Sept. 30, 2002
Game Five: Clemson at Florida State
Thursday, October 3, 2002 7:45 PM (EST) Doak Campbell Stadium Tallahassee, FL
Television: ESPN Play By Play: Mike Tirico Color: Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso Sideline: Dr. Jerry Punch
Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports Properties Play By Play: Jim Phillips Color: Rodney Williams Sideline: Pete Yanity
Series History: Florida State leads 13-2
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Bowden Bowl IV As everyone knows, when Florida State’s Bobby Bowden and Clemson’s Tommy Bowden take the field Thursday evening to coach their respective teams, it will be the fourth competition of father and son head coaches in NCAA Division I history. The previous three occasions have taken place the last three years when the two teams met.
The first meeting in 1999 was a festive atmosphere at Clemson as a record 86,092 fans attended. In addition to the hype concerning a father coaching against a son for the first time, Bobby Bowden was going for his 300th career victory. He got it, but it was a struggle, as the Tigers fought the Seminoles to the wire before Florida State came away with a 17-14 victory. It was the closest victory for the Seminoles on the way to the 1999 National Championship. Clemson had two touchdowns to Florida State’s one.
Florida State won the second meeting in 2000 in Tallahassee by a 54-7 count. Clemson entered the game with an 8-1 record and #10 national ranking, while Florida State was ranked fourth in the nation. Clemson was coming off a heart-breaking 31-28 loss to Georgia Tech the previous week and that loss seemed to linger. Florida State gained 771 yards of total offense, most ever against a Clemson team, including 521 passing, also a high against a Clemson team.
Last year Clemson gained 463 yards of total offense against Florida State, its high total ever against the Seminoles, but still lost 41-27. The Tigers could not stop Chris Rix and the Florida State passing game as the Seminoles threw for 369 yards and gained 557 overall. Woody Dantzler had 336 yard of total offense, but it was not enough as the Seminoles won for the sixth straight time in Death Valley.
Bobby Bowden has enjoyed success against Clemson in Death Valley, regardless of the opposing coach. Father Bowden is 6-0 in Death Valley, the only opposing coach with a perfect record in the facility given a minimum of two games. He has beaten Clemson five times in a row in Death Valley as an ACC coach and also defeated Clemson 24-21 in the famous “Puntrooskie” game of 1988.
The Clemson vs. Florida State games the last three years are not the only times Bowdens have been on opposite sides of the field. In 1991, Auburn, with assistant coach Tommy Bowden, faced Southern Mississippi, with assistant coach Jeff Bowden. Southern Mississippi upset Auburn that day. Jeff Bowden will also be at the scene this year, as he is Florida State’s offensive coordinator.
Like Father, Like Son? Florida State’s record the two years prior to Bobby Bowden’s arrival was 4-18. Tulane’s record the two years prior to Tommy Bowden arrival was 4-18.
Bobby Bowden had Florida State in a bowl games and a top 15 final national ranking in his second year with the program. Tommy Bowden had Tulane and Clemson in a bowl game and a top 15 national ranking in his second year with each program.
This is Bobby Bowden’s 50th season in coaching. This is Tommy Bowden’s 25th year in coaching (graduate assistant, full time assistant or head coach).
Both Bowden’s had perfect seasons as head coaches in the 1990s. Bobby had an 11-0 season at Florida State in 1999 after Tommy had a perfect 11-0 regular season as head coach at Tulane.
Tommy Bowden has a better record than Bobby Bowden at the 62-game mark of his Division I coaching career. Bobby Bowden has a better record than Tommy at the 62-game mark of their respective head coaching careers, regardless of division.
Here is a comparison of the Bowdens at similar stages of their careers:
Tommy Bobby First 62 Games as a Head Coach43-19 (.694) 49-13 (.790) First 62 Games as a Division I Head Coach43-19 (.694) 37-25 (.596) First Five Full Seasons as D-I Head Coach40-18 (.690) 33-23 (.589) First 40 Games at Current School 25-15(.600) 29-11 (.725)
Clemson-Florida State Series Florida State holds a 13-2 advantage in the series with Clemson dating to a 38-13 Florida State win in Tallahassee in 1970. Both of Clemson’s wins in the series took place in Tallahassee, in 1976 by a 15-12 score and in 1989 by a 34-23 count. Florida State is 7-0 at Clemson and Clemson is 2-6 at Florida State. Florida State has won 10 in a row, and all 10 have taken place since the Seminoles joined the ACC. Virginia, NC State and North Carolina are the only league schools to beat Florida State since they joined the league for the 1992 season.
In four straight meetings between 1988 and 1993 both teams were ranked in the top 25. Both teams have been ranked in the top 25 of at least one poll in seven of the last 11 meetings, including 2001 when Clemson entered the game 24th in USA Today and Florida Sate was 14th in both polls. The polls for this week have not been released as of this writing.
The last time the two teams played in Tallahassee both were ranked in the top 10 of the AP, as Clemson was 10th and Florida State was fourth. That marked just the third time in ACC history that two league teams were ranked in the top 10 heading into a contest.
The three meetings between the two teams played between 1988 and 1992, were classics. In 1988, Florida State won at Clemson 24-21, thanks in part to the famous “puntrooskie play”, a 78-yard run on a fake punt by Leroy Butler, and a 76-yard punt return by Deion Sanders, the only time a Chris Gardocki punt was returned for a touchdown in his Clemson career.
In 1989, Clemson defeated a Florida State team that ended the season ranked third in the final AP poll by a 34-23 score. That was the only loss by Florida State at home against a non-Florida team in a 17-year period. A pair of 73-yard plays were pivotal for Clemson in that game. The late Wayne Simmons ran 73 yards with an interception and Terry Allen ran 73 yards from scrimmage in the second period to give Clemson a 28-7 lead. Florida State scored in the last minute to close the gap to 11 points. The last time Clemson defeated Florida State it was coming off a loss to Southern Mississippi, a team from conference USA.
In 1992, before over 84,000 fans and a nationally televised audience at Clemson, fifth-ranked Florida State defeated 15th-ranked Clemson 24-20 in Death Valley. Florida State scored the winning TD in the final two minutes of the contest behind the passing of Charlie Ward. Clemson did pick off four passes in the game, including one that James Trapp returned for a touchdown. Trapp is still playing in the NFL with Baltimore.
The 1997 game featured one of the greatest individual duals in the history of Death Valley. Tony Horne gained 267 all-purpose yards in the game, while Florida State’s Peter Warrick had 372 for the Seminoles, including a 90-yard punt return and an 80-yard pass reception. Horne’s all-purpose running total is the second highest in Clemson history, while Warrick’s total is the most ever against Clemson.
The 1999 game was certainly a series highlight as it was the first father-son coaching matchup in NCAA history. Florida State claimed a 17-14 victory behind the passing of Chris Weinke and went on to win the national championship. It was the closest game the Seminoles had all season.
Clemson vs. Florida State by Site Clemson has lost 10 straight games to Florida State. That is the bottom line, but a look inside the stats shows that Clemson has been much more competitive at home than in Tallahassee. Clemson has lost the five games at Clemson since the Seminoles joined the ACC by an average of nine points per game. The Tigers came within four points of victory in 1992 and within three points in 1999.
Clemson has not been close in games in Tallahassee since the Tigers won there in 1989, 34-23. The closest Clemson has come since 1989 is a 17-0 loss in 1994. The average score of the five games in Tallahassee is 42-2. The average total offense margin of the games in Tallahassee is 541-215. Florida State has scored 27 touchdowns to just one by Clemson in the last five games in Tallahassee.
Clemson-Florida State Connections There are many connections between Clemson and Florida State in terms of coaching staff:
Clemson wide receivers coach Rick Stockstill was FloridaState’s quarterback between 1979-81. He passed for 1356 yards as asenior in 1981 and was a two-year starter for FSU. He quarterbackedthe 1980 team to an Orange Bowl berth. Clemson Assistant Head Coachand tight ends coach Brad Scott served as offensive coordinator ofFlorida State’s National Championship team of 1993. He served as anassistant with the Florida State program from 1983-93. He wasoffensive coordinator from 1990-93. He has a master’s degree fromFlorida State in athletic administration, a degree he earned in1984. Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews served inthe same capacity for Clemson between 1976-80 and held theassistant head coach title under Danny Ford in 1980. Thus, whenClemson’s offense and Florida State’s defense are on the field, thecoordinators involved coached at both schools. Clemson Head CoachTommy Bowden was a graduate assistant at Florida State in 1978 and1979, then served as tight ends coach of the Seminoles in 1981 and1982. Clemson defensive backs coach Jack Hines was a graduateassistant at Florida State in 1985-86. He is married to RobynBowden, one of Bobby Bowden’s daughters. Hines played for Bowden atWest Virginia. Tommy Bowden brother Jeff Bowden is the offensivecoordinator for Florida State.
