Oct. 25, 2004
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Streaks and Milestones in Range
Clemson 9-2 on October 30 Clemson has not lost a football game on October 30 since 1943. Clemson obviously hopes that streak continues when NC State comes to Clemson this Saturday, October 30. The Tigers have a 9-2 overall record on this date in history and the .818 winning percentage is tied for the third best winning percentage of any date on the calendar (given a minimum of five games).
Clemson last played on this date in 1999 (Tommy Bowden’s first year) and the Tigers won a defensive battle at Wake Forest by a 12-3 score. Clemson shut out Maryland 29-0 on this date in 1993 and also captured a 15-12 win at Tallahassee, FL against Bobby Bowden’s first Florida State team. In general, Clemson has played outstanding defense on this date, allowing just 57 points in its last six games on October 30, all Clemson victories.
Clemson’s last loss on this date was in 1943, a 41-12 lost to Wake Forest. Even that loss was understandable as just a few weeks before that game the United States government drafted Clemson’s entire junior and senior class for the World War II effort. Clemson was a military school in those days and had to face the Demon Deacons with just freshmen and sophomores.
One of Clemson’s two losses on this date was at South Carolina in 1902 by a 12-6 score. Col. Charles S. Roller, Jr, who was the football coach at Furman, was the only referee for this game. The regular officials who were suppose to call the game, but were delayed and could not get to Columbia because of a railroad accident. Roller didn’t call a single penalty in the game and a fight broke out after the game. Officials at both schools called off the Clemson vs. South Carolina series for seven years.
Winningest Dates in Clemson History
Clemson vs. NC State Series Notes ·Clemson and N.C. State will do battle in the 24th annual Textile Bowl when the two teams meet in Death Valley on Saturday. Clemson has a 15-8 advantage in the series since the game took on the Textile Bowl title in 1981, the year Clemson won the National Championship. The Textile Industry has a very important effect on the economy of North Carolina and South Carolina and the two schools competing in Thursday’s game. ·Overall, Clemson has a 44-27-1 lead in the series, including an 18-11 record in games played at Clemson. The Tigers are 15-11 against NC State in games played in Death Valley. Clemson is 11-11-1 against NC State in neutral site games and 15-15 in games at Raleigh over the years. NC State has an 11-7 lead in games played in Carter-Finley Stadium. Many of the Textile Bowl contests have been close. Six of the last seven games have been decided by eight points or less, including last year’s game that ended in a 17-15 NC State victory. The lone meeting that was not close took place the last time the Pack came to Clemson, a contest that ended in a 38-6 NC State victory. ·NC State was Clemson’s nemesis team from 1986-88. The Tigers won the ACC Championship each year under Danny Ford, but never beat the Pack in the process, losing all three seasons. It was the only loss for Clemson in the ACC in each of those years. ·NC State has won each of the last two games, 17-15 last year in Raleigh and 38-6 at Clemson in 2002. Tommy Bowden’s is 2-3 against NC State since he has been at Clemson, a loss in 1999 and two victories in 2000 and 2001 in addition to the aforementioned losses each of the last two years. ·Over the last eight years the two teams have won in two game sets. Clemson won in 1996 and 1997. NC State followed with victories in 1998 and 1999, then Clemson won in 2000 and 2001. Now the Pack has won the last two. Clemson hopes the trend continues with the Tigers beginning a two-game streak on Saturday.
Landmark Games in Clemson vs. NC State Series ·1903–Clemson defeated NC State 24-0 in Columbia, SC in 1903. Clemson Head Coach John Heisman got married to Evelyn Barksdale in Columbia after the game. It is believed to be the only time in Clemson sports history that a coach has won a game and won a lady’s hand in matrimony on the same day. ·1948–Bobby Gage ran 90 yards on a punt return for the only score of the game in a 6-0 Tiger victory over the Wolfpack in 1948. It is still the longest punt return in the history of Death Valley. ·1950–Clemson defeated NC State 27-0 in 1950. Wyndie Windham led the Clemson defense and according to legend knocked out three NC State backs on three consecutive plays in the second half. ·1967–Clemson painted its shoes orange for the NC State game in Death Valley and the Tigers upset the 10th ranked Wolfpack 14-6. One of the linebackers on that NC State team was current Pack Head Coach Chuck Amato. Clemson clinched a tie for the ACC championship with the victory. Clemson painted its shoes orange because NC State had featured a defense that had worn White shoes during the season. It was the highest ranked team Clemson defeated in Death Valley in the Frank Howard era. ·1984–Clemson defeated NC State 35-34 in Raleigh in the highest scoring game decided by one point in Clemson history. No points were scored by either team in the fourth quarter. ·1991–Clemson wore purple jerseys for the first time since the 1920s in a 29-19 upset victory over NC State. NC State was undefeated and ranked 10th in the nation entering the game against Ken Hatfield’s Tigers. Nelson Welch kicked a record five field goals in leading Clemson to the victory. *1995–Clemson gave up over 500 yards total offense to the Pack, but still won 43-22. Leomont Evans tied a Clemson single game record with three interceptions.Recent Clemson vs. NC State Games
Last Year vs. NC StateNC State 17, Clemson 15 Clemson and N.C. State met for the second consecutive year before an ESPN national television audience, and the Wolfpack prevailed again, winning 17-15 in Raleigh. Philip Rivers was 20-34 for 213 yards and threw two touchdowns in leading the Wolfpack to victory. It was the fewest passing yards for Rivers all season, but it evened his career mark against Clemson at 2-2.
N.C. State opened the scoring midway through the first quarter. Following a failed fourth-down attempt by the Tigers, the Wolfpack took over at its own 32-yard line and put together a 13-play, 67-yard scoring drive. T.A. McLendon, who struggled through injury the entire game, caught a four-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to give N.C. State a 7-0 lead.
Clemson responded on its next possession. The Tigers were flagged for offensive pass interference twice and brought out the punt team. However, the Wolfpack rushed Cole Chason and was called for roughing the kicker, giving Clemson an automatic first down. The Tigers would take advantage of N.C. State’s mistake. Ben Hall made a spectacular catch on fourth-and-one to keep the drive alive. Aaron Hunt then booted a field goal to make the count 7-3.
Clemson struck again in the second quarter. Rivers looked to pass on third down, but was sacked and a fumble was forced by defensive tackle Trey Tate. Linebacker John Leake came up with the football giving Clemson outstanding field position. Clemson drove the ball down the field, using Duane Coleman out of the backfield as a receiver on a 21-yard catch and 10-yard rush. Charlie Whitehurst found Coleman again on third down, but was short, and another field goal by Hunt cut the deficit to 7-6.
N.C. State came out strong in the third quarter. Rivers found Jerricho Cotchery for a 24-yard gain to move into Clemson territory. Then, he found Richard Washington behind the coverage for a perfect 37-yard touchdown strike. The Wolfpack tacked a field goal onto their lead, making it 17-6 early in the fourth.
Kevin Youngblood came alive on the ensuing possession for Clemson. He caught passes for four first-downs on a drive that ended in yet another Hunt field goal. His 21-yard effort made it 17-9 in favor of the Wolfpack. The Tiger defense stopped Rivers on the next possession, giving the ball back to the offense. Chad Jasmin ran the ball three straight plays for 28 yards, and Bobby Williamson caught a 23-yard pass to set up a touchdown. Jasmin rushed in from five yards out, setting up a two-point conversion attempt to tie the game. However, Whitehurst’s pass was too low for Tony Elliott and fell incomplete. The score remained 17-15.
