Oct. 17, 1999
CLEMSON, S.C. – Florida State holds an 10-2 advantage in the series with Clemson dating back 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 5-0 at Clemson and Clemson is 2-5 at Florida State.
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 in five of the last nine meetings. The Seminoles are ranked number-one heading into today’s game, Clemson is unranked by AP or USA Today.
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”, and a 76-yard punt return by Deion Sanders. 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 is the only loss by Florida State at home against a non-Florida team in the last 15 years.
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.
In recent years, Florida State has dominated Clemson with its defense in the games in Tallahassee, while Clemson has come very close to victory in the games at Clemson. The Seminoles have allowed Clemson to score just three points in Tallahassee over the last four contests. Clemson has scored 74 points in the last three meetings held at Clemson, including 28 in a 35-28 loss in 1997.
That 1997 game featured one of the greatest duals in the history of Death Valley. Tony Horne, who has returned a kickoff for a touchdown for the St. Louis Rams each of the last two weeks, 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.
Highest Ranked Wins A win for Clemson over top ranked Florida State would be the highest ranked Clemson win in Clemson history. The Tigers defeated fourth-ranked Georgia in 1981, 13-3 and that is the highest ranked team Clemson has beaten in Death Valley. The only other time Clemson has beaten the #4 ranked team in the nation also took place in 1981 when the Tigers defeated Nebraska in the Orange Bowl for the National Championship.
Regardless of site, Clemson has eight wins over top 10 teams in its history, three in Death Valley. Clemson played 10th ranked Virginia to a two-point game in Charlottesville last year. If they keep winning, the Tigers will play a top 10 Georgia Tech team in Atlanta on November 13th.
Clemson has had 19 wins over top 25 teams since 1986 and has had least one ranked win in 12 of the last 14 seasons (including this season). The Tigers defeated Virginia, 33-14, earlier this year when the Cavs were ranked 19th (USA Today).
Clemson has never beaten the number-one ranked team in football. This is just the fourth time Clemson has met the number-one team in football and the Tigers are 0-3 in the previous meetings. Clemson first played the nation’s top team in the 1959 Sugar Bowl, a 7-0 loss to LSU. Clemson lost at number-one Florida State in 1993, 57-0. The Seminoles were also ranked number-one prior to the 1995 game at Clemson, a 45-26 Florida State victory at Death Valley.
Thus, this will be just the second time in history that the number-one ranked team has come to Clemson. It is also just the second time that the number-one ranked team has played in Death Valley. Even though Clemson won the National Championship in 1981, Clemson never played a game that season as the number-one team.
Clemson’s Top 10 Victories
Year Opponent Site Rk Score1981 Georgia Clemson, SC 4 13-31981 Nebraska Miami, FL 4 22-15 1959 Texas Christian Houston, TX 7 23-71981 North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC 8 10-81967 NC State Clemson, SC 10 14-61983 North Carolina Clemson, SC 10 16-31988 Oklahoma Orlando, FL 10 13-61992 Virginia Charlottesville, VA 10 29-28
Clemson Wins over Top 25 Teams in the 1990s
Opp Year Site Rk Score Opponent1990 N4 18 30-0 Illinois1991 H 19 9-7 Georgia Tech H 12 29-19 N.C. State1992 A 10 29-28 Virginia H 18 40-7 North Carolina1993 H 16 23-14 Virginia1994 A 12 28-17 North Carolina1996 H 22 28-25 Georgia Tech A 15 24-16 Virginia1997 A 25 19-17 NC State1999 H 19 33-14 Virginia
Clemson Has 24 Wins over Hall of Fame Coaches The opponent this Saturday is Florida State, coached by future Hall of Fame Coach Bobby Bowden. Clemson has 24 wins and one tie against coaches currently in the College Football Hall of Fame, regardless of site of the game. Bowden is not in the Hall of Fame yet, but he certainly will go in soon after his retirement, along with current coach Joe Paterno of Penn State, who Clemson defeated in the 1988 Citrus Bowl. George Welsh is another current coach who should be in the Hall of Fame some day. Clemson has 12 wins over the current Virginia coach. Clemson will have another shot at a future Hall of Fame Coach when the Tigers meet South Carolina and Coach Lou Holtz in the final game of the regular season.