Last Year vs. Florida State Florida State 41, Clemson 27 at Clemson, SC Despite an impressive performance from the offense, Clemson could not overcome an early Florida State lead and a consistent passing attack that led to a 41-27 Seminole victory.
For the second consecutive year the Tigers were unable to contain the Florida State passing game as red-shirt freshman Chris Rix threw for 369 yards and four touchdowns. Javon Walker and Talman Gardner both recorded over 100 yards receiving and caught all four of Rix’s touchdown passes between them. Florida State had thrown for 521 yards against Clemson the previous season.
Clemson’s offensive performance nearly matched that of the Seminoles as the Tigers recorded 463 yards of total offense, the highest total Clemson has ever achieved against Florida State. Woodrow Dantzler had 336 yards of total offense, which was also the highest total in history by a Clemson player against the Seminoles.
After an early Tiger defensive stand, followed by a missed 35-yard field goal by Aaron Hunt, the Seminoles responded with an 11-play, 66-yard drive that ended with a 31-yard field goal by Xavier Beitia. Four plays later, a Dantzler pass was intercepted. Rix would capitalize two plays later, throwing a 47-yard touchdown pass to Javon Walker that gave Florida State a 10-0 lead.
On the first play of the second quarter, Rix threw a pass that was intercepted by Brian Mance, and Dantzler led the Tiger offense down the field on the ensuing drive that he capped off himself with a two-yard touchdown run. Five plays later, however, the arm of Chris Rix struck again, hitting Gardner for a 28-yard touchdown reception that extended the FSU lead to 10 points for the second time.
Beitia would add a 39-yard field goal on the Seminoles’ next drive, and with 2:09 remaining in the first half, Rix connected with Walker again for a 31-yard touchdown reception that gave Florida State a 20-point lead. Aaron Hunt field goal with two seconds remaining before halftime made the score 27-10 as the teams headed to the locker rooms.
Rix and the FSU offense got the ball to start the third quarter, and picked up right where they had left off in the first half. The Seminoles’ opening drive of the second half ended after Rix led the offense 80 yards on 10 plays, the final play being a four-yard touchdown pass from to Gardner. The Tigers responded with 1:54 remaining in the third quarter, when Dantzler carried the ball seven yards up the middle for a touchdown run that completed an 87-yard drive. On the drive, Dantzler gained 35 of his 59 total rushing yards for the game.
Following Brian Mance’s second interception of the game at the start of the fourth quarter, Dantzler and the Tiger offense responded with a 14-play, 64-yard drive that took 6:07 off the clock and resulted in a 32-yard field goal by Aaron Hunt. Clemson would never get any closer. With just over seven minutes to play in the game, Greg Jones took a Rix handoff and ran 51 yards off the right tackle for a touchdown, which flattened the Clemson momentum and all but sealed the Seminoles’ 10th consecutive victory over the Tigers. Clemson added a final touchdown with 3:43 left on a one-yard run by Bernard Rambert. The Tigers tried an on-side kick, but failed to recover and Florida State ran out the clock.
NOV. 3, 2001 AT CLEMSON, SC Florida State 10 17 7 7 – 41 Clemson 0 10 7 10 – 27 FSU – Beitia 31 FG, 1st, 3:49, 11-66 FSU – Walker 47 pass from Rix (Beitia kick), 1st, 2:07, 2-64 CU – Dantzler 2 run (Hunt kick), 2nd, 11:29, 9-56 FSU – Gardner 28 pass from Rix (Beitia kick), 2nd, 9:10, 5-71 FSU – Beitia 39 FG, 2nd, 4:14, 9-64 FSU – Walker 31 pass from Rix (Beitia kick), 2nd, 2:09, 2-59 CU – Hunt 22 FG, 2nd, 0:02, 10-75 FSU – Gardner 4 pass from Rix (Beitia kick), 3rd, 9:58, 10-80 CU – Dantzler 7 run (Hunt kick), 3rd, 1:54, 11-88 CU – Hunt 32 FG, 4th, 8:48, 14-64 FSU – Jones 51 run (Beitia kick), 4th, 7:17, 4-72 CU – Rambert 1 run (Hunt kick), 4th, 3:43, 11-79
Team Statistics CU FSU First Downs 26 27 Rushing 45-186 35-188 Passing 22-41-1 19-30-2 Passing Yards 277 369 Total Offense 86-463 65-557 Yards/Play 5.4 8.6 Return Yards 135 109 Fumbles-Lost 1-0 1-0 T otal Turnovers 1 2 Penalties 8-51 4-30 Interceptions 2-0 1-0 Punt Returns 1-11 2-13 Kickoff Returns 7-124 3-96 Punting 5-41.4 3-34.3 3rd Down Conversions 5-17 5-11 Sacks by Defense 2-18 4-27 Time of Possession 32:56 27:04
Rushing (Att-Yds-TD) CU – Rambert 11-67-1, Dantzler 22-59-2, Zachery 9-36, Hamilton 2-18, Jasmin 1-6 FSU – Jones 17-160-1, Rix 7-47, Shelton 2-4, Maddox 6-(-17) Passing (Com-Att-Yds-I-TD) CU – Dantzler 22-40-277-1-0 FSU – Rix 19-30-369-2-4 Receiving (Rec-Yds-TD) CU – Hamilton 7-88, Zachery 5-30, Currie 4-35, Crosby 2-45, Woodward 2-20, McKelvey 1-51, Rambert 1-8 FSU – Walker 6-162-2, Gardner 6-115-2, Bell 4-44, Thorpe 1-38, Sam 1-7, Maddox 1-3 Interceptions (No-Yds) CU – Mance 2-0 FSU – Tatum 1-0 Punt Returns (No-Yds) CU – Mance 1-11 FSU – Robinson 2-13 Kickoff Returns (No-Yds) CU – Mance 5-100, Reames 2-24 FSU – Thorpe 2-69, Sam 1-27 Clemson Defensive LeadersTackles – Leake 9, Thomas 9, Meekins 9, Carson 8, Hafley 7, Johnson 6, Bush 5, Vaughn 5, Eason 4 Sacks – Carson 1-12, Vaughn 1-6 Tackles for Loss – Leake 2-4, Carson 1-12, Vaughn 1-6, Thomas 1-5, Hafley 1-5, Eason 1-2, Fountain 1-1, Washington 1-1
Clemson’s Road Ranked Wins Clemson will have a chance to add to its list of road wins over ranked teams this Thursday evening at Florida State . The Seminoles are ranked 11th in the nation in both polls. Clemson has a graveyard at its entrance to the practice field and erects a tombstone to document each road win over a ranked team.
Clemson added to the site last year when it won at ninth-ranked Georgia Tech, 47-44 in overtime in one of the most exciting games in school history. That was the highest ranked team Clemson had beaten on the road in 20 years. Clemson’s highest ranked road win is beating a #8 North Carolina tam in 1981. Overall, Clemson has 17 wins over ranked teams on the road in its history.
Clemson had a chance to add to the list in the season opener, but dropped a 31-28 decision to eighth ranked Georgia.
Clemson Wins over Ranked Teams on the Road
Opponent Rk Score 1948 Wake Forest19th 21-14 1950 Wake Forest 17th 13-12 Miami (FL) 15th 15-14 1954Florida 14th 14-7 1959 North Carolina 12th 20-18 1977 Georgia 17th7-6 1978 Maryland 11th 28-24 1981 North Carolina 8th 10-8 1982Maryland 18th 24-22 1983 North Carolina 10th 16-3 1986 Georgia 14th31-28 1989 FloridaState 16th 34-23 1992 Virginia 10th 29-28 1994North Carolina @12th 28-17 1996 Virginia 15th 24-16 1997 NC State@25th 19-17 2001 GeorgiaTech 9th #47-44
@Coaches poll only #Overtime
Clemson’s Highest Ranked Wins A win for Clemson over 11th ranked Florida State would be one of the highest ranked wins in Clemson history, regardless of site. The highest ranked team Clemson has beaten in history is number-four. Clemson defeated a pair of fourth ranked teams in 1981, Clemson’s National Championship season. The win over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl was over a fourth ranked team, as was the regular season triumph over Georgia in Death Valley.
