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Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Game Notes

Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Game Notes

Oct. 24, 2005

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Hoping History RepeatsClemson hopes history repeats when the Tigers meet Georgia Tech on Saturday in Atlanta. In 1991, Clemson defeated Temple 37-7 in the first meeting ever between the two schools. The following week Clemson defeated Georgia Tech 9-7 on the way to an ACC Championship. This past weekend, the Tigers defeated Temple by the exact same 37-7 score. The two teams had not met since 1991. Tommy Bowden’s team will now play Georgia Tech in the next game, just as it did in 1991. Bowden would be satisfied with a two-point victory, just as the Tigers did in 1991.

Tigers Throw for 359 YardsClemson threw for 359 yards as a team in the win over Temple, the third highest single game performance in Clemson history and the most by the Tigers in the history of Clemson Memorial Stadium. Charlie Whitehurst had his Clemson record eighth career 300-yard passing game, as he accumulated 307 yards on 19-27 passing. Backup quarterback Will Proctor had his most extensive action as a passer as he completed 3-6 passes for 52 yards and his first career touchdown.

The only passing yardage totals higher in Clemson history are the 420 yards at Duke in 2002 (Tommy Bowden’s has been the Tigers head coach for seven of those 10 games.

Clemson’s Highest Passing Yardage Games

Yds (C-A) Site-Opponent (CU-Opp) Date
420 (34-52) A-Duke (34-31) 11-2-2002
364 (13-20) A-Duke (30-35) 10-19-2003
359 (22-33) H-Temple (37-7) 10-22-2005
350 (21-39) H-Wake Forest (19-29) 9-26-1998
344 (28-43) H-Duke (40-7) 11-15-2003
343 (24-32) H-Virginia (33-14) 9-11-1999
343 (35-57) A-Wake Forest (17-45) 11-1-2003
342 (23-48) A-North Carolina (13-17) 11-6-1965
334 (18-28) A-Florida State (31-48) 10-3-2002
333 (23-27) a-NC State (45-37) 10-13-2001

Freshmen Making ContributionsWhen it came time to decide on nominations for ACC Rookie of the Week after the Temple game, it was a difficult decision. Of the 68 Tiger players who appeared against Temple, 19 were freshmen (red-shirt or first-year). On defense, seven Clemson players were credited with five or more tackles and four of the seven were freshmen. Many made significant contributions to the victory and could have been ACC Rookie-of-the-Week nominees. · Antonio Clay led the Tigers in tackles with nine in his team high 62 plays of action. Clay had two tackles for loss for nine yards, including a seven-yard sack and one quarterback pressure. He was the first Clemson first-year freshman to lead the Tigers in tackles since LeRoy Hill did it in 2001 against Duke.· Dorell Scott played 31 snaps and had a career high six tackles, including his first career sack. He also had two fumble recoveries, the first Clemson player in nine years to recover two fumbles in the same game. It also tied the Clemson single game record for fumble recoveries, as he was the 15th player in Clemson history to do it.· Aaron Kelly had seven receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown to lead the Clemson offense. His 155 receiving yards established a Clemson freshman record and it was the sixth most receiving yards by any player in a game in Clemson history.

Tigers Have 300-yard Passer, 150-yard receiver, 100-yard RusherClemson had a 300-yard passer, a 150-yard receiver and a 100-yard rusher in the win over Temple, a first in Clemson history. Charlie Whitehurst threw for 307 yards, Aaron Kelly caught seven passes for 155 yards and Reggie Merriweather ran for 108 yards on 17 attempts to lead the 514-yard total offense effort. It was Clemson’s first 500-yard game since the 2003 season when the Tigers had 542 yards in a 63-17 win at South Carolina.

The closest Clemson had come to that three-way accomplishment took place in 1981 in a victory over Maryland. That day, Perry Tuttle had 161 receiving yards, Cliff Austin had 101 rushing yards and Homer Jordan threw for 270 yards. Jordan threw for 214 yards in the first half of that game when Clemson took a 21-0 lead. But, Danny Ford played conservatively in the second half on offense and the Tigers won the team 21-0 to clinch the ACC Championship and continue an undefeated season that concluded in a National Championship.

Tigers Gain 7.7 Yards/PlayThe yards per play statistic had not been a good indicator of success in Clemson football games for the first five games of the season. In each of Clemson’s first five games the team with the higher yards per play statistic lost the game. But over the last two games Clemson has been very productive on offense and has won the yards per play stat and won the game. Over the last three games Clemson has gone from 5.7 yards per play to 6.8 to 7.7.

The 7.7 yards per play figure in the win over Temple ranked third best since Tommy Bowden’s has been the head coach at Clemson (80 games). The only yards per play figures better than the Temple game were the 8. 0 against Duke in 2001 and the 8.1 at South Carolina in 2003.

Clemson is now averaging 5.7 yards per play this season, much improved over the 4.4 figure in 2004. The current 5.7 yards per play average is tied for second in Clemson history. The school record for a season is 6.2 per play in 1950.

Clemson Third in ACC in Total OffenseClemson has made steady improvement on offense this year and now ranks third in the ACC in total offense with an average of 396.3 yards per game. This is quite an improvement over last year when Clemson was 10th in the ACC in total offense with an average of 295.6 yards per game. That is a jump of over 100 yards per game.

Clemson has shown some consistency in terms of scoring and has reached at least 25 points in six of the seven games so far this season. This is the first time since the 2000 season that Clemson has scored at least 25 points in six of the first seven games, and just the second time in the last 27 seasons it has done that.

Over the last three games Clemson has averaged 485.7 yards per game in terms of total offense, gained 6.65 yards per play, averaged 183 yards a game on the ground and 303 yards per game through the air. Clemson has completed 68 percent of its passes over the last three games and has averaged 31.7 points per game during that time.

Clemson Offense Over last Three Games

Category Last 3 Games Per Game
Total Offense 1457 485.7
Plays 219 73.0
Yards/Play 6.65
Rushing yards 548 182.7
Rush Attempts 113 37.7
Passing yards 909 303
Completions 72 24.0
Attempts 106 35.3
Completion Percentage .680
Passing Efficiency 148.0
Points 95 31.7

Tigers Balanced on DefenseClemson’s defense held Temple to seven points and just 12 yards rushing. It was a balanced defensive effort as 10 different Tigers had at least one tackle for loss five different players were involved in a sack. Among the 10 were five different freshmen who recorded tackles for loss. Eleven different Tigers had at least four tackles, including six freshmen. Thirty-one different players participated in snaps on defense.

For the season, Clemson has 20 quarterback sacks, but 14 different players have been involved in those 20 sacks. Charlie Whitehurst. It was the first touchdown of the game in Clemson’s 37-7 victory. Browning, the smallest player among the regular Tiger players at 5-7, had 8-23 rushing and 3-49 receiving, giving him 72 yards in 11 touches.

Browning has made a habit of making big plays throughout his career. In 2003 he scored on a “Panther Play” in the Peach Bowl victory over sixth-ranked Tennessee. It was an eight-yard run that gave Clemson a lead it would never relinquish. Then 2004 began with Browning scoring the winning touchdown in overtime against Wake Forest on an 11-yard pass from Charlie Whitehurst. He also had a 54-yard run for a touchdown against Georgia Tech in the second game of the season. For his career, Browning now has four touchdowns, two rushing and two receiving.

Browning has been productive vs. Georgia Tech in his career. As a sophomore in 2003 he started at running back and had 4-32 rushing in Clemson’s 39-3 victory. In 2004 he had a career high 80 yards in just five rushes, including the aforementioned 54-yard run, the second longest run by a Clemson running back in the Bowden era.

Merriweather Records 100-yard rushing GameReggie Merriweather had his first 100-yard game of the season when the Tigers defeated Temple. The junior from North Augusta, SC had 17 carries for 108 yards in leading the Tiger rushing attack. His day included a 21-yard run. It was the third career 100-yard day for Merriweather who had two as a sophomore in 2004 when he was Clemson’s leading rusher.

