Oct. 14, 2002
Game Seven: Wake Forest at Clemson
Saturday, October 19, 2002 3:30 PM (EST) Memorial Stadium Clemson, SC
Television: ABC Play By Play: Tim Brandt Color: Ed Cunningham Sideline: Sam Ryan-Herbst Replay Network: CSS Matt Hogue and Will Merritt
Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports Properties Play By Play: Jim Phillips Color: Rodney Williams Sideline: Pete Yanity
Series History: Clemson leads 52-14-1
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Tigers Hope History Repeats Clemson enters this weekend”s homecoming game with a 3-3 record. To those who have been around the program a few years, this year has brought back memories of the 1995 Clemson season. Tiger fans hope that this season turns out like the 1995 regular season did.
That year Clemson opened with a 3-3 record in the first half of the season, losses to Virginia, Georgia and Florida State, the same three teams that have beaten Clemson through six games this year. The margins were even similar in two of the games. In 1995 Clemson lost to Florida State by 19 points, this year the margin was 17. Georgia beat the Tigers by two points in 1995 and by three points this year.
The chart below shows many other similarities. The 1995 team was winning the total offense margin by 47 yards per game through six contests, similar to the way Clemson has won the total offensive margin this year by 85 yards per game. Clemson had 21 touchdowns through six games in 1995 and 20 so far this year. Turnovers committed are identical, 14 each season at this point. The starting quarterbacks, Nealon Greene in 1995 and Willie Simmons this year, had nearly identical completion percentages.
Tiger fans hope the similarities continue. That 1995 team overcame the 3-3 start and ran the table over the last five regular season games to finish 8-3 and earn a bid to the Gator Bowl.
A Comparison of Seasons
1995 2002 Record 3-3 3-3 Total Offense Margin+47.0 +85.3 Points/Game 28.8 27.2 Touchdowns 21 20 3rd Down Conv. %.413 .414 Turnovers Committed 14 14 Turnover Margin -1 0 Penalties43 42 First Downs by Offense 119 122 Yards/Play 5.40 5.20 StartingQB Comp. % .581 .580
Clemson Has Played 7th Toughest Schedule Clemson has a 3-3 record against a schedule ranked as the seventh most difficult in the nation by the Jeff Sagarin computer poll, a rating published by USA Today. Sagarin is one of the computer rankings used by the BCS standings. The Tigers are ranked 34th overall in that ranking, ironically one spot ahead of Virginia.
Clemson has losses to two top 15 teams so far this year, an undefeated Georgia team and a 5-2 Florida State team that lost by a point to number-one ranked Miami (FL) last weekend. Florida State is ranked second in the Sagarin schedule rankings and fourth overall, the only team in the nation ranked in the top 10 in both areas.
Clemson’s highest schedule ranking in the history of the Sagarin poll is a #7 rating in 1999, Tommy Bowden’s first year as head coach. Clemson was 6-6 that year, but still had a final top 25 ranking (24th) according to Sagarin’s computer rankings. Clemson’s highest overall final ranking by Sagarin is #15 in 2000.
Nation’s Most Difficult Schedules, 2002
Team Rec. Rating 1. Southern Cal 4-280.85 2. Florida State 5-2 79.63 3. Stanford 1-4 79.61 4. TexasTech 4-3 78.15 5. Arkansas 3-2 77.12 6. UCLA 4-2 76.76 7. Clemson3-3 76.63 8. Penn State 4-2 76.09 9. North Carolina 2-4 75.88 10.Colorado 4-2 75.87
Clemson Successful on Homecoming Over the years Clemson has had great success on homecoming and Tiger fans hope that continues today. The first homecoming game at Clemson was in 1922, a 21-0 loss to Centre. Clemson was 0-4-1 through its first five homecoming games, so it is almost surprising that the tradition continued. But, Clemson defeated Auburn in 1927 by a 3-0 score for its first homecoming victory.
There is no record of a homecoming game in 1930 or 1938, but the event has been held in conjunction with a football game every year since 1939, even through the war years. Clemson has a 56-19-3 overall on homecoming games, a .737 winning percentage.
The Tigers are 26-3-2 on homecoming since the 1971 season. The only three losses have been to Georgia Tech in 1989, Virginia in 1997 and last year to North Carolina. Clemson has played Wake Forest for homecoming 12 times and the Tigers have a 10-2 record in those games. However, this is just the second time since 1975 that Wake Forest has been Clemson’s opponent on homecoming. The only other occasion was in 1994, a 24-8 Clemson victory in Tommy West’s first year.
Clemson vs. Wake Forest Series *Clemson owns 52 wins over Wake Forest in history, its second highest victory total over any opponent. Clemson has 59 wins over South Carolina. *Clemson leads the series 52-14-1 overall, including a 29-7 record in games played at Clemson and a 25-7 mark in games played in Death Valley. *Clemson has won three in a row and seven out of eight against Wake Forest dating to 1994. The Demon Deacons won back-to-back games in 1992-93, the only time Wake Forest has won consecutive contests against Clemson since 1946-47. *Clemson has a 3-0 record against Wake Forest under Tommy Bowden’s. The Tigers have outscored Wake Forest 88-24 in the three games. *Wake Forest has scored more than 20 points against Clemson just once in the last 13 years, the Deacs 29-19 win at Clemson in 1998. Clemson won last year at Wake Forest 21-14 and the Tigers won the last time Wake Forest came to Clemson by a 55-7 score. *The Clemson vs. Wake Forest series dates to 1933, a 13-0 Clemson win in Charlotte. *Clemson won 15 games in a row in the series from 1977-91. *Wake Forest enters this game with a better record than Clemson (4-3 to 3-3). You only have to go back to 1999 to find the last time that has happened. In 1999 Wake Forest entered the game at Winston-Salem with a 4-3 record, while Clemson was 3-4. *The two teams have played at three neutral sites in history, including Tokyo, Japan. Clemson won that game in 1982 by a 21-17 score to close out an ACC Championship season.
Wake Forest Update Wake Forest is off to a 4-3 start and the Deacons come into this game riding a two-game winning streak. That includes a 36-10 victory over Duke in its most recent game at Wake Forest’s homecoming. That game was typical for Wake Forest in that they make the most of their opportunities, especially on defense and special teams. The Deacs gained just 224 yards of total offense against Duke, yet scored 36 points. Their scoring included a 90-yard missed field goal return and a 29-yard interception return. Wake Forest won the second half 22-0.
Coach Jim Grobe’s team is living testimony to the importance of turnover margin in football. Wake Forest has averaged 383.3 yards per game on offense and given up 383.0 per game on defense. But, the Deacons have forced 22 turnovers and committed just five, a +17 turnover margin. Wake Forest is second in the nation in turnover margin per game.
Wake Forest likes to keep the ball on the ground and as a result they lead the ACC in rushing yards per game with 233.4 yards per game. They have accomplished that with a balanced attack as no Wake Forest back has averaged at least 55 yards per game and no Deacon back is in the top six in the ACC in rushing yards per game. Nick Burney is the top rusher with 375 yards in seven games, 53.6 yards per game. Tarence Williams is a senior who has missed much of the year with an injury, but he was a second-team All-ACC back last year when he had over 1000 yards. He is healthy now and had 14 carries last week against Duke.
Wake Forest is last in the league in passing, but quarterback James MacPherson has run the offensive efficiently. He has not thrown an interception in 133 passes and has completed 55.6 percent of his passes. His favorite receiver is Fabian Davis, who has 27 catches for 387 yards. Davis is second to Clemson’s Derrick Hamilton in all-purpose running with 156 yards per game. Like Hamilton he returns punts and kickoffs in addition to his duties as a receiver.
Wake Forest has had a dominant player on defense in Calvin Pace. The senior has 16 tackles for loss and six quarterback sacks to rank among the ACC leaders. He is the team’s top tackler with 53 stops in the seven games. He had an incredible six tackles for loss in the win over Duke.
Clemson Veterans vs. Wake Forest *Altroy Bodrick (LB)-Had eight tackles and two tackles for loss in win at Wake Forest in 1999. Added season high 10 tackles and a sack against the Deacons in 2000. *Nick Eason (DT)-Has played three games, two as a starter against Wake Forest. Had four tackles, including a sack in 2000 and had five tackles in 48 snaps in 2001. *Ben Hall (TE)-Had three catches for 17 yards, including a touchdown at Wake Forest in 2001. *Derrick Hamilton (WR)-Ha six catches for 91 yards and a score at Wake Forest in 2001. *Aaron Hunt (PK)-Had seven extra points and a field goal in Clemson’s win in 2000. Had 3-3 PATs at Wake Forest last year. *Chad Jasmin (RB)-Had five carries for 25 yards in Clemson’s win in 2001. *Yusef Kelly (RB)-Red-shirted last year, but in 2000 had 16-93, his season high in terms of rushing yards. *Wynn Kopp (P)-Had 40.0 average on four punts at Wake Forest in 2001. *Brian Mance (CB)-Had three tackles in 39 snaps against Wake Forest in 2000, then had three tackles in 80 plays and added a PBU at Wake Forest in 2001. *Bryant McNeal (DE)-Had three tackles, including a sack at Wake Forest in 1999. Had four tackles as a reserve in 2000 and a career high 11 tackles, including a sack in 2001. *Eric Meekins (SS)-Had career high 13 tackles at Wake Forest in 2001. *Bernard Rambert (RB)-Had 6-46 in 2000 against the Deacs and had 3-8 last year as a reserve. *Jackie Robinson-had 3-31 receiving against Wake Forest in 2000. *Eric Sampson (LB)-Had a career high 14 tackles when he came on for an injured John Leake in 2001. *Willie Simmons (QB)-Had 1-2 for 30 yards and a touchdown against Wake Forest in 2000. *Rodney Thomas (LB)-Had career high 16 tackles at Wake Forest in 2001. *Donnell Washington (DT)-Had four tackles, including a tackle for loss at Wake Forest in 2001. *Kevin Youngblood (WR)-Caught his first career touchdown pass, a 30-yarder from Willie Simmons, in the win over the Deacs in 2000.