The Tiger defense held again, giving Whitehurst and the offense one more try with 4:49 left. But, he was sacked and then threw an interception to end the final chance for Clemson. Clemson held N.C. State to a season-low 281 total yards, but still lost the game. N.C. State’s pass defense, which came into the game giving up an average of 325 yards per game, yielded just 196 to Whitehurst and the Clemson passing attack.
N.C. State rushed for just 68 yards, while Clemson ran 29 times for 127 yards. Clemson was just 1-12 on third-downs, while N.C. State was 11-17.Youngblood and Williamson led the Tigers with five catches each. Williamson’s reception total was the most by a Tiger tight end since 1975. Coleman rushed for a team-high 51 yards and also caught three balls for 42 yards. Yusef Kelly, who played well against Virginia, was injured during the game (after 33 yards on six carries) and did not return.
Clemson Veterans versus North Carolina State Curtis Baham (WR) — Caught three passes for 27 yards last season in Raleigh. Nathan Bennett( (OG) — Had a film grade of 82 percent in last year’s game. Tremaine Billie (WHIP) — Made two tackles in only 11 snaps last season. Cole Chason (P) — Punted three times for a 36.7 yard average in last year’s game. Duane Coleman (TB) — Rushed 11 times for 51 yards and caught three passes for 42 yards last year in Raleigh. Eric Coleman (DT) — Made three tackles including a tackle for loss in last year’s game. Has three tackles in two other career games against the Wolfpack. Airese Currie (WR) — Missed last year’s game due to injury. Caught two passes for 24 yards in 2002 and had one reception for 79 yards from Woody Dantzler in 2001. However, the play did not go for a score. David Dunham (LB) – Made three tackles in only seven snaps last season. Maurice Fountain (DE) — Had six tackles including two tackles for loss, a caused fumble, and a sack last season. Has four tackles including a tackle for loss in two other career games against the Wolfpack. Dustin Fry (C) – Had a 90 percent film grade in last year’s game. Jamaal Fudge (ROV) — Made 10 tackles and had one pass break up a year ago. Had two tackles in 21 snaps in 2002. Ben Hall (TE) — Caught three passes for 39 yards and a touchdown in 2001. LeRoy Hill (LB) — Had 12 total tackles including two tackles for loss last year. Tye Hill (CB) — Made three tackles last season. Yusef Kelly (RB) — Carried six times for 33 yards last season. Ran six times for 29 yards in 2002. Justin Miller (CB) — Had three tackles last season. Made 12 career high stops in 2002 and had one kickoff return for 80 yards and a touchdown. Chip Myrick (OG) — Had an 88 percent film grade in his first career start last season. Travis Pugh (FS) — Made seven tackles and had two pass break ups last year. Had three tackles in 2002. Lionel Richardson (WHIP) — Had three tackles in 24 snaps last year. Trey Tate (DT) — Had a sack in last year’s game that caused a fumble against Phillip Rivers. Charlie Whitehurst (QB) — Has completed 29 of 54 career passes against the Wolfpack for 260 yards. Among the eight ACC schools Whitehurst has played as a starter, NC State is the only school he is yet to defeat. He will play Miami for the first time next week. Bobby Williamson (TE) — Caught five passes for 32 yards last season, most catches in a game by a Clemson tight end since 1975.
Coordinators Have Ties to Opposing Schools When Clemson has the ball on offense in Saturday’s game there will be an interesting match-up of coordinators. Clemson offensive coordinator Mike O’Cain spent 14 years at NC State as offensive coordinator and head coach, NC State defensive coordinator Reggie Herring spent eight years as an assistant at Clemson, including five years as the coordinator. He coached linebackers all eight years he served under Tommy West and Tommy Bowden’s.
O’Cain, a 1977 Clemson graduate, served as head coach at NC State from 1993-99. Prior to that, from 1986-92, he served as the Pack’s offensive coordinator. He replaced Dick Sheridan at NC State in 1993 as head coach and took the Pack to an 8-4 record, including a Peach Bowl invitation. The next year he had the Wolfpack at 9-3 in the regular season, including a victory over Clemson in Death Valley, the first Clemson graduate to defeat the Tigers.
His 1998 season featured a win at Texas and a triumph over Florida State, just the second loss for Florida State in its ACC history dating to 1992. He took the Pack to another bowl game in 1998, his third as head coach of the Pack. In 2001, O’Cain coached the Tiger quarterback in the 45-37 victory over NC State. Clemson had 567 yards total offense in that game, most ever in a road game, including a school record 517 yards from Woody Dantzler. Clemson’s defensive coordinator in that game against the Pack and for the 2001 season, was Reggie Herring. So, O’Cain and Herring have been on the same staff.
Ironically, one of O’Cain’s top games as a player at Clemson came against NC State. In 1976, he rushed for 140 yards against NC State, the Clemson quarterback rushing record for a game until 1994.
Herring served as a defensive coach at Clemson from the 1993 Peach Bowl (victory vs. Kentucky) through the end of the 2001 season. During his tenure at Clemson the Tigers he coached in seven bowl games and Clemson ranked in the top 20 in the nation in rushing defense five times, including a number-six ranking in 1997. Clemson also ranked in the top 25 in the nation in scoring defense five times in his eight years in Tigertown. Clemson ranked in the top 10 in the nation in interceptions in 2000 and ranked in the top 20 in pass efficiency defense in two other seasons.
Herring coached two of Clemson’s greatest linebackers in history in Anthony Simmons and Keith Adams. Simmons was a three-time All-American, one of just two three-time All-Americans in Clemson history. He was named to the ACC 50-Year Anniversary team. Adams set the Clemson record for tackles for loss (35) and sacks (16) in a season in 1999, records that still stand today.
NC State Update NC State enters Saturday’s game with a 4-3 record. Like the Tigers, the Pack has played an outstanding schedule that includes losses against top 10 teams (time of the game) Ohio State and Miami (FL), and a road win over a now top 25 Virginia Tech team. Clemson has suffered losses to current top 20 teams Texas A&M, Florida State and Virginia and still must play at Miami. The Pack still must play a top 10 Florida State team.
Phillip Rivers started each of the first 51 games of the Chuck Amato era at NC State and he led the Pack to 34 wins in those four years, including a school record 11 wins in 2002 and a number-12 final national ranking. The big question at NC State in August concerned Rivers’s replacement.
There were a few turnovers early, but Wolfpack quarterback Jay Davis has shown improvement every week, highlighted by last week’s performance against third ranked Miami (FL). With the Hurricanes motivated by their coaching staff after a lackluster defensive performance in its previous game against Louisville, Davis completed 20-38 passes for 260 yards and a career best four touchdowns. For the season, Davis is now third in the ACC in passing efficiency and he has completed nearly 60 percent of his passes.
If NC State running back T.A. McClendon were a hockey player one of the big stats people would use to follow his progress would be plus-minus ratio. In hockey, it is used (when the sport is not on strike) to measure the scoring margin when a particular player is on the ice. For McClendon it would be an indicator of how much better he makes the NC State offense when he is in the game.
When McClendon is healthy he is a difference maker. That was the case when Clemson met NC State last year. The Pack jumped to an early lead when he was in the game, then had to hang on to a 17-15 lead when he was injured. The junior was healthy last week against Miami (FL) and gained 145 yards in 22 caries and added 19 yards in three catches for 164 yards from scrimmage. For the season, McClendon has 597 rushing yards and ranks 26th in the country on a yards per game basis.
