points a game. South Carolina has allowed less than 110 yards rushing and less than 200 yards a game passing so far this season. The top tackler is Rashad Faison, who has 83 tackles, including a team best five sacks. Andre Offing has 82 stops. Sheldon Brown has 62 tackles and a team best 4-71 in terms of interceptions. He also has 13 passes defensed, one of the top figures in the SEC.
Four Clemson Players On Award Lists Robert Carswell and Woodrow Dantzler were all named finalists or semifinalists for national position awards on November 9. Adams, Clemson’s All-America linebacker, was named one of three finalists for the Butkus Award.
Carswell was listed among 12 semifinalists for the Thorpe Award, which is presented to the top defensive back in the nation, while Dantzler was named one of eight semifinalists for the Davey O’Brien Award, which is give to the nation’s top quarterback.
Earlier last week, wide receiver Rod Gardner was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award. This is the first time in history Clemson has had four different players listed as semifinalists or better for national player position awards.
Clemson had a pair of semifinalists in 1997 when Tony Horne was among the final 10 for the Biletnikoff and Anthony Simmons was one of the top 10 for the Butkus. Clemson also had two top five players according to position rankings in 1990. Levon Kirkland was listed among the final five for the Butkus and Stacy Long was one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy.
Adams joins Rocky Calmus of Oklahoma and Dan Morgan of Miami (FL) among the finalists for the Butkus Award. Adams has 122 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and six sacks to rank among the top linebackers in the nation. Calmus has 71 tackles and three sacks for the top ranked Sooners, while Morgan has 93 tackles and eight tackles for loss for the Hurricanes.
The winner of the Butkus Award will be announced on December 8 in Orlando, FL at an event televised nationally by Fox Sports Net.
Dantzler is Clemson’s first quarterback in history to rank among the semifinalists for a national award. The junior from Orangeburg, SC has completed 108 of 184 passes for 1506 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has also rushed for 867 yards and 13 touchdowns. That is the highest rushing total in history for a Clemson quarterback.
Dantzler is joined on the list by Drew Brees of Purdue, Eric Crouch of Nebraska, Joey Harrington of Oregon, Josh Heupel of Oklahoma, Marques Tuiasosopo of Washington, Michael Vick of Virginia Tech and Chris Weinke of Florida State. The winner will be announced Thursday, Dec. 7 on the Home Depot College Football Awards Show from Orlando, FL on ESPN.
Carswell, who ranks fourth on the Clemson team in tackles with 69 and is Clemson’s career leader among defensive backs in that area, is among 12 semifinalists for the Thorpe Award, which is also presented at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show in Orlando on Dec. 7.
Clemson Award Finalists or Semifinalists
Young, Carson Named Academic All-District Kyle Young and Chad Carson, two mainstays of the Clemson football team, have been named to the 2000 GTE Academic All-District team. The team is made up of players from Division I-A or Division I-AA teams from the states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.
This is the second straight year both have made the team. They will now be placed on the national ballot. The national team will be announced in December. Young was a first-team selection last year, while Carson was a second team choice.
Carson is a biological sciences major with a 3.94 GPA. He plans to become a Rhodes Scholar candidate in the second semester this year. On the field, he has 128 tackles this year, first on the Clemson team and second in the nation through games played through October 28.
Young is a secondary education major and has a 3.97 career GPA. A senior academically and a junior athletically, Young is the starting center and highest graded offensive lineman on the Clemson team. He has started every game the last two years and has averaged 70 snaps per game. He leads the team in knock down blocks with 95. His consistent play is one reason the Tigers have averaged 455 yards per game, highest average in Clemson history and currently ninth best average in the nation.
Other ACC players on the Academci All-District III team are Chris Weinke (QB, Florida State), Dan Dyke (P, Georgia Tech) and Chris Hope (DB, Florida State).
Gardner Needs 8 Catches for All-Time Record Rod Gardner needs just eight catches to become Clemson’s career leader in total receptions. He enters the South Carolina game with 155 career receptions, second best in Clemson history. Only Terry Smith (162) has more. In the win over North Carolina, the native of Jacksonville, FL had seven catches for a school record 182 yards and a school record tying three touchdowns. He averaged 26 yards a catch in that game. His yardage total broke the record of 163 yards by Ring of Honor member Jerry Butler at Georgia Tech in 1977.