Clemson Completion Percentage at Record Rate Clemson is completing passes at a near 61 percent rate, a record pace. Clemson has completed 123 of 202 passes so far this season for a .609 rate. That is ahead of the .605 pace set by the 1997 Clemson team that was led by current Canadian Football league star Nealon Greene. The only other Clemson team to complete 60 percent over the course of the season is the 1989 Tiger team that was 117-195, exactly 60 percent. Starting quarterback Willie Simmons has completed 58 percent of his passes so far this year on 109-188. He has thrown for 1199 yards and seven scores, an average of almost 200 yards per game. Clemson’s reserves have had an impact on the percentage as Tony Elliott, Charlie Whitehurst and Jeff Scott are a combined 14-14 this season, including 11-11 by Whitehurst. The freshman is still six consecutive completions away from Nealon Greene’s record of 17 straight completions during the 1997 season.
Top Single Season Team Completion %
Year Comp-Att Pct 1. 2002 123-202 .6092. 1997 188-311 .605 3. 1989 117-195 .600 4. 1999 252-423 .596 5.2001 226-395 .572 6. 1995 122-215 .567 7. 1985 137-247 .555 8. 198298-178 .551
Clemson Converting Before Halftime Clemson has done a good job of scoring just prior to the half in 2002. So far this year Clemson has recorded a touchdown on its last possession of the half with 80 seconds or less remaining in five of the six games. The streak started when Clemson scored at Georgia on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Willie Simmons to Kevin Youngblood with just eight seconds left. The Tigers failed to do it against Louisiana Tech, but have now done so the last four games. The streak continued last week when Tye Hill scored his first career touchdown on a 32-yard run with just a minute left in the first half. Brian Mance had set up the score with an interception.
Clemson’s Last Possession of the Half in 2002
Last Possession Drive Time LeftGeorgia TD, Simmons to Youngblood 21 Yds 9-64-1:16 :08 LouisianaTech Failed to score 3-20-1:07 Georgia Tech TD, SimmonstoWilliamson, 2 yards 4-5-:50 :38 Ball State TD, Hamilton 9 run3-21-1:03 1:20 Florida St. TD, Simmons to Hamilton, 9 yards6-86-1:25 :27 Virginia TD, Hill 32 run 1-32-:08 1:00
Mance Now Has Nine Career Interceptions Brian Mance recorded his third interception of the season and his ninth as a Clemson Tiger at Virginia. The play came just before halftime and led directly to a Clemson touchdown with just a minute left in the half.
Mance’s nine career interceptions are best among active Tigers and his 10 total takeaways are also best among the active players. He is now ranked in a tie for 15th in Clemson history and one more will move him into the top 10. The senior from Alcolu, SC has now played 41 games at Clemson, 20 as a starter. He has missed just one game in his career when he brother was killed in auto accident last year after the NC State game. Tuesday, October 22nd will be his 21st birthday.
For the season, Mance hs 34 tackles to rank four the on the team. He has played more snaps than any other Tiger with 363 and he also leads the team in passes defensed with eight. Twenty-seven of his 34 tackles have been individual hits.
Tigers Average 6.4 Yards/Play…but 0-2 Clemson gained 441 yards against Florida State in just 61 plays, an average of 7.23 yards per play. That was the highest yards per play average in Clemson history in a game the Tigers lost. The previous record was a 6.78 figure in a 28-25 loss to Maryland in 1959. In that game Clemson had 434 yards in 64 plays. Clemson had won 33 in a row when averaging at least 6.5 yards per play dating to the 1975 season when Clemson averaged 6.61 yards per play in a 25-21 loss to Duke.
Clemson followed that up with a 5.6 average at Virginia, yet lost the game. Over the last two games Clemson has gained 853 yards in 139 plays, an average of 6.4 yards per play. But, Clemson does not have a victory to show for it. The Tigers had 25 first downs at Virginia and held the Cavaliers to 80 yards rushing 40 attempts. Additionally, Clemson had a pair of drives of at least 92 yards, the first time in history Clemson has had a pair of 90 yards in the same game. But, Virginia came away with the victory.
Clemson Leads ACC in Total Defense Clemson is most improved when it comes to defense. The Tigers are ranked first in the ACC in total defense, allowing just 282.2 yards per game, and that figure ranks 10th in the nation. Clemson has allowed just 165.2 yards per game passing, 14th best in the nation. Last year Clemson ranked 71st in the nation in total defense and 66th in pass defense.
Clemson allowed 395 yards a game last year, so it is easy to see the 282 figure for the first six games this year is considerably better. Clemson has allowed just 4.2 yards per play, much improved from the 5.3 allowed per play a year ago.
Many of the times the opposition has scored it has been the result of difficult field position after a turnover or a long kick return. Over the first six games the opposition has taken possession of the ball at their own 38 or worse 49 times. They have driven for a touchdown just six times in those 49 possessions.
Clemson Defense Comparison
2001 Avg. 2002 First Downs/Game Allowed 21.917.2 Total Yards/Game Allowed 394.9 282.2 Rushing Yards/GameAllowed 154.3 117.0 Passing Yards/Game Allowed 240.6 165.2Yards/Play Allowed 5.3 4.2 Yards/Reception Allowed 13.4 9.4Yards/rush Allowed 3.8 3.1
Clemson Second in the ACC in Total Offense Margin As stated above, Clemson has outgained every opponent this year and has an average total offense margin of +85.3 yards per game. Clemson has averaged 367.5 yards per game on offense and given up just 282.2 yards a game on defense. Only NC State has a higher positive total offense margin at +127.6 yards per game. It is also interesting to note that Virginia is last in the ACC in this category by a wide margin, yet has a 5-2 record and has won five games in a row.
The +85.3 yards per game by the Clemson team this year would be the second best by the Tigers in the last 12 years if the season ended today. Clemson was +90.0 yards per game in total offense in 2000 as Tommy Bowden’s second Clemson team averaged 436.8 offensively and gave up 346.8 on defense.
ACC Leaders in Total Offense Margin
Offense Defense Margin NC State 419.7292.1 +127.6 Clemson 367.5 282.2 +85.3 Florida State 436.4 380.1+56.3 Georgia Tech 372.3 324.0 +48.3 Maryland 348.7 320.3 +28.4Duke 351.6 349.1 +2.5 Wake Forest 383.3 383.0 +0.3 North Carolina392.3 447.2 -54.9 Virginia 354.7 435.3 -80.6
Hamilton All-Purpose Performer The all-purpose running statistic was made for Derrick Hamilton. The sophomore from Dillon, SC has averaged 174.7 all-purpose running yards/game this year and has been especially effective in the last four games. He had 256 all-purpose yard against Georgia Tech on September 14, then followed that with 160 yards against Ball State. He added 248 yards at Florida State and followed that with a 206-yard game at Virginia. As you can see by the chart below, he has had two of the top eight all-purpose running games in Clemson history over the last three weeks.
For the year, Hamilton has 177 yards rushing, second on the Clemson team, has 238 yards receiving, third on the Clemson team, has 427 yards in kickoff returns and 206 yards on punt returns. He leads the Clemson team in both return areas. Last year Hamilton finished third in the nation in kickoff return average and was the ACC champion in that category. Thus, Hamilton has at last 175 yards in all four categories already this year.
is current average of 174.7 yards per game is 26 yards per game ahead of the Clemson record of 148.5 yards per game set by Tony Horne in 1997. Hamilton has been very effective when it comes to rushing. He has 15 rushes on reverses from his H-receiver position and has 177 yards, a 11.8 yards per carry figure. No Clemson rusher has ever averaged over 10 yards per carry given a minimum of 15 rushes for the course of a season. Five of his 15 carries have been for at least 10 carries, including a 77-yarder against Georgia Tech.
ntering the Wake Forest game Hamilton ranks eighth in the nation and first in the ACC in all-purpose yards per game. Horne ranked 14th in the nation in 1997, the highest final ranking for any Clemson player in history.
