Oct. 9, 2000
CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson enters this weekend’s game as one of seven undefeated teams nationally. The others are Nebraska, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Oklahoma and TCU. Six teams were dropped from the list of the unbeaten squads last weekend, as Florida State, Oregon State, NC State, Iowa State, Auburn and Pittsburgh all lost.
All seven teams are ranked in the top 12 in the nation in both polls. Three of the unbeatens are ahead of Clemson and three are ranked behind the Tigers. This list will be reduced by at least one this weekend as Kansas State plays host to Oklahoma. It is interesting to note that there have been exactly two undefeated teams each of the last three years. One of those programs, Tulane in 1998, was coached by current Clemson mentor Tommy Bowden. The 1990 season was the last time no team went undefeated during the regular season.
Son Ranked Higher than Father
Clemson is ranked higher in both the AP and USA Today polls than Florida State. The Tigers are fourth in the USA Today/ESPN Coach’s poll and fifth in the Associated Press poll, while Florida State is seventh in both polls.
It is a rarity when any ACC team is ranked higher than Florida State. Since the Seminoles joined the ACC, a span covering 145 polls, an ACC team has been ranked higher than Florida State just once. That took place on September 13, 1998 when Virginia was ranked 10th in the AP poll and Florida State was ranked 11th.
This is the first time a Tommy Bowden coached team has been ranked higher than a Bobby Bowden coached team. Tommy’s Tulane team got close in 1998, as the Green Wave were ranked 10th in the final regular season poll, while Florida State was second.
This is not the first time a Bowden son has been ranked higher than father. In 1994, Terry Bowden coached Auburn and those Tigers (with Tommy Bowden as offensive coordinator) were ranked higher than Florida State for six consecutive weeks from October 10 to November 14 in 1994. Florida State ended the year ranked higher than Auburn, however.
Bowden Undefeated in Second Year with a Program
Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden has won 17 straight games in the second year with a program. In his first head coaching stint, at Tulane, he led the Green Wave to an 11-0 record in the regular season of 1998. So far this year he has the Tigers 6-0 and now ranked fourth in the nation (USA Today).
His 1998 Tulane team was record setting offensively and had many high national rankings in various categories. His 2000 Clemson team is doing the same thing, as the Tigers are currently ranked second in the nation in total offense, fifth in scoring, and fifth in the nation in rushing. His 1998 Tulane team finished the season second in the nation in scoring and fourth in total offense.
Clemson’s 2000 statistics are similar to his 1998 Tulane team in many areas. His 1998 Tulane team averaged 45.4 points a game, Clemson has a 45.3 average this year. His Tulane team of 1998 averaged 507 yards a game of total offense, the Tigers stand at 510.7 per game this year. Both teams convert third-down situations 52.1 percent of the time.
Here is a per game comparison between Bowden’s 1998 Tulane team and the 2000 Tigers:
Bowden’s Offense Averages 36.7 points a Game
Offenses coached by Head Coach Tommy Bowden and coordinated by Rich Rodriguez have sustained a 36.7 scoring average over a 40-game period. When you take the offensive figures for Tulane in 1997-98 and Clemson the last 18 games you come up with some impressive numbers.
For the 40 games Bowden has been a head coach, his teams have averaged 36.7 points a game, 4.78 touchdowns per game and 452 yards of total offense per game. On average his team’s run 75.3 plays a game, 43.2 rushing plays and 32.1 pass attempts.
Bowden Offense Production Chart (40 Games at Clemson and Tulane)
Clemson will face Maryland for Homecoming on Saturday. The Tigers are 25-2-2 since 1971 on Homecoming with the only losses coming to Georgia Tech in 1989 (on October 14th) and Virginia in 1997. The first homecoming game at Clemson took place on September 30, 1922 when Centre defeated Clemson at Riggs Field, 21-0.
Clemson has celebrated Homecoming every year since 1922 with the exception of the 1930 and 1938 seasons. Clemson has a 55-18-3 record on Homecoming over the years, a .751 winning percentage. Clemson has outscored the opposition 1609-996 in those previous 76 games, an average victory of 21-12.
