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Clemson-Florida State Game Notes

Clemson-Florida State Game Notes

Sept. 20, 2004

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Bowden Bowl VI When Florida State’s Bobby Bowden and Clemson’s Tommy Bowden take the field Saturday to coach their respective teams at Clemson Memorial Stadium, it will be the sixth competition of father and son in NCAA Division I history. The previous five occasions have taken place the last five years when the two teams met. Father has beaten son four of the previous five, but Tommy won last year by a 26-10 score. The average margin of victory for Bobby over Tommy is 34-21. Only the first game has been a close contest, as Florida State defeated Clemson 17-14 in Bowden Bowl I. Since then the closest margin has been 14 points.

Clemson has moved the ball against Florida State the last three years. The current senior class has seen the Tigers average 28 points, 443 yards total offense and 294 yards passing over the last three contests vs. Florida State.

  • 1999–The first meeting in 1999 was a festive atmosphere at Clemson as a record 86,092 fans attended, a Death Valley record that still stands today. In addition to the hype concerning a father coaching against a son for the first time, Bobby Bowden was going for career victory number-300. He got it, but it was a struggle, as the Tigers fought the Seminoles to the wire before #1 ranked Florida State came away with a 17-14 victory. It was the closest victory for the Seminoles on the way to the 1999 National Championship. Clemson had two offensive touchdowns to Florida State’s one and Florida State’s 17 points were the fewest scored by the Seminoles that year.
  • 2000–Florida State won the second meeting in 2000 in Tallahassee by a 54-7 count. Clemson entered the game with an 8-1 record and #10 national ranking, while Florida State was ranked fourth in the nation. It was just the third meeting of top 10 ACC teams in league history. Clemson was coming off a heart-breaking 31-28 loss to Georgia Tech the previous week, a game that Georgia Tech had won with a touchdown pass with just seven seconds left. (Georgia Tech beat Clemson in similar fashion this year on a touchdown pass with 11 seconds left). Florida State gained 771 yards of total offense, most ever against a Clemson team, including 521 passing, also a high against a Clemson team.
  • 2001— In a game at Death Valley, Clemson gained 463 yards of total offense against Florida State, its high total ever against the Seminoles, but still lost 41-27. The Tigers could not stop freshman quarterback Chris Rix and the Florida State passing game as the Seminoles threw for 369 yards and gained 557 overall. Woody Dantzler had 336 yards of total offense, but it was not enough as the Seminoles won for the sixth straight time in Death Valley.
  • 2002–The last time the two teams met in Tallahassee, FSU came away with a 48-31 victory. It was the most points scored by Clemson in Tallahassee since its last victory in 1989. Clemson won the total offense war 441-386, as Willie Simmons had a career high 343 yards rushing and passing, the most total offense in history by a Clemson player against the Seminoles. J.J. McKelvey had five catches for 117 yards to key the Clemson offense. But, Florida State scored on a 97-yard kickoff return by Leon Washington and Greg Jones rushed for 165 yards and three scores to give Florida State its victory.
  • 2003–Clemson finally defeated Bobby Bowden in Death Valley with a convincing 26-10 victory. It was just the second of what would be three losses for the Seminole in the 2003 season. Florida State was ranked third in the nation entering the game and it was the highest ranked team Clemson has beaten in history. Charlie Whitehurst threw for 272 yards to lead Clemson as Bobby Bowden suffered a loss on his birthday for the first time ever. It was the first loss for Bobby Bowden in Death Valley after six straight wins, the longest winning streak for any opposing coach in the facility.

The Clemson vs. Florida State games the last five years are not the only times Bowdens have been on opposite sides of the field. In 1991, Auburn, with assistant coach Tommy Bowden, faced Southern Mississippi, with assistant coach Jeff Bowden. Southern Mississippi upset Auburn that day. Jeff Bowden will also be at the scene this year also as he is Florida State’s offensive coordinator.

Past Bowden Bowl Stats

Year Site Score CU-FS Total Off CU-FS Rushing CU-FS Passing CU-FS Turn CU-FS
1999 CU 14-17 265-356 126-98 139-258 1-1
2000 FS 7-54 262-771 95-250 167-521 6-2
2001 CU 27-41 463-557 186-188 277-369 1-2
2002 FS 31-48 441-386 107-272 334-114 4-0
2003 CU 26-10 425-369 153-11 272-358 1-3
Totals 105-170 1856-2439 667-819 1189-1620 13-8
Averages 21-34 371-488 133-164 238-324 2.6-1.6

Clemson-Florida State Series Florida State holds a 14-3 advantage in the series with Clemson dating to a 38-13 Florida State win in Tallahassee in 1970. Clemson has three wins in the series, but two took place in Tallahassee, in 1976 by a 15-12 score and in 1989 by a 34-23 score. Clemson’s only win in Death Valley took place last year, a 26-10 victory. Florida State is 7-1 at Clemson and 7-2 at Florida State against the Tigers. Florida State had won 11 in a row prior to last year and all 11 had taken place since Florida State joined the ACC in 1992. Florida State has been ranked in the top 15 in the nation heading into all 13 games in the series since the Seminoles joined the ACC (including this year . Clemson, Virginia, NC State (three times) and North Carolina are the only league schools to beat Florida State since they joined the league for the 1992 season, a total of six losses.

In four straight meetings between 1988 and 1993 both Clemson and Florida State were ranked in the top 25. Both teams have been ranked in the top 25 of at least one poll in seven of the last 13 meetings, including 2001 when Clemson entered the game 24th in USA Today and Florida Sate was 14th in both polls. Clemson and Florida State were both ranked in the top 25 of the final AP and USA Today polls.

In 2000, in the game played in Tallahassee both were ranked in the top 10 of the AP, as Clemson was 10th and Florida State was fourth. That marked just the third time in ACC history that two league teams were ranked in the top 10 heading into a contest.

The three meetings between the two teams played between 1988 and 1992, were classics. In 1988, Florida State won at Clemson 24-21, thanks in part to the famous “puntrooskie play”, a 78-yard run on a fake punt by Leroy Butler, and a 76-yard punt return by Deion Sanders, the only time a Chris Gardocki punt was returned for a touchdown in his Clemson career.