Top All-Purpose Running Games in Clemson History
Player Opponent Year RushRec KOR PR 274 Terrence Flagler Wake Forest1986 209 65 – – 267 Tony Horne Florida State 1997 – 131 109 27 263Raymond Priester Duke 1995 263 – – – 260 Cliff Austin Duke 1982 260- – – 256 Derrick Hamilton Georgia Tech 2002 97 22 41 96 254 DonKing Fordham 1952 234 – 20 – 252 Ken Callicutt South Carolina 1974197 55 – – 248 Derrick Hamilton Florida State 2002 23 69 104 52 246Buck George Presbyterian 1952 204 42 – – 242 Ronald WilliamsVirginia 1991 185 57 – –
Hunt Sets Clemson Record Aaron Hunt established a Clemson record for extra points in a career when he booted two against Virginia. The junior now has 108 in 112 chances in his career. He went ahead of the 107 career extra points by Bob Paulling, who played for the Tigers from 1979-83.
Hunt scored five points in that game and now has 192 for his career, the same total Lester Brown had in his four years as a Clemson running back. Hunt has now made 28-39 field goals, including 8-11 this year. He ranks 23rd in the nation in field goals per game and is 60th in scoring.
Hunt made 4-4 field goals in the win over Louisiana Tech. He became the first Clemson player to record four field goals in a game since 1998 when David Richardson had four in the season opener. Hunt’s day included a 47-yard field goal, second longest boot of his career. Hunt had field goals of 47, 22, 37 and 38 yards, distances that total to 144 yards. That was the seventh most yards on made field goals in a single game in Clemson history.
Clemson all-time Scoring List
Name Pos Years TD PATFG Pts 1. Nelson Welch PK 1991-94 0 85-92 72-102 3012. Travis Zachery RB 1998-01 50 300 3. Obed Ariri PK 1977-80 099-103 63-97 288 4. Chris Gardocki PK 1988-90 0 72-72 63-89 261 5.David Treadwell PK 1985-87 0 92-93 47-66 233 6. Bob Paulling PK1979-83 0 107-109 23-41 209 7. Aaron Hunt PK 2000-02 0 108-11228-39 192 8. Lester Brown RB 1976-79 32 192 9. Fred Cone RB 1948-5031 3-4 189 10. Ray Matthews RB 1947-50 28 168 Terry Allen RB1987-89 28 168 Kenny Flowers FB 1983-86 28 168
Simmons On Record Rate for Completions Clemson quarterback Willie Simmons has averaged 18.2 completions per game, ahead of Woody Dantzler’s record of 16.9 completions per game set last yaer. Simmons has completed 109 of 188 passes so far this year for 1199 yards and six scores. He has a 58.0 completion percentage, a figure that would be fourth best in Clemson history given a minimum of 100 completions. The record is .631 by Brandon Streeter in 1999.
Simmons had made improvement each week during the 2002 season prior to the Virginia game. He completed 15-25 passes for 135 yards against the Cavaliers, his first decline from the previous week all season.
The chart below shows that his passing efficiency improved every game from game’s 1-5, hitting a high of 163.8 at Florida State in the most recent game. He has completed at least 58 percent of his passes each of the last five games and at least 60 percent in three straight. He is 67 of his last 108 passes for 863 yards, a .621 completion percent over his last four games.
He had his best all-around game as a Clemson quarterback at Florida State. Playing in front of his mother and 50 other friends, the native of Quincy, FL completed 17-27 passes for 293 yards and two scores. The yardage total was a career high, as was his 11 yards per attempt. Simmons also had a career high 50 yards rushing in 13 attempts, giving him 343 yards of total offense, the eighth highest single total in Clemson history. Only Brandon Streeter have had higher figures for a single game.
Simmons set a school record for pass completions and attempts by an individual in a Clemson victory when Clemson defeated Louisiana Tech in the second game of the season. He completed 25-43 passes in that game for 242 yards. The Clemson team threw 44 passes in the game and it was just the second time Clemson had thrown 40 or more passes in a game and gained victory in the process. Clemson was 1-16 prior to the Louisiana Tech game when throwing at least 40 passes. The only other victory came at Wake Forest in 1999.
Simmons 25 completions against Louisiana Tech rank in a tie for fourth in Clemson history for a single game. The record is 27 set by Brandon Streeter against NC State in 1998 and at Virginia Tech in 1999. Simmons 43 attempts was tied for fifth highest, most ever in a Clemson victory. It was the most pass attempts by an individual without an interception in school history.
For the season, Simmons has completed 94-163 passes for 1064 yards and six scores. He is on pace to throw for over 2400 yards this season, something only Dantzler has done in Clemson history for a single season. Dantzler threw for 2578 last year, an average of 214 per game for a season.
Willie Simmons Weekly Stats in 2002
Com-Att Yds TD-Int EffPct Rush Yds Plays Tot OffGeorgia 17-37 165 1-1 86.9 .459 8 -29 25 136 Louisiana Tech 25-43242 0-0 105.4 .581 6 -8 49 234 Georgia Tech 18-31 176 2-1 120.6.581 8 8 39 184 Ball State 17-25 188 1-1 136.4 .680 3 13 28 201Florida State 17-27 293 2-2 163.8 .630 13 50 40 343 Virginia 15-25135 0-1 97.4 .600 6 2 31 137
Clemson Single Game Total Offense Bests
Rush Pass Player Site-OpponentYear 517 184 333 Woodrow Dantzler a-NC State (45-37) 2001435 185 252 Woodrow Dantzler a-Maryland (42-30) 1999 418 164 254Woodrow Dantzler a-Georgia Tech (47-44 OT) 2001 378 135 243 WoodrowDantzler H-Duke (59-31) 2001 374 141 233 Bobby Gage H-Auburn(34-18) 1947 374 220 154 Woodrow Dantzler A-Virginia (31-10) 2000366 23 343 Brandon Streeter H-Virginia (33-14) 1999 343 50 293Willie Simmons A-Florida State (31-48) 2002 337 51 286 NealonGreene a-Wake Forest (33-16) 1997 336 59 277 Woodrow DantzlerH-Florida State (27-41) 2001
Clemson Offense Making Weekly Improvement Clemson has averaged 367 yards per game so far this year, far below the 432 per game last year. But, the 2002 Tigers have shown improvement over the course of the season. In fact, Clemson improved its total offense figure four games in a row between weeks 1-5, then still had 412 yards at Virginia in the sixth game of the season. Clemson improved its total offense, passing efficiency and yards per play four straight from games 1-5, the first time that has happened in four straight games since 1983.
The Tigers recorded a season high 441 yards of total offense against Florida State thanks to a season high 334 yards passing. That passing yardage total was th fifth highest in Clemson history, the second best under Bowden. The record is 364 against Duke in 1963, and the best under Bowden is 343 against Virginia in 1999.
Clemson’s Game by Game Improvement
GA LT GT BS FSU VA TotalOffense 233 336 371 412 441 412 Passing Efficiency 86.9 106.6 120.6137.4 173.8 130.4 Yards/Play 3.3 4.3 5.2 6.1 7.2 5.6
Clemson vs. Wake Forest in 2001 Clemson 21, Wake Forest 14 Clemson’s defense forced a season high three turnovers and Woodrow Dantzler gained 330 yards of total offense to lead the Tigers to a 21-14 victory at Wake Forest on October 27, 2001. Clemson’s defense forced two turnovers with the game on the line inside the last seven minutes to preserve the win.
Chad Carson led the Clemson defense with 23 tackles, the third highest single game total in Clemson history. Rodney Thomas gave great support with 16 tackles, while freshman Eric Sampson added 14. Wake Forest entered the game sixth in the nation in rushing offense with an average of 235 yards per game. But, the Deacs gained just 193 yards on the ground and 344 overall, their second lowest figure of the year in each area.
Dantzler paced the Clemson offense with 211 passing and 119 rushing. He connected on 16-27 passes for 211 yards and two scores. His 119 rushes came on 20 attempts. It marked the third straight road game that he had at least 100 yards rushing and 300 yards in total offense. Dantzler threw his completions to six different Tigers. Thirteen of the 16 receptions were made by freshmen. Derrick Hamilton led the Clemson receivers with six for 91 yards and a score. Ben Hall caught his second touchdown reception of the year.
The two teams battled to a scoreless tie in the first period. It was the first time in 15 quarters that Clemson had shut out the opposition. But, the Demon Deacons took the lead late in the second period. Tarence Williams scored on a four-yard run with 3;34 left in the period to complete a 12-play 68-yard drive that took 5:03 off the clock. Wake Forest threw just one pass on the drive.
Clemson came back quickly and drove 53 yards in six plays to tie the score just 1:16 before the half. Dantzler hit Hamilton with a 32-yard scoring pass to tie the count.
Clemson scored on its first possession after intermission. Clemson drove 75 yards in 11 plays with Dantzler hitting freshman Ben Hall with a three-yard score to give Clemson the lead. The Tigers scored again on their first play of the fourth period as Dantzler scored on a 10-yard run. It completed a nine -play 80-yard drive. Wake Forest came back on the next possession however and drove 80 yards for a score, also in just nine plays. Clemson gained possession of the ball for just the third time in the second half, leading by seven. The Tigers drove to midfield, but Travis Zachery fumbled.
The Deacons had the ball with 8:49 left, down seven. But, on the second play of the drive, Chad Carson intercepted, his first career theft of his 42-game career. The return gave the Tigers the ball at midfield. Clemson’s drive stalled and the Tigers punted.