McClendon enjoyed his first trip to Death Valley in 2002 when he had a still career high 178 yards rushing on 28 carries and scored two touchdowns. He now has 2306 career rushing yards, one of just nine backs in NC State history to go over 2000 yards in a career.
The NC State defense has been an attacking unit that ranks second in the nation in total defense and pass defense. Like Clemson, it has shown balance statistically as 20 different NC State players have recorded tackles for loss, and 11 different players have sacks.
Oliver Hoyte is a junior from Tampa who leads the Pack in tackles with 55 , including a team best 12 behind the line of scrimmage. Pat Thomas joined Clemson’s LeRoy Hill as the only players in the ACC to make the preseason award lists published by the Butkus Award, the Lombardi Award and the Nagurski Award. Thomas is second on the NC State team in tackles with 41, including eight behind the line of scrimmage.
Defensive end Manny Lawson is another Wolfpack defender fans attending today’s game should keep an eye on. At 6-5 and 220 pounds, he is among the top three fastest players on the NC State team. The native of Goldsboro, NC was leading the nation in sacks early in the season and still ranks among the national leaders with six, just one behind Clemson’s LeRoy Hill. He is also a demon on special teams where he has five career blocked punts, including one against the Tigers in 2002 in Death Valley.
Clemson Defense Steps Up When Head Coach Tommy Bowden’s first came to Clemson he talked about the importance of having a dominant defense. He cited it as a key to having a successful program at Clemson, sentiments coaches echo around the nation. “I would love to win games 13-10 or 10-7,” said Bowden prior to and during his first season, 1999. He got his wish last Saturday when the Tigers defeated Maryland 10-7, a game in which both teams combined for 400 yards of total offense and just 29 first downs.
It was the second consecutive victory for the Tigers and both games the defense has been the difference. Clemson held Utah State to 139 yards of total offense, including –20 yards rushing, then held Maryland to just 194 yards total offense, including just 83 on the ground. It marked the first time Clemson held consecutive Division I opponents under 200 yards total offense since the 1979 season when Clemson held Wake Forest and NC State under the “Mendoza Line” (baseball term for you football fans) for consecutive games.
Over the last two games Clemson’s defense has held the opposition to just 333 yards of total offense, 63 rushing yards, 270 passing yards, allowed just 26 first downs and 2.6 yards per play. For the year, Clemson’s defense has allowed just 4.6 yards per play, best by a Clemson defense since 1991 if the season ended today.
Clemson has held the opposition to seven points or less in consecutive games. This is the first time Clemson has done that since 1999 when Clemson held Wake Forest to three points and Duke to seven points in consecutive games in November, Tommy Bowden’s first season. The leader of the Clemson defense has been LeRoy Hill. The senior from Haddock, GA had 11 tackles against Maryland, including his seven sack of the season. He is one of just 10 players across the country to average a sack per game and he has 13 tackles for loss, near his normal two per game average.
Hill now has 42 career tackles for loss, ninth best in Clemson history. He recently went ahead of Levon Kirkland (40) on the all-time Clemson list and is just one short of Randy Scott’s total of 43. The Clemson career record is 61 by Michael Dean Perry, a total he recorded between 1984-87.
Clemson has had great balance in its defense this year. Travis Pugh ranks second on the club in tackles with 58, while Anthony Waters is third on the tackle list with 44. Jamaal Fudge, a junior from Florida, has 42 stops to go with eight passes broken up. He had many timely hits in the win over Maryland and also posted his second interception of the season.
Clemson Defense last Two Weeks
Turnovers Could Be a Factor Both Clemson and NC State rank in triple digits when it comes to national ranking in turnover margin. Entering games of October 30, Clemson has committed 17 turnovers on offense, while forcing just six on defense. That is a –11 turnover margin in just seven games, meaning Clemson ranks 113 out of 117 teams in Division I in that category. That is the case even after Clemson finally won the turnover battle against Maryland 2-0, the first time all year Clemson won the turnover stat.
In terms of points off turnover so far this year the Tigers are being outscored 35-0 in that area. Clemson is now 24-7 under Tommy Bowden’s when it wins the turnover margin stat, including seven consecutive victories. In 2003, when Clemson won nine games, the Tigers were 6-0 when they won the turnover margin statistic. His 2000 team that also won nine games, had a 6-1 record when winning that stat.
When Tommy Bowden’s came to Clemson in 1999, his teams were noted for their excellence in that statistics. For the 1997 and 1998 seasons when he was the head coach at Tulane, Bowden’s teams finished fifth in the nation in turnover margin. Clemson has a history of doing well in this area. The Tigers are the co-holders of the national record for the fewest turnovers in a season with eight in 1940. Notre Dame also had just eight turnovers in 2000.
Clemson is also the co-holder of the national record for the fewest lost fumbles in a season as the Tigers lost just two in 1994. Fumbles by running backs have not been a problem of late. In fact, over the last 19 games a Clemson running back has lost just one fumble (Yusef Kelly against Georgia Tech this year).
NC State has also had problems in terms of turnover margin. The Pack stands 110th in the nation in turnover margin (compared to Clemson’s 113). Clemson and NC State have both committed 17 turnovers this year. Clemson has forced six on defense and NC State has forced seven. NC State is 109th in the nation in forcing turnovers and Clemson is 112th.
Bowden, Amato Have Accomplishment in Common Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden’s and NC State head coach Chuck Amato are two of just four coaches in ACC history to take a league program to a bowl game in each of their first four years. The others are Lou Holtz (NC State 1972-75) and Bobby Ross (Maryland, 1982-86).
Bowden has actually taken Clemson to a bowl game each of his first five years and is the only coach in ACC history to accomplish that feat. He is three wins away from being bowl eligible in his sixth year, which obviously would be another ACC first.
Both Bowden and Amato have direct ties to Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden. Of course, Tommy Bowden’s is Bobby Bowden’s son and coached under college football’s winningest coach as a graduate assistant in 1978-79 and 1981-82 as a tight ends coach. Amato coached under Bobby Bowden at Florida State from 1982-1999. He served as Bowden’s assistant head coach from 1986-99.
Two Last Second Wins in 2004 Reggie Merriweather scored on a two-yard run with just 23 seconds left to give Clemson its 10-7 win over Maryland. It marked the second time this year and sixth time under Tommy Bowden’s, that Clemson had scored the final points or a game with 23 seconds or left to overcome a deficit to gain victory. Clemson won a double overtime contest from Wake Forest 37-30 to open this season.
This is the first time since 1997 and just the second season in history that Clemson has had two game-winning plays inside the last 30 seconds in the same season. That year Clemson defeated NC State, 19-17 on a field goal by Matt Padgett with 19 seconds left in Raleigh, then later beat Duke in overtime at Clemson.
The comeback against Maryland was improbable for many reasons. First, Clemson had gained just 137 yards of total offense entering the last drive, which Clemson began with just 2:50 remaining. Second, Maryland had been 30-0 under Ralph Friedgen when leading at the half in his three years as head coach of the Terps. Maryland held a 7-3 lead at intermission in this game.