In 1989, Clemson defeated a Florida State team that ended the season ranked third in the final AP poll by a 34-23 score. That was the only loss by Florida State at home against a non-Florida team in a 17-year period. A pair of 73-yard plays were pivotal for Clemson in that game. The late Wayne Simmons ran 73 yards with an interception and Terry Allen ran 73 yards from scrimmage in the second period to give Clemson a 28-7 lead. Clemson was trying to run out the clock on Allen’s run. Florida State scored in the last minute to close the gap to 11 points.

In 1992, before over 84,000 fans and a nationally televised audience at Clemson, fifth-ranked Florida State defeated 15th-ranked Clemson 24-20 in Death Valley. Florida State scored the winning TD in the final two minutes of the contest behind the passing of Charlie Ward. Clemson did pick off four passes in the game, including one that James Trapp returned for a touchdown. Trapp went on to play 10 years in the NFL and that play certainly made the NFL scouts take notice.

The 1997 game featured one of the greatest individual duals in the history of Death Valley. Tony Horne gained 267 all-purpose yards in the game, while Florida State’s Peter Warrick had 372 for the Seminoles, including a 90-yard punt return and an 80-yard pass reception. Horne’s all-purpose running total is the second highest in Clemson history, while Warrick’s total is the most ever against Clemson.

The 1999 game was certainly a series highlight as it was the first father-son coaching matchup in NCAA history. Florida State claimed a 17-14 victory behind the passing of Chris Weinke and went on to win the national championship. It was the closest game the Seminoles had all season.

Last Year vs. Florida StateClemson ended 14 years of frustration by defeating #3 Florida State 26-10 in front of 79,826 fans in Death Valley. The win over the third-ranked Seminoles was the highest-ranked victory in Clemson history. It also marked the first time since 1989 that Clemson defeated Florida State. The victory came just one week after Clemson had suffered a 45-17 loss at Wake Forest.

Several landmarks occurred in the 16-point victory for Clemson. For coach Tommy Bowden, it was his first win in five tries against father Bobby. He was doused with Gatorade by Kevin Youngblood and Khaleed Vaughn in the final moments of the win. Aaron Hunt became Clemson’s all-time scoring leader with 302 points, breaking Nelson Welch’s previous record of 301. Derrick Hamilton became the school’s all-time all-purpose yardage leader with 4,412, breaking Travis Zachery’s record. Charlie Whitehurst broke Woodrow Dantzler’s single-season record for passing yards (2,682) with two regular season games remaining.

Clemson set the tone in the game’s opening moments. On its first offensive possession, the Tigers moved 65 yards in 11 plays before Aaron Hunt connected on a 23-yard field goal. On Florida State’s ensuing possession, Tye Hill notched his second interception of the season when he stepped in front of a long Chris Rix pass. The Tigers tacked on Hunt’s second field goal minutes later, giving Clemson a 6-0 lead. Clemson got the ball back with less than three minutes to go in the first half. Whitehurst drove the Tigers from their own 35-yard line. The big play was a 51-yard hookup with Youngblood on third-and-10. Three plays later, Whitehurst rolled to the right and then scrambled back to the left for a one-yard touchdown run. His effort gave Clemson a 13-0 lead at halftime.

Florida State missed a field goal on its opening possession of the second half. Clemson took advantage by marching 63 yards in 11 plays. Hunt kicked his third field goal of the game from 32 yards away, giving Clemson a 16-0 cushion. The drive was set up by Whitehurst, who zipped a pass between three defenders as he was getting hit and found Curtis Baham for a 23-yard gain on third down.

The Seminoles responded with three points, as Xavier Beitia made a 46-yard field goal. However, Clemson put the game away on the next two drives. First, Whitehurst executed a beautiful pump-fake to the right before throwing left to a streaking Hamilton. His 58-yard touchdown catch gave Clemson a commanding 23-3 lead. Clemson kept the intensity up, as Leroy Hill intercepted a Rix pass four plays later. The ball was tipped by Khaleed Vaughn. On the next Seminole drive, David Dunham sacked Rix 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage and forced a fumble. It was recovered by DeJuan Polk of Clemson. Hunt came on to nail his fourth field goal of the night, giving Clemson the 26-3 lead.

Florida State finally scored a touchdown in the final three minutes of the contest. Chauncey Stovall was able to get behind the Tiger secondary for a 71-yard touchdown, but it mattered little at that point of the game.

Whitehurst was outstanding in his first career start against Florida State. He finished 17-27 for 272 yards and one touchdown pass and he also rushed for 39 yards and a touchdown. His favorite target was Hamilton, who grabbed six balls for 123 yards and a touchdown. Hunt came into the game needing 14 points to set the school scoring record, and he did just that. He was 4-4 on field goals and 2-2 on extra points.

Defensively, the Tigers held Florida State to 11 rushing yards the entire game, the fewest total by Florida State in the Bobby Bowden era. Leroy Hill had 10 tackles and was named ACC Lineman-of-the-Week. Clemson also blitzed more than normal, and the result was 15 quarterback hurries in the contest. Five Tigers recorded tackles for loss, including two by freshman Gaines Adams. John Leake and David Dunham each recorded their first sacks of the year as well.

Tye Hill played well for Clemson, as he grabbed his second career interception and also had another pass breakup in earning ACC Defensive Back-of-the-Week honors. Travis Pugh tied for the team lead in tackles with 10 from his free safety position.

Last Meeting at Tallahassee (2002)Florida State 48, Clemson 31 Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden defeated his son and Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden for the fourth consecutive game as the Seminoles rolled to a 48-31 victory in front of a nationally-televised audience on ESPN on October 3rd, 2002 The 11th ranked Seminoles handed the Tigers their second defeat of the season and also their second defeat against a nationally ranked opponent.