Regardless of site, Clemson has nine wins over top 10 teams in its history, three in Death Valley. Clemson has had 21 wins over top 25 teams since 1986 and has had at least one ranked win in 14 of the last 16 seasons. Tommy Bowden has defeated at least one ranked team each of his first three years at Clemson. The Tigers defeated Virginia, 33-14, in 1999 when the Cavs were ranked 19th (USA Today), then downed a 25th ranked South Carolina team in 2000. The Tigers then defeated 9th ranked Georgia Tech in Atlanta last year. Clemson is 0-1 vs. top 25 teams this year, a 31-28 loss at #8 Georgia
Clemson’s Top 10 Victories
Opponent Site Rk Score 1981 Georgia Clemson, SC 4 13-3 1981Nebraska Miami, FL 4 22-15 1959 Texas Christian Houston, TX 7 23-71981 North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC 8 10-8 2001 Georgia TechAtlanta, GA 9 #47-44 1967 NC State Clemson, SC 10 14-6 1983 NorthCarolina Clemson, SC 10 16-3 1988 Oklahoma Orlando, FL 10 13-6 1992Virginia Charlottesville, VA 10 29-28
Tigers From Florida Clemson has 16 players on its roster from the state of Florida. That list includes four players who are currently starters. That group includes starting quarterback Willie Simmons, a native of Quincy, FL who played at Shanks High School, which is very close to the Florida State campus. Charles Harper and Ronnie Thomas are two other natives of Shanks on the Clemson team this year.
The other three starters from Florida on the Clemson team are center Jermyn Chester, starting linebacker Eric Sampson and starting wide receiver Kevin Youngblood. Clemson has five players on its roster from Jacksonville, a city that has historically been good to Clemson. Two Clemson players in the NFL are from Jacksonville, Rod Gardner (Washington) and Brian Dawkins (Philadelphia).
Three of the players listed below, Gerald McCloud, Will Proctor and Buddy Williams, are freshmen who have not played this year and could be red-shirted. Clemson has two players from Tallahassee, Cliff Harrell and the aforementioned Williams.
Clemson Players From Florida
Pos Year City High School*Jermyn Chester C Jr. Titusville Titusville Ronny Delusme ROV So.Naples Lely David Dunham LB Fr. Lake City Columbia Jamaal Fudge CBFr. Jacksonville White Stephen Furr PK So. Lakeland LakelandCharles Harper FS Jr. Quincy Shanks Cliff Harrell FB Fr.Tallahassee N. Florida Christian Gerald McCloud WR Fr. JacksonvilleArlington Country Day Tavaghn Monts ROV So. Jacksonville RibaultWill Proctor QB Fr. WinterPark TrinityPrep *Eric Sampson LB So.Jacksonville White *Willie Simmons QB Gr. Quincy Shanks RonnieThomas WR So. Quincy Shanks Buddy Williams CB Fr. TallahasseeLincoln Bobby Williamson TE Fr. TarponSprings East Lake *KevinYoungblood WR Jr. Jacksonville Raines
Clemson vs. Ball State, Don’t Blink Clemson and Ball State played their game on September 21 in just two hours and 33 minutes. That was the quickest Clemson football game since 1994 when Clemson defeated Furman 33-0 in just two hours and 28 minutes. The quickest Clemson game on record took just two hours and five minutes. That contest took place in 1977 when Clemson defeated Georgia in Athens, 7-6. That afternoon, a game that was not televised, the two teams combined to throw just 23 passes.
Clemson Home Games Draw 6.7 Times the Population You could make the statement Clemson is the most rabid football town in Division I. The data used compares average stadium attendance to city population. Last year Clemson ranked 15th in the nation in attendance average with an 80,152 figure. The town of Clemson has a population of just 11,939. That means Clemson’s average football attendance in 2001 was 6.7 times the population of the city.
A look to the 2001 attendance figures and the most recent city population totals shows that only six Division I schools had a higher average attendance than the city population:
School City 2001 Attend PopRatio 1. Clemson Clemson, SC 80,152 11,939 6.71 2. PennStateStateCollege, PA 107,576 38,420 2.80 3. Auburn Auburn, AL 85,44942,987 1.99 4. Virginia Charlottesville, VA 56,283 40,002 1.41 5.Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA 50,762 39,573 1.28 6. Iowa IowaCity,IA 64,665 62,220 1.04
Walk-ons Making a Contribution Clemson has 83 players on scholarship this year, but some walk-ons have made a contribution to the Clemson offense. Wide receiver Tommy Sharpe have both started a game already this year and walk-on Stephen Furr has done a solid job on kickoffs.
Elliott has six catches for 120 yards, a team best 20.0 yards per reception. Elliott led Clemson in receiving yards against Georgia Tech with 85 on three catches. He played just 10 plays in that game as a replacement for Derrick Hamilton and his performance included a key 44-yard touchdown reception. Elliott had just one catch in his first three years, but has four receptions of at least 20 yards so far this year, the high figure on the Clemson team when it comes to receptions of 20 yards or more.
Sharpe is the second team center behind Jermyn Chester, but has played 94 snaps in the first four games, including a career high 54 in the win over Georgia Tech. Sharpe started that game and was a key to Clemson gaining 320 yards in the first 35 minutes of the contest.
Furr has kicked off 14 times in the first four games and has three touchbacks. Eight times he has forced the opposition to start its drive inside the 21-yard-line. He is a big reason Clemson leads the ACC in kickoff coverage, allowing just 17 yards per return.
A fourth original walk-on is defensive back Toure Francis. The junior from Columbia won a starting cornerback job in the preseason, but tore an ACL on the 12th play of the Georgia game. He is out for the remainder of the season, but is expected to return next season.
Washington-Jones High School Teammates One of the most interesting and physical match-ups in the Clemson vs. Florida State game on Thursday will take place when Florida State is on offense. The Seminoles feature a ground attack led by Greg Jones, a junior running back from Beaufort, SC and Battery Creek High School. Jones was a key to the Florida State victory last year with a then career high 160 yards in 17 attempts, including a 51-yard touchdown run that clinched the victory for the Seminoles.
One of the players who will be charged with limiting Jones’s rushing yardage with be Clemson defensive tackle Donnell Washington. Washington is a red-shirt sophomore from Beaufort, SC and Battery Creek High School. Both Washington and Jones were in the same high school class and will now battle against each other when the Seminoles are on offense.
Washington led all Clemson freshmen in tackles last year with 44, including eight tackles for loss and four sacks. So far this season he has 20 tackles in four games, tied for fifth on the Clemson team and second among Clemson defensive linemen.
Running Game Key to Success under Bowden How important is the running game to Clemson under Tommy Bowden? The Tigers are 16-1 under Bowden when the Tigers rush for at least 200 yards. That stat was enhanced in the most recent game when the Tigers gained 203 rushing in the victory over Ball State.
Clemson has won 13 straight when rushing for at least 200 yards dating to the 1999 Georgia Tech game when the Tigers rushed for 231 yards, yet lost the contest, 45-42.
Clemson is 23-4 under Bowden when the Tigers win the rushing yardage stat. That includes a perfect 3-0 record this year. Clemson is also 14-3 under Bowden when it has a 100-yard rusher. Clemson is yet to have a 100-yard rusher this year, but has come close with Yusef Kelly gaining 97 and 99 yards rushing in two games this year.
200 of Each Means Clemson Victory Balance is obviously a hallmark of any successful offense. That has been the case for Clemson over the years and under Tommy Bowden. In its 1025-game history, Clemson has a 39-0-1 record when it has at least 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing in the same game. The undefeated streak continued in Clemson’s most recent game when the Tigers had 209 passing and 203 rushing in the 30-7 win over Ball State.
That marked the 13th time in Tommy Bowden 40 games as Clemson coach that the Tigers had at least 200 of each. Clemson did it just 27 times in 985 games prior to his arrival. The only time Clemson did not win when it gained at least 200 of each was at Georgia Tech in 1976 when the two teams played to a 24-24 tie.
McKelvey/Youngblood One-two Receiving Punch Clemson receivers Kevin Youngblood have become quite a one-two punch among Clemson receivers so far this year. Both are ranked in the top six in the ACC in receptions per game. The tall duo has combined for 39 receptions in four games, nearly 10 catches per game, for 381 yards. Both players give quarterback Willie Simmons a big target, as McKelvey is 6-4 and Youngblood a 6-5 player.
Both have had career high performances of 10 catches in a game this year, the high reception total for an ACC player this year. This is the first time in Clemson history that two players on the same team have had at least 10 receptions in a game. They are just the seventh and eighth players in Clemson history to catch 10 passes in a single game.