Here is a list of Clemson wins over Coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Season Coach Opponent Site Score1936 Bill Alexander Georgia Tech A 14-131940 Frank Leahy Boston College N 6-31945 Bobby Dodd Georgia Tech A 21-71948 Allyn McKeen Mississippi State A 21-71949 Don Faurot Missouri N 24-231949 Allyn McKeen Miss. State H 7-71950 Don Faurot Missouri A 34-01951 Andy Gustafon Miami (FL) N 15-141951 Jess Neely Rice A 20-141951 Shug Jordan Auburn H 34-01957 Jess Neely Rice A 20-71958 Jim Tatum North Carolina H 26-211959 Jess Neely Rice A 19-01959 Bill Murray Duke H 6-01961 Bill Murray Duke A 17-71965 Bill Murray Duke A 3-21974 Vince Dooley Georgia H 28-241977 Vince Dooley Georgia A 7-61978 Woody Hayes Ohio St. N 17-151979 Dan Devine Notre Dame A 16-101979 Vince Dooley Georgia H 12-71981 Vince Dooley Georgia H 13-31982 Tom Osborne Nebraska N 22-151986 Vince Dooley Georgia A 31-281987 Vince Dooley Georgia H 21-20
Bowden vs. Bowden As everyone knows by know, when Florida State’s Bobby Bowden and Clemson’s Tommy Bowden take the field Saturday night to coach their respective teams, it will be the first competition of father and son in NCAA Division I history. If that isn’t enough, Bobby Bowden will be going for his 300th career victory against his son. Bobby Bowden defeated Clemson 35-28 in 1997 for his 200th victory at Florida State. Bowden is 4-0 against Clemson in Death Valley, the only opposing coach with a perfect record in Memorial Stadium, given a minimum of three games played.
The first meeting between father and son in Division I history was suppose to take place in Tallahassee this year on September 2 when Auburn was scheduled to play Florida State. When that game was scheduled, Terry Bowden was the coach of those Tigers. But, Terry’s tenure at Auburn ended at midseason player year and the game was subsequently cancelled by Auburn. When Tommy Bowden came to Clemson last December, it set up another Bowden vs. Bowden, one that will take place every year since Clemson and Florida State are in the same conference.
This will not be the first time Bowden’s have faced each other across the field, however. In 1991, Auburn, with assistant coach Tommy Bowden, faced Southern Mississippi, with assistant coach Jeff Bowden. Southern Mississippi upset Auburn that day.
There are more and more opportunities for a father and son coaching matchup down the road. In addition to all the Bowden’s, Florida Coach Steve Spurrier’s son is now in the profession as an assistant coach at Oklahoma. R.C. Slocum, head coach at Texas A&M, has a son, Shawn, who is a Southern Cal assistant. Two prominent head coaches have sons that coach for them. Joe Paterno’s son Jay is on his staff at Penn State, while Lou Holtz’s son, Skip, is Lou’s offensive coordinator at South Carolina.
Like Father Like Son?
Florida State’s record the two years prior to Bobby Bowden’sarrival was 4-18. Tulane’s record the two years prior to TommyBowden’s arrival was 4-18. Bobby Bowden had Florida State in a bowlgame, accumulated a double digit victory total, and a top 15national ranking in his second year with the Seminoles. TommyBowden had Tulane in a bowl game, accumulated a double digitvictory total and a top 10 national ranking by his second seasonwith the program. Father and son have both had perfect regularseason records in the 1990s. Bobby Bowden’s Florida State Seminoleswere 11-0 in the 1996 regular season, while Tommy Bowden’s Tulaneteam was 11-0 in 1998. Brother Terry Bowden was 11-0 as head coachat Auburn in 1993. Both Coaches won at least two-thirds of theirgames after their first two years as a Division I Head Coach. BobbyBowden was 15-7 after two years at West Virginia and Tommy Bowdenis 18-4 after two years as a Division I head coach. Bobby Bowdenhas won 80 percent of his games as Florida State head coach(226-53-4). Tommy Bowden has won 75 percent of his games as aDivision I head coach (21-7). Both Bowdens experienced just oneconference loss between 1997-98. Tommy Bowden coach under hisfather as a graduate assistant at Florida State in 1978-79. Bowdenalso played for his father at West Virginia between 1973-75. Inrecording an 11-win regular season in 1998, Bobby Bowden’s FloridaState team outscored the opposition by 20.6 points per game. Inrecording an 11-win regular season in 1998, Tommy Bowden’s Tulaneteam outscored the opposition by 21.0 points per game.