Despite the loss, the Tigers made a significant improvement on their recent performances at Doak Campbell Stadium. Clemson had scored only one touchdown in five previous appearances in Tallahassee and averaged just two points per game in those contests. The Tigers dominated the game statistically in the first half and finished with 334 passing yards, more than 200 yards greater than the total reached by the Seminoles (114). Clemson averaged 7.2 yards per play, highest average in history in a Clemson loss.

In the end, however, the play of Florida State running back Greg Jones proved to be the difference in the game. The South Carolina native gained 165 yards rushing on 22 carries and scored three times. He also had a 64-yard run just before halftime that swayed the momentum in favor of the Seminoles. The run set up a with six seconds remaining that gave Florida State the lead for good. Clemson would close the gap to 35-31 in the third period, but could get no closer.

A host of Tigers led the team offensively in the losing effort. Willie Simmons had a tremendous performance, gaining 50 yards rushing while completing 17 of his 27 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns. It was his ability to run and pass in the first half that helped keep the Tigers in front for much of the first half. Derrick Hamilton had another all-around stellar performance as he racked up 248 all-purpose yards. J.J. McKelvey had over 100 yards receiving for the second straight game as he tallied 117 yards on five receptions.

Clemson suffered in the kicking game. The Tigers fumbled a kickoff return and a punt return and dropped the snap from center in a punt situation that gave Florida State the ball at the Clemson 18. Florida State drove from its territory for a touchdown just one time in the game. The Seminoles had 155 kickoff return yards in the game and won the turnover stat 4-0.

It was Rix who gave the Seminoles the lead on their first possession of the game. Following the fumbled punt snap by Wynn Kopp, Florida State took over at the Clemson 18. Three plays later, Rix took a one-yard plunge over the goal line that gave the Seminoles the lead. Two possessions later, Simmons and the Tiger offense capitalized on a big play by special teams.

After Hamilton returned Chance Gwaltney’s punt 46 yards to the Seminoles’ 39-yard line, Simmons took just two plays to connect with Airese Currie for a 28-yard touchdown pass. Stephen Furr’s ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Tigers just inside Florida State territory, and five plays later, Yusef Kelly found the end zone on a two-yard touchdown run that gave Clemson a lead it would hold until the end of the first quarter. It marked the first time since 1979 that Clemson has successfully executed an onside kick.

Florida State retaliated in the first 10 seconds of the second quarter. Greg Jones rushed for a 20-yard touchdown run on the first play of the period that tied the game at 14. Clemson re-gained the lead 17-14 on Aaron Hunt’s 20-yard field goal with 6:20 remaining before halftime, but immediately relinquished it when Leon Washington returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown.

The Tigers gained their final lead of the game with less than one minute remaining before halftime. Following a 59-yard completion to McKelvey, Simmons capped off a six-play, 86-yard drive when he found Hamilton in the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown pass. On the Seminoles’ first play of the ensuing possession, Jones took the handoff from Rix and rumbled 64 yards down the left sideline before being knocked out of bounds at the five-yard line. Rix’s touchdown pass to Talman Gardner two plays later sealed the momentum-swinging effort.

Clemson-Florida State ConnectionsThere are many connections between Clemson and Florida State in terms of coaching and administrative personnel:

  • Clemson Assistant Head Coach and offensive line coach Brad Scott served as offensive coordinator of Florida State’s National Championship team of 1993. He served as an assistant with the Florida State program from 1983-93, including the 1990-93 era when he was offensive coordinator. He has a master’s degree from Florida State in athletic administration, a degree he earned in 1984. He was on the Florida State sideline in 1988 when the Seminoles executed the “Puntrooskie play”.
  • Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews served in the same capacity for Clemson between 1976-80 and held the assistant head coach title under Danny Ford in 1980.
  • Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden was a graduate assistant at Florida State in 1978 and 1979, then served as tight ends coach of the Seminoles in 1981 and 1982.
  • Clemson defensive backs coach Jack Hines was a graduate assistant at Florida State in 1985-86. He is married to Robyn Bowden, one of Bobby Bowden’s daughters. Hines played for Bowden at West Virginia.
  • Tommy Bowden’s brother Jeff Bowden is the offensive coordinator for Florida State.
  • Hootie Ingram, now retired and living in Alabama, was Clemson’s head football coach from 1970-72, then served as Florida State’s Athletic Director in the 1980s.

Tigers Face Top 15 Teams Next Two Weeks Clemson could face a pair of top 12 teams over its next two games. In the Associated Press poll of September 19, Florida State is ranked 8th and Virginia, Clemson’s opponent on October 7, is 12th. Florida State is 11th in USA Today and Virginia is 12th .

Clemson has not had to play consecutive games against top 12 opponents since the 1983 season when the Tigers defeated a 10th ranked North Carolina team 16-3 and an 11th ranked Maryland team, 52-27, in November. It could be the first time Clemson has played consecutive games against top 12 teams on the road since 1966 when Clemson played at #9 Georgia Tech and at #4 Alabama in consecutive non-conference games.

Clemson has had to play consecutive games against teams ranked in the top dozen in the nation just four times in its history. In addition to the 1983 listing, the other seasons were in 1966 (vs. #9 Georgia Tech and #4 Alabama), 1963 (vs. #4 Oklahoma and #9 Georgia Tech), and 1955 (vs. #2 Maryland and #12 Auburn). Clemson did not win any of those games.

Clemson’s Highest Ranked Wins When Clemson defeated third-ranked Florida State last year at Clemson it was the highest ranked team Clemson has beaten in its history. Clemson has 12 wins over top 10 teams in its history and three have been recorded by head coach Tommy Bowden. In addition to the win over Florida State, Clemson’s win over sixth-ranked Tennessee in the 2004 Gator Bowl was the fourth highest ranked team Clemson has beaten. Bowden and the Tigers also won over a ninth-ranked Georgia Tech team in 2001. Thus, a win over #8 Florida State would be the sixth highest ranked team Clemson has defeated.

Prior to last year, the highest ranked teams Clemson had beaten were #4 ranked Georgia and #4 Nebraska, both in the 1981 season. Regardless of site, Clemson has 12 wins over top 10 teams in its history, four in Death Valley four on an opponent’s home field and four at a neutral site (bowl game).