McKelvey had 10 catches for 123 yards and a score in the win over Ball State on the 21st of September. Youngblood had his breakout game against Louisiana Tech with 10 catches for 85 yards. Both are in the top 10 in the ACC in receptions per game. Youngblood is among the top 30 in the nation on a per game basis.
The list of other Clemson receivers who have accumulated at least 10 catches in a game includes current Washington Redskins firs-round pick Rod Gardner, who did it three times, Tony Horne, who was a Super Bowl Champion with the St. Louis Rams three years ago, Perry Tuttle, a first-round pick off of Clemson’s National Championship team of 1981, and Charlie Waters, one of the all-time greats in Dallas Cowboys history as a defensive back. It is interesting to note that five of the 12 double figure reception games in Clemson history have come under Tommy Bowden.
Top Pass Reception Games in Clemson History
Yds Player Site-Opponent Year11 129 Phil Rogers A-North Carolina 1965 11 111 Rod GardnerH-Marshall 1999 10 123 J.J. McKelvey H-Ball State 2002 10 85 KevinYoungblood H-Louisiana Tech 2002 10 110 Tony Horne H-AppalachianState 1997 10 131 Tony Horne H-FloridaState 1997 10 148 Hank WalkerH-Auburn 1947 10 144 Charlie Waters H-Alabama 1969 10 124 PerryTuttle A-Wake Forest 1980 10 151 Perry Tuttle H-Maryland 1981 10122 Rod Gardner H-Duke 1999 10 137 Rod Gardner H-NCState 2000
Clemson On Thursday Night This will be the first of two games on Thursday night for Clemson this year. In addition to the game at Florida State on October 3, Clemson will play host to NC State on October 24. Playing on Thursday is not new for Clemson historically. Clemson and South Carolina used to play on “Big Thursday” each year between 1909 and 1959. The game was played the Thursday of State Fair week in Columbia.
Clemson has played 118 games on Thursday in its history and the Tigers are 52-56-10 overall on that day. Clemson is 487-313-30 on Saturdays in history, a 60 percent winning mark. Clemson has played on every day of the week, as you can see by the chart below:
Record Pct. Sunday 1-0 1.000 Monday 7-7 .500Tuesday 1-2 .333 Wednesday 7-3 .700 Thursday 52-56-10 .483 Friday26-18-5 .582 Saturday 487-313-30 .603 Totals 581-399-45 .588
Clemson at Night Clemson has a 46-45-3 record in night games in its history. But, the Tigers are just 5-18 in their last 23 night games, all since 1995. Clemson has won just three of its last 18 night games that have been shown on ESPN dating to the 1996 season. Clemson’s only night game wins on ESPN during that time were at North Carolina in 2000, a win over South Carolina at home in 1998 and a win at South Carolina in 1997.
Tommy Bowden has struggled in night games as Clemson’s head coach as the Tigers are just 2-8 at night since he became head coach in 1999. In 1999 Clemson was 6-1 in day games and 0-5 in night games, including a Thursday night loss at Virginia Tech.
This will be Clemson’s third game on the ESPN Thursday night package. Clemson lost at home to Georgia Tech, 24-21 in 1998 and lost at Virginia Tech in 1999, 31-11.
Four Appearances on ESPN for Tigers The Clemson vs. Florida State game will be the third of at least four appearances for the Tigers on ESPN during the regular season. This will be the most live regular season appearances on ESPN for Clemson. Clemson’s season opener was also on the network, a 31-28 loss at Georgia. This Thursday night’s game will be broadcast by the team of Mike Tirico, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Dr. Jerry Punch.
Clemson has been on ESPN four times in a season in 1989, 1997 and 1999, but each of those seasons included a bowl game appearance on the world’s top sports network. Clemson was 4-0 in games on ESPN in 1989, 1-3 in 1997 and 0-4 in 1999.
Clemson is 14-22 in live broadcasts on ESPN over the years, but has won two of its last three. Clemson concluded the 2001 season with a win over Louisiana Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl, a game that was shown on ESPN. Clemson has played 24 games on a tape-delayed basis on ESPN, all between 1979 and 1984. Clemson was 15-8-1 in those games. Thus, Clemson’s all-time record on ESPN is 29-30-1 lifetime.
In addition to the three games mentioned above, the Clemson vs. NC State game (Oct. 24) will be part of the ESPN Thursday night package.
Clemson Veterans vs. Florida State
Altroy Bodrick (LB)-has played two games, one as a starteragainst Florida State. Played career high 91 snaps in the 17-14 FSUwin in 1999, he had seven tackles and his first career sack in thatgame. Played 30 snaps and had four tackles, including a tackle forloss in the 2000 game in Tallahassee. Sat out last year with a tornACL. Airese Currie (WR)-had four catches for 35 yards and played 41snaps against Florida State last year in the game at Clemson. NickEason (DT)-Has played in three games, two as a starter againstFlorida State. Played 31 snaps as a freshman in 1999 and had twotackles,, including a 14-yard sack in the 2000 game and fourtackles in 48 snaps as a starter last year. Rodney Feaster (LB)-hadtwo tackles in 16 plays as a reserve last year vs. Florida State.Mo Fountain (DT)-Played 18 snaps and had two tackles, one for minusyardage against Florida State as a first-year freshman in 2001.Derrick Hamilton (WR)-Had seven catches for 88 yards in 78 plays asa freshman against Florida State last year. Leroy Hill (LB)-had twotackles in 13 snaps as a reserve against Florida State in 2001.Aaron Hunt (PK)-Made 2-3 field goals and 3-3 extra points againstFlorida State in 2001. Was 1-1 on PATs and did not attempt a fieldgoal in the 2000 game in Tallahassee. Kevin Johnson (CB)-Had sixtackles and two pass deflections in 50 snaps as a starter in lastyear’s game at Clemson. Wynn Kopp (P)-Had a 41.4 yard average onfive punts in the 2001 game at Clemson. Allowed just one puntreturn for 13 yards. John Leake (LB)-Had nine tackles, includingtwo for loss in 51 plays as a starter in 2001 game. Brian Mance(CB)-Has played three games against Florida State. Has 16 tackles,two interceptions and a pass deflection in the three gamescombined. Has nine kickoff returns for 206 yards in his career andtwo punt returns for 56 yards. J.J. McKelvey (WR)-Had one catch for51 yards in the 2001 game at Clemson. Bryant McNeal (DE)-Has hadexactly one tackle in each of the last three Clemson vs. FloridaState games. Started just the 2001 game at Clemson. Eric Meekins(DB)-Had nine tackles in 48 plays in the 2001 game at Clemson.Bernard Rambert (RB)-Has played two games against Florida State andhas 14 carries for 73 yards, including 11-67 and a touchdown lastyear. Willie Simmons (QB)-Played 34 snaps at Florida State in 2000and completed 7-16 passes for 72 yards. Rodney Thomas (LB)-Had ninetackles and three quarterback pressures in 52 snaps against FloridaState in 2001. Khaleed Vaughn (DE)-Has 10 tackles, five in each ofthe last two games against Florida State. Had a six-yard sack inlast year’s game at Clemson. Donnell Washington (DT)-Had twotackles in 29 plays as a reserve as a freshman in 2001.
Returning Red-shirts Have Made a Difference Three players who have had a positive impact on Clemson’s 2002 season are Kevin Youngblood. All three red-shirted the 2001 season, but have come back strong this year.
Kelly is Clemson’s leading rusher this season with 302 net yards, an average of 75.5 yards per game. He has averaged 95 yards a game over the last three contests and has nine of Clemson’s 21 rushes of 10 yards or more this season. He leads the team in touchdowns with five and is second in scoring with 30 points. Kelly sat out last year to red-shirt and was not injured.
Youngblood is the team’s top receiver with 22 catches for 178 yards and a score. He is leading the ACC in receptions per game with 5.5. No Clemson receiver has led the league in that area since 1980 when Perry Tuttle paced the conference. Youngblood missed last year with a broken leg.
Bodrick has started all four games so far this year at the roverback position, a hybrid free safety and linebacker. He has 17 tackles to rank ninth on the team and also has two tackles for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery. Bodrick missed all of last year with a torn ACL.
Clemson Offense Showing Improvement Clemson’s offense has improved its total offense level each of the last three games. That is the first time Clemson has shown improvement in this area in three straight games since the first four games of the 1996 season. Clemson began the year with 233 yards (outgaining Georgia by 30), then accumulated 336 against Louisiana Tech, 371 against Georgia Tech and 412 in the win over Ball State.