Clemson-Florida State Connections There are many connections between Clemson and Florida State in terms of coaching and administrative personnel:
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. He has been an assistantcoach at Clemson since 1989 and is the only assistant coach inClemson history to serve under four different head coaches. Clemsoninside linebacker coach Reggie Herring played for Florida Statebetween 1977-80. He is a member of the Florida State Athletic Hallof Fame and earned AP All-America honors in 1980. He played inthree bowl games in his four years with the Seminoles. ClemsonAssistant Head Coach and tight ends coach Brad Scott served asoffensive coordinator of Florida State’s National Championship teamof 1993. He served as an assistant with the Florida State programfrom 1983-93. He was offensive coordinator from 1990-93. He has amaster’s degree from Florida State in athletic administration, adegree he earned in 1984. Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden was agraduate assistant at Florida State in 1978 and 1979, then servedas tight ends coach of the Seminoles in 1981-82-83. Clemsondefensive backs coach Jack Hines was a graduate assistant atFlorida State in 1985-86. He is married to Robyn Bowden, one ofBobby Bowden’s daughters. Hines played for Bowden at West Virginiain 1970 and 1971. Florida State defensive coordinator MickeyAndrews served in the same capacity for Clemson between 1976-80 andheld the assistant head coach title under Danny Ford in 1980.Former Clemson Head Trainer Fred Hoover is a 1953 Florida Stategraduate who was the head trainer at Florida State in 1952-53 and1957-58. He saw his streak of 450 straight Clemson games worked endlast Saturday when he was unable to make the trip to Maryland. Heserved his 400th game at Clemson when the Tigers faced FloridaState in 1995. Clemson punter Ryan Romano has two relatives whoplayed for Florida State. His father, John, was a reserve runningback in the 1960s at Florida State. Ryan’s older brother Eric was awalk-on tight end on Bobby Bowden teams in the 1980s.
Tigers from Florida Clemson has 11 players on its roster from the state of Florida. All 11 of the players are scholarship, but just seven have played in a game this year. Jermyn Chester is out for the year with a knee injury, while Charles Harper and Kevin Youngblood are being red-shirted. Willie Simmons is a backup quarterback who could see action against Florida State.
Florida has obviously been a fertile recruiting area for Clemson over the years. This season, top receiver Rod Gardner is from Florida. Starting defensive back Alex Ardley, starting guard Theo Mougros and both starting kickers, Ryan Romano and Tony Lazzara, are from Florida.
Tigers From Florida Name Pos Hometown High School Rod Gardner WR Jacksonville Raines Theo Mougros DT Tarpon Springs Tarpon Springs Ryan Romano PK West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman Alex Ardley DB Tallahassee Lincoln Darrel Crutchfield DB Jacksonville Raines Charles Hafley DB Pompano Beach Ely HS Willie Simmons QB Quincy Shanks Tony Lazzara PK St. Petersburg Shorecrest*Jermyn Chester OL Titusville Titusville*Charles Harper DB Quincy Shanks*Kevin Youngblood WR Jacksonville Raines
*Has not played in a game yet this year, could bered-shirted
Clemson Attendance Up Clemson has averaged 75,948 fans for the first three home games of the 1999 season. That is up from an average of 68,312 of last year. If Clemson can average at last 75,000 for the season it would be the highest average figure for a season since 1992 when Clemson had a 76,789 average.
The figure will go up when Clemson plays Florida State as a sellout crowd is anticipated. In fact, the record of 85,872 against South Carolina in 1994 could be eclipsed. Clemson drew 79,186 for the opener against Marshall, the third largest opening day crowd in Clemson history. The North Carolina game drew 81,737 and the Virginia game drew 66,922.
If 85,000 fans attend the Florida State game, Clemson would have an average of 78,211 through four games. Should 85,000 attend the Florida State game, Clemson would have to have just 62,155 attend the Duke game for Clemson to reach an average of 75,000 for the season.
Clemson’s Improvement on Offense Significant Clemson has made a significant improvement when it comes to offense this year. A comparison between the first six games of last year with the first six games of 1999 proves this point. Clemson’s has improved its touchdown total by 54 percent, its passing offense by 42.4 percent, its total offense by 33 percent, its first down total by 58 percent, and its scoring by 48 percent. What is especially interesting is that Clemson has done this with two different quarterbacks, Brandon Streeter, who started the first three games, and Woodrow Dantzler, who has played most of the last three contests. Both quarterbacks have thrived in this offense, as both have had games of at least 350 yards of total offense.
Clemson has been especially productive against its first four ACC teams. The Tigers have scored at least 30 points in each of its first four ACC games. This is the first time since the 1978 team that finished 11-1 had four straight ACC games of at least 30 points and that is the only team to accomplish that. Thus, this Clemson team is just the second Tiger team in history to score at least 30 points in four straight ACC games.
Here is a chart of the respective six-game totals that shows Clemson’s Improvement in the last year:
Category 1998 1999 Improve %ImprTotal Offense/G 296.8 395.0 +98.2 +33.1%Points/G 17.8 26.3 +8.5 +47.8%Passing Yds/G 179.8 256.0 +76.2 +42.4%Rush Yds/G 117 139 +22 +18.9%Total TDs 13 20 +6 +53.8%Completion % .518 .641 +12.3%Comp/G 12.2 22.3 +10.9 +82.8% Efficiency Rating 112.6 129.6 +17 +15.1%Turnovers By Off. 18 11 -7 -38.9%3rd Down Conv.% .265 .372 +10.7%First Downs/G 13.7 21.7 +8.0 +58.4%FD Passing/G 37 64 +27 +73.0%
Adams Tied McGlockton’s Sack Record Inside linebacker Keith Adams has been a terror on defense so far. Nicknamed “The Termite” by Clemson defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Reggie Herring, Adams had five tackles for loss in the victory over North Carolina on October 2. Adams had two sacks and three other minus yardage plays, tying the record for a single game held by Michael Dean Perry against NC State in 1987 and by Steve Durham against Maryland in 1979.