Merriweather had 20-114 and three touchdowns in the overtime victory against Miami (FL) and 28-125 in the victory over South Carolina that closed the 2004 season. For the 2005 season, Merriweather has 83 carries for 427 yards and four scores. His stats are very similar to James Davis, who has 84-433 and four scores. If Merriweather carries for six yards on his first rush against Georgia Tech, he will have the exact same stats as Davis for the season. They are even both tied in rushes of 10 yards or more at 13 apiece.

Merriweather went over the 1000-yard mark for his career in the win over NC State and now has 1153 yards for his career in 235 attempts, a 4.91 average and 15 touchdowns.

Merriweather Sets Clemson RecordClemson running back Reggie Merriweather scored the game winning touchdown for the Tigers in the 28-24 win at Maryland on September 10. His 38-yard jaunt around right end on a third-and-seven play with 2:58 left marked the second straight year and third time in his career that he had scored a game winning touchdown with three minutes or less left in game. In fact, it was the third time he had done it in a seven-game period.

Merriweather scored from two yards out with 23 seconds left to give Clemson a 10-7 win over Maryland in 2004, then scored from a yard out in overtime against Miami just a couple of weeks later. Clemson kept the Hurricanes out of the endzone and Clemson had the victory.

When Merriweather scored his game winner at Maryland he became the first player in Clemson history to score three fourth-quarter game winning touchdowns in a career. Prior to the Maryland game, Merriweather was joined in the Tiger record books in that category by Fred Cone, Doug Cline, George Usry, Lowndes Shingler and Jerry Butler. Merriweather is now one game-winning play behind David Treadwell. Treadwell booted a fourth-quarter game winning field goal for Clemson four times in his career, including consecutive years within the last 10 seconds against Georgia (1986-87).

Hill on Thorpe Award ListClemson cornerback Tye Hill was a mid-season addition to the Jim Thorpe Award list. The Tiger senior was not on the preseason list because he was not a returning all-conference player, but he has reached the award’s radar screen with his strong performance so far this season.

Hill is fifth on the Clemson team in tackles with 40, including 31 first hits. He has three interceptions to lead the Clemson team and rank 21st in the nation and he leads the Clemson team in takaways with four (three interceptions and one fumble recovery). In his September listing of top senior NFL Draft prospects, Mel Kiper ranked Hill 14th overall, third among defensive backs. Hill made a seven-place jump in Kiper’s rankings since the season began.

Kiper ranks Southern Cal quarterback Matt Leinart first in his rankings of draft eligible players, followed by Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk. The only defensive backs ranked ahead of Hill are Virginia Tech cornerback Jimmy Williams and Tennessee defensive back Jason Allen.

Hill had a career high 11 tackles at Wake Forest, including three tackles for loss. That was a Clemson single game record for tackles for loss by a defensive back. He followed that up with an impressive game at NC State in front of a press box that had 15 NFL scouts. He had five tackles and a 24-yard interception return in that contest. Hill now has three interceptions for 35 yards and five total passes broken up for the season. He also has a fumble recovery for a team best four takeaways, and has a caused fumble to be involved in another turnover.

Hill will have his hands full this weekend as he will be a part of a Clemson secondary that faces Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech, one of the top receivers in the nation.

Mel Kiper’s Top Senior Prospects(September 2005)

Rk Name Pos School
1. Matt Leinart QB Southern Cal
2. A.J. Hawk LB Ohio State
3. De’Brickashaw Ferguson OT Virginia
4. Marcedes Lewis TE UCLA
5. Chad Greenway LB Iowa
6. Jimmy Williams CB Virginia Tech
7. DeMeco Ryans OLB Alabama
8. Mathias Kiwanuka DE Boston College
9. Jason Allen CB/S Tennessee
10. Hank Baskett WR New Mexico
11. DeAngelo Williams RB Memphis
12. A.J. Nicholson OLB Florida State
13. Claude Wroten DT LSU
14. Tye Hill CB Clemson
15. D’Quell Jackson LB Maryland

Hill Preseason Honors for 2005*Writers All-America Watch List*Honorable mention All-American by collegefootballnews.com*First-team All-ACC by Street & Smith*First-team All-ACC by Rivals.com*First-team All-ACC by collegefootballnews.com*First-team Preseason All-ACC by ACC Sportswriters Association*Second-team All-ACC by Athlon*Second-team All-ACC by Lindy’s*Second-team All-ACC by Phil Steele*#5 NFL prospect at cornerback by collegefootballnews.com*#6 Best Cornerback in nation by collegefootballnews.com*#7 Cornerback in the nation by Lindy’s* #16 Cornerback in the nation by Phil Steele*#17 Best Player in the ACC by collegefootballnews.com*Clemson’s “Star of the team” by collegefootballnews.com

Kelly Sets Freshman RecordWide receiver Aaron Kelly set a Clemson single game freshman record against Temple when he had seven receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown. The yardage total broke the Clemson freshman record of 139 yards (on six catches) by Roscoe Crosby against Duke in 2001 and was the sixth most by any player in Clemson history. Kelly’s seven receptions were two off the single game record for a freshman. Derrick Hamilton had receptions for 90 yards against Virginia in 2001 and Terry Smith had nine for 84 against Maryland in 1990.

Kelly, a native of Georgia, has 31 receptions for 401 yards so far this season. He still has a ways to go to catch Hamilton’s freshman records in both areas. In 2001, Hamilton had 53 receptions for 684 yards. Kelly has had at least two receptions in every game this year and at least four in six of the seven contests. He and Chansi Stuckey are the only Tigers to have at least one reception in every game this year.

Clemson’s top Reception yardage Games

Yds Rec Player Year Opponent Season
182 7 Rod Gardner Sr. at North Carolina 2000
175 7 Derrick Hamilton Jr. at Maryland 2003
163 5 Jerry Butler Jr. at Georgia Tech 1977
161 7 Perry Tuttle Sr. Wake Forest 1981
156 8 Terry Smith Sr. at Florida State 1993
155 7 Aaron Kelly Fr. Temple 2005
152 2 Craig Brantley Jr. Virginia 1974
152 7 Tony Horne Sr. at Wake Forest 1997
152 9 Airese Currie Sr. Wake Forest 2004
151 7 Perry Tuttle Sr. Maryland 1981

Tigers last Division I Team without a Lost FumbleA look to the Clemson stats shows that the Tigers are yet to lose a fumble this year. That is quite an accomplishment considering there have been 599 possible touches by Clemson players on offensive plays, punt, kickoff and interception runbacks, punts and holds on placements. Clemson is the only school in the nation without a lost fumble. UCLA, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and Louisiana Tech all have lost one. Clemson has seven fumbles so far, but has retained possession in each situation.

Clemson has just five turnovers for the season, all interceptions. The Tigers are third in the nation in that category. Only UCLA and Central Michigan with four apiece, have fewer turnovers than Clemson so far this season. The Clemson record for fewest turnovers in a season is eight, set in 1940. That is actually tied for the national record in that category. Clemson’s 1940 team, Miami (OH)’s 1966 team and Notre Dame’s 2000 team all had just eight turnovers for a season. Notre Dame’s 2000 team is the only squad to do it in an 11-game schedule.

No team in NCAA history has gone an entire season without losing a fumble. Three teams, all from the Mid American Conference, had just one lost fumble; Bowling Green in 1996, Miami (OH) in 1998 and Northern Illinois in 2004.Book Ends Post Top GameSenior defensive end Gaines Adams had their most productive game of the season against Temple. The Clemson “Bookends” combined for five tackles for loss and three sacks in the victory, a big reason the Owls had just 12 yards rushing in the game. For the first time this year, the Bookends met at the quarterback to combine on a sack.

Bennett had his best game of the young 2005 season and the second best tackle game of his career when he had eight tackles against Miami (FL) on September 17. The native of Camden, SC had five first hits and three assists for his eight tackles. Two of the eight were behind the line of scrimmage, including an eight-yard sack on Miami’s last possession of regulation, a stop that gave Clemson the ball back with a chance to tie the game. He also had three quarterback pressures in the Miami game.