But, Charlie Whitehurst completed 4-5 passes for 44 yards on the final drive and Merriweather scored on a trap play behind Cedric Johnson and Tommy Sharpe to give Clemson a much needed victory. The Maryland game marked the seventh time under Tommy Bowden’s that Clemson has overcome a fourth quarter deficit or tie to win a game. Six of the seven have come with 30 seconds of left remaining in regulation or in overtime.
Last Second Wins under Bowden
Currie Leading All ACC Receivers One of the leaders of the Clemson offense has been wide receiver Airese Currie. The senior from Columbia, SC not only leads the Clemson team, but he also leads the ACC in both receptions and reception yards on a total and per game basis. Currie is trying to become the first Clemson receiver to lead the league in either category since 1980. Perry Tuttle led the ACC in catches per game in 1980 when he had 53 in 10 contests for 915 yards. Jerry Butler (1978) is the only other Clemson receiver to lead the league in receptions or reception yards for the course of a season.
Currie has 40 catches for 541 yards so far this season, and has a sizeable lead in the receptions area as no other ACC player has at least 30. Currie has been very consistent with at least five catches in six of the seven games so far this year. His 9-152 game against Wake Forest in the season opener ranks as the top receiving game for an ACC player so far this season. Entering this week, Currie is 27th in the nation in receptions per game and is 33rd in the nation in reception yards per game. He had 5-89 in the win over Maryland, including a key 18-yard catch from Charlie Whitehurst on the final drive.
Heading into this week’s play, Currie is ninth in Clemson history in career receptions with 117 and his yardage total of 1703 is also ninth best in school history. He needs just 11 yards to move ahead of former teammate Kevin Youngblood into eighth place on the Clemson all-time list.
Clemson Career Reception Leaders
Clemson Career Reception Yardage Leaders
Miller an All-Purpose Player One of the top all-purpose players in the nation is Clemson cornerback Justin Miller. The junior from Kentucky ranks in the top 15 in the nation in punt returns and kickoff returns and is also among the ACC leaders on passes broken up. As a defensive back, Miller has 37 tackles and seven passes broken up, plus an interception.
Miller had his first interception of the year in the win over Maryland, a pick in the final seconds that clinched the victory for the Tigers. It was the 11th interception of his Clemson career, but his third against Maryland. Miller is now tied for seventh in Clemson history in interceptions. He is right on schedule when compared with the rest of his career at Clemson. Nine of his 11 interceptions have taken place in the second half of the season.
Last week, Miller was named a mid-season first-team All-American as a kick returner according to collegefootballnews.com. Miller was the kickoff return selection and Devin Hester of Miami (FL) was named as the punt returner. The two players will meet in Miami, FL on November 6 when Clemson travels to Miami.
Both are currently the only players in the nation that rank in the top 15 in punt returns and kickoff returns. Miller is second in kickoff returns and 13th in punt returns according to this week’s NCAA stats. Miller is attempting to become the second Clemson player to rank in the top 15 in the nation in both areas in the same season. Antwuan Wyatt did it in 1995.
Hester, who had a 100-yard kickoff return for a score against NC State, is third in punt returns and fourth in kickoff returns. Hester has four kick returns for touchdowns this year to lead the country, while Miller is second with three. Miller still leads the Clemson team in all-purpose running yards per game and is 59th in the nation in that category. No defensive player has ever led Clemson in that category.
Earlier this year Miller set an NCAA record for kickoff return yards in a single game when he gained 282 yards in that category at Florida State on September 25. He shattered the previous mark (248 kickoff return yards on 10 returns by Tyrone Watley of Iowa State vs. Nebraska in 1997) by 34 yards. Miller had the record broken by his fourth return and it was just the third quarter.
Miller’s day included an NCAA record tying two kickoff returns for touchdown to tie another NCAA record. His first quarter 97-yarder gave Clemson a 7-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and his 86-yarder off a Florida State free kick after a safety brought Clemson within 24-22 in the third period.
The native of Owensboro, KY became the first ACC player in history to have two kickoff returns for touchdown in the same game and the 10th different player (11th occasions) to have two kick returns for touchdown in the same game. Rocket Ismail of Notre Dame (1988-90) is the only player to do it twice. Miller was the first player to do it since Tony Lukins of New Mexico State against Tulsa on October 6, 2001. He already has three kick returns for touchdowns this year, the two kickoffs against Florida State and a 69-yard punt return against Wake Forest in the season opener. Miller has five career kick returns for touchdowns, three kickoff and two punt returns. The NCAA record for a career is eight, set by Cliff Branch of Colorado in 1970 and 1971.
With Miller’s performance this year, he is now first in ACC history in career kickoff return average with a 30.8 figure, nearly three yards per return against of former South Carolina player Dickie Harris, who played at South Carolina from 1969-70. Miller is now third in Clemson history in total kickoff return yards with 1449. He is just 104 yards away from breaking Derrick Hamilton record.
Clemson Career Leaders in Yards/Kickoff Return
Clemson Career Leaders in Career Kickoff Return Yards
ACC Career Leaders in Kickoff Return Average
(Min of 40 attempts)
Clemson Kickoff Returns for touchdown (Chronological Order)
Kickoff Returns for touchdown under Tommy Bowden’s in orange Miller’s Kick Returns for touchdown
Clemson’s Presidential Record With the Presidential Election upcoming it seemed appropriate to see if there was any connection between Clemson football games and the outcome of the election. Actually, there isn’t! Clemson might be the most politically correct team in the nation when it comes to predicting the outcome of an election based on what the Tigers do the previous Saturday.
Since 1896, when Clemson began playing football just a week before the Presidential Election, Clemson has won 16 games in its most recent contest prior to the election. The game following those 16 wins, Democrats have captured the Presidency eight times and the Republicans have won eight times.
Conversely, the result of the election seems to have no influence on the result of the Clemson game the next time out. Clemson is 7-6-2 the game following a Republican victory and has a 6-6 mark the Saturday following a Democratic win. Clemson has played well in recent years during the election season. The Tigers have an 11-3 the Saturday prior to the Presidential Election since 1948 and have won five consecutive games the Saturday after the election.
The Tigers have had some noteworthy wins in recent years the first game after the election, including a 16-14 victory over South Carolina in 2000, Tommy Bowden’s second year. Clemson won an ACC Championship at Maryland in 1988 the Saturday after George Bush (41) gained victory. Clemson defeated a top 20 North Carolina team 40-7 in 1992 the Saturday after Bill Clinton won for the first time, the largest margin of victory in Clemson history over a ranked team. Four years later, the Saturday after Clinton won for the second time, Clemson upset a top 15 Virginia team on the road, 24-16.
There are some other oddities. In 1984 Clemson defeated Wake Forest 37-14 the Saturday before Ronald Reagan won the election. Four years later, Clemson defeated North Carolina by the exact same score the Saturday before George Bush (41) gained victory.
Edwards Has Ties to Both Clemson and NC State On this year’s democratic ticket, North Carolina Senator John Edwards is the vice presidential candidate. He is also a former Clemson football player.
Edwards was born in nearby Seneca and grew up there. His family had moved to Robbins, NC, but in the fall of 1971, Edwards enrolled at Clemson with a dream of being a Tiger football player. He was a defensive back on the freshman team (freshmen weren’t eligible then) that fall under head coach Hootie Ingram.
Jim Ness, another defensive back in that same group, remembers Edwards. “There were about seven defensive backs in our group,” Ness said. “We had a guy named Johnny Marvel who was highly recruited and he was in front of John Edwards. I just remember him being a quiet guy who worked hard and did what the coaches asked of him.”