One of the reasons for the improvement has been the play of quarterback Willie Simmons. The graduate student from Quincy, FL has seen his passing efficiency improve three straight games. He completed just 45.9 percent of his passes against Georgia, but since then has completed 60-99, a 61 percent mark. He has thrown just two interceptions in his last 100 passes and is coming off a career best 68 percent completion mark against Ball State.
Hamilton All-Purpose Performer The statistic all-purpose running was made for Derrick Hamilton. The sophomore from Dillon, SC has averaged 148.5 all-purpose running yards this year and has been especially effective in the last two games. He had 256 all-purpose yard against Georgia Tech on September 14, then followed that with 160 yards against Ball State. He did not have more than 55 yards in any one category against Ball State, but still finished with the impressive all-around total.
For the year, Hamilton has 151 yards rushing, second on the Clemson team, has 88 yards receiving, third on the Clemson team, has 216 yards in kickoff returns and 139 yards on punt returns. He leads the Clemson team in both return areas. Last year Hamilton finished third in the nation in kickoff return average and was the ACC champion in that category.
His current average of 148.5 yards per game is 22nd in the nation and exactly the same as the Clemson record for the course of a season. Tony Horne averaged 148.5 all-purpose yards per game in 1997.
Top All-Purpose Running Games in Clemson History
Player Opponent Year RushRec KOR PR 274 Terrence Flagler Wake Forest1986 209 65 – – 267 Tony Horne Florida State 1997 – 131 109 27 263Raymond Priester Duke 1995 263 – – – 260 Cliff Austin Duke 1982 260- – – 256 Derrick Hamilton Georgia Tech 2002 97 22 41 96 254 DonKing Fordham 1952 234 – 20 – 252 Ken Callicutt South Carolina 1974197 55 – – 246 Buck George Presbyterian 1952 204 42 – – 242 RonaldWilliams Virginia 1991 185 57 – –
Sampson Interception Ends Georgia Tech Threat Clemson sophomore Eric Sampson intercepted a Georgia Tech pass at the Clemson 16 with just 1:12 left and returned the theft 35 yards to ice the 24-19 victory for the Tigers in Death Valley on September 14th. Clemson then ran out the remaining time to clinch the victory.
Sampson’s interception marked the first time since 1993 that a Clemson player came up with a turnover inside Clemson territory within the last two minutes with Clemson leading by seven points or less. In other words it was the first time in nine years that a defensive player made a game saving turnover with two minutes or less left.
The last time it happened was in 1993 at Duke when Dexter McCleon, now with the St. Louis Rams, intercepted a Duke pass at the Clemson eight-yard line with just three seconds remaining. Clemson held on for a 13-10 victory. That was actually the second straight week a defensive player made a game saving play late in the contest. The previous week, October 2, 1993, linebacker Tim Jones broke up an NC State pass in the endzone with :00 on the clock to give Clemson the victory. The Pack snapped the ball from the Clemson 12 on that down.
Clemson fans have suffered through some close last second losses in recent years. Seven times since 1997 the opposition has driven for a winning field goal or touchdown with inside two minutes left in the game. That included last year in the third game of the season when Virginia scored with just one second left to defeat the Tigers 26-24. It also had included the last two times Georgia Tech had come to Clemson. They scored a touchdown with a minute left to defeat Clemson 24-21 in 1998 and scored a touchdown with seven seconds left in 2000 to defeat a third ranked Clemson team, 31-28.
Sampson has started every game this year and has been a big contributor. He has 16 tackles, including a sack in his 241 snaps from scrimmage. He had nine of those tackles in the opener at Georgia, the second highest total for the Tigers in that game.
Eason Has Big Day Against Georgia Tech Nick Eason had a lot to do with Clemson’s victory over Georgia Tech. The graduate student had two sacks in the victory. He was a big reason Tech quarterback A.J. Suggs had -50 yards rushing in the game. Eason had six tackles and two quarterback pressures.
It marked the first time in Eason’s career that he had two sacks and three tackles for loss in the same game. He now has 25 career tackles for loss, first among active Clemson players. Clemson’s defense had five sacks against Georgia Tech and continually forced pressure on A.J. Suggs. Clemson allowed just 303 yards of total offense and the Tigers now allow 266 yards per game for the season. That is an improvement of nearly 130 yards per game over last year.
Eason was injured late in the Ball State game with a knee sprain. His status for the Florida State game is listed as doubtful at this point.
Miller Shows All-Around Abilities Freshman defensive back Justin Miller had a reception and an interception against Louisiana Tech, an example of his fine all-around abilities. The first-year player had a nine-yard reception in the first half and an interception in the endzone at a key juncture of the second half to thwart a Bulldog drive. He was named ACC Rookie of the Week for his performance against the Bulldogs.
It marked the first time since 1964 that a Clemson player had an interception and a reception in the same game. Pat Crain was the last to do it as he had a 15-yard interception return and a reception against Virginia on Halloween of 1964. It should be noted that players went both ways in those days, so Miller was the first to do it in the two-platoon era. Miller also had three tackles in the game and played 29 snaps. With the season ending injury to starter Toure Francis, Miller will get a lot of action this season.
Miller was named to the ESPN.com all-first year freshman team for September. He was joined in the secondary by J.J. Billingsley of Colorado, O.C. Collins of Memphis and Matt Fawley of Arizona State. Other ACC players named were D’Quell Jackson of Maryland (LB), Darryl Blackstock of Virginia (LB), Kwakou Robinson of Virginia (DL), T.A. McLendon of NC State (RB), and D’Brickashaw Ferguson of Virginia (OL).
Miller is tied for the team lead in interceptions with two and has 24 return yards in the process. He has 12 tackles for the year, including a four on special teams, tied for second on the team.
Youngblood Ranked in Top 35 in Nation Kevin Youngblood has already exceeded the reception total of his freshman season with his 22 catches in four games this year. The junior from Jacksonville, FL missed all of last year with a broken leg, but has started fast in 2002. He has led Clemson in total receptions in three of the four games so far this season.
Youngblood had six catches for 66 yards at Georgia to establish a career high in terms of receptions. He also caught a 21-yard scoring strike from quarterback Willie Simmons. He then trumped that with 10 receptions for 89 yards in the win over Louisiana Tech. He leads the ACC and is 34th in the nation in receptions entering the Florida State game.
No Clemson player has led the ACC in receptions per game over the course of the season since 1980 when Perry Tuttle led the league. The only other Clemson player to be the receptions champion for a season is Jerry Butler in 1978.
Youngblood had a promising freshman year (2000) as an understudy to first-round draft choice and former high school teammate Rod Gardner. Youngblood was to replace Gardner’s big plays last year until he suffered the injury.
Gardner was in attendance on the Clemson sideline in Athens as he took a day off as he prepares for his second year with the Washington Redskins. Perhaps his presence brought out the best in Youngblood, whose previous career high was just two catches in a game four times in 2000. Youngblood had 13 catches for 225 yards as a freshman, a 17.3 average.
Kelly Leads Ground Game Yusef Kelly (formerly Keith Kelly his first two years at Clemson) had a career high 99 yards rushing in the win over Ball State. He has now led Clemson in rushing each of the last three games. He had 25 attempts for 97 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Louisiana Tech. Kelly now has five touchdowns for the year to exceed his previous career high and ranks in the top 30 in the nation in scoring.
Kelly’s 97 yards against Louisiana Tech broke his previous career high of 93 yards against Wake Forest in 2000. He then broke that mark against Ball State. Kelly sat out last year as a red-shirt. He got his chance in the lineup when Bernard Rambert was in street clothes due tendonitis in a foot. He added 20 carries for 89 yards last week in the win over Georgia Tech. He showed his durability as 57 of his 89 yards came in the fourth quarter of that key ACC win.
Hunt Records Career Best Game Aaron Hunt established a career best for field goals in a game with four in the win over Louisiana Tech. The junior from Tennessee was 4-4 in the game and scored 15 of Clemson’s 33 points. He became the first Clemson player to record four field goals in a game since 1998 when David Richardson had four in the season opener. Hunt’s day included a 47-yard field goal, second longest boot of his career.
Hunt had field goals of 47, 22, 37 and 38 yards, distances that total to 144 yards. That was the seventh most yards on made field goals in a single game in Clemson history. Hunt was 10-12 last year on field goals and is now 6-9 this year. He ranks 20th in the nation in field goals/ game.