Bennett’s career high for tackles in a game is 10, recorded at Florida State last year, a game in which he also had two tackles for loss. The sack against Miami (FL) was the seventh of his career and the first this season. He has now started every game over the last two years with the exception of the Texas A&M game in 2004. For the year, Bennett has 30 tackles on 19 first hits and 11 assists. He has 4.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks to go with eight quarterback pressures.

Gaines Adams was moved to the “Bandit” end position last spring, as defensive coordinator Vic Koenning sought to take advantage of the 6-5, 260-pounder’s athletic ability. Adams showed that athletic ability in the win over Maryland recording a career high eight tackles, including four tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week for that performance.

Adams continued his fine play in the win over Temple with another 2.5 sacks. He is currently in the top five in the ACC in sacks with his five for 30 yards. He also leads the team in quarterback pressures with 14. He has 32 tackles overall to rank first among Clemson’s front four players.

Adams, who played eight-man football at Cambridge Academy in Greenwood, SC for former South Carolina quarterback Steve Tanneyhill, made a key sack on Maryland’s final drive. With the Terps on the Clemson 40 with a second-and-10 and just 1:45 left, Adams sacked Terps quarterback Sam Hollenbach. Clemson then held Maryland on third and fourth down, clinching the Tiger victory.Clemson-Tech Series Has Been Thrilling·Georgia Tech has a 44-23-2 lead in the series with Clemson dating to a 23-0 Tiger win in Augusta, GA in 1898, just the 11th game in Clemson football history. In fact, Clemson won the first four games of the series, including games in 1902 and 1903 when Tommy Bowden’s has been the head coach, the Clemson vs. Georgia Tech games have been high scoring as the average score is 34-28.3 in Clemson’s favor. The two teams have split the six games, but Clemson has a 204-180 lead in points score. ·Woodrow Dantzler had one of the best all-around games of his career with 164 yards rushing and 254 yards passing in the victory in 2001. He threw for two scores and ran for two, including a 38-yard “Hail Mary Run” on the last play of the first half to cut Tech’s lead to 19-14 at intermission. His 63-yard scoring pass to J.J. McKelvey with 1:58 left put Clemson ahead by three, but Tech tied the count with a 20-yard field goal with just six seconds left. Dantzler’s “walk-off” six-yard touchdown in overtime gave Clemson the win.·Clemson has had just two games in its history in which both teams scored in the 40s. They have both taken place at Georgia Tech under Bowden. Tech won 45-42 in 1999 and Clemson won 47-44 in overtime in 2001 in Atlanta.

Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Recent Thrillers

Year Result Ending
1990 Tech 21-19 Gardocki missed 60 yard FG with 1 minute left
1991 Clemson 9-7 Ronald Williams 2 yard run with 2:06 left, Sisson missed
44-yard FG with 8 seconds left tipped by Wayne Simmons
1992 Tech 20-16 Clemson never in Tech territory in last 5 minutes
1993 Clemson 16-13 Tech’s Jarrett misses 41-yard FG with 3:01 left
1996 Clemson 28-25 Nealon Greene 1 run with 4:10 left
1997 Tech, 23-20 Chambers 20-yard FG with 1:54 left
1998 Tech, 24-21 Joe Burns 1-yard run, 1:00 left
1999 Tech, 45-42 Hamilton threw for 5 TDs and 322 yards for Tech
2000 Tech, 31-28 Godsey throws TD pass to Watkins with 7 seconds
2001 Clemson, 47-44 antzler scores on 11 yard “walk-off run to end game in OT
2002 Clemson, 24-19 Eric Sampson intercepts pass at Clemson 16 with 1:12 left.
2004 Tech, 28-24 Calvin Johnson 11 pass from Reggie Ball with 11 seconds left

Clemson Veterans vs. Georgia TechGained Adams (BAN)–Had four tackles in 37 snaps as a reserve in 2004. Also had a five-yard sack in that game.Charlie Whitehurst (QB)–Hit on 23-38 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns in Clemson’s 39-3 victory at Georgia Tech in 2003. Completed 20-42 for 275 yards and one touchdown in 2004. thus, he is 1-1 as a starter against Tech and is 43-80 for 573 yards and four touchdowns in two games vs. Tech.

Clemson vs. Georgia Tech2004 at Clemson, SCGeorgia Tech 28, Clemson 24Clemson scored on touchdown runs of 62 and 54 yards in the fourth quarter to take a 10-point lead, but could not hold on, as Georgia Tech struck twice in the final 1:50 to gain a wild 28-24 victory over Clemson in Death Valley. It was the eighth time in the last nine meetings between the two schools that the game was decided by five points or less.

Reggie Ball hit freshman receiver Calvin Johnson with an 11-yard touchdown pass with 11 seconds left to give the Yellow Jackets their first lead since the second quarter. Charlie Whitehurst pass intended for Kelvin Grant was incomplete, which brought an end to the Tigers’ seven-game home winning streak.

Georgia Tech struck first when Ball connected with a diving Johnson in the corner of the endzone from 37 yards out late in the first quarter. Clemson went on a nine-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in a Whitehurst 22-yard touchdown pass to Curtis Baham. The teams went to the locker rooms deadlocked in a 7-7 tie.Georgia Tech opened the second half with a 13-play drive that ended when Clemson stopped P.J. Daniels short of the endzone on fourth-and-goal. The drive chewed up 5:48 off the clock.

In the fourth quarter, Reggie Merriweather found a hole off right tackle and dashed 62 yards untouched for his first career rushing touchdown.The two teams again exchanged punts before the Yellow Jackets went on a five-play, 49-yard drive that ended with a Ball to Levon Thomas 19-yard touchdown pass to cut the Tiger lead to 17-14.

Clemson again answered with a long run on its third play of the ensuing drive. This time Kyle Browning ran up the middle for 54 yards, and the Tigers led by 10 with 3:18 remaining.Georgia Tech moved the ball quickly down field and scored with 1:50 remaining, as Ball again hit Johnson on an eight-yard “jump ball.” The Yellow Jackets’ onside kick attempt was unsuccessful, and Clemson took over on its own 33-yard line.

Whitehurst ran for nine yards on first down, but the next two rushing attempts did not result in a first down. On fourth down with less than 25 seconds remaining, Cole Chason. Rigsby had made 136 straight punt snaps without error. The Tiger punter could not scoop the ball, and when he fell on the ball at his own 11-yard line, Georgia Tech gained possession on downs with 16 seconds remaining. On the next play, Ball found Johnson again in the endzone, giving Georgia Tech a comeback victory.

The Tigers were led defensively by LeRoy Hill, who had 14 tackles, including three tackles for loss and two sacks. Hill was also named ACC Defensive Lineman-of-the-Week for his efforts.

Clemson 39, Georgia Tech 3Last Trip to Atlanta2003 Meeting at Atlanta, GAClemson ended a series of close games with Georgia Tech by defeating the Yellow Jackets 39-3 in Atlanta in 2003. The seven previous games between the two schools had been decided by just 23 points, including six consecutive three-point decisions from 1996-01. The Tigers’ 36-point margin of victory was the most against Georgia Tech by Clemson since John Heisman was roaming the Clemson sidelines in 1903. The 36-point win was the best for Clemson in an ACC road game since a 55-0 win at Virginia in 1984.

Clemson got on the board in the late portion of the first quarter after Charlie Whitehurst. It was Elliott’s second touchdown in as many years against the Yellow Jackets.

The Tigers struck again on the ensuing possession. Kevin Youngblood grabbed a jump-ball pass from Whitehurst for a 44-yard gain to get into Tech territory. Youngblood was rewarded moments later when he caught a pass, then spun away and dove for the endzone on a 12-yard touchdown play.