Edwards transferred to NC State after that one fall at Clemson.
Tigers Hope Revenge Trend Continues Clemson is in the process of facing two ACC foes who defeated the Tigers last year. Clemson avenged the first defeat with a victory over Maryland on October 23. Now, NC State , who defeated Clemson last year 17-15 in Raleigh, comes calling this Saturday.
Clemson hopes a recent trend continues. In each of the first five conference games involving the Tigers this year, the team that won the game in 2003, lost the meeting in 2004. Clemson lost to Wake Forest last year 45-17, then won the contest against the Demon Deacons this year. Georgia Tech, Florida State and Virginia all gained revenge against the Tigers this year for losses in 2003.
Clemson kept the string going with its 10-7 victory over Maryland last Saturday after having lost at Maryland in2003 by a 21-7 score.Collins Posts Career Performance Michael Collins was Clemson’s leading receiver in the win over Utah State with a career high six catches for a career high 64 receiving yards. Not only were they career highs, his numbers exceeded his career totals entering the game. For Collins’s first 18 games at Clemson he played 218 snaps on offensive scrimmage plays and had just four receptions for 49 yards. But, he had five catches in the first half against Utah State and six for the game.
Collins added a catch for 14 yards in the win over Maryland. And, it was a big one, a 14-yard gain during Clemson’s game winning drive inside the last two minutes.
Collins came to Clemson in August of 2002 after transferring from Tennessee. He spent the 2001-02 academic year in Knoxville where he practiced with both the basketball and football teams, but he red-shirted in both sports. He did the same at Clemson in 2002-03 due to the NCAA transfer rule. That was two full years of practice without playing in any games.
Patience is obviously a virtue of Collins. “Michael Collins is a true team player,” said Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden’s after the Utah State game. “He plays hard at every practice and every game. He never complains, he just does whatever he can to help the team. It was very rewarding for all of us to see him lead us in receiving against Utah State.”
Collins was a PrepStar All-American out of Commerce High School in Commerce, GA. He is from the same hometown that sent Terry Allen to Clemson and Allen is Collins’s cousin. He was his team’s quarterback as a senior when he rushed for 20 touchdowns and also made 134 tackles as a safety when he led his team to a 13-2 record. He averaged 26.8 points and 11 rebounds per game for Commerce High as a senior on the hard court.
Clemson Defense Had Record Setting performance vs. Utah State Clemson’s defense established two school record for performance against a Division I-A opponents in its victory over Utah State. Clemson allowed the Aggies –20 yards rushing, and the defense recorded 11 quarterback sacks in the 35-6 victory. The –20 yards rushing was the third best rushing defense figure in Clemson history and best against a Division I-A opponent. The only two figures that are better both took place against Furman, a –29 against the Paladins in 1996, and a –21 at Furman in 1941.
The –20 yards rushing by Utah State still rank as the second fewest by a Division I-A team this year. The best rushing defense game in the nation this year is a –24 recorded by Florida State against UAB in September. Thus, a Bowden coached team has the top two rushing defense games in the nation this year. Clemson’s 11 sacks were the second best single game figure in Clemson history, trailing the 12 recorded against Furman in the aforementioned 1996 contest. The previous best under Coach Tommy Bowden’s was eight, recorded on two occasions.
Clemson allowed just 139 yards of total offense for the game, the best total defense by the Tigers since Clemson allowed just 105 against The Citadel in 2000. It was the best against a Division I team since Clemson limited Maryland to 113 yards of total offense in 1996. Clemson almost recorded a shutout in the contest, as the Aggies scored on the last play of the game to make the score 35-6. The last time Clemson shut out a Division I-A opponent was a 23-0 win over Maryland in 1998.
The 139 yards of total defense recorded by the Tigers ranks as the 15th best single game performance this year. The best is an 82-yard total defense effort by Georgia Tech against Maryland two weeks ago. It is interesting to note that each of the top three and five of the top 15 single game total defense performances have been recorded by ACC teams this year.
Clemson’s defense has allowed the opposition 4.6 yards per play so far this year, ahead of the 4.9 figure recorded by the 9-4 Tigers of 2003, and best by a Clemson team since the ACC Championship team of 1991.
Clemson Rushing Defense Bests
Clemson Records 11 Sacks vs. Aggies As stated above, Clemson had 11 sacks against Utah State, the second best single game total in Clemson history and the best against a Division I opponent. The 11 sacks resulted in 83 lost yards rushing, which was a single game record in terms of yardage lost on quarterback sacks.
Clemson has had at least one sack in all six games this year and has a streak of 10 straight games with at least one sack over two years. The team now has 27 sacks for the year, an average of 4.5 sacks per game. This 2004 team is now ahead of the per game record for the course of a season. That record is 4.18, a figure set by he 1992 Clemson team that had 46 sacks in 11 games. The Clemson record for total sacks in a season is 47, set by Tommy Bowden’s 1999 team, who had that figure in 12 games.
Unlike some recent seasons when one or two players dominated the sack totals, this has been a balanced effort in 2004. LeRoy Hill leads the way with six sacks, but 13 different players have at least one sack this year. That was the case against Utah State as eight different players combined for the 11 sacks.
Clemson Single Game Sack Bests
Richardson Starting as First-year Freshman Clemson starting offensive tackle Barry Richardson graded 82 percent in Clemson’s victory over Utah State, the highest coaches film grade by a Clemson offensive tackle this year. The first-year freshman had two knockdown blocks and just one missed assignment for his 44 snaps in that game. Richardson did not allow a sack and now has gone 10 straight quarters without giving up a sack this year. He has played the majority of the snaps at left tackle since the second half of the Florida State game on September 25.
Richardson has now started each of the last two games, the first first-year freshman offensive lineman to start since Stacy Long started against Georgia in 1986. He is on pace to start over the course of this year and if he does, he will be the first first-year freshman offensive lineman in school history to start over the course of the season.
It is unusual for any first-year freshman to serve as a starter over the course of a season, regardless of position. Justin Miller is the last first-year freshman to serve as a starter for the course of a season. The current junior started eight games at cornerback in 2002. Prior to that Robert Carswell started six games at free safety in 1997. Anthony Simmons started 11 games as a first-year freshman linebacker in 1995 But that is it as far as first-year freshman starters for the course of a season over the last 10 years.
Richardson, 6-7 and 350 pounds, came to Clemson from Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, SC where he played for Coach Bob Hayes. The 18-year-old graduated a year early from high school, the first scholarship player to leave high school a year early to come to Clemson. His brother Nate Richardson, is 6-4 and 285 pounds and is a starting tackle at South Carolina State as a red-shirt freshman. Believe it or not, both brothers lived in the same room while growing up.
Clemson First-Year Freshman Starters over Course of a Season
Note: List does not include special teams players. List is since freshman eligibility restored in 1972.
Clemson Schedule ranked Eighth in the Nation Clemson’s 2004 football schedule is ranked as the eighth most difficult in the nation to this point in the season according to the Sagarin Computer rankings. The Tigers have a schedule ranking of 77.23 so far this season according to the service. Conference foe North Carolina has the toughest schedule in the nation with a 80.56 rating.