It was an outstanding game by Adams, but outstanding has been the norm for the sophomore from College Park, GA. He now has 88 tackles this year to lead the team and the ACC, including 12 in the victory at Maryland. He had a streak of four straight games with at least 16 tackles broken in that game, but he still was at least tied for Clemson honors in terms of tackles.. He had 16 stops and four tackles for loss against Virginia, then had a career high 17 and tackles for loss against Virginia Tech.
Adams had at least one sack in each of the first five games this year, tying Chester McGlockton’s record for consecutive games with a sack. McGlockton did it in 1989-90. Adams did not have a sack at Maryland, but he did have a tackle for loss and now has 18 for the year, best in the ACC. Adams was honored by the league as ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week twice this year, the Virginia and North Carolina contests.
Adams Joining Linebacker Tradition Clemson has a strong tradition of excellence at the linebacker position. The Tigers have seven former linebackers on NFL rosters this year, including Pro Bowl players Ed McDaniel (Minnesota) and Levon Kirkland (Pittsburgh) and 1997 first round draft choice Anthony Simmons (Seattle). Clemson also has had first round draft choice Wayne Simmons (1992 by Green Bay) in the 1990s and all-time great Jeff Davis, the captain of the National Championship team.
Current linebacker Keith Adams, only a sophomore, is striving to enhance that linebacker reputation by his play so far this season. He is on a pace to have the finest season in Clemson history for a linebacker, never mind just a sophomore. Through six games, Adams has 88 tackles, an average of 14.7 per game. That is ahead of the 14.8 tackles per game by Anthony Simmons in 1996. Adams also has 18 tackles for loss and six sacks already this year. He is on pace to break the school record for tackles for loss and sacks, regardless of position or class.
The Clemson record for tackles for loss in a season is 27 by William Perry (1984) and Rob Bodine (1991). The sack record is 10.5 by Adrian Dingle, set last season. Adams is on a pace to record an incredible 33 tackles for loss and 11 sacks.
Comparison of Sophomore Seasons
Name Tac/G TFL/G Sacks/GKeith Adams (1999) 14.7 3.0 1.0Anthony Simmons (1996) 14.8 1.3 0.6Jeff Davis (1979) 10.3 0.5 0.0Levon Kirkland (1989) 6.4 0.8 0.5Ed McDaniel (1989) 5.2 0.3 0.0Wayne Simmons (1990) 3.4 0.3 0.1
Florida State Update Florida State ranks number-one in the nation entering this evening’s game. The Seminoles are certainly no stranger to that lofty ranking, they have finished in the top five in the nation each of the last 12 years, the first team in NCAA history to do that. They should make it number-13 this year and it could be a second national championship for Coach Bobby Bowden.
Of course, Clemson would like to derail that aspiration. But, a loss by FSU would not necessarily end the Seminoles championship hopes. In 1993, Florida State lost at Notre Dame, 31-24, on November 13th, yet still won the championship.
Chris Weinke is the starting quarterback and one of many important players on this Florida State team. The junior has completed 127 of 224 pases this year for 1981 yards and 15 touchdowns. He is coming off a career high 354 yard passing performance in a 33-10 victory over Wake Forest last week. His passing efficiency rating of 150.4 is sixth best in the nation.
Peter Warrick leads Florida State in receiving with 36 for 508 yards and four touchdowns. Death Valley is the scene of Warrick’s greatest game and the greatest all-around performance by any individual in the history of Death Valley. Two years ago in a seven-point FSU victory, Warrick had an incredible 372 yards of all-purpose running. The effort included a 90-yard punt return and an 80-yard pass reception. Ron Dugans is second on the team in receiving with 23 for 407 and a touchdown.
The rushing game is led by Travis Minor, a gifted all-around back with 540 yards in 110 attempts. He has scored five touchdowns. Nick Maddox is second on the club in rushing with 96 yards in 26 attempts. Florida State has been more balanced in terms of offense in previous years. Coach Bowden’s team averages 305 yards passing and 141 yards rushing per game. But, with a 40-point scoring average, who cares how you get to the endzone.
Florida State has had 13 interceptions defensively, led by Derrick Gibson with three. Chris Hope and Tay Cody and Sean Key all have two apiece. Florida State’s secondary was ranked among the best in the nation by many services prior to the season.