Wake Forest then drove from its own 20 to the Clemson nine. On third-and-eight James MacPherson’s pass in the left corner of the endzone was intercepted by Charles Hafley. Clemson ran out the final 2:09 of the game. A 19-yard run by Dantzler on third-and-seven with over a minute left iced the game.
In addition to the 53 combined tackles by Clemson’s linebackers, Eric Meekins had 13 stops and Bryant McNeal added a career high 11, including a 17-yard sack.
Clemson vs. Wake Forest 2001 Boxscore Clemson 0 7 7 7 – 21 Wake Forest 0 7 0 7 – 14
Scoring Summary WF – Williams 4 run (Ashe kick), 2nd, 3:34, 12-68 CU – Hamilton 32 pass from Dantzler (Hunt kick), 2nd, 1:16, 6-53 CU – Hall 3 pass from Dantzler (Hunt kick), 3rd, 6:35, 11-75 CU – Dantzler 10 run (Hunt kick), 4th, 14:34, 9-80 WF – Staton 1 run (Ashe kick), 4th, 10:59, 9-80
Team Statistics CU WF First Downs 19 24 Rushing 41-177 60-193 Passing 16-27-0 8-16-2 Passing Yards 211 151 Total Offense 68-388 76-344 Yard/Play 5.7 4.5 Return Yards 61 65 Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-1 Total Turnovers 1 3 Penalties 8-71 3-30 Interceptions 2-7 0-0 Punt Returns 1-11 1-13 Kickoff Returns 2-43 3-52 Punting 4-40.0 3-44.0 3rd Down Conversions 10-16 9-14 Sacks by Defense 0-0 0-0 Time of Possession 27:31 32:29
Rushing (Att-Yds-TD) CU – Dantzler 20-119-1, Zachery 10-29, Jasmin 5-25, Rambert 3-8 WF – Staton 29-95-1, Williams 13-37-1, Stone 7-36, MacPherson 8-22, Davis 3-3
Passing (Com-Att-Yds-I-TD) CU – Dantzler 16-27-211-0-2 WF – MacPherson 8-16-151-2-0
Receiving (Rec-Yds-TD) CU – Hamilton 6-91-1, Crosby 3-36, Hall 3-17-1, Zachery 2-12, Currie 1-36, Jenkins 1-19 WF – Landfried 3-70, Thomas 2-40, Anderson 2-28, Stone 1-13 Punt Returns (No-Yds) CU – Reames 1-11 WF – Davis 1-13 Interceptions (No-Yds) CU – Carson 1-7, Hafley 1-0 Kickoff Returns (No-Yds) CU – Mance 1-22, Reames 1-21 WF – Stone 2-32, Davis 1-20 Clemson Defensive Leaders Tackles – Carson 23, Thomas 16, Sampson 14, Meekins 13, McNeal 11, Vaughan 8 Sacks – McNeal 1-17 Tackles for Loss – McNeal 1-17, Meekins 1-1, Vaughn 1-1, Hafley 1-2, Eason 1-2, bush 1-2, Washington 1-2
Tigers Recover On-Side Kick Whenever the Bowden’s get together chances are there will be some trickery involved. Tommy Bowden’s might have pulled off the most surprising play in the four Bowden Bowls when he had his team on-side kick after the Tigers first score, Clemson’s first kickoff opportunity, in the first quarter. Stephen Furr and J.J. McKelvey had been practicing the play all week and they worked it to perfection, giving Clemson the ball after the Tigers had tied the game at seven.
“The thing about that is you can’t practice it in pregame,” said Bowden the next day. “Rodney Allison had noticed in his film study that the player on that side of the field was retreating early to get into blocking position, so we decided to try it.”
McKelvey recovered at the Florida State 49 and Clemson drove for another touchdown, giving Clemson a 14-7 lead, its first lead in Tallahassee at any point of a game since 1989.
What was especially noteworthy is that the on-side kick was the first recovered by a Clemson team since the 1979 season. The Tigers last recovered an on-side kick in the fourth period of the 1979 Peach Bowl against Baylor. Clemson did not score on its extra possession that day and lost 24-19.
Elliott Making Big Contribution Walk-on senior Tony Elliott continues to make a big impact on the Clemson offense on a weekly basis. He is one of three Clemson receivers to catch at least one pass in every game this year and he actually has a six-game streak dating to last year’s Humanitarian Bowl against Louisiana Tech. For the season, Elliott has seven catches for 128 yards, fourth on the team in yardage and tied for fourth in catches.
He has made many big plays, and has four catches for at least 20 yards, second on the team behind J.J. McKelvey’s five. Elliott’s 18.3 yards per reception leads the team. He scored his first touchdown as a Tiger on a 44-yard touchdown reception against Georgia Tech, a key play in Clemson’s five-point victory.
Against Florida State he was at it again. A quarterback as a sophomore in high school at James Island High in Charleston, Elliott completed a 41-yard pass to McKelvey on an end-around play. It set up a Clemson field goal, giving Clemson a 17-14 lead at the time.
Elliott began his career at Air Force Prep School in Colorado, but transferred to Clemson in January of 1999. He has overcome much hardship. When he was nine years old his mother was killed in front of his eyes in an auto accident when their car was struck by a drunk driver.
Hall Over 100 Receiving Yards at Tight End Tight end Ben Hall had his top game as a Clemson player at Florida State with three catches for 69 yards. He did not score a touchdown, which he has done three times previously in his career, but the yardage total was a career high.
Hall now has eight catches for 112 yards this year, fourth on the team in receptions and fifth in yardage. The sophomore had eight catches for 79 yards and three scores all of last year. Hall is the first Clemson tight end to have over 100 yards receiving in a season since Pat Cyrgalis had 12-152 in 1999.
Clemson tight ends have been more involved in the offense since Brad Scott came to Clemson with Tommy Bowden’s in 1999. Clemson tight ends have caught eight touchdown passes the last four years (including one this year by Bobby Williamson). Clemson went nine years without a tight end catching a scoring pass between 1990-98.
Clemson does have a good tradition of tight ends. Bennie Cunningham was a two-time All-American in 1974-75 and was the only tight end named to the ACC’s 50-year Anniversary team. Jim Riggs was a two-time All-ACC player in 1985-86 and played in the Super Bowl with the Cincinnati Bengals. Lamont Hall is currently with the New Orleans Saints, his fifth year in the NFL after player for Clemson from 1994-97.
Defensive Linemen Getting Pressure One area of improvement for the Tigers and a reason Clemson has improved to 10th in the nation in total defense is the pressure Clemson is getting on the quarterback from the starting front four. The group of Nick Eason, Donnell Washington, Khaleed Vaughn and Bryant McNeal has recorded 13 of Clemson’s 17 sacks through six games. The foursome also has 42 quarterback pressures.
Last year Clemson had just 27 sacks and the starting front four linemen recorded just 15 sacks overall. The group was credited with 53 quarterback pressures for the 12 games in 2001. The pressure provided by the front four is a big reason the Tiger s are 14th in the nation in pass defense entering the Wake Forest game.
Clemson’s Defense, You Gotta Lovett Clemson is most improved when it comes to defense. The Tigers are ranked first in the ACC in total defense, allowing just 282 yards per game, and that figure ranks 10th in the nation. Clemson has allowed just 165 yards per game passing, 14th best in the nation. Last year Clemson ranked 71st in the nation in total defense and 66th in pass defense. Clemson is 37th in rushing defense, up from 69th in the nation last year.
While Clemson gave up 48 points to Florida State and 31 to Georgia, mistakes on special teams had a lot to do with those totals. Each team scored against Clemson on a kickoff return and six of the eight touchdown drives the opposition took over in Clemson territory. In 11 possessions in which Georgia and Florida State took over at their own 40 or worse, they combined to drive for a touchdown just twice, once by each team. One other drive (Florida State) the opposition drove for a field goal.
Clemson allowed just 293 yards of total offense to the Louisiana Tech, the second straight game the opposition failed to reach the 300-yard mark. Clemson had allowed the opposition at least 300 yards in 17 straight games heading into the 2002 season.
Clemson has now given up just 1693 yards of total offense in five games, an average of 282 yards per game. Clemson allowed 395 yards a game last year, so it is easy to see the 282 figure for the first six games this year is considerably better. Clemson has allowed just 4.2 yards per play, much improved from the 5.3 allowed per play a year ago.
Many of the times the opposition has scored it has been the result of difficult field position after a turnover or a long kick return. Over the first six games the opposition has taken possession of the ball at their own 38 or worse 48 times. They have driven for a touchdown just six times in those 49 possessions. The defense had a streak of 18 straight possessions without yielding a touchdown in that situation broken in the Georgia Tech game.
What is especially encouraging to Clemson coaches is that Clemson has achieved these numbers against teams that are solid on offense. Georgia has eight offensive starters returning from a team that averaged 432 yards a game last year, but got just 203 yards against Clemson. Louisiana Tech averaged over 400 yards and 30 points a game last year, but got just 13 points and 293 yards against Clemson. Florida State ranks first in the ACC in total offense and is in the top 20 in the nation.