Three of the top 10 teams in the nation in terms of schedule difficulty are in the ACC, as Florida State is sixth on the list at 77.60. Clemson recently finished a three-game stretch in which it played at Texas A&M, at Florida State and at Virginia. All three schools are ranked in the top 20 of the latest AP poll, with Florida State ranked fifth. When Clemson played at Florida State and at Virginia in consecutive games it marked the first time since 1966 that Clemson had played consecutive games on the road against top 10 teams.
Clemson’s major sports have played a difficult schedule of late. Last year the Clemson men’s basketball schedule was ranked as the fourth most difficult in the nation by the Sagarin computer ranking with a 82.04 figure.
Sagarin Nation’s Most Difficult Football Schedule(Through games of October 23)
Williamson Scores, Records Sack Clemson defensive end Bobby Williamson pulled off a rare double when he scored a touchdown and had a quarterback sack against Utah State. That is a rare double, in fact, it is just the fourth time it has happed since 1989. Williamson had one of Clemson’s near record 11 sacks in the 35-6 victory, and he scored a touchdown when he recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown.
It was the second touchdown of Williamson’s career, his first since 2002. A tight end prior to this year, Williamson scored on a touchdown reception against Georgia Tech on a pass from Willie Simmons in a Tiger victory.
You only have to go back to last year to find the last time a Clemson player scored a touchdown and had a sack in the same game, as J.J. Howard did it against Furman in 2003. The only other players to do it in the last 15 years are Chester McGlockton and Terry Jolly. Jolly had an interception return for a score and a sack against Duke in 1999, while McGlockton turned his double on the same play. McGlockton sacked West Virginia quarterback Major Harris, then recovered the ball in the endzone for a touchdown in Clemson’s 27-7 Gator Bowl victory over the Mountaineers in 1989.
Technically, Williamson’s score goes down as a punt return. He is the first Tiger to score a touchdown on a punt return and record a sack in the same game.
Williamson had been strictly a tight end in his first three years at Clemson. He played 24 games out of 26 possible contests at tight end in 2002 and 2003. In fact, he started 11 of the 13 games last year and had 12 catches for 205 yards, first among Clemson tight ends. He had five receptions at NC State, most by a Clemson tight end in a single game since 1975, a game that was also shown on ESPN’s Thursday Night Package.
So far this year he has19 tackles, including four sacks, which is tied for second on the team.
Special Teams Have Been Special
Whitehurst All-Time Passing Yardage Leader Clemson 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 526 for his career entering the NC State game. Whitehurst established another Clemson career record in the loss at Virginia when he became Clemson’s career passing yardage leader. Whitehurst completed 16-28 passes for 166 yards to surpass Dantzler’s record of 6037. Whitehurst now has 6473 passing yards for his career.
The next record in range is the touchdown pass record. Whitehurst now has 37 for his career at Clemson, second in Clemson history behind Dantzler’s 41. Not bad considering Whtiehurst is just a junior and has played just 29 games, 25 as a starter. Whitehurst owns 35 Clemson records. He became Clemson’s career leader in passing attempts at Florida State and now has 904. He also still holds the record for completion percentage at 58.2, ahead of Dantzler’s 57.8. Whitehurst is third in school history in terms of total offense with 6544, trailing only Dantzler (8798), and Greene (6786).
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 Clemson record 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 25 games as a starter. Whitehurst is now 15-10 as a starter in his Clemson career, 10-3 at home, 4-6 on the road and 1-1 at neutral site.
Clemson Career Leaders in Completion Percentage (Minimum of 150 attempts)
Clemson Career Leaders in Completions (Minimum of 150 attempts)
Clemson Career Leaders in Passing Yardage (Minimum of 150 attempts)
Charlie Whitehurst Career Quarterback Rankings
Tigers Faced Top 10 Teams in Consecutive Games Clemson faced consecutive top 10 teams on the road against Florida State and Virginia recently. In the Associated Press poll of September 19, Florida State was ranked 8th prior to its game with Clemson, 11th by USA Today. In the October 3 poll, Virginia was ranked ninth by USA Today and 10th by AP. This was the first time Clemson played consecutive games against top 10 teams on the road since 1966 when the Tigers 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.
The Tigers then will go back on the road to face first-year ACC school Miami (FL) in the Orange Bowl on November 6, another team currently ranked in the top 10 (third this week). If Miami is still ranked in the top 10 at that time, it would be just the second time in Clemson history and first since 1966 that Clemson has played three road games against top 10 teams in the same season. The 1966 team played at #9 Georgia Tech, at #4 Alabama and at #5 Southern Cal, all within the first five games of the season.
Hill Among National Leaders Again Clemson linebacker LeRoy Hill is picking up where he left off last season. During 2003, Hill ranked second in the nation in tackles for loss with 27 and he was also among the top 30 in quarterback sacks with eight in 13 games. This season, Hill already has 13 tackles for loss, including seven quarterback sacks.
He became just the second defensive player to sack a Virginia quarterback when he had a 12-yard sack at Virginia on October 7. He finished the game with 10 tackles, his third double figure game of the season. Hill now has four straight games with a sack and can tie the Clemson record in that category with a sack against NC State. Chester McGlockton had five straight games with a sack between 1989-90 and Keith Adams did it during the 1999 season.
Hill ranked ninth in the nation (prior to October 23 games) in quarterback sacks and he as in the top 20 in tackles for loss. Manny Lawson of NC State is also among the national leaders so that will be an interesting matchup of defenders on October 30 in Death Valley. Hill was the ACC Defensive Lineman of the week in Clemson’s loss to Georgia Tech when he had a season high 14 tackles, including three tackles for loss. He had 13 stops at Florida State, including three tackles for loss and a sack.
For his career, Hill now has 273 tackles, 42 tackles for loss and 15 quarterback sacks. He has done this even though he has started just 20 games in his Clemson career. Over his first two years, he played just 182 snaps from scrimmage. Hill is now ninth in Clemson history in career tackles for loss. He recently moved ahead of Levon Kirkland, who had 40 between 1988-91.
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 was Pat Thomas of NC State.
Clemson Career Leaders in Tackles for Loss
Here is a comparison of the Bowdens at similar stages of their careers:
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 had his best game as a Tiger at Virginia when he had four catches for 72 yards, career highs in both areas. His performance included a 56-yard reception, the longest of his career and Clemson’s longest pass play of the year. It set up a Clemson touchdown on the Tigers opening drive of the game.
Hall has seven catches for 127 yards so far this season and now has 30 for 418 yards for his career, a 13.9 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.
Hall was shut out at Florida State as far as receptions are concerned, but Coach Bowden praised him for his blocking, especially on special teams where he had key blocks on Justin Miller kickoff returns for touchdowns.
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
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’s 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
Whitehurst, Baham Offspring of NFL Players Clemson has two players who are the offspring of NFL players. Curtis Baham, a wide receiver who has five caches for 60 yards and a team best two receiving touchdowns 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 a will be in the starting lineup against Virginia. 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.
Quarterbacks Have Flourished under Bowden Watching Charlie Whitehurst have an impact on the Clemson record book is no surprise. Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden’s 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 35 Clemson passing records, including career records for completions and passing yards.
Bring a Pillow Some of 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.
Clemson’s Longest Games in terms of Real Time
#at Peach Bowl, $Humanitarian Bowl
Tigers Will Do Plenty of Traveling in 2004 Clemson will have a difficult road schedule this year in terms of competition and in terms of distance. Three of Clemson’s five road games (Florida State, Virginia, Miami (FL) are against teams currently in the top 20 in the nation according to both polls. The Tigers also travel to Texas A&M and Duke. If Florida State, Virginia and Miami (FL) hold their rankings it would mark the first time since 1966 that Clemson has played three top 20 teams on the road in the same year. That year Frank Howard team played Georgia Tech, Alabama and Southern Cal, all top 10 teams, on the road.