Ranked second in the nation in field goal kicking this year with 17 in 21 attempts, Sebastian Janikowski has already scored 81 points this season. He was named the top kicker in the nation last year and should win the award again. Opponents have averaged just 16 yards per kickoff return this year on 11 attempts. In fact, the opposition gets to return kickoffs so infrequently that coaches have claimed they don’t put much time into it prior to playing Florida State. It is virtually a waste of time.
Clemson Offense Gains 542 Yards at Maryland Clemson’s offense exploded for 542 yards of total offense in the 42-30 victory over Maryland last Saturday. It was a balanced attack, as Clemson gained 290 yards rushing and 252 yards passing, the second time this year Clemson has had at least 200 yards or each in a game. The rushing total of 290 yards was the most by a Clemson team since the Tigers gained 291 against NC State in 1996.
The 542 yards of total offense was also a landmark total, as it was the most by a Clemson team in seven years. The last time Clemson reached 500 yards in total offense was against UT Chattanooga in 1992, a 606-yard effort by Ken Hatfield’s Tigers against the Southern Conference foe. It was Clemson’s first 500-yard total offense game in an ACC game since 1991 when Clemson had 511 in a tie against Virginia. The 542 at Maryland last Saturday was also the most by the Tigers in an ACC game since 1984 in a win over Duke when the Tigers had 547.
The 542 yards at Maryland also ranked as the fourth highest total in history in a road game. Clemson had 615 at Georgia Tech in 1903 (all rushing), and had 563 in a 1981 win at Duke. Clemson had 550 at Wake Forest in 1978, but that is it for the other top total offense games on the road.
The second quarter was an offensive explosion for the Tigers. Clemson gained an incredible 245 yards total offense in that period and had 495 yards heading into the fourth quarter.
Clemson Near Record Pace Offensively Clemson is on or near a record pace in terms of total offense through six games this year. The Tigers are averaging 395 yards of total offense so far and only two teams in Clemson history have been higher for the course of a season. The 1978 Clemson team quarterbacked by Steve Fuller and featuring future NFL players Jerry Butler, Dwight Clark, Joe Bostic, Jeff Bostic and Steve Kenney, holds the record with 427.8 yards per game. That is the only team in Clemson history to accumulate 5000 yards in a season. The 1991 Clemson team averaged 404 yards per game. Those are the only Tiger squads above the 395 per game by the Tigers of 1999.
In terms of passing yardage, Clemson is far ahead of the record pace. Clemson’s 1997 team holds the record with 191.6 yards per game. So far this season, Clemson has averaged 256 yards per game through the air. This Clemson team averages 22.3 completions per game, ahead of the season record of 15.7 completions per game in 1997. This year’s 64.1 percent completion percentage is also ahead of the 60.5 mark set by the 1997 Tiger team. Current Clemson quarterback Woodrow Dantzler was a first year freshman who red-shirted that season behind Nealon Greene and Brandon Streeter.
Three Wide Receivers Key the Offense Clemson has a much improved offense this year and the play of receivers Rod Gardner, Brian Wofford and Mal Lawyer has a lot to do with it. The trio of wideouts rank in the top six in the ACC in receptions per game, the only team in the league with three of the top six receivers.
Gardner leads the way with 44 for 589 yards and a touchdown. Wofford has 34-433, a 12.7 average and two scores, while Lawyer has 21-195 and a touchdown. That adds to 94 receptions for 1217 yards and four scores through just six games. That is an average of 15.7 catches for 203 yards per game for this threesome.
All three had exactly six receptions at NC State. Wofford had those catches for 100 yards, while Lawyer had 68 yards and Gardner 63. That is 18 catches for 231 yards against the Terps. The group was led by Gardner last week with 128 yards on five catches, while Wofford had 5-78. Two of Gardner’s receptions were incredible diving receptions.
All three are on pace to catch at least 35 passes this year. No team in Clemson history has had three players catch at least 30 passes. Gardner is one pace for 81 catches and 1080 yards, while Wofford is on pace for 62 receptions for 780 yards.
Dantzler Dazzling against Maryland Woodrow Dantzler had the game of his life, and the game of any Clemson quarterbacks life at Maryland. The sophomore from Orangeburg, SC gained 435 yards of total offense in that game, breaking one of the oldest records in the Clemson media guide. The previous single game total offense best was 374 yards by Bobby Gage against Auburn in 1947. That was a 52-year-old mark.
Dantzler completed 16 of 23 passes for 252 yards and no interceptions or touchdowns. What was even more impressive was his running ability. Dantzler gained 183 yards rushing in 22 attempts, shattering Louis Solomon’s Clemson record for rushing yards in a game by a quarterback. Solomon had 159 against Wake Forest in 1994 for the previous record.