Georgia Tech got on the board late in the second quarter with a Dan Burnett field goal, but the Tigers responded quickly. Derrick Hamilton returned the ensuing kickoff 39 yards to Clemson’s 45-yard line. From there, Youngblood caught a 22-yard pass, then Whitehurst hooked up with Airese Currie for a 33-yard touchdown strike just before halftime. Whitehurst’s third touchdown pass gave the Tigers a 23-3 lead at the break.

Clemson’s defense was the story of the second half. On the Yellow Jackets’ second possession, freshman quarterback Reggie Ball was pressured inside his own 10-yard line. He ran back to avoid the rush but could not get away from Maurice Fountain and Vontrell Jamison, who threw the freshman down for a safety and a 25-3 lead.

The running game stepped up in the fourth quarter for Clemson. On its second possession of the quarter, the Tigers took to the ground. Kyle Browning rushed three times for 33 yards before Duane Coleman took a handoff straight up the middle for a 25-yard touchdown. It was the longest run from scrimmage for the Tigers in the young season.Clemson added a touchdown to its final margin when Whitehurst scored on a quarterback sneak. The Tigers got the ball back after fullback Steven Jackson recovered a fumble on the kickoff. The Tiger defense kept Tech out of the endzone in the waning moments of the game, preserving the 36-point victory.

Whitehurst led the Tigers again offensively. He was 23-38 for 298 yards and accounted for four scores. Currie led a trio of Tiger receivers, with six catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. Youngblood caught five balls for 101 yards and a touchdown. Hamilton had five catches for 79 yards to go along with 59 return yards and 14 rushing yards. Clemson rushed for 138 yards on 30 carries in the game, more rushing yards gained than both Auburn and Florida State had against the Georgia Tech defense in the previous two weeks.

Georgia Tech entered the game having upset a top-15 Auburn team the previous week. Defensively, the Tigers totaled 11 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and harassed Ball and the Tech offense the entire night. Leading the way was Leake, who had 14 tackles and three for loss. LeRoy Hill continued his fine play with 11 tackles, including two for loss and his fourth sack of the year. Additional sacks were recorded by Fountain, Tye Hill, Eric Sampson, and Donnell Washington.

Tigers from GeorgiaClemson has 18 players on its roster from the state of Georgia, including seven players who would be considered starters so far this season. That list includes quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, who is from Duluth, GA and attended Chattahoochee High School. Whitehurst will be returning to the scene of one of his best performances as a Tiger. In 2003, he led Clemson to a 39-3 win at Georgia Tech by completing 23-38 passes for 298 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed nine times for 41 yards, giving him 37 plays for 339 yards of total offense. The touchdown pass total tied his career high and a Clemson record.

Other starters on Clemson’s team from the state of Georgia include running back Aaron Kelly and Chansi Stuckey, and punter Cole Chason. Clark and Davis are injured and are not expected to play at Georgia Tech.

The list of 18 players below includes Antonio Clay and James Davis are two first-year freshmen who have been very productive. Clay led Clemson in tackles in the win over Temple with nine. Davis is Clemson’s leading rusher with 433 yards.

As you can see by the list, four Clemson players call Atlanta their hometown. Davis, offensive tackle Chip Myrick all list Atlanta as their home.

Clemson Players from Georgia

Name Cl Pos Hometown High School
@Nathan Bennett Jr. OG Dallas Paulding County
Brandon Cannon Jr. DT Stone Mountain Stephenson
@Cole Chason Jr. PK Roswell Gr. Atlanta Christian
@Donnell Clark Jr. DT Griffin Griffin
Antonio Clay Fr. LB Jeffersonville Twiggs County
@James Davis Fr. RB Atlanta Douglass
Tim DeBeer Jr. OT Atlanta Marist
Nelson Faeber So. WR Duluth Chattahoochee
Cullen Harper Fr QB Alpharetta Sequoyah
@Aaron Kelly Fr. WR Marietta Walton
Ray Ray McElrathbey Fr. DB Atlanta Mays
Chip Myrick Sr. OT Atlanta Lovett
Brandon Pilgrim Jr OG Lilburn Parkview
@Chansi Stuckey Jr. QB Warner Robbins Northside
Etta Etta-Tawo Fr. DT Powder Springs McEachern
Roy Walker So S Oglethorpe Macon County
@Charlie Whitehurst Gr. QB Duluth Chattahoochee
Kwam Williams So. LB Conley Westlake

@Denotes Starter

Clemson Records 200-200 GameMost teams strive for offensive balance because an ability to rush and throw the ball with effectiveness usually translates to a victory. That has been the case in Clemson history. A look to the records shows that Clemson has never lost a game in which it has had at least 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing on offense.

That pattern continued in the victory over NC State on October 13, as the Tigers had 243 yards rushing and 246 yards passing in the 31-10 victory. It was the first time since the 2002 North Carolina game that Clemson had at least 243 yards rushing and 243 yards passing in the same game. Overall, it was the 17th time in Tommy Bowden’s career that Clemson has had at least 200 yards of each, the first time since Clemson had 302 passing and 240 yards rushing in the 63-17 win over South Carolina in 2003.

The 243 rushing yards by the Tigers were the most against NC State’s defense since the 2003 season when Florida State had 272 against the Pack. Clemson completed 71 percent of its passes in the game, the highest completion percentage against the Pack since the 2003 season when Virginia completed 41-55.

Clemson is now 43-0-1 when it has at least 200 yards of each category, including 36 consecutive wins dating to 1976. The only time Clemson has failed to gain victory when it had at least 200 rushing and 200 passing took place in a 24-24 tie with Georgia Tech in 1976.

Tigers Hold Pack to 10 PointsClemson had a strong defensive performance in the win over NC State. Overall, the 21-point victory margin was the best for Clemson in the series with the Pack since 1996 when Clemson won by 23 points in a 40-17 victory at Death Valley. The 21-point victory margin was the largest for the Tigers in any ACC game since a 40-7 win over Duke at Clemson in 2003. It was the largest margin of victory in an ACC road game since a 39-3 win at Georgia Tech in 2003.

The Tigers were outstanding on offense and defense. The 489 yards of total offense were the most by a Clemson team in any game since the Tigers recorded 542 yards of offense at South Carolina in 2003. Clemson held the Pack to 267 yards of offense and just 92 yards rushing in scoring 10 points. It was the fewest points scored by NC State against Clemson since a 30-10 Tiger victory at Clemson in 1989. It was the fewest points scored by NC State against the Tigers in Raleigh since 1988.

The 267 yards of total defense ranked as the best by the Clemson defense this year, as was the 4.2 yards per play allowed and the 88.1 passing efficiency defense, and the one touchdown allowed.

Clemson Offensive Line Young and BalancedWhen someone asks Head Coach Tommy Bowden’s to rate his top offensive linemen he usually has to pause and think about. Over the first seven games, five different offensive linemen have had the highest film grade awarded by Assistant Head Coach Chip Myrick was the leader against Maryland, junior tackle Brandon Pilgrim was the best against Boston College, and junior Roman Fry was the leader against Wake Forest and NC State. Marion Dukes had the top grade against Temple at 85 percent.

Clemson’s offensive line had its best performance against NC State, leading the Tigers to a two-year best 489 yards of total offense, including 243 on the ground. Clemson did not allow a sack even though the Tigers were going against an NC State defensive line that ranks among the best in the nation. Three of the four starting down linemen for the Pack are slated to be drafted in the first two rounds of the 2006 NFL draft.

James Davis first touchdown run.

Not listed above is Nathan Bennett, who might be the most consistent of Bowden’s offensive linemen. Bennett actually leads the team in knockdown blocks with 48.5. Dustin Fry is second with 38, including nine against Temple.

What is encouraging for Bowden is the youth of the offensive line. Chip Myrick is the only senior among the 10 offensive linemen who have played in a game this year, meaning just about everyone will be back for the Tigers up front on offense in 2006.