Hunt has already moved into the top 10 in Clemson history in scoring. The junior has 102 extra points and 26 field goals for 180 total points. He needs 13 points to move ahead of Fred Cone and Lester Brown.
Clemson all-time Scoring List
Name Pos Years TD PATFG Pts 1. Nelson Welch PK 1991-94 0 85-92 72-102 3012. Travis Zachery RB 1998-01 50 300 3. Obed Ariri PK 1977-80 099-103 63-97 288 4. Chris Gardocki PK 1988-90 0 72-72 63-89 261 5.David Treadwell PK 1985-87 0 92-93 47-66 233 6. Bob Paulling PK1979-83 0 107-109 23-41 209 7. Lester Brown RB 1976-79 32 192 8.Fred Cone RB 1948-50 31 3-4 189 9. Aaron Hunt PK 2000-02 0 102-10626-37 180 10. Ray Matthews RB 1947-50 28 168 Terry Allen RB 1987-8928 168 Kenny Flowers FB 1983-86 28 168
Simmons Establishes Career Highs Clemson quarterback Willie Simmons completed 25 of 43 passes for 242 yards in the win over Louisiana Tech. Simmons did a good job of taking what the Bulldog defense gave him and completed passes to 10 different receivers. That was a career high in terms of completions, attempts and passing yards for Simmons, who was making his first start in Death Valley and just his second start anywhere.
Simmons set a school record for pass completions and attempts by an individual in a Clemson victory. The Clemson team threw 44 passes in the game and it was just the second time Clemson had thrown 40 or more passes in a game and gained victory in the process. Clemson was 1-16 prior to the Louisiana Tech game when throwing at least 40 passes. The only other victory came at Wake Forest in 1999.
Simmons 25 completions rank in a tie for fourth in Clemson history for a single game. The record is 27 set by Brandon Streeter against NC State in 1998 and at Virginia Tech in 1999. Simmons 43 attempts was tied for fifth highest, most ever in a Clemson victory. It was the most pass attempts by an individual without an interception in school history.
Simmons had another solid game against Georgia Tech, connecting on 18-31 passes for 176 yards and two scores. He now has 77 completions in the first four games, the highest figure in Clemson history for the first four games of the season. His efficiency has increased every game this season.
Leake Leads Defense The top returning tackler on the Clemson defense is junior John Leake and he has led the team so far this year with 52 tackles. He is tied for the lead in the ACC with 13.0 tackles per game. He has had at least 10 tackles in every game this year, including 17 in the win over Louisiana Tech. The native of Plano, TX had 134 tackles last year, an increase of 125 stops over his freshman year. Leake never played a snap on defense as a freshman, then played 687 last year when he ranked second for the course of the season behind the now graduated Chad Carson.
Leake’s quickness in the middle of the Clemson point prevention unit has been a big reason Clemson has limited teams to but 3.9 yards per play and just nine yards per pass reception. Leake is ranked 23rd in the nation among linebackers by The Sporting News in its preseason publication. He ranked 11th in the ACC in tackles per game last year and led the team in tackles in five of the 12 games. He had a season high 19 tackles in the win over Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
Leake has football in his blood. His father played for Wyoming as a wide receiver in the 1960s. He opened the 2002 season with a strong game, as he had eight tackles to rank second on the team. He also led the team with a pair of tackles for loss and had much to do with Clemson’s ability to hold Georgia to but 203 yards of total offense.
Byrd Leads Offensive Line Gary Byrd is the leader of Clemson’s offensive line. With the injury to Derrick Brantley, a veteran of eight career starts, the leadership burden is even heavier for Byrd. A graduate student from Stone Mountain, GA, Byrd has started two bowl games at Clemson, the 2001 Gator Bowl against Virginia Tech and the 2001 Humanitarian Bowl against Louisiana Tech. He is a veteran of over 1300 career plays and has been a common denominator on two of the most productive offenses in Clemson history.
Byrd has played well so far this year. In the win over Louisiana Tech he had an 85 percent total performance grade, including an 80 percent technique grade from Clemson line coach Ron West. He led the Tigers in knockdown blocks in the game with 11 and was a big reason Clemson scored 33 points in the contest. He had six knockdowns in the season opener against Georgia.
Byrd leads a young offensive line. Center Jermyn Chester has three starts this year and four for his career. William Henry made his first career start against Georgia Tech, then started against Ball State, while guard Greg Walker has just four career starts.
Clemson’s Defense, You Gotta Lovett Clemson continued to show improvement on defense in its 24-19 victory over Georgia Tech. The Tigers held the Yellow Jackets to 303 yards of total offense and just 102 yards rushing. Seventy-two of those yards came on one rushing play.
When the Tigers face the Seminoles it will be a matchup of the ACC’s top defense against the ACC’s top offense. Clemson is 9th in the nation in total defense, while Florida State is 10th in total offense. Clemson is also eighth in rushing defense, while Florida State is 20th in rushing offense.
Clemson allowed just 293 yards of total offense to the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs the previous week, the second straight game the opposition has failed to reach the 300-yard mark. Clemson had allowed the opposition at least 300 yards in 17 straight games heading into the 2002 season.
Clemson has now given up just 1019 yards of total offense in four games, an average of 254.8 yards per game. Clemson allowed 395 yards a game last year, so it is easy to see the 254.8 figure for the first four games this year is considerably better. Clemson has allowed just 3.9 yards per play, much improved from the 5.3 allowed per play a year ago.
Many of the times the opposition has scored it has been the result of difficult field position after a turnover or a long kick return. Over the first four games the opposition has taken possession of the ball at their own 38 or worse 38 times. They have driven for a touchdown just four times in those 38 possessions. The defense had a streak of 18 straight possessions without yielding a touchdown in that situation broken in the Georgia Tech game.
Forcing turnovers has also been a plus. Clemson has forced 13 turnovers in four games and turned those miscues into 41 points. Clemson has outscored the opposition in points off turnovers 41-10 for the season. It took Clemson nine games to reach 13 forced turnovers a year ago. Clemson has a +5 turnover margin through four games, a reversal of the -5 turnover margin Clemson had last year. Clemson is currently 23rd in the nation in turnover margin at +1.0 per game.
What is especially encouraging to Clemson coaches is that Clemson has achieved these numbers against teams that are solid on offense. Georgia has eight offensive starters returning from a team that averaged 432 yards a game last year, but got just 203 yards against Clemson. Louisiana Tech averaged over 400 yards and 30 points a game last year, but got just 13 points and 293 yards against Clemson. Georgia Tech also has a bright offensive outlook and averages 380 yards a game.
Clemson Defense Comparison
2001 Avg. 2002 First Downs/Game Allowed 21.916.0 Total Yards/Game Allowed 394.9 254.8 Rushing Yards/GameAllowed 154.3 87.5 Passing Yards/Game Allowed 240.6 167.3Yards/Play Allowed 5.3 3.9 Yards/Reception Allowed 13.4 9.0Yards/rush Allowed 3.8 2.6 Turnovers Forced 1.58 3.3
John Lovett New Clemson Defensive Coordinator John Lovett, defensive coordinator at Auburn for the last three seasons, was named Defensive Coordinator at Clemson last spring. Lovett has been an assistant coach at the college level for 23 years, including 13 seasons as a defensive coordinator. He has experience working with all levels of the defense, but has spent most of his seasons in the game coaching the secondary and outside linebacker position. Lovett is coaching the secondary at Clemson. Jack Hines, who coached the secondary at Clemson the last three years, has moved to the linebackers.
Lovett helped Auburn to bowl games each of the last two years. His 2000 defense ranked 14th in the nation in total defense and 15th in rushing defense, helping the Tigers to a 9-4 record and a berth in the Citrus Bowl against Michigan. Auburn won the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference that season.
In 2001, his defense had a lot to do with Auburn’s berth in the Peach Bowl. One of Auburn’s victories was a 23-20 triumph over then #1 ranked Florida. Lovett’s defense held Florida to 20 points, -36 yards rushing and 328 yards of total offense, season lows in all three categories for Steve Spurrier’s team that finished the season ranked third in the nation. The Tigers also forced five turnovers in the game, including four interceptions of passes thrown by Heisman Trophy finalist Rex Grossman. Lovett’s defense also held Georgia’s high-powered attack to but 17 points in a 24-17 Auburn triumph.
The 51-year-old coach, who was born in Nyack, NY, worked under Tommy Tuberville, the last seven years, four at Mississippi (1995-98) and three at Auburn (1999-01). He coached the secondary all four years he was at Mississippi, including the 1997 season when the Rebels had an 8-4 record, including a victory in the Ford Motor City Bowl.