Clemson has had 25 wins over top 25 teams since 1986 and has had at least one ranked win in 15 of the last 17 seasons. That includes last year’s three wins. Clemson enters this Florida State game with a three-game winning streak against top 25 teams.. This is the longest winning streak against ranked teams since the Tigers won three in a row between 1990-91. The record is five straight wins over ranked teams from 1988-89.

Prior to last year’s win over Florida State, Clemson was 0-9 all-time in games against teams ranked in the top three in the nation.

Clemson’s Highest Ranked Wins

Year Opponent Site Rk Score
2003 Florida State Clemson, SC 3 26-10
1981 Georgia Clemson, SC 4 13-3
1981 Nebraska Miami, FL 4 22-15
2003 Tennessee Atlanta, GA 6 27-14
1959 Texas Christian Houston, TX 7 23-7
1981 North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC 8 10-8
2001 Georgia Tech Atlanta, GA 9 #47-44
1967 NC State Clemson, SC 10 14-6
1991 NC State Clemson, SC 10 29-19
1983 North Carolina Clemson, SC 10 16-3
1988 Oklahoma Orlando, FL 10 13-6
1992 Virginia Charlottesville, VA 10 29-28
1983 Maryland Clemson, SC 11 52-27
1978 Maryland College Park, MD 11 28-24

#Overtime Tommy Bowden coached wins in bold face.

Ranked Wins on the Road Clemson has 53 wins over Associated Press top 25 teams over the years and 16 of them have taken place on an opponent’s home field. The highest ranked team Clemson has beaten on its home field is a victory over an eighth-ranked North Carolina team in Chapel Hill in 1981, Clemson’s national championship season. Thus, a victory on Saturday over #8 Florida State would tie for the highest ranked road win in Clemson history.

The second highest ranked road win is the 47-44 overtime victory against #9 Georgia Tech in 2001, a victory that was recorded under current head coach Tommy Bowden. To document such victories, Clemson has constructed a Graveyard at the entrance to the practice field and a tombstone has been erected for each victory over a ranked team on the road.

One of the 16 road wins over ranked teams took place at Florida State, a 34-23 win over a 16th ranked Seminole team in 1989. It was Florida State’s last loss that season and the Seminoles ended the year third in the final AP poll. The win over Miami (FL) on January 1, 1951 was in the Orange Bowl, but it was still played on Miami’s home field.

Clemson Ranked Road Wins

Date Score Opp Rk Opponent
11-13-48 21-14 19 Wake Forest
10-28-50 13-12 17 Wake Forest
1-1-51 15-14 15 Miami (FL)
9-19-59 20-18 12 North Carolina
9-17-77 7-6 17 Georgia
11-18-78 28-24 11 Maryland
11-8-81 10-8 8 North Carolina
11-13-82 24-22 18 Maryland
11-5-83 16-3 10 North Carolina
9-20-86 31-28 14 Georgia
9-9-89 34-23 16 Florida State
10-10-92 29-28 10 Virginia
11-5-94 28-17 19 North Carolina
11-8-96 24-16 15 Virginia
9-13-97 19-17 25 NC State
9-29-01 47-44 9 Georgia Tech

Bowden Comparison

  • Florida State’s record the two years prior to Bobby Bowden’s arrival was 4-18. Tulane’s record the two years prior to Tommy Bowden’s arrival was 4-18.
  • Bobby Bowden had Florida State in a bowl games and a top 15 final national ranking in his second year with the program. Tommy Bowden had Tulane and Clemson in a bowl game and a top 15 national ranking in his second year with each program.
  • This is Bobby Bowden’s 52nd season in coaching. This is Tommy Bowden’s 27th year in coaching (graduate assistant, full time assistant or head coach).
  • Both Bowden’s had perfect seasons as head coaches in the 1990s. Bobby had an 11-0 season at Florida State in 1999 after Tommy had a perfect 11-0 regular season as head coach at Tulane.
  • Tommy Bowden has a better record than Bobby Bowden at the 87-game mark of his Division I coaching career. Tommy is 57-30 for his first 87 games as a Division I head coach, while Bobby was 54-33 for his first 87 games. That includes his six years at West Virginia and his first year plus eight games at Florida State.

Here is a comparison of the Bowdens at similar stages of their careers:

Category Tommy Bobby
First seven full Seasons as D-I Head Coach 56-28 (.667) 47-32 (.595)
First 87 Games as a Division I Head Coach 57-30 (.655) 54-33 (.621)

Tigers From Florida Clemson has 17 players on its roster from the state of Florida. That list includes starters Jamaal Fudge and Eric Sampson on defense and Duane Coleman, who was a starter last year, but has been injured much of this season, but is returning to health.

Jacksonville is the home of five current Tigers. In addition to Fudge and Sampson , Tavaghn Monts, Gerald McCloud and freshman Brandon Croley are all from the home of the Gator Bowl. Jacksonville has been good to Clemson as former Clemson All-Americans Rod Gardner and Brian Dawkins came to Clemson from that city. Both are now starters in the NFL. In fact, Dawkins is a three-time Pro Bowl selection.

Clemson Players From Florida

Player Pos Yr City High School
Christian Capote OL Fr. Miami Killian
Chris Clemons DB Fr. Arcadia DeSoto
Duane Coleman RB Jr. Naples Naples
Brandon Croley CB Fr. Jacksonville First Coast
Andrew Diomonde WR Fr. Miami Christopher Columbus
David Dunham LB So. Lake City Columbia
•Jamaal Fudge CB Jr. Jacksonville White
Stephen Furr PK Jr. Lakeland Lakeland
Cliff Harrell FB Jr. Tallahassee N. Florida Chris. Acad.
Bobby Hutchinson C Fr. Greenville Madison County
Gerald McCloud WR So. Jacksonville Arlington Cnty Day
Tavaghn Monts ROV Jr. Jacksonville Ribault
Will Proctor QB So. Winter Park Trinity Prep
Akeem Robinson OT Fr. Miami Carol City
•Eric Sampson LB Sr. Jacksonville White
Taylor Tremel OL Fr. Lake Mary Lake Mary
Bobby Williamson DE Jr. Tarpon Springs East Lake

·Denotes starter

Currie Three Catches from 100 If Reggie Jackson was known as Mr. October then Clemson wide receiver Airese Currie could be known as Mr. September. For the second year in a row the Clemson senior is off to a great start. A year ago, Currie had 26 receptions for 339 yards and three touchdowns before the end of that month. He then suffered some injuries and had just 17 catches the rest of the season.