Clemson is 4-2 lifetime against Maryland on Homecoming. Clemson suffered losses in 1955 (25-12) and in 1959 (28-25) and gained victory in 1957 (26-7), 1963 (21-6), 1967 (28-7 and 1998 (23-0).
Dantzler Looks to Tie One Record, Break Another
Quarterback Woodrow Dantzler has had at least 100 yards rushing in each of the last four games. He needs a 100-yard rushing game against Maryland to tie the Clemson record for consecutive 100-yard rushing games by any Clemson player. The record is five consecutive games by Kenny Flowers in 1985 and by Raymond Priester over 1996 and 1997. Priester had at least 100 in each of the last four games of 1996, then the first game of 1997.
Thus, if Dantzler gets 100-yards rushing against Maryland he will have done something that Terry Allen, Fred Cone, Terrence Flagler, Buddy Gore, Lester Brown and many other great running backs in Clemson history failed to do.
Dantzler can break the Clemson single season touchdown responsibility mark (touchdowns rushing and passing) for a season when he throws or rushes for his first score against Maryland. So far this season he has rushed for 10 scores and passed for nine, giving him 19 for the season, the same total Mark Fellers had in 1974.
Dantzler had three touchdowns, two rushing and one passing, against NC State, meaning he had 19 scores through five and a half games, or the midpoint of the season. In other words, he tied the Clemson touchdown responsibility record in half a season.
Clemson’s success so far this year could be tied to the fact that many Tiger players have a sports-related pedigree. There are 12 players on the Clemson team who are related to someone with playing or coaching ties to college or professional sports. The list includes leading tackler Keith Adams, who is the son of Julius Adams, who played 16 years with the New England Patriots.
The list also includes Joe Don Reames, whose brother Britt is a pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals. While Joe Don was returning punts, helping Clemson to the win over NC State in last Saturday, Britt was gaining the win for the Cardinals against the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta.
Keith Adams–Hisfather, Julius Adams, played 16 years in the NFL with the NewEngland Patriots. Chad Carson–His father, Tom, lettered threeyears at Georgia Tech, 1969-72. Robert Carswell–His brother,James, was a starting player with Presbyterian College. GaryChildress–His brother, O.J., played for Clemson between 1995-98,then played for the New York Giants in 1999. Buddy Gore–Walk-onkicker who is the son of former Clemson running back and ACC MVPBuddy Gore. Tony Lazzara–His father, Dick, played two years ofcollege football at Florida. Joe Don Reames–His brother, Britt, isa pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and earned the win in theseries clinching third game against the Atlanta Braves on October7. Brad Scott, current Clemson Assistant Head Coach and tight endscoach. Brady Washburn–His father, Jim, is an offensive line coachwith the Tennessee Titans. Justin Watts–His father is the headcoach at South Florence High School in Florence, SC. Braxton K.Williams–His father, Braxton Williams, was a member of Clemson’s1982 ACC Championship team as a fullback. Kyle Young–His brother,Will, was an All-ACC guard for the Tigers between 1992-95. Hisgrandfather, Ed McClendon, played on Clemson’s 1939 Cotton Bowlchampionship team.
Gardner Coming Off Best Game
Clemson wide receiver Rod Gardner had his best game of the season in the win over NC State. The 6-3 senior had 10 receptions for 137 yards, and both figures were just one unit off his career high in each area. Gardner had a career high and Clemson record tying 11 receptions against Marshall last year and he had 138 yards receiving at South Carolina a year ago.
Gardner had 137 receiving yards against NC State and now has 137 receptions for his career. He is just 25 receptions short of tying the Clemson career record of 162 by Terry Smith from 1990-93. He is now fifth in career catches and fourth in reception yardage. He moved ahead of Tony Horne and Brian Wofford in terms of yardage with his performance against NC State. He now has 1865 career yards and obviously a 135-yard game against Maryland would put him over the 2000-yard mark, something only Terry Smith, Perry Tuttle and Jerry Butler have achieved.