The 2004 schedule will also be challenging in terms of travel distance. Clemson will travel 2,857 miles for its five road games this year, an average of 571 miles per game. This is the third longest average road trip season, excluding the two years Clemson played in Tokyo (1982 and 1991). The record was set in 1951 when Frank Howard team traveled 3990 miles for five games, 798 miles per game.
Clemson does not play a home game between September 12 and October 15, a stretch of 34 straight days without a game in Death Valley. This is the longest stretch without a home game for the Tigers since 1984 when Clemson went from September 2 until October 5 without a home game.
The stretch of consecutive road games at Texas A&M, Florida State and Virginia marks the first time since 1994 that Clemson has played three straight games on the road.
Note: Counts only trips in continental United States.
Tigers 4-0 in Overtime Clemson increased its all-time perfect record in overtime games to 4-0 with its 37-30 win over Wake Forest in the season opener. The Tigers are now one of four Division I schools with a perfect overtime record, given a minimum of four overtime games. Brigham Young, Louisiana-Monroe and Ohio State are also 4-0 in overtime games since the rule was put into effect in 1996. Ball State, Nebraska, Northern Illinois and South Florida are all 3-0 and could join the previous group with an overtime victory this year.
Clemson’s win over Wake Forest in the opener was a double overtime affair, the first time Clemson has had to go a second “extra inning” to claim an overtime win. Both Clemson and Wake Forest kicked field goals in the first period, then Clemson scored a touchdown on an 11-yard pass from Charlie Whitehurst to Kyle Browning. Wake Forest could not get a first down on its possession and when a fourth down pass fell incomplete, Clemson had the victory.
Clemson’s defense has been outstanding in Clemson’s four overtime games. In fact, the Tigers have yielded just nine points on three field goals and the opposition has not recorded a first down in five possessions. Tommy Bowden is now 3-0 in overtime games at Clemson and in his coaching career.
There is something about overtime and Clemson athletics. The Clemson basketball team has a 45-32 record in overtime games since the ACC started in 1953-54, second best among league schools in overtime winning percentage.
Clemson in Overtime (4-0)
Currie, Stuckey both over 100 Receiving Yards Clemson had a pair of 100-yard receivers in the same game for just the third time in history when the Tigers defeated Wake Forest in the season opener. Airese Currie had nine receptions for 152 yards and teammate Chansi Stuckey added eight for 112 yards, giving the duo 17 catches for 264 yards and a touchdown. It was the most receiving yards for a wide receiver duo in Clemson history.
Currie’s 152 receiving yards were a career high and rank in a tie for sixth best in Clemson history. Rod Gardner holds the record with a 182 receiving yards at North Carolina in 2000, while Derrick Hamilton 175 receiving yards at Maryland last year is second. Jerry Butler had a 163-yard receiving game at Georgia Tech in 1977 and Terry Smith had 156 receiving yards at Florida State in 1993. Those are the only five games better than Currie’s performance last Saturday. Currie’s total was also the most ever for a Clemson player in a season opener.
The first time Clemson had a pair of 100-yard receivers in the same game took place in 1998 against NC State in Death Valley. Brian Wofford had 128 yards and Mal Lawyer added 100 receiving yards in Clemson’s 46-39 loss to the Wolfpack. Ironically, Wofford had nine catches and Lawyer had eight, the same numbers for Currie and Stuckey, respectively against Wake Forest.
The only other time Clemson has had a pair of 100-yard receivers in the same game was at Duke in 2002, Charlie Whitehurst first start at quarterback for the Tigers. That day, Derrick Hamilton had 7-101 in a 34-31 Clemson victory.
Clemson Single Game Receiving yardage Bests
Stuckey’s All-Around Performance “He runs, he throws, he catches, he blocks, he hustles, he blocks punts and none of the 79,500 at Death Valley on Saturday would be surprised if he handled ticket distribution, ordered concessions and oversaw blowing up the orange balloons for the pregame ceremonies. His name is Chansi Stuckey, and if he didn’t deliver the most spectacular debut in Clemson history, he surely came close.”
Those were the words of Bob Spear, Columnist for The State Newspaper in Columbia, SC on Sunday, September, 5, 2004. When Chansi Stuckey goes to position meetings each day, he attends those gathers in the Banks McFadden Building. The building is named in honor of Clemson’s greatest athlete of the 20th Century, Banks McFadden. McFadden was an All-American in football and basketball for the Tigers in 1939 and was named the Nation’s Most Versatile Athlete. On the gridiron, McFadden did everything possible, as he went both ways as a single wing tailback and a standout defensive back. He was known for his passing and running skills on offense, but when Clemson defeated Boston College in the 1940 Cotton Bowl, McFadden had four pass deflections in the second half to lead Clemson to a 6-3 victory.
Stuckey was named the Chevrolet Player of the Game by ABC Sports in Clemson’s win over Wake Forest. He might have had the best game by a Clemson football player in so many areas since McFadden played for the Tigers. Making his first career start at wide receiver, Stuckey had eight receptions for 112 yards. It was the first time a Clemson receiver had a 100-yard receiving game in his first career start since 1979 when Perry Tuttle had 145 yards in a victory over Furman in his first career start. His performance included two catches for 35 yards on Clemson’s game tying touchdown in the fourth period that sent the game into overtime. Stuckey also threw a pass on an end-around, a play that resulted in a pass interference call in the end zone. He had four rushes for 10 yards, including a 14-yarder that was Clemson’s long rush of the day. He even took a couple of snaps at quarterback in a shotgun formation.
On special teams, Stuckey had a blocked punt that resulted in a safety in the second period. He also had a key block on Justin Miller 69-yard punt return for a touchdown. That might have been the all-time hustle play in Clemson history. Stuckey lined up at the line of scrimmage on the right end and rushed the punter. His dive in front of the punter’s foot was just a few inches from a block. He then reversed his field and ran to the 48-yard line in front of the Clemson bench, where he threw a key block on Miller’s run to a score
Eight Sets of Same Names There are eight sets of players with the same last name on the Clemson football team, but only one combination are brothers. Maurice Nelson (#42) and Roosevelt Nelson (#49) are brothers from Rembert, SC and Crestwood High School. Maurice is a red-shirt freshman and Roosevelt is a red-shirt junior.
Three name combinations are starters, or could be once Duane Coleman returns from injury. The starting combinations are the Hills (Leroy and Tye, who both start on defense), the Bennetts (Charles, starting DE and Nathan, starting guard), and the Colemans (Eric, starting defensive tackle and Duane, starting tailback when healthy).
There are two unrelated Frys who play on the offensive line, Roman and Dustin, who are both currently second team. Yusef Kelly is the starting tailback and Aaron Kelly is a freshman receiver, while Lionel Richardson is a reserve linebacker and Barry Richardson is a reserve offensive tackle. Both played against Wake Forest. Finally, Robert Reese is a reserve defensive back and Tribble Reese is a reserve freshman quarterback.
