Sept. 24, 2001
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Game Four: Clemson at Georgia Tech
Saturday, Sept. 29, 2001 3:30 PM (EST) Bobby Dodd Stadium (41,924) Atlanta, GA
In the Rankings Clemson – NR AP, #25 USA Today/ESPN Georgia Tech – #9 AP, #11 USA Today/ESPN
Television: ABCPlay By Play: Sean McDonough * Color: Ed Cunningham * Sideline: Leslie Gudel
Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports NetworkPlay By Play: Jim Phillips * Color: Mike EppleySideline: Rodney Williams
Series History: Georgia Tech leads 43-20-2Tickets: Sold Out
Clemson-Tech Series Notes Georgia Tech has a 43-20-2 lead in the series with Clemson dating back to a 23-0 Tiger win in Augusta, GA in 1898, just the 11th game in Clemson football history. In fact, Clemson won the first four games of the series, including games in 1902 and 1903 when John Heisman was at the helm. Clemson defeated Georgia Tech in Atlanta 73-0 in 1903 with Heisman as head coach. Heisman then moved to Georgia Tech and defeated Clemson two years later (1905) by a 17-10 score.
The series was incredibly close in the 1990s. Eight times the two teams played a game decided by four points or less, including each of the last four of the decade and all were decided by exactly three points. The trend continued last year in the first season of the 21st century when Tech won 31-28. That means, each of the last five games have been decided by exactly three points. Tech has won each of the last four meetings by exactly three points. The last time the two teams played in Atlanta, GA, the final was a 45-42 thriller in favor of the Yellow Jackets.
The Tigers have a 7-4 advantage in games at Clemson, but Georgia Tech leads 39-10-2 in games played in Atlanta. Every game between the two teams in the 1907-74 era was held in Atlanta. Clemson’s only wins in those 36 meetings came in 1907, 1936, 1945 and 1969. The 1969 victory was Frank Howard’s final season as head coach.
The first time Georgia Tech played in Clemson’s stadium was 1974, a 21-17 Clemson victory. The series is tied at 9-9, regardless of site, since Georgia Tech joined the ACC in 1983. Clemson had a four -game winning streak over Georgia Tech snapped in 1997 when Tech won in Atlanta, 23-20. Now Tech has won four in a row. This is not Tech’s longest streak of victories in the series. They defeated Clemson 15 straight games between 1908-34.
Clemson’s last win over the Yellow Jackets took place at Clemson in 1996, a 28-25 Tiger win. Nealon Greene, now playing in the CFL, clinched that game with a one-yard run with just 4:10 left.
Last Year Georgia Tech 31, Clemson 28 Kerry Watkins made a one-hand diving catch in the back of the Clemson endzone with just seven seconds left to give Georgia Tech a 31-28 victory at Death Valley in 2000. The Tech victory ended Clemson’s eight-game win streak to open the season. It marked the fourth straight year Tech had beaten Clemson by exactly three points. For the second straight game Clemson had to go without Woodrow Dantzler at quarterback due to an injury. Willie Simmons came off the bench and played well, connecting on 9-18 passes for 131 yards, including an 18-yard scoring pass to Rod Gardner with just 1:52 left, a play that many thought would give Clemson its ninth straight win. Travis Zachery had a strong day for Clemson with 16-101 rushing, his third 100-yard day in the last four outings. He also caught a 29-yard scoring pass from Dantzler in the first half. He finished with 150 all-purpose yards for the afternoon.
Clemson burst to a 14-3 lead in the first quarter. Clemson forced a Tech punt on the first possession of the game and Toure Francis burst through to block it. Joel Gardner recovered at the Georgia Tech one-yard-line. Dantzler scored from there.
After a Tech field goal, Clemson drove 72 yards in just six plays behind Dantzler and Zachery. The duo hooked up on a 29-yard touchdown pass, giving Clemson a 14-3 lead just halfway through the first period. But, Georgia Tech took command the rest of the half, going on a 16-0 run to take the lead at intermission. George Godsey, who threw for a Clemson opponent record 454 yards and completed 35 passes on the day, hit Watkins on a 33-yard scoring pass with 7:47 to go before halftime. That would be Tech’s only touchdown over the first 53 minutes of the game.
It was a defensive struggle in the third period. Clemson’s punt return team broke the ice on the next to the last play of the third period. Brian Mance, who was in the game for an injured Joe Don Reames, raced 88 yards with a Tech punt, giving Clemson a 21-16 lead heading into the final period. It was Clemson’s 50th touchdown of the season a school record.
Tech came back to take a 24-21 advantage with 6:35 to go. Godsey hit Kelly Campbell on a 48-yard touchdown pass to give Tech the lead. Campbell finished the day with 14 catches for 209 yards, the most catches ever against Clemson.
But, two possessions later, Clemson took the lead 28-24. Simmons hit Gardner in the back of the Clemson end zone on an 18-yard scoring pass to culminate a 3-play 42-yard drive. But, Tech still had time. Behind Godsey, who hit 7-11 passes on the drive, Tech drove 80 yards in 11 plays and with just seven seconds left, Watkins made his sterling catch.