Gardner is now also returning kickoffs for the Tigers. He had 64 kickoff return yards against NC State, giving him 201 all-purpose running yards in that game. He was the first Clemson receiver to have a 200-yard all-purpose running game since 1997 when Tony Horne had 229 against Duke.
Tigers Have 6 Straight 450-yard Games
Led by Heisman Trophy candidate Woodrow Dantzler, Clemson has gained at least 450 yards in each of the first six games this year. This is the first time in history that Clemson has had six consecutive 400-yard total offense games, never mind 450 yards. Ironcially, Clemson’s low total offense figure this year is against Division I-AA team The Citadel, who “held” Clemson to 458 yards of total offense.
Clemson can tie a school record for 400 yard games in a season if it gets at least that total against Maryland on Saturday. Three Clemson teams (1950, 1978 and 1982) have had seven 400-yard games in one season. Clemson has also averaged at least five yards per game in each of the first six games, also a first in Clemson history.
In four of the first six games, Clemson has had at least 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing. Clemson is undefeated in its history when it has at least 200 of each. Clemson is now 33-0-1 in its history when gaining at least 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing in the same game. Clemson has done that 200-double 34 times in its history, six in the last 18 games under Bowden after doing it just 28 times in its first 985 games.
Clemson-Maryland Series Notes
Clemson holds a 26-20-2 advantage in the series with Maryland, but Clemson has had to win 12 of the last 13 to take this significant lead. Maryland’s only victory over Clemson since 1985 took place in 1992 at Maryland, 53-23. The Tigers won each of the last eight games and 9 of the last 10 between the two teams at Death Valley. Maryland has not won at Clemson since 1985, by a 34-31 score.
Maryland has not scored a touchdown against Clemson in Death Valley since 1991, a 40-7 Clemson victory that clinched the Tigers last ACC championship. In fact, Maryland has scored just two touchdowns in Death Valley since 1988.
Maryland won the first three games of the series (1952-54) by shutout, defeating Clemson by a combined 64-0. That is the only time Clemson has been shutout three years in a row by an ACC opponent. Clemson shutout Maryland three years in a row (1993-94-95).
Clemson won last year at Byrd Stadium 42-30. Clemson was led by Woodrow Dantzler, who had 435 yards of total offense, 183 rushing and 252 passing. Rod Gardner led the receivers with 5-128, while Travis Zachery added 24-95 and three touchdowns. Bernard Rambert, playing his first career game for the Tigers, scored two touchdowns. Lamont Jordan had four touchdowns and rushed for 177 yards to lead Maryland, who entered the game leading the ACC in scoring and total defense.
Maryland enters this game with Clemson with a 2-3 record. The Terps own wins over Temple and Middle Tennessee State and have dropped decisions to West Virginia, Florida State and Virginia.
The dominant player for the Terps is Lamont Jordan, who has gained 378 of Maryland’s 575 rushing yards this year. Jordan will certainly have Clemson’s attention this week, as he gained 177 yards and scored four touchdowns against the Tigers last year. He has scored six of Maryland’s 12 offensive touchdowns this year and showed his explosiveness against Florida State when he raced 74 yards for a touchdown. It was a run that many pro scouts will review with interest before the April NFL draft.
Maryland’s quarterback is Calvin McCall, a sophomore who has thrown for 971 yards and four scores this year. He was also a member of Maryland’s NCAA Tournament basketball team last year. He is much improved as a passer this season and has shown his ability as a runner over the last two years. Guilian Gary is the top receiver with 22-339 and two scores, while Jeff Dugan, the tight end, has 12 catches for an impressive 193 yards.
Maryland is led on defense by E.J. Henderson, who has 53 tackles, including six for minus yardage. Mike Whaley, a linebacker, has 38 tackles, but eight are for losses and five are sacks. Shawn Forte has 40 tackles from his free safety position and has two interceptions for 114 return yards.
Maryland is solid in the special teams area. Brian Kopka has made 4-5 field goals so far this year, while punter Brooks Barnard has an impressive 45.4 yards average, best in the ACC.