So far this year, Currie has 20 catches for 296 yards and a touchdown. Currie ranks 15th in the nation in receptions per game with a 6.67 figure, the highest average in the ACC, and is 17th in reception yards per game at 98.6, also first in the ACC. Currie had nine catches for 152 yards in the season opener against Wake Forest. The 152 receiving yards in that game rank in a tie for sixth best in school history and the 15th best single game performance in the nation so far this year. He continued his fine performance at Texas A&M with five catches for 64 yards.

In addition to his receiving accomplishments, Currie has been outstanding in terms of kickoff returns, averaging 37.3 yards per return. He is not ranked nationally because he does not have enough attempts.. He has 136.3 all-purpose yards per game, 30th best in the nation. Currie’s strong start has him closing in on 100 career receptions and 1500 yards. He could eclipse both at Florida State, as he enters that game with 97 receptions for 1458 yards.When he reaches the 100 receptions mark he will become just the 11th Tiger in history to do so. When he reaches 1500 reception yards he will also be the 11th Tiger to reach that plateau.

The effect Tommy Bowden has had on the Clemson passing game is shown by the list of players below. Even though he is in just his sixth year as Clemson head coach, seven of the top 12 receivers in Clemson history have played under Bowden at some point in their career.

Clemson Career Reception Leaders

Rk Player Years Yards Avg. TD Rec
1. Derrick Hamilton 2001-03 2312 13.8 16 167
2. Rod Gardner 1997-00 2498 15.0 13 166
3. Terry Smith 1990-03 2681 16.5 15 162
4. Perry Tuttle 1978-81 2534 16.9 17 150
5. Kevin Youngblood 2000-03 1713 12.1 6 142
6. Jerry Butler 1975-78 2223 16.0 11 139
7. Brian Wofford 1996-99 1857 13.5 13 138
8. Tony Horne 1994-97 1750 14.6 13 120
9. Phil Rogers 1965-67 1469 13.9 5 106
10. Travis Zachery 1998-01 1057 10.1 9 105
11. Mal Lawyer 1996-99 1255 12.7 9 99
12. Airese Currie 2001-04 1458 15.0 9 97

Clemson Career Reception Yardage Leaders

Rk Player Years Rec Avg. TD Yds
1. Terry Smith 1990-93 162 16.5 15 2681
2. Perry Tuttle 1978-81 150 16.9 17 2534
3. Rod Gardner 1997-00 166 15.0 13 2498
4. Derrick Hamilton 2001-03 167 13.8 16 2312
5. Jerry Butler 1975-78 139 16.0 11 2223
6. Brian Wofford 1996-99 138 13.5 13 1857
7. Tony Horne 1994-97 120 14.6 13 1750
8. Kevin Youngblood 2000-03 142 12.1 6 1713
9. Gary Cooper 1985-89 79 20.2 11 1592
10. Glenn Smith 1949-51 88 17.9 18 1576
11. Terrance Roulhac 1983-86 92 16.2 16 1487
12. Phil Rogers 1965-67 106 13.9 5 1469
13. Airese Currie 2001-04 97 15.0 9 1458

Ben Hall Has TD Catch in All Four Seasons Clemson tight end Ben Hall had a 15-yard touchdown pass against Texas A&M, Clemson’s only score of the game. It was the first touchdown catch of the year for Hall, but the sixth of his career. He had three touchdown receptions his first year (2001), one in 2002 and one in 2003. That means Hall now has at least one touchdown reception in each season he has been at Clemson. Hall is the first tight end in Clemson history to catch at least one touchdown pass in four consecutive seasons. Bennie Cunningham had at least one every year he played, but he did not appear in a game as a freshman in 1972, the first year freshmen were eligible.

Hall has three catches for 55 yards so far this season and now has 26 for 346 yards for his career, a 13.3 average. One of his top games as a Tiger took place at Florida State in 2002 when he had three catches for 69 yards, including a 41-yarder that set up a Tiger score. It is still the longest reception of his Clemson career.

Grant Exceeds 2003 Stats Clemson sophomore Kelvin Grant is the second leading receiver on the Tiger squad with 14 catches for 157 yards. His 4.7 receptions per game rank third in the ACC. He was Clemson’s top receiver at Texas A&M with seven receptions for 63 yards, a performance that came off a six-catch game against Georgia Tech. Grant has already exceeded his numbers from 2003 when he had 12 catches for 79 yards. He had 10 of those 12 catches over the last five games of the 2003 season, so he has 24 of his 26 career receptions over Clemson’s last eight games.

Miller Ranks in Top 25 in Punt and Kickoff Returns Clemson cornerback Justin Miller is one of the top return men in the nation. Through the first three games, Miller ranks 14th kickoff returns with a 27.3 average and 23rd in punt returns with a 12.7 figure. Miller and Adam Jones of West Virginia are the only two players in the nation ranked in the top 25 in both categories. Jones is 13th in kickoff returns and fourth in punt returns.

Miller already has a 69-yard punt return for a score this year, a return he made against Wake Forest on the last play of the first quarter. He ranks first in the ACC in kickoff returns and second in punt returns. Over his career, Miller has two punt returns for touchdowns and one kickoff return for a score. He joins Bobby Gage (1945-48) as the only players in Clemson history with at least one kickoff return and one punt return for a touchdown over their career.

Miller enters the FSU game ranked fifth in Clemson history in total kickoff return yards with 1064. He had 134 on four returns at Texas A&M to go over the 1000-yard mark in that category. He is first in school history in kickoff return average on a career basis with a 28.8 figure. That list requires a minimum of 20 attempts.