Chad Carson, a native of Georgia, had 22 tackles to lead the Clemson defense, which was on the field for 97 plays this day. Alex Ardley had 17 tackles, while Charles Hafley added 13. Nick Eason had nine tackles, most by a Clemson defensive lineman this season, and also had two tackles for loss, including a sack.
Last Meeting in Atlanta Georgia Tech 45, Clemson 42 The last time the two teams met in Atlanta, 87 points were scored. It is the only game in Clemson history in which the Tigers have scored 40 points and lost. Travis Zachery scored on a one-yard run with 6:58 left to cut the deficit to 45-42. Clemson got the ball back, but a Woody Dantzler to Mal Lawyer pass in the Georgia Tech endzone was broken up by Chris Young and Georgia Tech ran out the clock to gain the win.
The two teams combined for 87 points and 965 yards of total offense. It was the first game and still only game in Clemson history in which both teams scored in the 40s. Clemson made two major comebacks against the 13th-ranked Yellow Jackets. Woodrow Dantzler replaced an injured Brandon Streeter with the Tigers trailing 7-0 in the first period. Tech improved the margin to 21-0 before Dantzler got the Tigers going in the right direction with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Pat Cyrgalis. Dantzler took Clemson to 28 points in the second period and the score was tied at 28 at intermission.
Clemson then trailed 45-28 in the fourth period before Dantzler led Clemson to two fourth-quarter scores. Joe Hamilton led Tech with 410 yards of total offense, most ever against Clemson at the time. He was 22-30 for 322 yards and five touchdowns, and rushed for 88 more on 19 attempts. Tech was 11-17 on third-down conversions.
Dantzler had a big game for Clemson with 305 yards of total offense, 185 passing and 120 rushing. Travis Zachery added 86 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Chad Carson had 15 tackles apiece for the Clemson defense, while Robert Carswell added 14.
Tiger Veterans vs. Georgia Tech
Starting defensive tackle Jovon Bush has played 47 snaps in twogames against Georgia Tech and has five tackles, including one forloss. Chad Carson has played in three games against Tech, two as astarter. He had one tackle on special teams in 1998, 15 tackles in79 plays as a starter in 1999 and a career-high 22 tackles in 97plays against Tech in 2000. Woodrow Dantzler has completed 19-33passes for 261 yards and three scores against Tech in his career.He also has 37 rushes for 138 yards and two scores against theYellow Jackets. In two games he has 70 plays of total offense for399 yards. Nick Eason has 11 tackles in two games against Tech. Hehad a career-high nine tackles in 64 plays as a starter last year.He had two tackles for loss, including a sack against Tech in 2000.Toure Francis, a second team defensive back this year, had ablocked punt that set up a touchdown against Georgia Tech lastyear. Charles Hafley has played in three games in his careeragainst Tech and has 19 tackles. That includes 13 tackles in lastyear’s game, his second highest total of the season. Clemson punterWynn Kopp has played two games against Tech, both as a GeorgiaBulldog. He had nine punts for a 37.2-yard average in 1998, thenhad five punts for a 40.2 average at Tech in 1999. Kicker TonyLazzara was 6-6 on extra points at Tech in 1999. Brian Mance had an 88-yard puntreturn for a touchdown against Tech in Death Valley in 2000. He hadthree punt returns for 105 yards overall. Reserve quarterbackWillie Simmons came off the bench to hit 9-18 for 131 yards and atouchdown against Tech in 2000. Braxton K.Williams has played twogames against Georgia Tech and has 11 tackles. Travis Zachery had22-94 and a touchdown against Tech in 1998, then 18-86 and threetouchdowns in 1999, then 16-101 rushing and 4-49 receiving and atouchdown in 2000. He has 56-281 and four rushing touchdowns, plus6-86 and one touchdown receiving.
Clemson Faces 9th-Ranked Georgia Tech Team Clemson faces a ninth ranked (AP) Georgia Tech team in Atlanta this weekend. This is the highest ranked Georgia Tech team Clemson has faced since 1966 when Frank Howard’s eventual ACC champions faced Tech in Atlanta. Tech was ranked ninth in AP heading into that game also. Tech won the contest 13-12.
Clemson is 2-9 against ranked Georgia Tech teams over the years. The two wins came at Death Valley in the 1990s. Clemson defeated a 22nd-ranked Tech team at Clemson in 1996, 28-25, and a 19th-ranked Tech team at Clemson in 1991 by a 9-7 score.
The highest ranked Tech team Clemson has faced is an eighth-ranked Yellow Jacket team in 1959. Tech won that game in Atlanta, 16-6.
Bowden 6-1 Week After a Loss Clemson faces an uphill battle this week, trying to defeat a top-10 team on the road after a heart-breaking loss to Virginia. The Cavs scored the winning touchdown with just one second left. But, the Tigers have done well coming off a loss under Bowden. In his two and a half years as Clemson head coach the Tigers are 6-1 in regular season games coming off a loss. The lone loss, and thus the only two-game losing streak of Bowden’s career came last year at Florida State. After a loss to Tech at Clemson, the Tigers dropped a 54-7 decision at Florida State. Clemson broke the streak against South Carolina.