Clemson Looking for 7-0 Start
Clemson has started this season with a 6-0 record, its best start since the 1987 season when Clemson also started 6-0. That Clemson team saw its march up the polls stopped by a 30-28 loss to North Carolina State in a game played at Death Valley. Clemson was ranked seventh in the nation prior to that loss in 1987.
If Clemson can gain victory against Maryland it would have its first 7-0 start since (no don’t say it), the 1981 National Championship season. Clemson has been 7-0 just twice previously in 1948 and 1981, Clemson’s two undefeated teams since 1900. The Tigers were 6-0 in 1900, but that was it for the season as far as games played.
Clemson has been 6-0 six times since 1900 and the Tigers have been 2-4 in the seventh game in those years. Obviously Clemson won the seventh game in 1948 and 1981, but suffered losses in the seventh game after a 6-0 start in 1928, 1929, 1930 and 1987.
Clemson Ranking Best since 1988
Clemson is ranked fourth in USA Today and fifth in AssociatedPress this week. That is Clemson’s highest ranking since September of 1988 when Clemson was third heading into the Florida State game in Death Valley. That was the famous “Puntrooskie Game” when Bobby Bowden defeated Danny Ford’s Tigers. It took another Bowden to get Clemson back to the top five in the nation.
The last time Clemson was ranked in the top five in the nation this late in the season was 1981. Clemson was ranked number-one in the final regular season poll and the final poll that year. Clemson’s number-five AP ranking this week is Clemson’s highest in the month of October since Clemson was third on October 26th of 1981 with a 7-0 record.
Clemson Program Has 3 Top 10 Teams
Clemson is having one of its best starts to an academic year in history from an athletic standpoint. Last week, Clemson had three top 10 teams, including two in the top five. The Tiger football team is ranked fifth in the AP poll for the second straight week. The Lady Tiger soccer team was ranked second in the nation prior to losing to Duke over the weekend, but Ray Leone’s team is still ranked in the top 10. The Clemson men’s soccer team was also ranked in the top 10 last week.
Adams Sets Another Clemson Record
Clemson linebacker Keith Adams established a Clemson record for consecutive games with at least one tackle for loss when he had two stops behind the line of scrimmage against NC State. That gave him 18 consecutive games with at least one tackle for loss, breaking the record of 17 held by himself and Anthony Simmons. Simmons had a streak of 17 straight games between 1996 and 1997.
Adams has 12 tackles for loss and six sacks so far this year to lead the team in both categories. He had 35 tackles for loss and 16 sacks, both Clemson records, last season. For his career, he now has 22 sacks and 47 tackles for loss. With still a year and a half left, Adams ranks tied for fourth in Clemson history in sacks and he is sixth in tackles for loss. Only Michael Dean Perry (28), William Perry (27) and Adrian Dingle (23) have had more sacks than Adams in school history.
For the season, Adams has 67 tackles, tops on the club. That gives him 298 career tackles, just two away from the 300 mark. When he gets his second tackle against Maryland he will become the 11th player in Clemson history to reach the 300 tackle mark. Teammate and roomate Robert Carswell entered the 300-tackle club earlier this year and now has 318 entering this weekend’s game.
This will be just the second time in history that Clemson has had two active players with at least 300 tackles. Classmates Jim Stuckey and Bubba Brown both had over 300 tackles in their respective careers.
Zachery Ties Clemson Touchdown Record
Travis Zachery scored three more touchdowns in Clemson’s win over NC State last week. It gave the junior running back 32 career touchdowns, 28 rushing and four receiving. Zachery is now tied for the Clemson career record for total touchdowns. He is the co-holder of the record with Lester Brown, who had 32 scores for Clemson between 1976-79.
Zachery went ahead of Ring of Honor inductee Fred Cone with his performance on Saturday. The legendary Cone, played three years on the varsity, and had 31 scores between 1948-50. With his two touchdowns against Duke on September 30, Zachery moved ahead of such well known Clemson players as Ray Mathews, Terry Allen and Kenny Flowers.