Prior to coming to Mississippi in 1995, Lovett worked as defensive coordinator at the University of Maine for two stints. He first went to Orono in 1985 and served as defensive coordinator and secondary coach from 1985-88. He also served as defensive coordinator for the Black Bears in 1994. The 1987 team won the conference championship and qualified for the Division I-AA playoffs.
Clemson Has More ACC Wins than Any Other School Clemson was a charter member of the ACC in 1953 and the Tigers began their 50th ACC season on a high note with a 24-19 victory. Clemson has a record of 194-104-6 in conference play for its previous 49 seasons plus one game, a winning percentage of .647. Clemson’s 194 victories are first among all conference teams in league games, 15 more than second place North Carolina, who has won 55 percent of its league games.
Maryland is third with 168, while NC State is fourth at 166. Clemson has a winning record against every other ACC team since the league began with the exception of Florida State. Clemson also leads the ACC in conference championships with 13. Florida State and Maryland are tied for second with nine (this includes co-championships). NC State and Duke are tied for fourth with seven wins apiece. Every current league member has won the league title at least once.
Losing First Game Not Always a Bad Sign Clemson lost its season opener at Georgia on August 31, but losing the opener is not always a bad sign for the Tigers. In fact, the last five times Clemson has lost its season opener, the Tigers have gone on to a bowl game or won at least nine games. Clemson has won three in a row since losing the season opener. In 1999, Tommy Bowden first year, Clemson lost the opener to Marshall, but finished with a 6-6 record and a Peach Bowl bid. That Clemson team played the 10th toughest schedule in the nation that year and four of the six losses were to teams who finished the year ranked in the top 15 in the nation.
Clemson lost the season opener to North Carolina in 1996, 45-0, but came back to finish 7-4 in the regular season and played in the Peach Bowl. Clemson lost the opener at home in 1986 to Virginia Tech, then lost just one more game the rest of the year on the way to a Gator Bowl bid and a top 20 season. The Tigers lost the opener of 1982 at Georgia, 13-7, then went the rest of the year without a loss, finishing 9-1-1. Clemson was on probation that year and could not go to a bowl. The 1977 team lost the opener to 10th ranked Maryland, then finished 8-4 with its first bowl bid in 18 years.
Clemson Faces Tough Schedule in 2002 In many ways this will be Clemson’s most difficult schedule. The 2002 Tigers have nine games against teams who had winning records last year and eight of the 2002 opponents played in bowl games last year. Nationally, Clemson is tied for third in number of games against teams who had winning records in 2001 and tied for fourth in number of 2001 bowl opponents on the 2002 schedule. Clemson has had some difficult schedules under Tommy Bowden. The 1999 schedule is listed as the 10th toughest in the nation according to the 2002 NCAA Record Book. In 2001, Clemson had five wins over teams with winning records, one off the Clemson single season record.
Most Difficult Schedules of 2002
Based on 2002 Opponents Who Played in 2001 Bowls
Team 2002 Games 2001 Bowl Opp 1.Florida State 13 9 Notre Dame 12 9 Virginia 13 9 4. Clemson 12 8Duke 12 8 Iowa State 13 8 Missouri 12 8 Texas 12 8 Wake Forest 12 8
Based on 2002 Opponents who had 2001 Winning Record
Team 2002 Games Winning Opp 1. FloridaState 13 10 Virginia 13 10 3. Clemson 12 9 Alabama 12 9 Duke 12 9Florida 12 9
Clemson has Eight Graduates on Roster The 2002 Clemson team has already broken a school record and the kickoff of the season opener has not even taken place. This year’s team has eight graduates on its roster, a record for a Clemson team. The list includes three players who will travel to roster with two full seasons yet to play.
Clemson starting quarterback Willie Simmons, starting defensive end Khaleed Vaughn and reserve tackle William Henry are listed as graduates on the roster, but still have this year and 2003 in terms of eligibility. Simmons received his degree last May, accomplishing his course requirements in just three years and three summer schools. That is the earliest a Clemson scholarship football player has ever graduated. Vaughn and Henry both graduated this past August 10th and still have two years to play.
The list of graduates on the 2002 Clemson team includes starting wide receiver Jackie Robinson, starting roverback Altroy Bodrick, starting defensive tackle Nick Eason and starting offensive tackle Gary Byrd. Nathan Gillespie is a reserve offensive lineman who also has his Clemson diploma. Eason graduated in August of 2001, so he also had his degree with two years to play. The previous high for graduates on a Clemson football team was seven set just last year. By the end of the 2002 academic year 18 of the 22 seniors on the 2001 football team already had their degree. Two of those players are in school this year and plan to graduate by May of 2003.
Clemson Graduates on 2002 Team
Pos Graduation Degree Jackie RobinsonWR Dec. 2001 Health Science Khaleed Vaughn DEAug. 2002 Marketing Willie Simmons QBMay 2002 Marketing William Henry OTAug. 2002 Sociology Altroy Bodrick ROVAug. 2002 Rec. Park Adm. Gary Byrd OT Aug. 2002Rec. Park Adm. Nick Eason DT Aug.2001 Sociology Nathan Gillespie OG Dec. 2001 Marketing
18 Tigers on NFL Rosters Clemson had 18 former players on NFL rosters entering play on September 8th, the opening day of the NFL season. The list includes four players who are now in double digits in the league in terms of years of service. Woody Dantzler, who is on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, is the only member of the 2001 Clemson team to make a roster. The list of veterans includes Chris Gardocki, who is in his 12th year in the NFL as a punter. The former pro bowl punter is with the Cleveland Browns. Gardocki holds the career punting average record for both the Browns (44.1) and the Indianapolis Colts (44.8). Chester McGlockton (Denver Broncos) and Levon Kirkland (Philadelphia Eagles) are both in their 11th seasons in the NFL. Kirkland made his 124th consecutive NFL start for the Eagles on Sunday against Tennessee. James Trapp, who is in the Clemson Hall of Fame for his track accomplishments from 1989-93, is in his 10th year in the NFL and is with the Baltimore Ravens. The Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers all have two players apiece from Clemson on their respective roster. Twelve of the 18 players are defensive players, including four defensive linemen. Two former Tigers stood out in week one. Rod Gardner had seven receptions for 131 yards and a score to help Washington to victory in Steve Spurrier’s first game as head coach. Adrian Dingle had two sacks to help the San Diego Chargers to a victory over Cincinnati.
Former Clemson Players on NFL Rosters
Pos Hgt Wgt CU Yrs NFLExp NFL Team Keith Adams LB 5-11 230 98-00 2nd DallasCowboys Lorenzo Bromell DE 6-6 275 96-97 5th Minnesota VikingsBrentson Buckner DE 6-2 305 90-93 9th Carolina Panthers &JimBundren OT 6-5 305 94-97 4th Miami Dolphins Robert CarswellDB 5-11 215 97-00 2nd San Diego Chargers #Woody Dantzler QB 5-11205 98-01 R Dallas Cowboys Brian Dawkins DB 5-11 200 92-95 7thPhiladelphia Eagles Adrian Dingle DE 6-3 272 95-98 4th San DiegoChargers Antwan Edwards DB 6-1 205 95-98 4th Green Bay PackersRod GardnerWR 6-3 218 97-00 2nd Washington Redskins Chris Gardocki P 6-1 20088-90 12th Cleveland Browns Lamont Hall TE 6-4 260 94-97 4th NewOrleans Levon Kirkland LB 6-1 270 88-91 11th Philadelphia EaglesDexter McCleon DB 5-10 195 93-96 6th St. Louis Rams ChesterMcGlockton DT 6-4 329 89-91 11th Denver Broncos Trevor Pryce DT 6-5295 1996 6th Denver Broncos Anthony Simmons LB 6-0 230 95-97 5thSeattle Seahawks James Trapp DB 6-2 190 89-92 10th Baltimore Ravens# Practice Squad & Injured reserve
Clemson Assistant Coaches Have Bowl Experience Clemson’s nine current assistant coaches and head coach Tommy Bowden have coached in a combined 81 bowl games. Of the current staff, Rick Stockstill has coached in the most bowl games with the Tigers, as the 2001 Humanitarian Bowl was his 10th as a Clemson assistant. Brad Scott leads the way in total bowl games coached with 15 between his time at Clemson, Florida State and South Carolina.