Dantzler has completed 50 of 85 passes this season and his 137 passing efficiency figure ranks 21st in the nation, not bad for a backup quarterback. In two games as a starter, Dantzler has completed 39 of 64 passes for 536 yards with two touchdowns. He has also rushed the ball 36 times for 186 yards. For the year he has completed 50 of 85 passes.
Dantzler gained 213 yards of total offense, 131 passing and 82 on the ground against North Carolina in a relief effort when Brandon Streeter broke his collarbone. In three quarters he took the Tigers to 31 points against the Tar Heels. His performance included a 49-yard scoring pass to Rod Gardner and a 56-yard touchdown run. His total offense was the highest total by a Clemson player in relief since Dexter McCleon gained 229 as a reserve quarterback against Virginia in 1993.
Clemson off to 3-1 ACC start Clemson is off to a 3-1 ACC start, its first 3-1 start since 1993. This is just the third time in the decade of the 1990s that Clemson has been 3-1. Clemson was also 3-1 in 1993 and 1991. The 1991 season wasa the last time Clemson won the ACC title. Clemson started 3-0-1 that year and finished 6-0-1 to claim the title.
The Tigers play their next four games against ACC teams before ending the year with archrival South Carolina of the SEC. The Tigers opened ACC play 2-0 for the first time since 1988 with a 33-14 win over Virginia on September 11, then defeated North Carolina on October 2, 31-20.
The Tigers played three of their last four at home, and now must play five of their last seven on the road. Clemson ended a six-game road losing streak with the win at Maryland. Clemson was 0-4 on the road last year and lost its first two road games this year. Clemson’s only remaining home games are October 23 against Florida State and November 6 against Duke.
Clemson has not been 4-1 in the ACC since 1991 when Clemson was 4-0-1 in its first five games.
Clemson Schedule Ranked First Clemson has the nation’s toughest schedule according to ratings by noted computer analyst Jeff Sagarin. According to his latest data, Clemson’s schedule has a rating of 82.70, an no team is ranked higher. That rankings should be enhanced after Clemson meets Florida State, the number-one ranked team in the nation by AP and USA Today.
A look to Clemson’s schedule tells us why the Tigers are ranked first in the nation. Virginia Tech is ranked first, Florida State fourth and Marshall sixth according to the Sagarin computer rankings. The Tigers should remain first for a while, considering Georgia Tech, ranked 11th, is also on the future Clemson schedule.
Clemson has already played two top 20 teams and there are at least two more on the schedule, Georgia Tech and Florida State. Clemson has played five top 25 teams in a season just once, in 1988. Clemson has faced four top 25 teams five previous season, 1956, 1992, 1993, 1996 and 1997. The 1956 season list of opponents actually consisted of all top 20 teams, the only time Clemson has played four top 20 teams in the same season.
Clemson is shown quite a bit of respect by the Sagarin poll. Despite a 3-3 record, Clemson is ranked 18th in the nation by the computer. Clemson is the only team in the Sagarin top 20 that does not have a winning record and the Tigers are ranked higher than defending national champion Tennessee. Here is a list of the teams that have played the most difficult schedules in the nation according to the Sagarin Computer poll:
Rk Team Rating 1. Clemson 82.70 2. Michigan 82.69 3. North Carolina 81.17 4. Iowa 80.59 5. Temple 79.91 6. Duke 79.68 7. Virginia 79.53 8. Alabama 78.66 9. Miami (FL) 78.6510. Rutgers 77.82
Clemson First in ACC in Pass Defense One of the most improved areas of the Clemson football team this year is the secondary. Clemson ranks first in the ACC and 24th in the nation this week in pass efficiency defense. So far this year, Clemson has 10 interceptions, including eight in the last four games. The Tigers had just seven interceptions all of last year. Each of the last four Clemson opponents have failed to complete over 50 percent of its passes.
That pass defense will be tested this weekend when Chris Weinke, the nation’s sixth rated passer, comes to Clemson. Clemson must fact three of the top six passers in the nation according to the latest stats. They have already faced Marshall’s Chad Pennington, who is second, and still must defense Georgia Tech’s Joe Hamilton, who is first.
The pass defense was especially effective in back to back games against Virginia Tech and North Carolina. Agile quarterbacks Michael Vick of Virginia Tech and Ronald Curry of North Carolina were a combined 19-46 for 250 yards, no touchdowns and seven interceptions. That is a completion percentage of just 41 percent and just 5.34 yards per attempt. The secondary will be the first to applaud the front seven for their pressure, as the two opposing quarterbacks were sacked 10 times in those two games.
The starting secondary has been led by All-America candidate Robert Carswell, who has three interceptions and is ranked 26th in the nation. Cornerbacks Alex Ardley and Dextra Polite have also played well. Polite leads the team in passes broken up with eight, including three at Maryland. Ardley has five PBUs and two interceptions.