2001 Avg. 2002 First Downs/Game Allowed 21.917.6 Total Yards/Game Allowed 394.9 282.2 Rushing Yards/GameAllowed 154.3 117.0 Passing Yards/Game Allowed 240.6 165.2Yards/Play Allowed 5.3 4.2 Yards/Reception Allowed 13.4 9.4Yards/rush Allowed 3.8 3.1
Clemson Home Games Draw 6.7 Times the Population You could make the statement Clemson is the most rabid football town in Division I. The data used compares average stadium attendance to city population. Last year Clemson ranked 15th in the nation in attendance average with an 80,152 figure. The town of Clemson has a population of just 11,939. That means Clemson’s average football attendance in 2001 was 6.7 times the population of the city.
A look to the 2001 attendance figures and the most recent city population totals shows that only six Division I schools had a higher average attendance than the city population.
School City 2001 Attend PopRatio 1. Clemson Clemson, SC 80,152 11,939 6.71 2. PennState State College, PA 107,576 38,420 2.80 3. Auburn Auburn, AL85,449 42,987 1.99 4. Virginia Charlottesville, VA 56,283 40,0021.41 5. Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA 50,762 39,573 1.28 6. IowaIowa City, IA 64,665 62,220 1.04
Running Game Key to Success under Bowden How important is the running game to Clemson under Tommy Bowden’s? The Tigers are 16-1 under Bowden when the Tigers rush for at least 200 yards. That stat was enhanced in the Ball State game when the Tigers gained 203 rushing in the victory over Ball State.Clemson has won 13 straight when rushing for at least 200 yards dating to the 1999 Georgia Tech game when the Tigers rushed for 231 yards, yet lost the contest, 45-42.
Clemson is 23-4 under Bowden when the Tigers win the rushing yardage stat. That includes a perfect 3-0 record this year. Clemson is also 14-3 under Bowden when it has a 100-yard rusher. Clemson is yet to have a 100-yard rusher this year, but has come close with Yusef Kelly gaining 97 and 99 yards rushing in two games this year.
200 of Each Means Clemson Victory Balance is obviously a hallmark of any successful offense. That has been the case for Clemson over the years and under Tommy Bowden’s. In its 1025-game history, Clemson has a 39-0-1 record when it has at least 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing in the same game. The undefeated streak continued in Clemson’s most recent game when the Tigers had 209 passing and 203 rushing in the 30-7 win over Ball State.
That marked the 13th time in Tommy Bowden’s 41 games as Clemson coach that the Tigers had at least 200 of each. Clemson did it just 27 times in 985 games prior to his arrival. The only time Clemson did not win when it gained at least 200 of each was at Georgia Tech in 1976 when the two teams played to a 24-24 tie.
Clemson Trio of 6-4 Receivers Clemson receivers J.J. McKelvey, Kevin Youngblood and Derrick Hamilton are all at least 6-4 in height and they have used that advantage to rank in the top 10 in the ACC in receptions per game. They have combined for 76 catches in six games, over 12 per game. It was Hamilton who had the big game this past week with 8-81. That gave Clemson three different receivers who have caught at least eight passes in a game this year.
Youngblood and McKelvey had career high performances of 10 catches in a game earlier this year. This is the first time in Clemson history that two players on the same team have had at least 10 receptions in a game. They are just the seventh and eighth players in Clemson history to catch 10 passes in a single game.
McKelvey had 10 catches for 123 yards and a score in the win over Ball State on the 21st of September. Youngblood had his breakout game against Louisiana Tech with 10 catches for 85 yards. Both are in the top 10 in the ACC in receptions per game. Youngblood is among the top 30 in the nation on a per game basis.
The list of other Clemson receivers who have accumulate at least 10 catches in a game includes current Washington Redskins firs-round pick Rod Gardner, who did it three times, Tony Horne, who was a Super Bowl Champion with the St. Louis Rams three years ago, Perry Tuttle, a first-round pick off of Clemson’s National Championship team of 1981, and Charlie Waters, one of the all-time greats in Dallas Cowboys history as a defensive back.
McKelvey added another 100-yard game at Florida State when he had 5-117 at Florida State. He was the first Tiger to have consecutive 100-yard receiving games since Rod Gardner did it in 2000. It is interesting to note that five of the 12 double figure reception games in Clemson history have come under Tommy Bowden’s.
Top Pass Reception Games in Clemson History
Yds Player Site-Opponent Year11 129 Phil Rogers A-North Carolina 1965 11 111 Rod GardnerH-Marshall 1999 10 123 J.J. McKelvey H-Ball State 2002 10 85 KevinYoungblood H-Louisiana Tech 2002 10 110 Tony Horne H-AppalachianState 1997 10 131 Tony Horne H-FloridaState 1997 10 148 Hank WalkerH-Auburn 1947 10 144 Charlie Waters H-Alabama 1969 10 124 PerryTuttle A-Wake Forest 1980 10 151 Perry Tuttle H-Maryland 1981 10122 Rod Gardner H-Duke 1999 10 137 Rod Gardner H-NC State 2000
Thomas Tops Tacklers Clemson senior Rodney Thomas has taken the team lead in terms of tackles. The linebacker from Cadwell, GA has had exactly 16 tackles in each of the last two games and now has 76 stops for the season. His average of 12.7 per game is in the top five in the ACC.
Thomas has led Clemson in tackles in each of the last two games with the 16 total. It marks the third time in his career that he has had 16. He had 16 last year in Clemson’s win at Wake Forest. He now has 230 tackles for his Clemson career After recording just three double figure tackle games last year, he now has five in a row of at least double figures.
Returning Red-shirts Have Made a Difference Three players who have had a positive impact on Clemson’s 2002 season are Kevin Youngblood. All three red-shirted the 2001 season, but have come back strong this year.
Kelly is Clemson’s leading rusher this season with 384 net yards, an average of 64 yards per game. He has 10 of Clemson’s 31 rushes of 10 yards or more this season. He leads the team in touchdowns with seven and is second in scoring with 42 points. Kelly sat out last year to red-shirt and was not injured.
Youngblood is the team’s top receiver with 29 catches for 242 yards and a score. He is among the ACC’s top receivers with 4.8 catches per game. No Clemson receiver has led the league in that area since 1980 when Perry Tuttle paced the conference. Youngblood missed last year with a broken leg.
Bodrick has started all six games so far this year at the roverback position, a hybrid free safety and linebacker. He has 29 tackles to eighth on the team and also has four tackles for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery. Bodrick missed all of last year with a torn ACL.
Field Position Has made a Difference One of the reasons Clemson has been defeated in each of its last two games is field position. In the loss to Florida State the Seminoles average start was their own 43 yard-line, while Clemson’s average start was its own 30, a 13-yard difference. Last week the difference was 17 yards, as Clemson started at its own 22, but Virginia started on average at its own 39. Over the two game period the opposition has started on average at its own 41, with Clemson starting at its 26. In the first four games Clemson’s average start was its own 37 and the opposition its own 31. Clemson is 1-3 this year when the opposition has better average starting field position.
Sampson Interception Ends Georgia Tech Threat Clemson sophomore Eric Sampson intercepted a Georgia Tech pass at the Clemson 16 with just 1:12 left and returned the theft 35 yards to ice the 24-19 victory for the Tigers in Death Valley on September 14th. Clemson then ran out the remaining time to clinch the victory.
Sampson’s interception marked the first time since 1993 that a Clemson player came up with a turnover inside Clemson territory within the last two minutes with Clemson leading by seven points or less. In other words it was the first time in nine years that a defensive player made a game saving turnover with two minutes or less left.
The last time it happened was in 1993 at Duke when Dexter McCleon, now with the St. Louis Rams, intercepted a Duke pass at the Clemson eight-yard line with just three seconds remaining. Clemson held on for a 13-10 victory. That was actually the second straight week a defensive player made a game saving play late in the contest. The previous week, October 2, 1993, linebacker Tim Jones broke up an NC State pass in the endzone with :00 on the clock to give Clemson the victory. The Pack snapped the ball from the Clemson 12 on that down.
Clemson fans have suffered through some close last second losses in recent years. Seven times since 1997 the opposition has driven for a winning field goal or touchdown with inside two minutes left in the game. That included last year in the third game of the season when Virginia scored with just one second left to defeat the Tigers 26-24. It also had included the last two times Georgia Tech had come to Clemson. They scored a touchdown with a minute left to defeat Clemson 24-21 in 1998 and scored a touchdown with seven seconds left in 2000 to defeat a third ranked Clemson team, 31-28.
Sampson has started every game this year and has been a big contributor. He has 21 tackles, including a sack in his 291 snaps from scrimmage. He had nine of those tackles in the opener at Georgia, the second highest total for the Tigers in that game.
Eason Remains in the Lineup Nick Eason had a lot to do with Clemson’s victory over Georgia Tech. The graduate student had two sacks in the victory. He was a big reason Tech quarterback A.J. Suggs had -50 yards rushing in the game. Eason had six tackles and two quarterback pressures.
It marked the first time in Eason’s career that he had two sacks in the same game. He now has 26 career tackles for loss, first among active Clemson players. Clemson’s defense had five sacks against Georgia Tech and continually forced pressure on A.J. Suggs. Clemson allowed just 303 yards of total offense and the Tigers now allow 281 yards per game for the season.