Two Clemson assistants have served as head coaches in bowl games. Scott led South Carolina to its first bowl win in history when he defeated West Virginia in the 1994 Carquest Bowl. Mike O’Cain, hired as Clemson’s quarterbacks coach in December of 2000, served as NC State’s head coach in three bowl games. As you can see by the list below, eight of the 10 coaches on this staff have been together all three years of the Bowden era. Mike O’Cain has coached in two of the three bowl games. John Lovett is the only newcomer to the staff this year.
Position Player CU Bowl OverallTommy BowdenHead Coach 1 3 11 Rodney AllisonDefensive Ends 3 3 8 Burton Burns RunningBacks 3 3 4 JackHines Linebackers 1 3 8 John Lovett DefensiveBacks 0 0 5 MikeO’Cain Quarterbacks 0 2 @10 Brad Scott Tight Ends0 3 *15 ThielenSmith Defensive Line 2 3 5 Rick StockstillWide Receivers 3 10 10 Ron West Offensive Line 2 3 5 Totals15 30 81
*Includes one bowl (win) as head coach of South Carolina @Includes three games as head coach at NC State Overall is total as a coach only
Some Tigers using New Helmet The latest in equipment use in football at all levels is the Revolution Helmet manufactured by Riddell. Many Clemson players have switched to the new helmet for this season and Clemson equipment personnel estimate 30 players are using it this year. Many of the players are first-year freshmen. Among the veterans using the helmet are starting outside linebacker Khaleed Vaughn, starting middle linebacker and top returning tackler John Leake, and running backs Yusef Kelley, Chad Jasmin and Tye Hill. Linebacker David Dunham was troubled by a concussion early in preseason and switched to the Revolution. He has not had problems since.
The helmet is the result of five years of research conducted by the NFL, who concluded that 70 percent of concussions result from hits to the side of the head. The sides of the new helmet extend farther down toward the chin, creating a firm shell along the jaw line.
Currie All-American on the Track Sophomore wide receiver Airese Currie had a solid freshman season on the gridiron. The native of Columbia, SC and Richland Northeast High School played in all 12 games, three as a starter and had 18 catches for 320 yards, a 17.8 average. That 17.8 average was a Clemson record for a freshman. He had one touchdown receiving and one rushing, a 19-yard run for a score on a “Panther Play” against Louisiana Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl. While Currie had a good year on the gridiron he was even better on the track where he made All-American. Currie was a member of Clemson’s 4X100 relay team that finished second in the nation at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Baton Rouge, LA. He also had a strong year individually and finished sixth at the ACC Championships in the 100 meters.
Currie hopes to follow in the footsteps of Clemson Hall of Fame athlete James Trapp, who was an NCAA Champion in track and still continues to play in the NFL for the Baltmore Ravens. Trapp won a Super Bowl Championship Ring two years ago and has been in the NFL since the 1993 season. Currie opened the season with one catch for 12 yards against Georgia.
Tiger Teammates Clemson has 15 different sets of football players who went to the same high school or junior college. The list includes three schools that have sent Clemson three players apiece. Orangeburg-Wilkinson, the high school that sent 2001 senior Woody Dantzler to Clemson, still has three representatives on the current Clemson team in Ryan Hemby, Kevin Johnson and Jackie Robinson. Shanks High School in Quincy, FL sent the Tigers Willie Simmons and Ronnie Thomas in the 1999 recruiting class and has since added defensive back Charles Harper. Fork Union Prep has sent Clemson Eric Coleman, Maurice Fountain and Gaines Adams. Fountain was a high school teammate of wide receiver Kelvin Grant. The only brother combination on the list is the Vaughn brothers, Khaleed and Nigel, who both played at North Atlanta High in Atlanta, GA.
Clemson players who played together in high school or prep school:
City State Players C.A. JohnsonColumbia SC Eugene Koon, ToddMcClinton Camden Camden SC Maurice Fountain, Kelvin Grant EasleyEasley SC EricMeekins, Josh Smith Fairfield Central Fairfield SC CharlesBennett, Altroy BodrickFork Union Prep Fork Union VA Eric Coleman,MauriceFountain, Gaines Adams JamesIsland Charleston SC Ryan Charpia, Tony Elliott Lexington LexingtonSC Fletcher Anderson, PhillipDieckmann Manning Manning SC Brian Mance, Travis Pugh NorthAtlanta Atlanta SC Khaleed Vaughn,Nigel Vaughn Orangeburg-Wilkinson Orangeburg SC Ryan Hemby, KevinJohnson, Jackie RobinsonRichland Northeast Columbia SC Airese Currie,Toure Francis Shanks Quincy FL Charles Harper,WillieSimmons, Ronnie ThomasSummerville Summerville SC Dustin Fry, Bernard RambertSW Miss. CC Summit MS Brandon Jamison, Kelvin Morris UnionUnion SC KyleBrowning, Roscoe Crosby
ACC Announces 50th Anniversary All-Time Football Team Clemson Leads All Schools With Nine Selections Nine former Clemson football players have been named to the 50th Anniversary All-ACC team, the conference announced in July. Clemson’s nine selections are the most among ACC schools. Players who have been named to the team are Joe Bostic, Jerry Butler, Bennie Cunningham, Jeff Davis, Steve Fuller, Terry Kinard, William Perry, Michael Dean Perry and Anthony Simmons.
All nine players were All-Americans at Clemson. Five of them earned such honors on more than one occasion. The honorees have won 10 ACC titles collectively, with three of the players earning a National Championship ring in 1981. Eight of the nine players were named to Clemson’s All-Centennial team in 1996. Butler, Davis, Fuller and Kinard are also honored in Clemson’s Ring of Honor.
Each of the honorees has played in the NFL at some point after their Clemson careers. Anthony Simmons, the youngest Clemson player honored by the ACC, is currently a starting linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks. The group collectively has played 76 years in the NFL and combined to win five Super Bowl Championship rings. Joe Bostic was a four-year starter and two-time All-American between 1975-78 on Clemson’s offensive line. He is also in Clemson’s Hall of Fame. In 1999, A panel of Clemson historians ranked him as the 11th best player in Clemson history. Bostic went on to play 10 seasons in the NFL, all with the Cardinals organization.
Jerry Butler earned first-team Associated Press All-American honors in 1978 and was ranked as the 4th best player in school history in 1999. He was famous for a diving backward touchdown catch that helped beat rival South Carolina in 1977. Butler, also a member of Clemson’s Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor, played nine seasons for the Buffalo Bills in the NFL.
Bennie Cunningham, Clemson’s most decorated tight end, was a two-time All-American. He was a consensus first-team All-American as a junior in 1974 and a first-team choice by the Sporting News in 1975. He was also ranked among Clemson’s greatest players in 1999. Cunningham won two Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers between 1976-85.
Jeff Davis was an All-American in 1981, the year Clemson won the National Championship. Davis is the third leading tackler in Clemson history. “The Judge” is a member of Clemson’s All-Centennial team, Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor. He was inducted into the state of South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2001. He played for six seasons in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Steve Fuller was a third-team All-American on the field in 1978 as well as a two-time Academic All-American. He was also the ACC Player-of-the-Year in 1977 and 1978, the only two-time selection in Clemson history. He was ranked as a top 5 player by Clemson historians in 1999, and is in the Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor. Fuller won a Super Bowl ring with the Chicago Bears in 1985.
Terry Kinard, perhaps Clemson’s most decorated athlete, was a two-time first-team AP All-American in 1981-82. He was a starting safety on Clemson’s 1981 National Championship team. He was named the 1982 National Player-of-the-Year by CBS. Kinard was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame last fall and the state of South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2002. He is still Clemson’s career leader in interceptions with 17, now a 20-year-old record. He won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants and played eight seasons in the NFL.
William Perry was a three-time All-American at middle guard for Clemson, a first in school history. He still ranks among Clemson’s career leaders in sacks and tackles for loss. Also a member of the 1981 team, Perry was named to the All-Centennial team and will be inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame this fall. “The Refrigerator” won a Super Bowl ring in 1985 with the Chicago Bears.
Michael Dean Perry, Clemson’s career leader in both sacks and tackles for loss, was a first-team All-American in 1987 when he was an Outland Trophy finalist. A member of the All-Centennial team, Perry was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 2000. He went on to considerable success in the NFL as he played in six Pro Bowls and was a four-time All-Pro with the Cleveland Browns.
Anthony Simmons was Clemson’s second three-time All-American. He likely would have been just the second player in NCAA history to achieve such honors four times had he not left for the NFL after his junior year. He is second on Clemson’s career tackles list, an impressive feat to accomplish in only three years. Simmons is currently a starting linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks
February 14, 2019
February 6, 2019