Clemson Knockdown Block Leaders

Rk Name KD Int Total
1. Nathan Bennett 39.5 9 48.5
2. Dustin Fry 32 6 38
3. Roman Fry 31.5 6 37.5
4. Marion Dukes 25 4 29
5. Barry Richardson 27 1 28
6. Brandon Pilgrim 25 0 25
7. Chip Myrick 14.5 0 14.5

Whitehurst Breaks Total Offense RecordClemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst became Clemson’s career total offense record holder in the win over Temple. The graduate had an even 300 yard game and now has 8,959 yards for his career. Woodrow Dantzler held the mark with 8,798 yards.

Few observers felt Dantzler’s record would ever be broken because of his ability as a runner and passer. But, Whitehurst has already trumped Dantzler’s passing numbers and should break the total offense mark on Saturday. Whitehurst has appeared in 40 games for the Tigers, including 36 in a row as the starting quarterback. He needs just 41 yards of total offense at Tech to reach 9000 for his career. A 151-yard day will move him into eighth place in ACC history against Duke quarterbacks Ben Bennett and Spence Fisher.

Whitehurst has at least four games remaining and should reach third place in ACC history before he hangs up his Clemson jersey. He doesn’t have a realistic shot to reach Phillip Rivers of NC State or Joe Hamilton of Georgia Tech. But, he should reach the 9.630-yard total of former NC State quarterback Jamie Barnette.

Whitehurst holds 40 Clemson records, including 14 career marks. He is already the Clemson career record holder for passing yards, completions, completion percentage and touchdown passes. His 22 career victories fourth in school history. He moved ahead of Steve Fuller and Mike Eppley with the win over Temple. That career record is an unattainable 32 wins by Rodney Williams (1985-8), but Whitehurst certainly hopes to reach Nealon Greene’s 24 wins between 1994-97.

So far this season, Whitehurst has completed 67.4 percent of his passes, ahead of the single season mark of 63 percent by Brandon Streeter in 1999.

ACC Career Leaders in Total Offense

Rk Player School Years Yards
1. Philip Rivers NC State 2000-03 13,582
2. Joe Hamilton Georgia Tech 1996-99 10,640
3. Jamie Barnette NC State 1996-99 9,638
4. Darian Durant North Carolina 2001-04 9,630
5. Chris Weinke Florida State 1997-00 9,473
6. Shawn Jones Georgia Tech 1989-92 9,296
7. Chris Rix Florida State 2001-04 9,213
8. Spence Fisher Duke 1992-95 9,110
9. Ben Bennett Duke 1980-83 9,061
10. Charlie Whitehurst Clemson 2002-05 8,959
11. Woodrow Dantzler Clemson 1998-01 8,798

Stuckey Attempting to Join Exclusive ClubClemson Chansi Stuckey is on the verge of joining an exclusive club in Clemson football history. The junior receiver has accounted for a touchdown three different ways in his a career. He threw two touchdown passes as a freshman quarterback at Wake Forest in 2003. He ran for a touchdown as a reserve quarterback at South Carolina in 2003. He scored a touchdown on a punt return against Texas A&M in 2005. Now he just needs to score a touchdown on a reception to become the third player in Clemson history to account for a touchdown by four different means.

The other two Tigers to account for touchdowns four different ways are Bobby Gage and Ray Mathews. Both did it four different ways in the same season. Gage scored on a run, pass, reception and kickoff return in 1947, while Mathews scored on a run, pass, reception and punt return in 1948. Stuckey has 34 receptions to lead the Tigers in that category this year and rank in a tie for second in the ACC with 4.9 catches per game. But, he is yet to get that elusive touchdown reception. He has 61 career receptions to rank first among active Tigers in that category.

The junior receiver was very productive in the win over NC State. In the win at NC State, he had eight receptions for 103 yards, the second 100-yard receiving game of his career. His total included a 39-yard reception, the longest catch of his career. He also had 22 yards rushing on two attempts, including a 21-yard run, the longest run of his career.In the win over Temple he had another 100-yard all-purpose running game. He had 58 receiving yards, 23 rushing yards and 21 punt return yards in that game.

Davis Leads ACC Freshman RushersFreshman running back James Davis gained 143 yards in 12 attempts and score a pair of touchdowns in Clemson’s 31-10 win over NC State. He was named the Player of the Game by ESPN for his performance. Davis consistently made big plays, as he had six different runs of at least 10 yards. For the season, Davis now has 433 yards in 84 attempts, 5.2 yards per attempt in six games. It was the second 100-yard game of the year for the first-year freshman and the 143 yards ranked fifth best among freshmen for a single game in school history.

Davis was on his way to a 200-yard game, but he suffered a fractured left wrist on his first carry of the third period and could not return. Davis is ranked fourth in the ACC in rushing yards per game entering this week’s play, first among freshmen.

Davis’s rushing total was the most by any Clemson player since October 13, 2001 when Woodrow Dantzler gained 184 yards in 23 attempts at NC State (four years ago to the day on the same field). It is interesting to point out that Dantzler also wore number-one and the Tigers were dressed in white jerseys and purple pants that day. Davis’s performance was the best by a Clemson running back since Travis Zachery had 151 yards in 29 attempts against Maryland in 2000.

Top Single Game Freshman Rushing Performances

Year Player Opponent Att-Yds
1952 Don King A-Fordham 33-234
1990 Ronald Williams H-Appalachian State 14-183
1987 Terry Allen H-Virginia 27-183
1945 Bobby Gage H-Presbyterian 8-144
2005 James Davis at NC State 12-143

Waters Eighth in Nation in Tackles for LossOne of the top Clemson players of the 1960s was Anthony Waters is Clemson’s top tackler so far this year with 65 stops and ranks third in the ACC and 26th in the nation in that category on a per game basis. That is saying something because the ACC might be the best conference in the nation when it comes to defense.

Waters had 11 tackles at NC State, including four tackles for loss. He now has 10.5 tackles for loss for the season to rank second in the ACC and eighth in the nation in that category. He has 10 more tackles than any other Clemson player and 6.5 more tackles for loss than any other Tiger defender.

Waters has taken over the middle linebacker position left vacant by LeRoy Hill, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and a third-team AP All-American. Last year, Hill had 106 tackles for 11 games and contributed 19 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Waters level of production is not far behind so far this year. Through six games Waters has 65 stops and 10.5 tackles for loss to lead the Tigers in each category.

On a per game basis, Waters is averaging nearly 11 tackles per game, above the 9.6 per game by Hill. Hill averaged 1.72 tackles for loss last year, among the top 20 in the nation, and Waters stands at 1.75 per game.

Waters led Clemson in tackles in four of the first six games. He had 14 at Maryland when he was in a matchup with D’Quell Jackson, the ACC’s top tackler. He then posted 11 stops in the triple overtime game with Miami (FL). Against Boston College, he led the Tigers again with 14 stops, tying his career high for the second time in three games. The native of Lake View, SC is averaging a tackle every 4.83 plays, better than the tackle for every 6.4 plays by Hill in 2004.

Hamlin Has Outstanding Opening GameMichael Hamlin made his first start at the CAT safety position at NC State and the red-shirt freshman responded with a career high eight tackles. He was Clemson’s second leading tackler and a big reason the Tigers held NC State quarterback Jay Davis to just 133 yards passing in 31 attempts. Davis had passed for at least 200 yards in 10 of the last 11 games and was leading the ACC in passing yards per game entering the contest.

Hamlin’s success was not a surprise, as he had contributed 19 tackles in the first five games of the season as a reserve safety. He now has 32 tackles for the season on 21 first hits and 11 assists in 230 plays on defense.

A native of Timmonsville, SC, Hamlin attended Lamar High School, the same school that sent for Clemson All-American and Pittsburgh Steeler All-Pro linebacker Levon Kirkland to Clemson. Hamlin was the leading tackler in the 2005 Spring game with 11 tackles. He was a finalist for Mr. Football in South Carolina his senior year. He had 23 career interceptions at the high school level.

