December 1, 2002
Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips accepted a bid to the Tangerine Bowl Sunday afternoon. The contest will be played December 23 in Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, FL. Kickoff is set for 5:30 PM and the contest will be televised by ESPN.
Tickets will go on sale at the Clemson ticket office on Monday and they are priced at $45 apiece. Ticket may be ordered over the phone with Mastercard or Visa by calling 1-800-CLEMSON, (864) 656-2118 or (864) 656-2115, starting on Monday. Orders will also be taken in person at the ticket office at Memorial Stadium beginning Monday morning.
Clemson has an allotment of 12,500 tickets. All tickets are priced at $45 apiece and there is no limit on the number of tickets an individual may purchase. All tickets are lower level seats.
Clemson has a 5-7 record in games played against teams currently in the Big 12 conference. Clemson’s last game against a Big 12 Conference foe took place in 2000 when Clemson defeated Missouri in a game at Death Valley, 62-9
This will be Clemson’s sixth bowl game against a Big 12 team, the first since the 1988 season when Clemson defeated Oklahoma 13-6 at the Citrus Bowl. Clemson is 3-2 against Big 12 teams in bowl games, including the 22-15 win over Nebraska in the 1982 Orange Bowl, a victory that gave Clemson its only national championship in football.
This will be Clemson’s first appearance in the Tangerine Bowl, but not its first appearance in Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium. Clemson had a 2-1 record in that facility during its competition in the Citrus Bowl. Clemson defeated Penn State and Oklahoma in consecutive Citrus bowls at the end of the 1987 and 1988 seasons, respectively. The Tigers lost to California in the Citrus Bowl at the end of the 1991 season.
Overall, Clemson has a 13-12 record in bowl games. The 25 bowl appearances and 13 victories rank among the top 20 totals in college football history. This will be Clemson’s 16th appearance in a bowl game played in Florida, its first since 2000 when Clemson played Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl. Clemson has a 9-6 record in its previous 15 bowl games played in Florida.
Clemson enters this game with a 7-5 record, but the Tigers have won three of their last four games. Clemson concluded the season with a 27-20 win over South Carolina on November 23 behind an offense that gained 434 yards, highest figure against South Carolina all season. Freshman quarterback Charlie Whitehurst completed 27-38 passes for 287 yards in that victory. He scored on an 11-yard run to tie the game at 20, then set up the winning score with a 30-yard completion to senior Jackie Robinson.
Clemson is 3-1 since it made Whitehurst the starting quarterback. He has completed 103-166 for the season for 1291 yards and nine scores. He set a school record for completions (34) and passing yards (420) in a win over Duke in his first college start. Clemson’s top rusher is sophomore Yusef Kelly, who has 505 yards on the ground and has scored eight touchdowns. Senior Bernard Rambert has started eight games and has 485 yards and six scores.
Clemson has three receivers who have 150 receptions between them. Kevin Youngblood leads in receptions with 52, while J.J. McKelvey leads in reception yards with 752 off his 50 catches. Derrick Hamilton has 48 receptions and leads the team in all-purpose running with 1652, an average of 137.7 per game.
Junior linebacker John Leake is the top tackler on the team with 153, while senior linebacker Rodney Thomas has 152 and seven tackles for loss. Nick Eason keys the defensive line with 62 tackles, including seven sacks. He was Clemson’s only first-team All-ACC performer this year. Bryant McNeal has eight sacks and 64 tackles as a defensive end. He has 22 career sacks, fifth in Clemson history.
The secondary has been the strength of the Clemson team, a reason Clemson is 18th in the nation in pass defense and ranked in the top 15 in the nation in total interceptions with 20. Cornerbacks Justin Miller and Eric Meekins is third on the team in tackles with 92.
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