Eason was injured late in the Ball State game with a knee sprain. However, he returned thanks to an open date week and had four tackles and a sack against Florida State. He now has four sacks for the season, tied for the high total on the Clemson team.
Miller Shows All-Around Abilities Freshman defensive back Justin Miller had a reception and an interception against Louisiana Tech, an example of his fine all-around abilities. The first-year player had a nine-yard reception in the first half and an interception in the endzone at a key juncture of the second half to thwart a Bulldog drive. He was named ACC Rookie of the Week for his performance against the Bulldogs.
It marked the first time since 1964 that a Clemson player had an interception and a reception in the same game. Pat Crain was the last to do it as he had a 15-yard interception return and a reception against Virginia on Halloween of 1964. It should be noted that players went both ways in those days, so Miller was the first to do it in the two-platoon era. Miller also had three tackles in the game and played 29 snaps. With the season ending injury to starter Toure Francis, Miller will get a lot of action this season.
Miller was named to the ESPN.com all-first year freshman team for September. He was joined in the secondary by J.J. Billingsley of Colorado, O.C. Collins of Memphis and Matt Fawley of Arizona State. Other ACC players named were D’Quell Jackson of Maryland (LB), Darryl Blackstock of Virginia (LB), Kwakou Robinson of Virginia (DL), T.A. McLendon of NC State (RB), and D’Brickashaw Ferguson of Virginia (OL).
Miller is tied for the team lead in interceptions with two and has 24 return yards in the process. He has 16 tackles for the year, including a five on special teams, tied for second on the team. He has had at least one pass defensed in four straight games.
Kelly Leads Ground Game Yusef Kelly (formerly Keith Kelly his first two years at Clemson) had a career high 99 yards rushing in the win over Ball State. He has now led Clemson in rushing three of the last four games. He had 25 attempts for 97 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Louisiana Tech. Kelly now has seven touchdowns for the year to exceed his previous career high and ranks 38th in the nation in scoring.
Kelly’s 97 yards against Louisiana Tech broke his previous career high of 93 yards against Wake Forest in 2000. He then broke that mark against Ball State. Kelly sat out last year as a red-shirt. He got his chance in the lineup when Bernard Rambert was in street clothes due tendonitis in a foot. He added 20 carries for 89 yards last week in the win over Georgia Tech. He showed his durability as 57 of his 89 yards came in the fourth quarter of that key ACC win.
Leake Ranked 9th in Nation in Tackles The top returning tackler on the Clemson defense is junior John Leake and he ranks second on the team in tackles this year with 72, including 11 at Virginia. In the first round of NCAA defensive stats, Leake was ninth in the nation on a per game basis.
He has had at least 10 tackles in five of the six games this year, including 17 in the win over Louisiana Tech. The native of Plano, TX had 134 tackles last year, an increase of 125 stops over his freshman year. Leake never played a snap on defense as a freshman, then played 687 last year when he ranked second for the course of the season behind the now graduated Chad Carson.
Leake is ranked 23rd in the nation among linebackers by The Sporting News in its preseason publication. He ranked 11th in the ACC in tackles per game last year and led the team in tackles in five of the 12 games. He had a season high 19 tackles in the win over Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
Leake has football in his blood. His father played for Wyoming as a wide receiver in the 1960s. He opened the 2002 season with a strong game, as he had eight tackles to rank second on the team. He also led the team with a pair of tackles for loss and had much to do with Clemson’s ability to hold Georgia to but 203 yards of total offense.
Byrd Leads Offensive Line Gary Byrd is the leader of Clemson’s offensive line. With season ending injuries to veterans Derrick Brantley and Nick Black, the leadership burden is even heavier for Byrd. A graduate student from Stone Mountain, GA, Byrd has started two bowl games at Clemson, the 2001 Gator Bowl against Virginia Tech and the 2001 Humanitarian Bowl against Louisiana Tech. He is a veteran of over 1400 career plays and has been a common denominator on two of the most productive offenses in Clemson history.
Byrd has played well so far this year. In the win over Louisiana Tech he had an 85 percent total performance grade, including an 80 percent technique grade from Clemson line coach Ron West. He led the Tigers in knockdown blocks in the game with 11 and was a big reason Clemson scored 33 points in the contest. He had six knockdowns in the season opener against Georgia. He had two fumble recoveries against Florida State to keep Clemson drives alive.
Byrd leads a young offensive line. Each of the other four offensive line starters are in their first year as starters. Byrd has 19 career starts and the other four offensive linemen have combed for 17. Byrd and Greg Walker are the only Tigers to start every game this year.
Clemson Offensive Line Experience
2002 Career Player YearGP-GS GP-GS Gary Byrd, OT Grad 5-5 30-19 Greg Walker,OG Jr. 5-5 29-5 Jermyn Chester, C Jr. 5-4 12-5 William Henry, OTGrad 4-3 9-3 Cedric Johnson, OG So. 4-4 15-4 Tommy Sharpe, C Jr.5-1 5-1 Mark Jetton, OG Fr. 1-0 1-0 Chip Myrick, OG Fr. 1-0 1-0Vontrell Jamison, OT So. 1-0 1-0 *Nick Black, OT Jr. 5-1 21-1*Derrick Brantley, OT Sr. 2-2 14-8
*Note: Lost for the season due to injury
Clemson Offense Averages 416 Yards, 30 Points Under Bowden Clemson has a 25-17 record under Tommy Bowden’s and a consistent balanced offense has been a big reason. Over the his four years he has been the head coach the Tigers have averaged 416.4 yards per game in total offense. Clemson has gained an average of 183 rushing and 233 passing over the 42 games. In an average game under Bowden the Tigers have averaged 30 points a game and scored four touchdowns. On average, the Tigers run the ball 44 times and throw it 32 times under Bowden. Clemson has scored 166 touchdowns in the 42 games, nearly four per game. Twenty-four of the 41 games Clemson has had at least 400 yards of total offense.
Clemson Offense in the Tommy Bowden’s Era (Figures are for 41 games)
Per Game Points 1270 30.2 Touchdowns 166 3.9First Downs 939 22.4 Rushing Attempts 1828 43.5 Rushing Yards 7676182.8 Pass Attempts 1360 32.4 Pass Completions 781 18.6 PassingYards 9812 233.6 Completion % .574 .574 Plays 3188 76.0 TotalOffense 17,488 416.4 Record 25-17 .595
Bowden Offenses Among Best in Clemson History Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden’s came to Clemson with the reputation of producing big numbers on offense. His Tulane team of 1998 averaged over 500 yards of total offense per game and was the only squad in the nation to average at least 300 yards passing and 200 rushing.
His offensive numbers have not been quite as striking at Clemson, but they have been noteworthy. Here is a list of the Bowden offensive stats as they relate to Clemson history in his three years at Clemson:
*3 of the top 4 completion totals in Clemson history *The top 3 passing yardage single season figures *The top three seasons in terms of passing yards/game *3 of the top four completion percentage figures *2 of the top 3 yards per play figures, and top two since 1950 *3 of the top 5 total offense per game figures *3 of the top 4 first downs/game figures * 2 of the top 7 scoring teams in school history
John Lovett New Clemson Defensive Coordinator John Lovett, defensive coordinator at Auburn for the last three seasons, was named Defensive Coordinator at Clemson last spring. Lovett has been an assistant coach at the college level for 23 years, including 13 seasons as a defensive coordinator. He has experience working with all levels of the defense, but has spent most of his seasons in the game coaching the secondary and outside linebacker position. Lovett is coaching the secondary at Clemson. Jack Hines, who coached the secondary at Clemson the last three years, has moved to the linebackers.
Lovett helped Auburn to bowl games each of the last two years. His 2000 defense ranked 14th in the nation in total defense and 15th in rushing defense, helping the Tigers to a 9-4 record and a berth in the Citrus Bowl against Michigan. Auburn won the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference that season.
In 2001, his defense had a lot to do with Auburn’s berth in the Peach Bowl. One of Auburn’s victories was a 23-20 triumph over then #1 ranked Florida. Lovett’s defense held Florida to 20 points, -36 yards rushing and 328 yards of total offense, season lows in all three categories for Steve Spurrier’s team that finished the season ranked third in the nation. The Tigers also forced five turnovers in the game, including four interceptions of passes thrown by Heisman Trophy finalist Rex Grossman. Lovett’s defense also held Georgia’s high-powered attack to but 17 points in a 24-17 Auburn triumph.
The 51-year-old coach, who was born in Nyack, NY, worked under Tommy Tuberville, the last seven years, four at Mississippi (1995-98) and three at Auburn (1999-01). He coached the secondary all four years he was at Mississippi, including the 1997 season when the Rebels had an 8-4 record, including a victory in the Ford Motor City Bowl.
Prior to coming to Mississippi in 1995, Lovett worked as defensive coordinator at the University of Maine for two stints. He first went to Orono in 1985 and served as defensive coordinator and secondary coach from 1985-88. He also served as defensive coordinator for the Black Bears in 1994. The 1987 team won the conference championship and qualified for the Division I-AA playoffs.