Fudge Records 11th Career TakeawayClemson senior free safety Jamaal Fudge has shown an instinct for the football since he first appeared in a game for the Tigers in 2002. Now one of the senior leaders of the Clemson defense, Fudge recorded his 11th career takeaway in the victory over Temple on October 22. He recorded an interception in that game. It was his second consecutive game with a takeaway. With Clemson leading the Pack on October 13 in Raleigh by a 14-0 score in the second quarter, Fudge stripped the ball from NC State running back Toney Baker and recovered the ball while lying on the ground. Clemson took possession and immediately drove 63 yards for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead.

Fudge now has nine career interceptions and two fumble recoveries for 11 career takeaways, most among current Clemson players. He also has three career caused fumbles, so he has been prominent when it comes to forcing turnovers. In 2003 he had a caused fumble near the goal line against North Carolina on the last Tar Heel play that saved a Clemson victory.

Fudge has two interceptions this year and is trying to become the first player in Clemson history to lead the Tigers in interceptions three consecutive years. He has his hands full if he wants to accomplish that feat because teammate Tye Hill already has three interceptions. Fudge has 35 tackles this year to rank sixth on the team. That gives him 244 for his career, most among active Clemson players.Tigers Offense Improved from 2004Clemson’s offense has shown improvement over last season in a number of categories. The Tigers have increased their total offense from 295.6 per game to 396.3, an increase of 34 percent in yards per game. That breaks down to 41 yards per game more on the ground and 60 yards per game improvement in the air.

Clemson is also improved in turnovers and that can lead directly to point prevention. Clemson has just five turnovers in five games, an average of 0.71 per game. The 2004 team had 24 turnovers in 11 games, an average of 2.18 per game.

The improvement is also apparent in the play of quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, who has improved his completion percentage for 50.7 to 67.4, his passing efficiency from 97.3 to 136.9. He has also cut his interceptions drastically. He threw 17 last year and has just five in 224 passes so far in 2005. And three of the five were tipped passes by his receivers.

Clemson Offense Comparison

Category 2004 2005
Points/Game 21.5 27.3
Total Offense/Game 295.6 396.3
Rushing Yards/Game 107.5 148.1
Passing Yards/Game 1881. 248.1
Turnovers/Game 2.18 0.71
Pts Off turnovers allowed/Game 4.64 1.0
First Downs/Game 16.73 21.9
Time of Possession 27:49 30:11
Completion % .501 .664
Passing Efficiency 96.0 136.9
Sacks Allowed/Game 2.27 1.43

Charlie Whitehurst Comparison

Category 2004 2005
Passing Efficiency 97.3 136.9
Completion % .507 .674
Yards/Attempt 5.92 7.40
Yards/Game 187.9 236.7
Interceptions/Game 1.54 0.71
Total Offense 191.8 243.6

Grant, Clark Out for the YearClemson wide receiver Donnell Clark suffered a torn ACL in the win over Temple and also is lost for the season. Both players will have surgery a week apart within the next few weeks.

Grant was injured during a drill in practice on while making a cut.Grant started five games last year and played in 10 overall when he had 23 receptions for 274 yards. He has 45 career receptions in 26 career games for 437 yards and one touchdown. Grant red-shirted the 2002 season at Clemson, so he has one more year of eligibility.

Clark had started six of the seven games and had 12 tackles, including a sack. He had played 191 snaps in the first seven games.

These Games are GoodClemson has played seven games this season and each of the first five were decided by a touchdown or less within the last three minutes of the game. Four of the five came down to the last play, including the last three, two of which have gone to overtime.

It has been thrill-a-minute for Clemson players, coaches and fans, and that has been the opinion of the editors of Collegefootballnews.com. The internet site devoted exclusively to college football selects its top 10 games of college football each week. In each of the first five weeks, Clemson’s game was ranked among the top seven games in college football that weekend.

In the first week of college football, Clemson’s 25-24 victory over Texas A&M ranked as the top game of the week. Reggie Merriweather with 2:58 remaining.

Clemson’s 36-30 triple overtime loss to Miami (FL) was the second best game of Week III, trailing only Michigan State’s overtime victory at Notre Dame. The Clemson vs. Boston College game, another overtime affair that ended in the Eagles victory column by a 16-13 score, ranked seventh.

Then, the Clemson vs. Wake Forest game in Winston-Salem on October 1 ranked as the third best game of the weekend. Wake Forest scored with 33 seconds left to take a 31-27 lead, then Clemson drove to Wake Forest’s three-yard line on the last play of the game before Curtis Baham was stopped shy of giving the Tigers a game-winning touchdown.

Clemson was the only team in the country to have played a “Top10 game” each of the first five weeks of the season according to the site. The streak was stopped the weekend of October 8 when Clemson had an open date. The internet site also ranks the best game each week by conference. Each of the first five weeks Clemson’s game was ranked as the best game in the ACC.

Thrilling Games ContinueClemson’s first five games of the 2005 season were decided with offensive or defensive plays within the last minute of play. That includes four of the five that were decided within the last two seconds, four on the last play of the game. Clemson and Navy were the only schools in the nation to have each of their first five games decided by seven points or less.

As far as Clemson history is concerned, this was the first time since 1906 that Clemson played five consecutive games in the same season that have been decided by seven points or less. That year Clemson had three scoreless ties (Virginia Tech, NC State and Davidson), had a 6-0 win over Georgia and a 6-4 win over Auburn, to start the season. The streak was broken at NC State when Clemson came away with a 31-10 victory.

The last time Clemson played six consecutive games decided by seven points or less took place over the 1985 and 1986 seasons. Clemson had each of its last four games of 1985 decided by seven points or less, then started the 1986 season with two in a row. That is the longest streak in Clemson history for close games.

Clemson Played Consecutive Overtime GamesClemson played consecutive overtime games, losses at home to 13th ranked Miami (FL) 36-30 in triple overtime on September 17, and 16-13 in overtime to 25th ranked (USA) Boston College on September 24. It marked first time in ACC history that a league school played consecutive overtime games, but it has happened quite often nationally. In fact, Clemson and TCU both played consecutive overtime games this year on the same weekends. No team has ever played three overtime games in succession. The overtime rule dates to the 1996 season. TCU won consecutive overtime games, a 23-20 win over Utah on September 15 and a 51-50 win over BYU on September 24.

Clemson and TCU were the 17th and 18th occurrences of a team playing back to back overtime games. The first school to do it was Southern Cal in 1996, as the Trojans concluded their season with a loss to Southern Cal and a win over Notre Dame (Lou Holtz’s last game as Notre Dame coach).

In 2004 Texas A&M and Northwestern were the only teams to play consecutive overtime games. The last team to lose consecutive overtime games was Temple in 2003. However, the Owls had an open date in between overtime losses to Villanova and Cincinnati. Arizona State lost consecutive games in overtime on consecutive Saturdays in 2000. Both of those games were in double overtime.

Clemson won its first five overtime games between 1997-2004, but the Tigers have now lost two in a row. Entering the 2005 season there were two Division I teams with an all-time record of 5-0 in overtime, Clemson and BYU. Both lost in overtime on the same weekend this year. BYU lost to TCU, 51-50 on September 24.

Clemson and NC State have played the most overtime games among ACC schools so there is another opportunity when the teams meet on Thursday. NC State has played 10 overtime games in its history and Clemson is second with seven. Clemson has been involved in five of the last eight overtime games played involving ACC teams.

Clemson in Overtime (5-2)

Date Opponent OT Site Score
11-8-1997 Duke 1 H 29-20
9-29-2001 Georgia Tech 1 A 47-44
10-11-2003 Virginia 1 H 30-27
9-4-2004 Wake Forest 2 H 37-30
11-6-2004 Miami (FL) 1 A 24-17
9-17-2005 Miami (FL) 3 H 30-36
9-24-2005 Boston College 1 H 13-16

Baham Still over 20 Yards/ ReceptionIf Clemson gave an award at midseason most improved player on offense the winner would probably be Curtis Baham. The senior from New Orleans has had a lot of distractions this fall with the events of Hurricane Katrina and its impact on his family, but it has not effected him on the football field. It has in fact motivated him.