Tigers in the NFL According to rosters released on September 5, 15 former Tigers are NFL rosters heading into the first week of play. The list includes rookies and 2003 Clemson team members Derrick Hamilton of the San Francisco 49ers and Gregory Walker of the New York Giants. Walker is the only player in Clemson history to play in 50 games and Hamilton left Clemson as the school’s all-time leader in receptions and all-purpose running. Donnell Washington, also a member of Clemson’s 2003 team, is on injured reserve with the Green Bay Packers. A 15th player, Lorenzo Bromell of the New York Giants, is on the physically unable to perform list and should return by midseason.
The list below does not include practice squad players who could be added later this week.
The list of Tigers in the NFL includes Brentson Buckner of the Carolina Panthers, who is in his 11th season in the league, Brian Dawkins, a three time Pro Bowl safety with Philadelphia, Chris Gardocki, of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who is in his 14th season in the league, and Trevor Pryce of the Denver Broncos, a two-time Super Bowl Champion and four time Pro Bowl selection. Lamont Hall was cut and did not play for the New Orleans Saints last year, but he is back with the team in 2004.
Tigers In The NFL
#Injured reserve, $Physically unable to perform
The Future of the ACC (Division structure) The ACC is one 11-team league in 2004, as Miami (FL) and Virginia are in the ACC for the first time. Next year, Boston College will join the conference, creating a 12 team league that will have a conference championship at the end of the year.
The league will be divided into two divisions for 2005. Division A will be composed of Maryland, Clemson, NC State, Wake Forest, Florida State and Boston College. Clemson is guaranteed to play each of those schools every year. Division B is composed of Virginia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Duke, Miami (FL) and Virginia Tech. Clemson is guaranteed to play only Georgia Tech every year from that Division.
The winners of each division will meet in the ACC Championship game the first Saturday in December in Jacksonville, FL each of the next two seasons.
Fourth Quarter Comeback Clemson trailed Wake Forest by one point entering the fourth quarter and by eight points with just seven minutes left before gaining the 37-30 overtime victory. Saturday’s victory marked the fifth time under Coach Bowden that Clemson has scored to break a tie or overcome a deficit with two minutes or less left on the clock.
It was the third time Clemson has won in overtime. The other two occasions took place against South Carolina in 2000 when Aaron Hunt kicked a 25 yards field goal with three seconds left to give Clemson a 16-14 victory, and when Hunt kicked a 21-yard field goal with eight seconds left to beat Duke in 2002.Clemson Season Tickets Sold Out The Clemson University Athletic Ticket office announced in July that full season tickets for the 2004 football season are sold out. This is the first time Clemson has announced a preseason sellout of season tickets.
“The excitement has carried over from the strong finish of the 2003 season resulting in a sell out of available seating for season tickets,” said Ticket Manager, Bobby Skelton.
The addition of Miami (FL) and Virginia Tech to the Atlantic Coast Conference for the 2004 season has also added to the excitement concerning the upcoming season. Clemson will play at Miami (FL) on November 6, the first meeting between the two schools since 1956.
Clemson season ticket sales are up 2000 from the previous year to nearly 57,000 and the sale of ticket packages has almost doubled from 2003, resulting in the Clemson-South Carolina game being a total sell out. Tickets are still available for the five remaining home games at a cost of $32.00 each. The opponents for those games are Wake Forest (Sept. 4), Georgia Tech (Sept. 11), Utah State (Homecoming on Oct. 16), Maryland (Oct. 23) and NC State (Oct. 30).
Tickets may be purchased by calling the Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-CLEMSON or online at www.clemsontigers.com.
Clemson 32nd in US News and World Report Poll Clemson University President Jim Barker stated publicly when he took his current position in1999 that he had a goal of making Clemson one of the top 20 national public universities in the nation. On August 20, the latest rankings were released and Clemson was listed at #32, a seven position jump in the last two years and up from #35 last year. Clemson was named Time Magazine’s Public College of the Year in 2001.
50 Years of Cannon Fire This will be the 50-year anniversary of a cannon sounding after each Clemson score. A Clemson cheerleader has fired the cannon for every score, home and away since the season opener of 1954.
The tradition began in 1954 when George Bennett, then the head cheerleader, got the idea from his father, who had seen Army do it after each score at a game he had attended at West Point in 1953. Prior to the 1954 season Bennett approached Clemson Head Coach Frank Howard and asked him permission to fire the cannon. Permission was granted and just prior to the 1954 season, Bennett’s father purchased the small cannon. The tradition has been handed down to each head cheerleader ever since.
Bennett just retired from full time duty as Clemson’s Executive Secretary of IPTAY. He served Clemson in that capacity during two stints for nearly 20 total years. He still has an office in the Jervey Athletic Center and will serve as the master of ceremonies for Friday evening’s Hall of Fame Induction ceremony. This past year he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Association of Athletic Development Directors.
Clemson Looks for 17th Bowl Trip in 20 Years Clemson has been to 16 bowl games in the last 19 years and certainly hopes to make it 17 out of 20 years with an invitation at the conclusion of the 2004 season. Clemson ranks in a tie for sixth among Division I schools in bowl game appearances since 1985 (19 seasons). The only schools ahead of Clemson is this category are Florida State, Michigan and Nebraska, who all been to 19 in a row, Tennessee with 18, and Miami (FL) with 17. Clemson is just ahead of Georgia (15) Southern Cal (14), Notre Dame (13), Arkansas 913), Auburn (13), Virginia (13), Syracuse (13) and NC State (13).
Clemson is one of 21 schools to go to a bowl game at least five years in a row and is one of 19 schools to win at least two bowl games over the last three seasons.
Whitehurst, Hill, Miller on Preseason Lists Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, linebacker LeRoy Hill and cornerback Justin Miller are all on preseason Watch Lists for major 2004 awards. Whitehurst is one of 40 “Players to Watch” for the Walter Camp National Player of the Year Award, while Hill is one of 65 preseason candidates for the Butkus Award. The Butkus Award is given to the nation’s top linebacker. Miller was named to the Thorpe Award and Lott Award preseason lists. Hill is one of seven ACC players on the Butkus Watch List. He is joined by Darryl Blackstock and Ahmad Brooks of Virginia, D’Qwell Jackson of Maryland, A.J. Nicholson of Florida State, Pat Thomas of NC State and Leon Williams of Miami (FL).
Last year, Hill led the Tigers in tackles with 145, including 27 tackles for loss. He ranked second in the nation in tackles for loss and was a first-team All-ACC selection. Earlier this summer he was named a preseason candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Award, which is given to the top defensive player in the nation and the Lombardi Award, which goes to the top lineman in college football.
Miller has 10 career interceptions and one fumble recovery for 11 career takeaways. He led the Tigers in passes defended last year. He is also a great kick returner. He is already the only player in Clemson history with three kick returns for touchdowns.
Whitehurst is one of five ACC Players on the Walter Camp list. He is joined by P.J. Daniels of Georgia Tech, Tramain Hall of NC State, Chris Rix of Florida State, and Antrel Rolle of Miam (FL). Earlier this summer he was named to the preseason list for the O’Brien Award, which goes to the nation’s top quarterback.
Whitehurst holds 33 Clemson school records, including passing efficiency in a career and passing yardage in a season. He quarterbacked the Tigers to a 9-4 record as a sophomore when he threw for 3561 yards and 21 touchdowns. Among the victories were triumphs over #3 Florida State and #6 Tennessee. He joined Homer Jordan as the only Clemson quarterback to lead the Tigers to two wins over top 10 teams in the same season.
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