Clemson Career Leaders in Yards/Kickoff Return

Rk Player Years No Yds Avg
1. Justin Miller 2002-03 37 1064 28.8
2. Joe Henderson 1987-89 30 802 27.6
3. Derrick Hamilton 2001-03 58 1552 26.8
4. Tony Horne 1994-97 30 795 26.5
5. Terrance Roulhac 1983-86 42 1108 26.4
6. Doug Thomas 1987-90 23 582 25.3

Clemson Career Leaders in Career Kickoff Return Yards

Rk Player Years No Avg. Yards
1. Derrick Hamilton 2001-03 58 26.8 1552
2. Andre Humphrey 1992-95 68 21.9 1486
3. Ray Williams 1983-86 66 20.5 1350
4. Terrence Roulhac 1983-86 42 26.4 1108
5. Justin Miller 2002-04 37 28.8 1064

Whitehurst, Rix Have Similar Stats Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst and Florida State quarterback Chris Rix have both had a positive impact the recent history of their respective programs and have similar passing statistics. A look to the career record books of each school shows that both players rank second in career passing yardage at their respective schools. Rix has more yards, but has played an extra year and 13 more games as a starter. But, Whitehurst needs just 168 yards passing against Florida State to become Clemson’s career leader in that category.

Whitehurst just set the Clemson career completion record last week and now has 471 as a Tiger, while Rix is tied for second in Florida State history with 529. Both are also second in their respective school’s history in career touchdown passes.

Both are not off to starts that are in line with their career numbers, but both have had outstanding games against Saturday’s opposition. As a freshman in 2001, Rix threw for 369 yards and four touchdowns at Death Valley in a 14-point Florida State win. A year ago, Whitehurst had 272 yards passing and 311 in total offense to lead Clemson to a 16-point win over the Seminoles.

Career Ranking Comparison of Chris Rix and Charlie Whitehurst

Whitehurst Rix
Category Figure (Rank) Figure (Rank)
Completions 471 (1st) 529 (tied for 2nd)
Passing Yards 5870 (2nd) 7824 (2nd)
Touchdowns 35 (tied for 2nd) 60 (2nd)
300-yard passing games 6 (1st) 9 (3rd)
Total Offense 5898 (4th) 8649 (2nd)

Fastest Football Players Who is the fastest football player in the country. That is hard to say, but one means of evaluation is to look at the 100 meter track times of college track athletes who are also members of their track team. Based on that theory, Clemson has the two fastest football players in the nation.

During the 2004 track season, Airese Currie ran a 10.22 time in the 100 meters at the Clemson Orange & Purple Track Classic, the fastest time recorded in that event by a track athlete who also plays on his school’s football team. Hill ran a 10.27 at the NCAA national meet for the second fastest time. Hill was the ACC 60 meter indoor champion and the 100-meter outdoor champion, the seventh sprinter in Clemson history to win both in the same year. One of the other former Tigers to do it is Shawn Crawford, a sprinter on the United States Olympic track team in 2004.

It is interesting to note that four of the top 12 players listed will be on the same field when Clemson plays Miami (FL) in the Orange Bowl on November 6, 2004. Here is a list of the fastest college football players for 2004 based on 100 meter track times recorded in the spring of 2004:

Fastest College Football Players based on Track Times

Athlete, Pos. School Time
1. Airese Currie, WR Clemson 10.22
2/ Tye Hill, DB Clemson 10.27
3. Jonathan Wade, DB Tennessee 10.38
4. Stanford Routt, DB Houston 10.39
5. Devin Hester, WR Miami (FL) 10.42
6. Pedro Holiday, WR Middle Tennessee 10.43
Terrell Walden, DB Miami (FL) 10.43
Dennis Mitchell, DB W. Kentucky 10.43
9. Stanley Wilson, DB Stanford 10.46
Nate Soleberg, DB BYU 10.46
11. Jarvis Murchison, WR Louisiana-Laf. 10.47
Darnell Jenkins, WR Miami (FL) 10.47

Notes on Clemson’s 2004 Schedule

  • Clemson’s fourth game of the year will be at Florida State. The Tigers defeated a sixth ranked Seminoles team at Clemson last season by a 26-10 score. Clemson has not won in Tallahassee since 1989.
  • The Tigers will have October 2 open, then face Virginia in Charlottesville for a Thursday night game. It will be Clemson’s third straight road game, the first time Clemson has played three straight road games since 1994. The contest will be televised nationally by ESPN. Clemson defeated Virginia 30-27 in overtime last year and each of the last three meetings between the two schools have been decided by five points or less, including two on plays within the last five seconds.
  • Clemson will return home on October 16 to face Utah State for the first time in history. It will be Clemson’s first home game in 35 days. This is the longest stretch without a home game during the regular season since 1984. Utah State is a member of the Sun Belt Conference, the same league as 2003 Clemson opponent Middle Tennessee.
  • Clemson concludes a three-game home stand with conference games against Maryland (October 23) and NC State (October 30), two teams that defeated the Tigers in 2003.
  • The Tigers then will go back on the road to face first-year ACC school Miami (FL) in the Orange Bowl. Clemson has not played Miami (FL) since 1956, but the Tigers have played in their stadium. Clemson won the 1982 Orange Bowl, by a 22-15 score over Nebraska to win the 1981 National Championship at the Orange Bowl. It will be Clemson’s first game in that facility since that triumph.
  • Clemson and Miami (FL) have played five times in history, including two games in bowl games. All five games were played in the Frank Howard era at Clemson and all five were played in the state of Florida. Clemson defeated Miami (FL) 15-14 in the 1951 Orange Bowl. The following year Miami (FL) defeated Clemson 14-0 in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville.
  • Miami (FL) defeated Clemson 21-0 in a regular season game at the Orange Bowl in 1956, the last time Clemson has played the Hurricanes. That game was a match-up of a 12th ranked Clemson team against an eighth ranked Miami (FL) team.
  • Clemson finishes its road schedule at Duke. The Tigers have defeated the Blue Devils all five years Tommy Bowden has been the head coach at Clemson, but the last meeting in Durham was a close 34-31 Tiger victory.
  • Clemson concludes the season against archrival South Carolina on November 20. The game will be played at Clemson. The Tigers have won six of the last seven meetings between the two teams overall and each of the last three played at Death Valley. The last South Carolina coach to win at Death Valley is current Clemson offensive coordinator Brad Scott, who led the Gamecocks to a 34-31 win at Clemson in 1996.