Clemson was sixth in the ACC and 56th in the nation in pass efficiency defense last year. Clemson gave up 15 touchdown passes and intercepted just seven all year. Clemson has given up just five touchdown passes this year.
Clemson Leads ACC in Sacks C lemson led the ACC in sacks last year with 37 and the Tigers hold the same standing in the league so far this year. It is not a team with a prime pass rusher, like Virginia Tech has in Corey Moore. It is a balanced attack for the Tiger defense. Clemson has 23 sacks in six games and 12 different players have been involved in the sacks. Keith Adams leads the way with 6-48, while Braxton K. Williams has 3-26.
Clemson had seven sacks against North Carolina and nimble quarterback Ronald Curry. That was the most sacks by the Tigers in a single game since Trevor Pryce and the Tigers had eight in a victory over Maryland in 1996. Clemson averaged 3.36 sacks a game last year in leading the ACC. Clemson averages 4.2 sacks per game so far this year. The Clemson record for a season is 46, set in 1992 and 1996.
Clemson Records Set in 1999 In just four games so far this year, many Clemson single game or miscellaneous records have been set this year:
Single Game Passing Yardage: 343 by Brandon Streeter vs. VirginiaSinge Game Total Offense: 435 by Woodrow Dantzler vs. MarylandSingle Game Rushing by quarterback: 183 by Woodrow Dantzler vs. MarylandSingle Game Completions: *27 by Brandon Streeter vs. Virginia TechSingle Season Completion %: .683 by Brandon Streeter, 1999 Single Game Receptions: *11 by Rod Gardner vs. MarshallMost Completions 3 Consecutive Games: 74 by Brandon StreeterMost Tackles for Loss, single game: *5 by Keith Adams vs. North CarolinaMost Consecutive Games with a Sack: *5 by Keith AdamsMost Team First downs by Passing: *19 vs. Virginia
*Denotes tied record
Clemson Unbeaten when over 200 Rushing and Passing Clemson had 236 yards rushing and 208 yards passing in the victory over North Carolina on October 2. It was the first time since the season opener against Furman in 1998 that Clemson had at least 200 yards of both.
The Tigers trumped that balancing act at Maryland with 290 yards rushing and 252 yards passing in the 42-30 win over the Terps. Having at least 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing in the same game is an indicator for success for the Clemson offense. The Tigers are now 28-0-1 in their history (10-0 in the decade of the 1990s when having at least 200 yards of each.
The only time in history Clemson failed to gain victory when recording at least 200 yards rushing and passing took place in 1976 when the Tigers had 248 yards rushing and 234 yards passing in a 24-24 tie with Georgia Tech. The closest Clemson has come to a defeat in this situation took place in 1953 when Clemson lost to Auburn, 45-19. Despite the large margin of defeat, Clemson had 258 yards passing and 198 yards rushing.
Achieving this balance was a hallmark of Tommy Bowden’s teams at Tulane. In fact, last year Tulane averaged 300 yards passing and 200 yards rushing, the only school in the nation to do it. In his two years and 22 games as head coach at Tulane, Tommy Bowden’s Green Wave teams had at least 200 yards of each in nine games, and they were 9-0 in those games.
Fans thinks of Clemson as a passing team, now with this new Indy 500 Offense under Bowden and offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez. In the 42-30 win over Maryland, Clemson ran the ball 56 times and threw it just 23 times. Clemson’s 290 yards rushing were its high total since gaining 291 on the ground against NC State in 1996. Clemson scored six rushing touchdwons in the game, its high mark since scoring six rushing against Long Beach State in 1990.
Young Leads Young Offensive Line Clemson’s young and light offensive line made large improvement against Maryland. That was obvious by the offensive production. The Tigers gained 542 yards total offense, its high total in seven years. Akil Smith was Clemson’s top offensive lineman in the win over Maryland. He graded 85 percent for his 81 plays of action and had a season high 11 knockdown blocks.
Kyle Young is just a sophomore, but is the most experienced of the linemen. The native of Clemson is the brother of former Clemson All-ACC guard Will Young and the grandson of former Tiger Ed McClendon. Young graded 85 percent for his 66 snaps against North Carolina and had seven knockdown blocks. He missed the last 12 snaps of the game with a sprained ankle.
Clemson’s offensive line averages 261 pounds per man, but they are in good physical condition. Many of the starters have gone the distance this season. Young has four complete games and has missed just 13 snaps all year. John McDermott, starting tackle, actually has gone the distance in all six games so far this season, the only Tiger on the entire team who can make that claim. Akil Smith has fiyr complete games and has missed just three snaps all year. He had a team best eight knockdowns against North Carolina.
Guard Theo Mougros has gone the route in five of the six games. T.J. Watkins, who starts at guard after playing tackle the first three games this year and tight end last year, has played every snap in one game and missed just one snap in another. Will Merritt, who is out for at least five more weeks with a broken collarbone, played every snap in the first two games.