So far this year Baham has been Clemson’s big play threat with an average of 20.3 yards per reception (16-324) and four touchdowns. He is tied for the team lead in touchdowns with James Davis, who has four on the ground. Baham had an 11-yard average as a sophomore in 2003 when he had 22 catches and an 11.8 average last year when he had 16 catches in 10 games.

Baham had at least one catch in each of the first six games, and had a career high 87 receiving yards on five receptions in the triple overtime game against Miami (FL). He scored a tying touchdown in the first overtime on a fourth down pass from Charlie Whitehurst to send the game into a second OT. He had a 51-yard touchdown catch at Maryland that swayed the momentum in Clemson’s favor in the 28-24 Tiger victory.

Baham ranks third in the ACC in yards per reception with his 20.3 figure. If the season ended today, Baham’s 20.3 yard average would be the 11th best average in Clemson history among Tigers who have had at least 10 receptions in a season. The record is 32.1 by Gary Cooper in 1988 when he had 13 receptions for 417 yards.

Baham will have a chance for the mark based on a minimum of 20 receptions for a season. That record is 22.6 yards per catch by Glenn Smith in 1950 when he had 22 catches for 498 yards. Only three players in Clemson history have averaged 20 yards per reception and had a minimum of 20 catches in a season. Those are Smith, Craig Brantley (1975) and Terry Smith in 1993.

Clemson Season yards per Reception Bests

Player Year Rec-Yds Avg
1. Gary Cooper 1988 13-417 32.1
2. Whitey Jordan 1957 12-369 30.7
3. Don Kelley 1971 18-505 28.1
4. Ray Mathews 1948 14-379 27.1
5. Glenn Smith 1950 22-498 22.6
6. Joe Pagliei 1955 10-223 22.3
7.Craig Brantley 1975 22-475 21.6
8. Joe Blalock 1939 15-322 21.5
9. Joe Blalock 1940 10-211 21.1
10. Terry Smith 1993 38-776 20.4
11. Curtis Baham 2005 16-324 20.3

Minimum of 10 receptions for a season

Whitehurst, Baham Offspring of NFL PlayersClemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst threw two touchdown passes to Curtis Baham in Clemson’s 28-24 victory over Maryland. It was a passing combination that has strong football genes. Both Whitehurst and Baham are offspring of NFL players.

Baham’s father Curtis played for the Seattle Seahawks in 1987. He was a star player at Tulane prior to his year in the NFL. Whitehurst is the son of former Green Bay Packers quarterback David Whitehurst. The elder Whitehurst played seven years in the NFL. During that time he played in 54 games, completed 51.4 percent of his passes for 6205 yards and 28 scores. He was the Green Bay starter for most of the 1978 and 1979 seasons when he passed for over 2000 yards each season.

Third Down Conversion ImprovedClemson did not convert on third down in the overtime loss to Boston College (0-11), the first time on record that Clemson went an entire game without a third down conversion. Clemson coaches went back and analyzed each third down opportunity and vowed to improve in that area.

Since the Boston College game, Clemson has converted 20 of 40 third down opportunities for .500. Clemson was 7-13 against Wake Forest and 8-15 at NC State. That was the first time Clemson has converted over 50 percent of its third downs in consecutive games since the 2000 season. Clemson was 9-13 against Missouri and 11-19 against Wake Forest in the second and third games of the 2000 season. Clemson was 5-12 in this area against Temple.

Bowden Has Coached 101 GamesClemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden’s coached his 100th game as a Division I head coach when the Tigers played at Wake Forest. Bowden now a record of 66-36 for his first 102 games as a head coach, 22 at Tulane and 80 at Clemson. He was 18-4 in two seasons with the Green Wave and 48-32 so far in his seven seasons at Clemson. Tommy is one game ahead of his father at this point in his career. Tommy has 66 wins in his first 102 games as a Division I head coach. His father, Bobby Bowden at Florida State, had 65 wins in his first 102 games as a Division I coach.

Bowden is the 24th head coach in Clemson history and he is already third in school history in coaching victories with 48. Bowden trails only Danny Ford (96) on the Clemson list. When Bowden defeated South Carolina in the final game of the 2004 season, he moved ahead of Hall of Fame coach Jess Neely, who had 43 wins for the Tigers in his nine seasons (1931-39). That was also the 600th win in Clemson history.

Bowden is also moving up the Clemson coaching ranks in other areas. He now has eight wins over top 25 teams at Clemson, also third among Tiger head coaches. Danny Ford had 20 top 25 wins in his career between 1978-89, still the Clemson record, while Frank Howard’s had 11 top 25 wins in his career between 1940-69. Howard might have had more top 25 wins than he is credited for because the AP polls only ranked a top 10 from 1961-68 and poll point totals for teams 11-25 don’t exist.

Bowden went ahead of Ken Hatfield with the win over Texas A&M. Hatfield had seven wins over top 25 teams during his tenure from 1990-93. Bowden is also third in conference wins with 29 and fourth in wins by seven points or less. He has 14 of those close victories, tied with Danny Ford had 26 wins by seven points or less.

Clemson’s WinningestCoaches

Coach Yrs Seasons Record
Frank Howard’s 30 1940-69 165-118-12
Danny Ford 11 1978-89 96-29-4
Tommy Bowden’s 7 1999-Pres. 48-32
Jess Neely 9 1931-40 43-35-7
Ken Hatfield 4 1990-93 32-13-1
Tommy West 5 1993-98 31-28-0
Josh Cody 4 1927-30 29-11-1

Tigers Have Faced Difficult ScheduleClemson played three top 25 teams (USA/Coaches poll) within its first four games of 2005. Clemson played #17 Texas A&M, #13 Miami (FL) and #25 Boston College within the first four games of the season, the first time history Clemson played three top 25 teams within the first four games. Frank Howard’s 1966 team played three games against top 10 teams within its first five games.

In many ways this has been the most challenging home schedule in Clemson history. Four of the six opponents who will come to Clemson (Texas A&M, Miami (FL), Boston College and Florida State) were ranked in the preseason top 25 of the AP poll. That is a first in Clemson history. There is a strong chance all four will be ranked when they come to Clemson. Miami (FL) was 13th entering its game at Clemson and Boston College was 25th in the USA Today poll. Florida State is a consensus top 15 team at the moment. They will come to Clemson on November 12.

Clemson has never had four top 25 teams come to Clemson in the same season. In fact, only the 2003 and 1988 seasons have seen as many as three top 25 teams play against Clemson in Death Valley. In 1988, Clemson lost to a 10th ranked Florida State team at home, but beat top 25 teams from Duke and South Carolina at home later in the season. In 2003, Clemson lost the opener at home to a top 10 Georgia team, then beat 25th ranked Virginia in overtime, and defeated third ranked Florida State.

Overall, Clemson is 22-26-1 against top 25 teams in Death Valley over the years. Coach Bowden is 5-6 against top 25 teams at home in his seven years, including the 26-10 win over third ranked Florida State in 2003, the highest ranked team Clemson has beaten in history at home.

The number of games against top 25 teams at home shows how the ACC has gotten stronger over the years. Clemson played just four games against top 25 teams at home between 1942-66. That is four games in 25 years. In the last 25 years Clemson has played 34 games against top 25 teams at home. Clemson Efficient in Red zoneThrough seven games Clemson is 26-28 in terms of scoring in the red zone. The Tigers have scored 14 touchdowns and added 12 field goals in their 28 trips inside the opponent 20 so far this year. Of course, the efficient kicking of Jad Dean has a lot to do with that success rate. Clemson leads the ACC in red-zone scoring percentage. Clemson won the battle of red-zone scoring at NC State. Clemson entered the game first in the ACC in red-zone scoring percentage and NC State was first in red-zone defense. But, Clemson scored on 5-6 trips inside the red-zone, including four touchdowns in that game.Clemson Defense Solid vs. MiamiThe NCAA overtime rule can play havoc with the evaluation of various statistics. That is the case with Clemson’s defensive performance against Miami (FL) in the most recent game, a 36-30 Miami triple overtime win. Miami scored 16 of its 36 points in the three overtime periods, which will hurt Clemson’s scoring defense stats all year. The same goes for total offense and yards per game, as Miami gained 73 yards in the overtime.