Clemson Record by Uniform Clemson has used many uniform combinations over the last six years. Clemson has had a different combination for each game this year. Last year, the Tigers broke out purple jerseys for the Georgia Tech game in Atlanta on September 20 and the Tigers gained a 39-3 victory. It was the first time Clemson had worn purple jerseys since the 1991 season when Clemson wore them in a regular season game against NC State and for a bowl game against California.

Clemson has had seven jersey/pant combinations since Tommy Bowden came to Clemson. Clemson was in orange jersey and white pants for the opening win over Wake Forest, then all orange for the Georgia Tech game. Clemson had a white jersey and purple pants at Texas A&M.

Clemson Record by Uniform Combination Under Bowden

Jersey Pant 2004 Record Pct
Purple White 1-0 1.000
Purple Orange 1-0 1.000
Orange White 1-0 19-6 .731
White Orange 9-7 .500
White White 2-2 .500
Orange Orange 0-1 5-6 .444
White Purple 0-1 2-5 .286
1-2 39-26 .600

Whitehurst, Baham Offspring of NFL Players Clemson has two players who are the offspring of NFL players. Curtis Baham, a wide receiver who has four caches for 48 yards so far this season, and quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, both have NFL blood. Both are juniors on the current Clemson team.

Baham was injured much of the preseason, but is healthy now. Last year he was fourth on the team in receptions with 22 for 241 yards. He had at least one catch in each of the last eight games. Baham’s father Curtis played in three games 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.

Clemson Has three of top 10 ACC ReceiversClemson has three of the top 10 receivers in the ACC on a receptions per game and reception yardage basis. Airese Currie leads the ACC with 6.67 receptions per game and 98.7 yards per game. Kelvin Grant is third in receptions at 4.67 per game and seventh in yardage at 52.3 per game. Chansi Stuckey stands tied for eighth in catches per game at 3.67 and is eighth in yards per game at 51.7. The trio is a big reason Clemson stands first in the ACC in passing yards per game at 251.7, 25 yards per game more than any other team.

Quarterbacks Have Flourished under Bowden Watching Charlie Whitehurst have an impact on the Clemson record book is no surprise. Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden has a history of developing outstanding quarterbacks since he became a head coach in 1997.

In his two years at Tulane, he guided Shawn King to many school and national records. In fact, in 1998, King led the nation with a passing efficiency rating of 183.3. That year he completed 223-328 passes for 3232 yards, 36 touchdowns and just six interceptions. That 183.3 rating remains the all-time NCAA record for passing efficiency rating over the course of a season.

One of the players Bowden recruited before he left Tulane was current Washington Redskins quarterback Patrick Ramsey. Ramsey played at Tulane through the 2001 season and is now the starting signal caller for the Washington Redskins. Ironically, one of his top receivers is former Tiger Rod Gardner.

Since Bowden has been at Clemson, 57 Clemson passing records have been set or tied. Brandon Streeter set the Clemson single season completion percentage in 1999 when he connected on 63.1 percent of his passes. In 2001, Woodrow Dantzler became the first player in college football history to pass for 2000 yards and rush for 1000 in the same season. Whitehurst owns 33 Clemson passing records and needs just 168 yards passing at Florida State to establish another, most yards passing in a career.

Bring a Pillow Clemson’s games so far in 2004 have lasted nearly four hours. The double overtime victory against Wake Forest took 3:58, and the Georgia Tech game took 3:48. The Wake Forest game ranks as the second longest in Clemson history in terms of clock time and the longest in terms of overtime periods. Clemson’s three previous overtime games were just one period.

The longest game in Clemson history was the victory over Tennessee in the 2004 Peach Bowl, a game that last four hours and five minutes. Of course there was a 27-minute halftime that contributed to the record length. There was a Maryland game that took 3:50 in 1992 in College Park. Those are the only games longer than last Saturday’s night’s game with Georgia Tech that took 3:48.

Thus, three of the four longest games in Clemson history have been Clemson’s last three games.

Clemson’s Longest Games in terms of Real Time

Season Opponent Score Time
2003 #Tennessee 27-14 4:05
2004 Wake Forest (2OT) 37-30 3:58
1992 at Maryland 23-53 3:50
2004 Georgia Tech 24-28 3:48
1999 at NC State 31-35 3:45
2002 at Duke 34-31 3:45
1997 Florida State 28-35 3:44
2001 at NC State 45-37 3:43
2001 $Louisiana Tech 49-24 3:43
1998 NC State 39-46 3:42

#at Peach Bowl, $Humanitarian Bowl

Leroy Hill Leads the Defense Leroy Hill had an All-America quality 2003 season when he had 145 tackles, including 27 tackles for loss, second in the nation. He has picked up where he left off with 29 tackles over the first three games, including seven behind the line of scrimmage, three of which have been sacks. That is an average of 9.7 tackles, 2.3 tackles for loss per game and 1 sacks per game. In 2003 he averaged 11.1 tackles per game, 2.08 tackles for loss per game and 0.6 sacks per game. In other words, he is playing at the same level or better this year.

For his career, Hill now has 234 tackles, 36 tackles for loss and 11 quarterback sacks. He has done this even though he has started just 16 games in his Clemson career. Over his first two years, he played just 182 snaps from scrimmage. He had 14 tackles against Georgia Tech. Despite the loss, he was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week.

During the preseason, Hill was named to the Butkus, Lombardi and Nagurski Award lists, one of 16 players nationally to appear on all three lists. The only other ACC player on all three is Pat Thomas of NC State.

