Jan. 6, 2006
Ranked 21st in final AP and Coach’s polls. It marked the secondtime in three years and third time since 2000 that Clemson had beenranked in the final top 25 of both polls. Clemson had three winsover top 20 AP teams (#17 Texas A&M, #17 Florida State and #19South Carolina), the first time Clemson has done that since 1989and just the fourth time in school history Clemson has beaten threetop 20 teams in the same season. The 1981 National Championshipteam had three wins over top 10 Associated Press teams and the 1950team also had three wins over top 20 teams. Clemson’s three top 20wins tied for fourth in the nation in 2005, trailing only LSU,Georgia and Southern Cal and tied with National Champion Texas.When Clemson defeated the 19th ranked Gamecocks in the finalregular season game it gave Clemson consecutive wins over top 20teams for just the third time in school history. The Tigers alsodid it in 1982 and 1983 when they defeated top 20 teams from NorthCarolina and Maryland each year. First Clemson team to defeat aranked South Carolina team in Columbia. Defeated South Carolina forthe fourth consecutive year and for the eighth time in the lastnine years. First time since the 1934-42 era Clemson has defeatedSouth Carolina eight out of nine years. Closed the season with sixwins in the last seven games for the first time since 1991.Included in the stretch was a 35-14 win over ACC Champion FloridaState, Clemson’s second victory in the last three years over theSeminoles. Defeated four teams that won at least seven games in2005. The Tigers ranked tied for sixth in the nation in victoriesover teams who had at least seven wins. This was just the fifthtime in Clemson history the Tigers defeated four teams that won atleast seven games. Clemson finished the 2005 season as one of sixteams in the nation without a loss by at least seven points in2005. The others to achieve this were Southern Cal, Penn State,Texas, LSU and Georgia. This is the first time Clemson has gonethrough an entire regular season without a loss of more than sixpoints since 1982. The 2005 schedule tied for the toughest schedulein Clemson history in terms of playing top 25 teams. The Tigers hadfive games against top 25 teams, something only the 1988 teamduplicated. This Clemson team overcame a fourth quarter deficit towin three times (Texas A&M, Maryland and South Carolina). Thistied for the second most fourth quarter comebacks in Clemsonhistory (2004 team also had three). The record is four by the 1958team. Clemson lost four games by a combined 14 points. This was theclosest Clemson has been to a perfect season since the 1988 seasonwhen Clemson lost two games by a total of 10 points.
Ranked 11th in the final scoring defense statistics for the2005 season, the highest national finish since the 1995 teamfinished 10th in the nation in scoring defense. The 17.6 points pergame allowed was the best in 11 years. Ranked 20th in the nation inthe final total defense, 25th in rush defense and 18th in passefficiency defense. First time since 1990 and just the third timein Clemson history the Tigers ranked in the top 25 in all four ofthe major defensive categories. Team also ranked 25th in sacks and13th in tackles for loss. Held Colorado to 124 yards total offenseand just 17 yards rushing, the best total defense and best rushingdefense of the 56 teams that played in a bowl game in 2005. Bothfigures were Clemson records for a bowl game. Allowed theopposition just one touchdown in their combined final 43 offensivepossessions. First college team to hold Steve Spurrier and BobbyBowden without a touchdown in the same year.
Ranked tied for first in the ACC in total offense in conferencegames with Miami (FL). Ranked first in the ACC in completionpercentage with a school record 65.8 percent, and second in totaloffense in all games. Improved its total offense by nearly 90 yardsper game over 2004, the fourth best one-season improvement inClemson history and the eighth most improved offense in the nationin 2005. Led the ACC in scoring in the red-zone percentage, theTigers scored once they got in the red-zone 43 of 47 red-zoneopportunities for a 91.5 percentage. Ranked eighth in the nation infewest turnovers committed (14) and fourth in the nation in fewestlost fumbles (5). Had two 700-yard rushers and three 500-yardreceivers, first Clemson team in history to do that.
Individual Notes and Honors
Tye Hill was named first-team All-American by four servicesincluding The Sporting News and the Walker Camp Foundation. He wasinvited to the Senior Bowl. Hill was named one of three finalistfor the Jim Thorpe Award as the top defensive back in the nation.Gaines Adams established school record for pass deflections by adefensive linemen (9). He also recorded team best 15 tackles forloss and 9.5 sacks. Charlie Whitehurst established a Clemson recordfor completion percentage in a season with a 67.4 mark, the seventhbest completion percentage in ACC history. Whitehurst became firstClemson starting quarterback to post a 4-0 record against SouthCarolina and first ACC quarterback to post a winning record againstFlorida State (Min of 3 starts). Overall, he finished with 25victories, second in Clemson history. Whitehurst closed his Clemsoncareer with 42 records, including the season and career completionpercentage marks. Whitehurst finished his Clemson career rankedthird in ACC history in career total offense and fourth in careerpassing yardage. Running back James Davis was named the MVP of theChamps Sports Bowl, the ACC Rookie of the Year, and was a two-timeNational Freshman of the Week by Rivals.com. He set a Clemsonrecord for touchdowns by a freshman with nine. Davis had 150 yardsrushing in the win over Colorado, 84 more than any other runningback had against the Buffs defense all year. Chansi Stuckey led theACC in receiving and was a first-team All-ACC selection. Jad Deanestablished a Clemson record for field goals in a season with 24and he was third in the nation. That is tied for second most in aseason in ACC history. He broke Obed Ariri’s record with two in theChamps Sports Bowl against Colorado. Dean was named a finalist forthe Lou Groza Award and led the ACC in scoring with 106 points.Dean was named national Player of the Week by USA Today when hebooted a Clemson record six field goals, including the 42-yard gamewinner with just two seconds left, against Texas A&M.
Ranked second in the nation among bowl teams and fourth overallin graduation rate in study released by the NCAA in December of2005. Clemson had a higher graduation rate for its football programthan Stanford, Duke, Vanderbilt and Northwestern.
Head Coach Tommy Bowden
Guided Clemson to a top 25 finish in the polls for the thirdtime in the last six years, the second time he accomplished thefeat without a preseason ranking. Defeated former nationalchampionship coaches Steve Spurrier and Bobby Bowden in 2005,giving him seven wins over coaches who have won the nationalchampionship in the last three years. Has a 6-1 career record overClemson rival South Carolina. All six wins have come against futureCollege Football Hall of Fame Coaches (Holtz and Spurrier). Earnedhis 50th win at Clemson when he defeated Florida State and hisfather, 35-14 on November 12. It was Clemson’s largest margin ofvictory over the Seminoles. Defeated three of the top 10 winningestactive Division I coaches entering the 2005 season (DennisFranchione, Bobby Bowden, Steve Spurrier).
Bright Outlook for 2006
All five starters in the offensive line return for 2006, thefirst time Clemson has been in that situation since the 2000 seasonand just the fourth time in 25 years. Clemson returns two 700-yardrushers and a 700-yard receiver for the first time in schoolhistory. The top two rushers and four of the top five receiversreturn in 2006. Clemson returns 17 starters overall, eight onoffense, seven on defense and both kickers. Clemson achieved its8-4 record while playing 22 first year or red-shirt freshmen. FourClemson freshmen were named first or second-team freshmenAll-Americans in 2005, most by a Clemson team since 1988. Clemsonis one of just 10 schools with a four game winning streak or moreentering the 2006 season.
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