Zachery is having another solid all-around season. He had a career high 147 yards rushing on 31 attempts against NC State, many of the yards came down the stretch on clutch third-down plays. He is now 8th in the country in scoring at 11.0 points a game and is 41st in rushing with 85.2 yards per game. Zachery has 511 yards rushing this season and 1966 for his career. He obviously needs just 34 yards to reach 2000 for his career. His current total of 1966 is 14th best in Clemson history. When he reaches the 2000-yard mark he will become just the fourth player to do it in his junior year. The others are Raymond Priester, Kenny Flowers and Terry Allen.
Clemson Looks for 5-0 ACC Start
Clemson is 4-0 in the ACC for the first time since 1983. The Tigers went 7-0 against the ACC that year. Clemson was perfect against ACC teams in 1982, 1981, 1967 and 1978. Clemson opened its ACC schedule with a 3-0 start in 1986, 1987 and 1988. NC State ended those 3-0 starts each time. They came close to ending the 3-0 streak again last Saturday, but the Tigers came away with the seven point victory.
Clemson ended a streak of its own in the win over NC State. Clemson had lost 13 straight games decided by seven points or less, dating to a 19-17 win over the Pack in 1997. Last Saturday’s game marked the fourth straight time Clemson and NC State had played a game decided by seven points or less.
Clemson Returns Staff in Tact
Clemson’s coaching staff is back in tact from last year, a rarity in this day of coaching and perhaps one reason for Clemson’s success so far this year. This is the first time since 1991-92 that Clemson has had the exact same nine full-time assistant coaches and head coach in consecutive years. Clemson is one of three ACC teams that did not make an assistant coaching change in the off-season. Duke and Virginia also return their staffs in tact from last year.
Clemson has one of its most experience staffs in history. In addition to the experience of Head Coach Tommy Bowden, his assistant coaching staff includes two coaches who have been head coaches. Rich Rodriguez was a head coach at Glenville State from 1990-96 and Brad Scott served as head coach at South Carolina from 1994-98.
Defensive coordinator Brad Scott has been to 13 bowls, 12 as an assistant coach and one as the head coach at South Carolina. He is the only Gamecock head coach in history to win a bowl game.
Overall, Clemson’s 10 coaches have been involved in 67 bowl games, 22 during their playing days and 45 as coaches.
High School Teammates Reunite at Clemson
One of the secrets to recruiting success at Clemson the last couple of years has been to go back to fertile areas. There are nine different high schools represented on the Clemson 2000 roster with at least two players listed. There are 115 players, including walk-ons on Clemson’s roster and 24 of those come from those nine schools.
Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School in Orangeburg, SC has supplied Clemson with four players to lead the way. The former Orangeburg-Wilkinson players on the Clemson team include starting junior quarterback Woodrow Dantzler, sophomore wide receiver Jackie Robinson, freshman defensive back Kevin Johnson and freshman defensive back Ryan Hemby.
Four high schools, Stone Mountain (Georgia), Raines (Jacksonville, FL), Shanks (Quincy, FL) and Summerville (SC) all have three former players on the current Clemson team. The three players from Raines High School in Jacksonville, FL include top receiver Rod Gardner and starting cornerback Darrel Crutchfield. They compete against each other in practice eveyday and that competition has made Crutchfield a much improved player for 2000. Raines High also supplied Clemson with current NFL players Patrick Sapp (Indianpolis Colts) and Brian Dawkins (Philadelphia Eagles).
Active Clemson Players who were High School Teammates
School, (State): Players
Orangeburg-Wilkinson (SC): Woodrow Dantzler, Jackie RobinsonStone Mountain (GA): Robert Carswell, Gary Byrd, Matt BaileyRaines (Jacksonville, FL): Rod Gardner, Darrel Crutchfield, Kevin YoungbloodShanks (Quincy, FL): Willie Simmons, Ronnie Thomas, Charles HarperSummerville (SC): Bernard Rambert, Bo Charpia, Marcez MitchellPeach County (Fort Valley, GA): Kenzi Ross, Terry JollyDorman (Spartanburg, SC): Jamie Somaini, Russel StuermannS. Florence (Florence, SC): Justin Watts, Morgan Woodward
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