All five starters on the offensive line are underclassmen, three are sophomores (Young, Smith and Watkins). In fact, with Streeter’s injury, Clemson will start nine underclassmen on offense on Saturday. Wide receivers Brian Wofford and Mal Lawyer are the only seniors in the starting lineup.
Two Tigers in Top 35 in Nation in Receiving One of the greatest examples of Clemson’s improvement in the passing games is the existence of two Tiger players among the top 35 pass receivers in the nation. Both Rod Gardner (8th) and Brian Wofford (32nd ) are listed in the top 35 in the nation on a receptions per game basis. Clemson has had just five players since 1951 rank in the final top 25 of the nation’s pass receivers.
Gardner is 8th in the nation in receptions with 7.3 per game. He has 44 receptions for 589 yards so far this season. He is also 15th in the nation in reception yards per game with 98.2 per game. Tony Horne, now with the St. Louis Rams, has the school record with 70 catches in 1997.
Wofford has 34 receptions in three games for 433 yards and ranks 32nd in the country in total receptions per contest.
Here is a list of Clemson players who have ranked in the final top 25 in the nation in receiving:
Year Player Rec/G Rk1951 Glenn Smith *35 19th1953 Dreher Gaskin *22 21st1978 Jerry Butler 4.9 10th1980 Perry Tuttle 4.8 13th1997 Tony Horne 6.2 14th
*Receivers ranked on total receptions
Second Generation Tiger Fourth in Tackles Clemson has had a lot of second generation Tiger players over the years, but few have had as big an impact as Clemson linebacker Braxton K. Williams. The sophomore from Greensboro has 41 tackles over the first six games, fourth best on the team. He also has 5-36 in tackles for loss and 3-26 in terms of sacks. He is second on the team lead in sacks with Keith Adams.
Williams is the son of former Clemson running back Braxton Williams, who played on Clemson’s 1982 ACC Championship team and was a fullback on Clemson’s 9-1-1 Tiger eleven. His son has started all six games this year and has been a model of consistency. He had a career high 10 tackles at Virginia Tech. He had nine tackles against Virginia and was named ACC Defensive Back of the Week.
Williams provided the Clemson team with the two biggest defensive plays of the victory over the Cavs. In the first period he sacked Virginia QB Dan Ellis and forced a fumble in the process. Clemson recovered and drove for a touchdown. In the second period he dove to keep a loose ball in bounds, allowing Clemson to recover at their own 15 and end an almost certain Cavalier scoring drive. It might be the greatest play in Clemson history that receives no statistical credit.
Zachery Has Five TDs last Two Games While Travis Zachery will be the first to credit the improved blocking of Clemson’s light, but quick offensive line, the sophomore from Georgia has done his part. In the last two weeks, Zachery has five touchdowns, two at NC State and three at Maryland. He now has seven for the year, more than the four touchdowns he had last year when he led all Clemson running backs in that area.
Zachery now averages 76.6 yards per game on the round in his five games. He had 24 carries for 95 yards at Maryland. His longest run was 13 yards and he also had a pair of receptions for four yards. For the season Zachery has 12 catches for 127 yards. When he scored three touchdowns at Maryland he became the first Clemson running back to score three rushing touchdowns in a game since 1995 when Emory Smith rushed for four scores at Wake Forest.
Romano Makes Contribution Clemson punter Ryan Romano is quietly having a consistent and effective season. He might have had his best all-around game at Maryland when he had five punts for a 43.6 average, including a 52-yarder and a punt inside the 20. What was especially noteworthy was the fact that Romano had three special teams tackles in the game, all on punt returns.
Romano comes from an athletic family. His older brother Eric was a walk-on tight end at Florida State i nthe 1980s. Older brother Todd was a kicker for Iowa between 1991-95 and his brother Chad was a punter at Kansas State between 1992-96. His father was also a running back at Florida State.
Romano, who is studying to be a doctor and has been on the ACC Academic Honor roll each of his first three years at Clemson, has averaged 39 yards a boot this year and has a net figure of 36.3. He has nine punts inside the 20 and five over 50. He has just two touchbacks against those nine punts inside the 20.
Clemson Offense Especially Sharp in ACC Play Clemson has scored at least 30 points in each of its first four ACC games this year. This is just the second time in history that Clemson has scored at least 30 points in four straight ACC games. The only other team in Clemson history to do it was the 1978 Tiger team that finished 11-1 and set many school offensive records.
Clemson has averaged 34.3 points and 450.3 yards of total offense in the four ACC games this year. The Tigers have completed 64 percent of their passes for 272 yards. The Tigers have averaged 178 yards a game on the ground in league play and have a 44-17 advantage in points off turnover.
February 14, 2019
February 6, 2019