Clemson Has More ACC Wins than Any Other School Clemson was a charter member of the ACC in 1953 and the Tigers began their 50th ACC season on a high note with a 24-19 victory. Clemson has a record of 194-105-6 in conference play for its previous 49 seasons plus two games, a winning percentage of .647. Clemson’s 194 victories are first among all conference teams in league games, 14 more than second place North Carolina, who has won 55 percent of its league games. Maryland is third with 168, while NC State is fourth at 166. Clemson has a winning record against every other ACC team since the league began with the exception of Florida State.
Clemson also leads the ACC in conference championships with 13. Florida State and Maryland are tied for second with nine (this includes co-championships). NC State and Duke are tied for fourth with seven wins apiece. Every current league member has won the league title at least once.
Crosby Withdraws from Clemson Plans to Return in January Clemson sophomore Roscoe Crosby will withdraw from Clemson on Friday, then plans to return to school in January and play for the Tigers in 2003. Crosby made the announcement after Clemson’s practice on Thursday.
The native of Union, SC had Tommy John Surgery on June 25, 2002 in Birmingham, AL and was in the process of red-shirting the football season athletically. He had been attending classes this semester, but will withdraw on Friday. He then will go to Arizona to continue his professional baseball career with the Kansas City Royals. Crosby will then attend classes at Clemson during the spring semester and then play professional baseball for the Royals this summer prior to returning to Clemson in August in time for the beginning of varsity football practice.
“This is what I have to do to continue my professional baseball career,” said Crosby. “I don’t want to go into the summer baseball season without having played any baseball for such a long period of time. “I still want to play football at Clemson and this allows me to do that. I plan to return in the spring to take the necessary academic courses and then return for the 2003 football season.”
Crosby said this has been a difficult fall. “It has been very frustrating. Sometimes I can’t even watch the games because I want to be out there so much. The guys have been great. When I see them on campus or in class they still make me feel part of the team. But, because I am not practicing or playing it is frustrating. “I am looking forward to coming back. The first time I run down the hill it will feel like my first time my freshman year. I am not ready to give up football.”
Crosby said that he has received outstanding cooperation from the Royals and Clemson. “Both sides have been very supportive and understanding. I am thankful that I play for the Kansas City Royals organization. The Clemson coaches have helped me any way they can. Both sides have allowed me to pursue both sports. They know I am still serious about that.”
Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden’s said, “I am 100 percent supportive of Roscoe’s decision and look forward to his return for the 2003 season.”
Crosby set a Clemson record for receptions and reception yards by a first-year freshman in 2001 with 27 catches for 465 yards. A USA Today first-team All-American in football and baseball, Crosby was injured much of the first half of last year with a sprained knee and a broken nose.
He had 23 of his 27 catches over the last six games of the season, including 6-139 and two scores against Duke and 4-69 in the bowl victory over Louisiana Tech. His 139 receiving yards were the most ever for a Clemson freshman and he was named ACC Rookie of the Week for that performance.
Losing First Game Not Always a Bad Sign Clemson lost its season opener at Georgia on August 31, but losing the opener is not always a bad sign for the Tigers. In fact, the last five times Clemson has lost its season opener, the Tigers have gone on to a bowl game or won at least nine games. Clemson has won two in a row since losing the season opener.
In 1999, Tommy Bowden’s first year, Clemson lost the opener to Marshall, but finished with a 6-6 record and a Peach Bowl bid. That Clemson team played the 10th toughest schedule in the nation that year and four of the six losses were to teams who finished the year ranked in the top 15 in the nation.
Clemson lost the season opener to North Carolina in 1996, 45-0, but came back to finish 7-4 in the regular season and played in the Peach Bowl. Clemson lost the opener at home in 1986 to Virginia Tech, then lost just one more game the rest of the year on the way to a Gator Bowl bid and a top 20 season.
The Tigers lost the opener of 1982 at Georgia, 13-7, then went the rest of the year without a loss, finishing 9-1-1. Clemson was on probation that year and could not go to a bowl. The 1977 team lost the opener to 10th ranked Maryland, then finished 8-4 with its first bowl bid in 18 years.
Clemson has Eight Graduates on Roster The 2002 Clemson team has already broken a school record and the kickoff of the season opener has not even taken place. This year’s team has eight graduates on its roster, a record for a Clemson team. The list includes three players who will travel to roster with two full seasons yet to play.
Clemson starting quarterback Willie Simmons, starting defensive end Khaleed Vaughn and reserve tackle William Henry are listed as graduates on the roster, but still have this year and 2003 in terms of eligibility. Simmons received his degree last May, accomplishing his course requirements in just three years and three summer schools. That is the earliest a Clemson scholarship football player has ever graduated. Vaughn and Henry both graduated this past August 10th and still have two years to play.
The list of graduates on the 2002 Clemson team includes starting wide receiver Altroy Bodrick, starting defensive tackle Nick Eason and starting offensive tackle Gary Byrd. Nathan Gillespie is a reserve offensive lineman who also has his Clemson diploma. Eason graduated in August of 2001, so he also had his degree with two years to play.
The previous high for graduates on a Clemson football team was seven set just last year. By the end of the 2002 academic year 18 of the 22 seniors on the 2001 football team already had their degree. Two of those players are in school this year and plan to graduate by May of 2003.
Clemson Graduates on 2002 Team
Pos Graduation Degree Jackie RobinsonWR Dec. 2001 Health Science Khaleed Vaughn DEAug. 2002 Marketing Willie Simmons QBMay 2002 Marketing William Henry OTAug. 2002 Sociology Altroy Bodrick ROVAug. 2002 Rec. Park Adm. Gary Byrd OT Aug. 2002Rec. Park Adm. Nick Eason DT Aug.2001 Sociology Nathan Gillespie OG Dec. 2001 Marketing
Clemson Has 82.4 Graduation Rate for 1996 Entering Class Clemson has eight graduates on its current roster, one of the top totals in the nation. The list of signees who entered Clemson in 1996 also had an outstanding graduation rate. Of the 17 Tigers who entered as scholarship players that fall, 14 have graduated, an 82.4 percent graduation rate. When the NCAA releases its graduation rates for that class next fall, Clemson should be among the national leaders. The class includes a perfect 9-9 in terms of graduates among African American signees for that year. No one in the nation can top that 100 percent rate.
Members of that class who have their Clemson degrees are Terry Bryant, Rod Gardner, Jason Holloman, Freddie James, Mal Lawyer, John McDermott, Harold Means, Theo Mougros, Ryan Romano, Sean Sullivan, Justin Watts, Terry Witherspoon and Brian Wofford.
It is interesting to note that the study does not include athletes who enter in January. Two other first-year players who started their Clemson careers in January of 1996 who graduated are Jason Gamble and Mike Seth. They are not included in the figures.
Tiger Teammates Clemson has 15 different sets of football players who went to the same high school or junior college. The list includes three schools that have sent Clemson three players apiece. Orangeburg-Wilkinson, the high school that sent 2001 senior Woody Dantzler to Clemson, still has three representatives on the current Clemson team in Ryan Hemby, Kevin Johnson and Jackie Robinson.
Fork Union Prep in Virginia has sent Clemson Eric Coleman, Maurice Fountain and Gaines Adams. Fountain was a high school teammate of wide receiver Kelvin Grant. The only brother combination on the list is the Vaughn brothers, Khaleed and Nigel, who both played at North Atlanta High in Atlanta, GA.
Clemson players who played together in high school or prep school:
City State Players C.A. JohnsonColumbia SC Eugene Koon, ToddMcClinton Camden Camden SC Maurice Fountain, Kelvin Grant EasleyEasley SC EricMeekins, Josh Smith Fairfield Central Fairfield SC CharlesBennett, Altroy BodrickFork Union Prep Fork Union VA Eric Coleman,MauriceFountain, Gaines Adams JamesIsland Charleston SC Ryan Charpia, Tony Elliott Lexington LexingtonSC Fletcher Anderson, PhillipDieckmann Manning Manning SC Brian Mance, Travis Pugh NorthAtlanta Atlanta SC Khaleed Vaughn,Nigel Vaughn Orangeburg-Wilkinson Orangeburg SC Ryan Hemby, KevinJohnson, Jackie RobinsonRichland Northeast Columbia SC Airese Currie,Toure Francis Shanks Quincy FL Charles Harper,WillieSimmons, Ronnie ThomasSummerville Summerville SC Dustin Fry, Bernard RambertSW Miss. CC Summit MS Brandon Jamison, Kelvin Morris UnionUnion SC KyleBrowning, Roscoe Crosby
18 Tigers on NFL Rosters Clemson had 18 former players on NFL rosters entering play on September 8th, the opening day of the NFL season. The list includes four players who are now in double digits in the league in terms of years of service. Woody Dantzler, who is on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, is the only member of the 2001 Clemson team to make a roster.
The list of veterans includes Chris Gardocki, who is in his 12th year in the NFL as a punter. The former pro bowl punter is with the Cleveland Browns. Gardocki holds the career punting average record for both the Browns (44.1) and the Indianapolis Colts (44.8). Chester McGlockton (Denver Broncos) and Levon Kirkland (Philadelphia Eagles) are both in their 11th seasons in the NFL. Kirkland made his 124th consecutive NFL start for the Eagles on Sunday against Tennessee. James Trapp, who is in the Clemson Hall of Fame for his track accomplishments from 1989-93, is in his 10th year in the NFL and is with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers all have two players apiece from Clemson on their respective roster. Twelve of the 18 players are defensive players, including four defensive linemen.