Gardner enters the South Carolina game ranked third in Clemson history in total receiving yards. He went ahead of all-time great Jerry Butler with 75 receiving yards at Florida State.
The 6-3 Gardner, who is on track to graduate in December, had five catches for a career high148 yards against Maryland and 10 catches for 137 in the win over NC State. Gardner now has a streak of 28 straight games with at least one catch, 26 in a row with at least two.
Last week, Gardner was one of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, the honor given to the top receiver in the nation. The others on the list were Antonio Bryant of Pittsburgh, Marvin Minnis of Florida State, Freddie Mitchell of UCLA, Quincy Morgan of Kansas State, Santana Moss of Miami (FL), Josh Reed of LSU, Koren Robinson of NC State, Vinny Sutherland of Purdue and David Terrell of Michigan.
Zachery Pursues 1000-yard season Clemson running back Travis Zachery, a midseason addition to the Doak Walker Award list, needs just 72 yards rushing against South Carolina to become the eighth different player in Clemson history have at least 1000 yards rushing in a season. A 1000-yard rushing season has been achieved just eight times previous. Raymond Priester did it twice, 1996 and 1997, then had 956 yards rushing in 1997.
Zachery has averaged 93 yards rushing per game this year, so he is certainly a candidate to reach 1000 for the season. He had 76 yards in just 14 attempts at Florida State after gaining at least 100 in three of his last four games.
For the season, Zachery has 12 rushing touchdowns and four receiving for a total of 16. That is the same total he had all of last year. The Clemson single season record is 17 set by Lester Brown in 1978. Zachery now has 37 touchdowns for his career, 32 rushing and five receiving. He has the Clemson career record in both areas.
Zachery is also Clemson’s career record holder in receptions by a running back. He now has 55 total receptions for his three years, 10 more than any other running back in Clemson history. His total for the season is 24 catches for 281 yards and four touchdowns. The 24 receptions are tied for the best single season figure in Clemson history.
Heading into this weekend, Zachery is 11th in the nation in scoring (9.6 points per game), 35th in rushing (92.8), and 42nd in all-purpose running yards per game (123.9).
Clemson on Record Pace in Terms of Scoring Clemson is scoring points at a record rate through the first 10 games. The Tigers rank 10th in the nation in scoring with an average of 38.0 points per game. The school record for scoring average per game is 38.0 set back in 1901 by John Heisman’s second Tiger team, so this current team is right on that average.
Clemson set two school records against Georgia Tech. The Tigers scored four touchdowns, giving Clemson 51 for the season. That broke the previous mark of 48 set by Clemson’s 1950 team. Ironically, that team was honored prior to Saturday’s game. Clemson now has 52 touchdowns entering the South Carolina game. Clemson also set the season record for total points scored in the Tech game. The 28 points gave Clemson 373 for the season. That broke the previous best of 368 set in 1978 and 1989. Clemson enters the South Carolina game with 380.
The Tigers have three games of at least 50 points this year, just the second Clemson team in history to do that. The 1950 team is the only other Clemson team to record three games of at least 50 points. Clemson’s 52 points at Duke were the sixth most ever on an opponent’s home field, most since 1984 when Clemson beat Virginia, 55-0. Clemson scored 62 in the win over Missouri, most by any Clemson team since 1981 when the Tigers beat Wake Forest 82-24.
Clemson’s 2000 Tigers scored at least 28 points in each of the first nine games of the season. That included a streak of eight straight 30-point games to open the season, a Clemson record for consecutive 30-point games at any juncture of the season.
Clemson can set a school record for touchdown passes in a season with one against South Carolina on Saturday. This team has 17, the same total as the 1984 club.
Clemson Records set or in range in 2000 season:
Records already set in bold, Italics denotes records tied
Tigers from South Carolina The Clemson vs. South Carolina game is certainly special to all Clemson players, but it might have a longer family history with the players who are from the state. There are 30 players on the Clemson roster who are from the Palmetto State. This list does not include players being red-shirted and only includes those who have played in at least one game and should dress for this weekend’s game. Seven of the 30 players from South Carolina are starters. Only three of the 30 are seniors.
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