Through the 60 minutes of regulation, the Hurricanes gained just 264 yards of total offense, 49 yards less than they gained against Florida State’s famed defensive unit. The Hurricanes threw for just 109 yards on 23 pass attempts during regulation as Vic Koenning defensive unit allowed less than five yards per pass attempt. Clemson allowed just 5-14 third-down conversions in regulation and allowed just 15 first downs. Miami gained just 4.0 yards per play during regulation.

Anthony Waters led Clemson in tackles for the second consecutive game in the Miami loss with 11. C.J. Gaddis had his second consecutive double figure tackle game with 10, while Sergio Gilliam had a career high nine stops, including one behind the line of scrimmage.

In common opponents between Clemson and Florida State this year, Clemson has had a better total defensive statistic in regulation play than the Seminoles against Miami (FL), Boston College and Wake Forest.Another Last Second ThrillerNine of the last 12 and 11 of the last 18 Clemson games, including the first five this year, were decided by seven points or less, and all on plays within the last three minutes of the game or in overtime. Clemson won six of those 11 close games, but lost three in a row.

The 42-yard field goal by David Treadwell 21-yard field goal with two seconds left best Georgia in 1987.

The Tigers followed that with the win at Maryland on a 38-yard run by Reggie Merriweather with just 2:58 left. The Clemson defense then forced Maryland to relinquish the ball with 47 seconds remaining, thanks to a sack by Gaines Adams. Miami then defeated Clemson in three overtimes and Boston College stopped the Tigers in one overtime. Wake Forest scored its game winning TD with 33 seconds left on a six-year touchdown pass. The Tigers then drove to the Wake Forest three before time ran out after Curtis Baham was tackled.

Clemson has had many a close victory under Tommy Bowden’s. Since he became the head coach in 1999, Clemson has registered 10 victories in which it has overcome a deficit or a tie game to score the winning points in the fourth quarter. Eight of the 10 have come with offensive plays inside the last 23 seconds or in overtime.

Clemson Heart Stoppers the last Two Seasons (6-2)

Year Opponent Cu-Opp Winning Play Time
2004 Wake Forest 37-30 Whitehurst-Browning 11 pass 2nd OT
Georgia Tech 24-28 Johnson 11 pass from Ball :11
Maryland 10-7 R. Merriweather 2 run :23
NC State 26-20 C. Bennett interception :00
Miami (FL) 24-17 R. Merriweather 2 run OT
Duke 13-16 Brooks 53 FG :00
2005 Texas A&M 25-24 Jad Dean 42 FG :02
at Maryland 28-24 R. Merriweather 38 yard run 2:58
Miami (FL) 30-36 (3OT) Moss 25-yard run 3rd OT
Boston Coll 13-16 Toal 1-yard run OT

Dean 29-35 on Field Goals in CareerClemson kicker Jad Dean is third among active place kickers in field goal percentage. The junior from Greenwood, SC has made 29-35 for his career, including 17-20 this season. That .8286 field goal percentage is third among active players. He is currently first in the nation in field goals per game with 17 in seven contests. His 10.1 points per game rank 12th in the nation.

Dean has missed just six field goals in his career, four against Miami (FL) in two games, and one against NC State and one against Temple. The NC State and Temple misses were from 39 yards, his first career misses from inside 40 yards after 18 consecutive made field goals from that distance. Dean is a perfect 20-20 on PATs this year and is averaging 10.1 points per game. He has already scored 71 points, a third of Clemson’s scoring.

Dean had the greatest field goal kicking day in Clemson history when the Tigers defeated Texas A&M, 25-24 in the season opener. The junior was a perfect 6-6 on field goals, including a 42-yarder with two seconds left to give the Tigers the one-point win. Dean was successful on attempts from 21, 21, 25, 18, 44 and 42 yards in breaking the single game record of five field goals set by Nelson Welch three times. Welch had five against NC State in 1991, Maryland in 1992 and North Carolina in 1994. For his performance, Dean was named the National Player of the Week by USA Today.

In addition to setting the Clemson record for field goals in a game, Dean also established a Clemson record for kick scoring points in a game with 19. He had one extra point in addition to the six field goals, breaking the record of 17 kick scoring points set by Welch in the game against Maryland in 1992.

Dean tied the ACC record for field goals with the performance. Josh McGee of North Carolina was 6-6 on field goals against Duke in 1999 and Vince Fusco of Duke was 6-7 on field goals against Clemson in 1976. His last field goal was from 57 yards, hit the cross bar and bounced over to tie the game at 18-18 at the final horn. Thus, two of the three ACC games in which a player has booted six field goals have come in games played at Death Valley.

Dean was just one field goal off the national record for field goals in a game. Dale Klein of Nebraska had seven against Missouri on October 19, 1985 and Mike Prindle of Western Michigan had seven against Marshall on September 29, 1984. Dean also handles kickoffs for the Tigers. So far this year he has had 20 touchbacks in 41 attempts and has 72 touchbacks in 165 career kickoffs, .436. He was 6-6 in non-returnable kickoffs at Wake Forest and 5-8 in the win over Temple.

Active Division I Leaders in Field Goal Percentage

Rk Player School FG-A Pct
1. Alexis Serna Oregon State 31-36 .8611
2. Darren McCaleb Southern Miss 43-51 .8431
3. Jad Dean Clemson 26-31 .8387
4. Kyle Schlicher Iowa 32-39 .8205
5. Connor Hughes Virginia 59-72 .8194
6. Andrew Wellock Eastern Michigan 47-58 .8103

Eighteen Freshmen Have Played for Tigers in 2005Clemson played 57 men against Texas A&M in the season opener and 14 of them were first-year or red-shirt freshmen. The list included eight first-year freshmen, the most first-year freshmen to play in the opening game for the Tigers since 1995 when Tommy West played nine in the opening game of the season against Western Carolina. The same freshmen list also played at Maryland.

The first-year freshmen who played against Texas A&M included starting running back Tommy Bowden’s has used 18 freshmen so far this year.

In the 24 years of the red-shirt rule (including this season), Clemson has now played 132 first-year freshmen, an average of 5.50 per season. Fifty-six of the first-year freshmen have been offensive players, while 72 were defensive players and four have been kickers. Clemson played three offensive first-year freshmen and five defensive first-year freshmen against Texas A&M.

Since Bowden came to Clemson in 1999, the Tigers have played 34 first-year freshmen, 12 on offense, 20 on defense and two special teams. That is an average of 4.86 first-year freshman per year, so Bowden is a bit below the Clemson average for the last 24 years. The record for first-year freshmen played in one season is 11 in 1985. That year Danny Ford played six first-year freshmen on offense and five on defense. The 1994 Clemson team under Tommy West played 10 first-year freshmen, including a record nine on offense.

The most successful Clemson team to play a lot of freshmen is the 1995 Tiger team. That year Clemson played nine first-year freshmen on the way to an 8-4 season. The most wins for a Clemson team that has played at least eight first year freshmen is 10, set in 1989, a Clemson tam that played eight first-year freshmen in a 10-2 season. The most first-year freshmen Clemson has played in the Bowden era is nine, in 2001, just one more than what he played against Texas A&M. That year Bowden played three on offense and six on defense on the way to a 7-5 season.

Clemson has played at least one first-year freshman for all 24 years of the rule. The fewest was the one used in 2002 (Barry Richardson (2004) were both named to the Football Writers first-team Freshman All-American team since Bowden has been the head coach.

Bowden First-Year Freshman Participants1999: (5)–David Ellis (LB), Antonio Clay (LB), Josh Miller (LB), Jock McKissic (DT), Haydrian Lewis (DB).

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