Two former Tigers stood out in week one. Rod Gardner had seven receptions for 131 yards and a score to help Washington to victory in Steve Spurrier’s first game as head coach. Adrian Dingle had two sacks to help the San Diego Chargers to a victory over Cincinnati.
Former Clemson Players on NFL Rosters
Pos Hgt Wgt CU Yrs NFLExp NFL Team Keith Adams LB 5-11 230 98-00 2nd DallasCowboys Lorenzo Bromell DE 6-6 275 96-97 5th Minnesota VikingsBrentson Buckner DE 6-2 305 90-93 9th Carolina Panthers &JimBundren OT 6-5 305 94-97 4th Miami Dolphins Robert CarswellDB 5-11 215 97-00 2nd San Diego Chargers #Woody Dantzler QB 5-11205 98-01 R Dallas Cowboys Brian Dawkins DB 5-11 200 92-95 7thPhiladelphia Eagles Adrian Dingle DE 6-3 272 95-98 4th San DiegoChargers Antwan Edwards DB 6-1 205 95-98 4th Green Bay PackersRod GardnerWR 6-3 218 97-00 2nd Washington Redskins Chris Gardocki P 6-1 20088-90 12th Cleveland Browns Lamont Hall TE 6-4 260 94-97 4th NewOrleans Levon Kirkland LB 6-1 270 88-91 11th Philadelphia EaglesDexter McCleon DB 5-10 195 93-96 6th St. Louis Rams ChesterMcGlockton DT 6-4 329 89-91 11th Denver Broncos Trevor Pryce DT 6-5295 1996 6th Denver Broncos Anthony Simmons LB 6-0 230 95-97 5thSeattle Seahawks James Trapp DB 6-2 190 89-92 10th Baltimore Ravens# Practice Squad & Injured reserve
Clemson Assistant Coaches Have Bowl Experience Clemson’s nine current assistant coaches and head coach Tommy Bowden have coached in a combined 81 bowl games. Of the current staff, Rick Stockstill has coached in the most bowl games with the Tigers, as the 2001 Humanitarian Bowl was his 10th as a Clemson assistant. Brad Scott leads the way in total bowl games coached with 15 between his time at Clemson, Florida State and South Carolina.
Two Clemson assistants have served as head coaches in bowl games. Scott led South Carolina to its first bowl win in history when he defeated West Virginia in the 1994 Carquest Bowl. Mike O’Cain, hired as Clemson’s quarterbacks coach in December of 2000, served as NC State’s head coach in three bowl games.
As you can see by the list below, eight of the 10 coaches on this staff have been together all three years of the Bowden era. Mike O’Cain has coached in two of the three bowl games. John Lovett is the only newcomer to the staff this year.
Position Player CU Bowl OverallTommy BowdenHead Coach 1 3 11 Rodney AllisonDefensive Ends 3 3 8 Burton Burns RunningBacks 3 3 4 JackHines Linebackers 1 3 8 John Lovett DefensiveBacks 0 0 5 MikeO’Cain Quarterbacks 0 2 @10 Brad Scott Tight Ends0 3 *15 ThielenSmith Defensive Line 2 3 5 Rick StockstillWide Receivers 3 10 10 Ron West Offensive Line 2 3 5 Totals15 30 81
*Includes one bowl (win) as head coach of South Carolina @Includes three games as head coach at NC State Overall is total as a coach only
Some Tigers using New Helmet The latest in equipment use in football at all levels is the Revolution Helmet manufactured by Riddell. Many Clemson players have switched to the new helmet for this season and Clemson equipment personnel estimate 30 players are using it this year. Many of the players are first-year freshmen.
Among the veterans using the helmet are starting outside linebacker Khaleed Vaughn, starting middle linebacker and top returning tackler John Leake, and running backs Yusef Kelley, Chad Jasmin and Tye Hill. Linebacker David Dunham was troubled by a concussion early in preseason and switched to the Revolution. He has not had problems since.
The helmet is the result of five years of research conducted by the NFL, who concluded that 70 percent of concussions result from hits to the side of the head. The sides of the new helmet extend farther down toward the chin, creating a firm shell along the jaw line.
Clemson Faces Tough Schedule in 2002 In many ways this will be Clemson’s most difficult schedule. The 2002 Tigers have nine games against teams who had winning records last year and eight of the 2002 opponents played in bowl games last year.
Nationally, Clemson is tied for third in number of games against teams who had winning records in 2001 and tied for fourth in number of 2001 bowl opponents on the 2002 schedule.
Clemson has had some difficult schedules under Tommy Bowden’s. The 1999 schedule is listed as the 10th toughest in the nation according to the 2002 NCAA Record Book. In 2001, Clemson had five wins over teams with winning records, one off the Clemson single season record.
Most Difficult Schedules of 2002
Based on 2002 Opponents Who Played in 2001 Bowls
Team 2002 Games 2001 Bowl Opp 1.Florida State 13 9 Notre Dame 12 9 Virginia 13 9 4. Clemson 12 8Duke 12 8 Iowa State 13 8 Missouri 12 8 Texas 12 8 Wake Forest 12 8
Based on 2002 Opponents who had 2001 Winning Record
Team 2002 Games Winning Opp 1. FloridaState 13 10 Virginia 13 10 3. Clemson 12 9 Alabama 12 9 Duke 12 9Florida 12 9
ACC Announces 50th Anniversary All-Time Football Team Clemson Leads All Schools With Nine Selections Nine former Clemson football players have been named to the 50th Anniversary All-ACC team, the conference announced in July. Clemson’s nine selections are the most among ACC schools. Players who have been named to the team are Joe Bostic, Jerry Butler, Bennie Cunningham, Jeff Davis, Steve Fuller, Terry Kinard, William Perry, Michael Dean Perry and Anthony Simmons.
All nine players were All-Americans at Clemson. Five of them earned such honors on more than one occasion. The honorees have won 10 ACC titles collectively, with three of the players earning a National Championship ring in 1981. Eight of the nine players were named to Clemson’s All-Centennial team in 1996. Butler, Davis, Fuller and Kinard are also honored in Clemson’s Ring of Honor.
Each of the honorees has played in the NFL at some point after their Clemson careers. Anthony Simmons, the youngest Clemson player honored by the ACC, is currently a starting linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks. The group collectively has played 76 years in the NFL and combined to win five Super Bowl Championship rings. Joe Bostic was a four-year starter and two-time All-American between 1975-78 on Clemson’s offensive line. He is also in Clemson’s Hall of Fame. In 1999, A panel of Clemson historians ranked him as the 11th best player in Clemson history. Bostic went on to play 10 seasons in the NFL, all with the Cardinals organization.
Jerry Butler earned first-team Associated Press All-American honors in 1978 and was ranked as the 4th best player in school history in 1999. He was famous for a diving backward touchdown catch that helped beat rival South Carolina in 1977. Butler, also a member of Clemson’s Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor, played nine seasons for the Buffalo Bills in the NFL.
Bennie Cunningham, Clemson’s most decorated tight end, was a two-time All-American. He was a consensus first-team All-American as a junior in 1974 and a first-team choice by the Sporting News in 1975. He was also ranked among Clemson’s greatest players in 1999. Cunningham won two Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers between 1976-85.
Jeff Davis was an All-American in 1981, the year Clemson won the National Championship. Davis is the third leading tackler in Clemson history. “The Judge” is a member of Clemson’s All-Centennial team, Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor. He was inducted into the state of South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2001. He played for six seasons in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Steve Fuller was a third-team All-American on the field in 1978 as well as a two-time Academic All-American. He was also the ACC Player-of-the-Year in 1977 and 1978, the only two-time selection in Clemson history. He was ranked as a top 5 player by Clemson historians in 1999, and is in the Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor. Fuller won a Super Bowl ring with the Chicago Bears in 1985.
Terry Kinard, perhaps Clemson’s most decorated athlete, was a two-time first-team AP All-American in 1981-82. He was a starting safety on Clemson’s 1981 National Championship team. He was named the 1982 National Player-of-the-Year by CBS. Kinard was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame last fall and the state of South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2002. He is still Clemson’s career leader in interceptions with 17, now a 20-year-old record. He won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants and played eight seasons in the NFL.
William Perry was a three-time All-American at middle guard for Clemson, a first in school history. He still ranks among Clemson’s career leaders in sacks and tackles for loss. Also a member of the 1981 team, Perry was named to the All-Centennial team and will be inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame this fall. “The Refrigerator” won a Super Bowl ring in 1985 with the Chicago Bears.
Michael Dean Perry, Clemson’s career leader in both sacks and tackles for loss, was a first-team All-American in 1987 when he was an Outland Trophy finalist. A member of the All-Centennial team, Perry was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 2000. He went on to considerable success in the NFL as he played in six Pro Bowls and was a four-time All-Pro with the Cleveland Browns.
Anthony Simmons was Clemson’s second three-time All-American. He likely would have been just the second player in NCAA history to achieve such honors four times had he not left for the NFL after his junior year. He is second on Clemson’s career tackles list, an impressive feat to accomplish in only three years. Simmons is currently a starting linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks
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