The 16 Players on Butkus, Lombardi and Nagurski Preseason Lists: Brian Atkinson, Northern Illinois Andy Avalos, Boise State Michael Broley, Southern Miss Nick Bunting, Tulsa Channing Crowder, Florida Will Derting, Washington State Spencer Havner, UCLA Leroy Hill, Clemson Derrick Johnson, Texas James Kinney, Missouri Kirk Morrison, San Diego State Robert Rodriquez, UTEP Pat Thomas, NC State Rian Wallace, Temple Zac Woodfin, UAB Pierre Woods, Michigan

First Two Games Have Been Thrillers Clemson’s opening two games of the season have been thrillers, a 37-30 overtime victory against Wake Forest, and a 28-24 loss to Georgia Tech. Tech scored the winning touchdown with just 11 seconds left.

This is the first time since 1986 that each of the first two games of the season have been decided by seven points or less, never mind being decided within the last minute of the game. In 1986, Clemson lost to Virginia Tech in the opener, 20-14, then defeated Georgia in Athens 31-28 on a 46-yard field goal by David Treadwell on the last play of the game.

Overall, this is just the 12th time in Clemson history the first two games have been decided by a touchdown or less. A close game at Texas A&M would create a first because Clemson has never had the first three games of the year decided by seven points or less. The 1958 season came close, as the Tigers beat Virginia in the opener by 20-15, then stopped North Carolina 26-21 before defeating Maryland 8-0 in the third game of the year.

Clemson actually won the fourth game that year 12-7, giving Frank Howard’s team four wins by eight points or less to open the season. That team won six games by eight or less on the way to an 8-3 record and#12 final ranking in the AP poll. The only loss that year by eight points or less was to #1 ranked LSU by a 7-0 score in Clemson’s only Sugar Bowl appearance in history.

You can see by the following Chart that the first two games have been close in many areas:

Stat Comparison First Two Games of the Season

Category Clemson Opponent
Points 61 58
Touchdowns 7 7
Field Goals 3 3
Total Offense/G 416 386.5
Yards/Pass Attempt 6.70 6.67
Punting Average 39.6 40.3
First Downs 42 44
Penalties 15 18

Whitehurst Leads ACC in Passing Yards Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst leads the ACC in passing yardage per game and total offense per game in the young season. He has averaged a league best 251.7 in terms of passing yardage and 251.3 in terms of total offense.

Whitehurst threw for 275 yards in Clemson’s loss to Georgia Tech after recording 288 in the opener against Wake Forest. He had 192 passing yards at Texas A&M breaking his streak of eight straight games with at least 200 yards passing. In fact, his streak was eight straight with at least 246 yards through the air. He has thrown for at least 246 yards in 17 of his 21 games as a starter. Whitehurst is now 13-8 as a starter in his Clemson career, 8-3 at home, 4-4 on the road and 1-1 at neutral site.

Whitehurst Moving up Career MarksClemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst became Clemson’s career leader in completions in the Texas A&M game. He had 20 completions in that contest (third consecutive game with exactly 20) and now has 471 for his career. He needs just 168 passing yards at Florida State to become Clemson’s career leader in that category. He now has 5870 and the record is 6037 by Woody Dantzler. His touchdown pass total of 35 is now tied for second in school history and seven away from breaking Dantzler’s mark in that category. Not bad for just 25 total games played, 21 as a starter.

Whitehurst owns 33 Clemson records. He had the mark for passing efficiency entering this season, but his128.46 career figure through three games is now fourth . Dantzler has the record at 132.46, so another good game or two should move Whitehurst back to the top. He still has the record for completion percentage at 59., ahead of Dantzler’s 57.8.

Whitehurst is fourth in school history in terms of total offense with 5898, trailing only Dantzler (8798), Greene (6786) and Steve Fuller (6096).

Clemson Career Leaders in Completion Percentage (Minimum of 150 attempts)

Rk Player Years Com Att Pct
1. Charlie Whitehurst 2002-03 471 798 .590
2. Woodrow Dantzler 1998-01 460 796 .578
3. Nealon Greene 1994-97 458 805 .569
4. Chris Morocco 1986-89 89 157 .567
5. Brandon Streeter 1996-99 294 519 .566
6. Mike Eppley 1980-84 252 449 .561
7. DeChane Cameron 1988-91 257 470 .547
8. Billy Lott 1977-79 105 198 .530
9. Homer Jordan 1979-82 250 479 .5219
10. Willie Simmons 2000-02 204 391 .5217

Clemson Career Passing Efficiency Leaders (Minimum of 100 attempts)

Rk Player Years Com Att Yds TD-I Eff
1. Woodrow Dantzler 1998-01 460 796 6037 41-24 132.46
2. Mark Fellers 1972-74 58 124 943 12-7 131.30
3. Chris Morocco 1986-89 89 157 1238 6-4 130.44
4. Charlie Whitehurst 2002-03 471 798 5870 35-26 128.46
5. Mike Eppley 1980-84 252 449 3354 28-26 127.85
6. Bobby Gage 1945-48 123 278 2448 24-27 127.26
7. Nealon Greene 1994-97 458 805 5719 35-26 124.46
8. Harvey White 1957-59 145 289 2103 18-12 123.58
9. Jackie Calvert 1948-50 40 101 885 8-8 123.48
10. Steve Fuller 1975-78 287 554 4359 22-21 123.43

Clemson Career Leaders in Completions (Minimum of 150 attempts)

Rk Player Years Att Yards Comp.
1. Charlie Whitehurst 2002-03 762 5870 471
2. Woodrow Dantzler 1998-01 796 6037 460
3. Nealon Greene 1994-97 805 5719 458
4. Rodney Willaims 1985-88 717 4647 333
5. Tommy Kendrick 1969-71 644 3893 303

Clemson Career Leaders in Passing Yardage (Minimum of 150 attempts)

Rk Player Years Att Com Yards
1. Woodrow Dantzler 1998-01 796 460 6037
2. Charlie Whitehurst 2002-04 798 471 5870
3. Nealon Greene 1994-97 805 458 5719
4. Rodney Williams 1985-88 717 333 4647
5. Steve Fuller 1975-78 554