Bowden was 3-1 at Tulane coming off a loss. Thus, he is 9-2 in his head-coaching career the week after a loss.
Tigers From Georgia Clemson has 17 players on its roster, including 13 who should be on the travel roster, from the state of Georgia. Eight of Clemson’s 24 starters (including punter and place kicker) are from Atlanta. Clemson has two players, Khaleed Vaughn and Chip Myrick, who list Atlanta as their hometown. Myrick is being red-shirted, but Vaughn is a starting defensive end.
The list of Clemson starters from Georgia include Chad Carson, whose father Thomas, played football for Tech. Nick Eason, Matt Bailey, Travis Zachery and Wynn Kopp are six other Tigers from Georgia who are slated to start at Tech.
Georgia Tech Update Georgia Tech enters this week’s game with a 3-0 record and a top 10 national ranking. The Yellow Jackets own wins over Syracuse, The Citadel and Navy. This will be their first ACC game of the season. This will be Tech’s first game since Sept. 8, meaning the Yellow Jackets will have three weeks to prepare for the Tigers, the same amount of time Virginia had heading into last week’s game. Tech is led by George Godsey, the nation’s top-ranked passer in terms of passing efficiency. He has completed 37-51 passes for 604 yards, a 72.5 percent accuracy mark. Clemson’s Woodrow Dantzler, like Godsey a graduate student, has completed 68.5 percent of his passes. Godsey has not thrown an interception all year and has four touchdowns. Kelly Campbell is the top receiver for the Yellow Jackets with 14 receptions for 230 yards. He had 14 catches at Clemson last year, the most ever against Clemson, for 209 yards. Jonathan Smith had 11-157 receiving in the first three games. Joe Burns is the top rusher with 50-210 yards and four scores, while Jimmy Dixon has 21-71, but also has four touchdowns.
Tech’s defense leads the ACC in passing efficiency defense, allowing just 426 passing yards in three games. They have allowed opponents to be successful on third down just 23 percent of the time, best in the ACC. Clemson is best in the league at converting on third down (52.3 percent). Daryl Smith and Keyaron Fox lead the Yellow Jackets in tackles with 20 apiece. Recardo Wimbush has 16, while Greg Gathers has just eight tackles, but five are for losses.
Tigers Must Overcome Injuries Clemson will have to overcome some significant injuries to defeat Georgia Tech on Sept. 29. That is especially the case at the wide receiver position. Heading into the middle of August it appeared that Clemson’s top three receivers would be Kevin Youngblood, Roscoe Crosby and Jackie Robinson. Youngblood (broken leg) and Robinson (broken jaw) will not play at Tech and Crosby is questionable at this point.
The Clemson defense also has two starters out in linebacker Altroy Bodrick and safety Nick Eason, Clemson’s defensive MVP last year, played just five snaps against Virginia before spraining an ankle. He is also questionable for this week.
Five Tigers on Football Writers Association Watch List Five Clemson players were on the Football Writers Association All-American Watch List heading into the season. Four of the players are on offense and one on defense. All five should play at Tech. The list includes quarterback Woodrow Dantzler, running back Travis Zachery, guard Will Merritt, center Kyle Young and linebacker Chad Carson.
Clemson to Play 92-Day Regular season As a result of the terrorist attacks on the East Coast on Sept. 11, and the subsequent schedule change, Clemson’s 2001 regular season will stretch 92 days, longest in school history. The Clemson vs. Duke game originally scheduled for Sept. 15 was moved to Dec. 1, two weeks after the original season finale at South Carolina on Nov. 17.
The previous longest season in Clemson history was 87 days, set in 1991 when Clemson began the season on Sept. 7, then concluded the regular season on Nov. 30 in Tokyo. That season also finished with a game against Duke. Clemson had 85-day regular seasons in 1984 and 1996. Fifteen consecutive Clemson seasons have lasted at least 78 days dating to the 1986 season that lasted 71 days.
The shortest 11-game regular season took place in 1977 and 1980 when the season spanned 70 days. Six other 11-game seasons went across 71 days.
Hamilton Second Nationally Among Freshmen Clemson freshman Derrick Hamilton is the second ranked freshman receiver in the nation with an average of 5.33 receptions per game. He is 48th overall. Only Nehemiah Glover of Texas Tech has a higher per game average among freshmen. He has averaged 5.5 catches per game. Hamilton is 16-158 for the season, tops on the Clemson team. He had 9-90 receiving against Virginia, tied for the most receptions in a single game by a Clemson freshman. He tied the mark held by Terry Smith, who had 9-84 against Maryland in 1990. Hamilton’s 90 yards receiving were the second highest figure by a Clemson freshman. Ray Williams had 105 yards receiving on four catches against N.C. State in 1983, the only 100-yard receiving game by a Clemson freshman in history.
Clemson Picks up 29 First Downs, and loses Clemson gained 29 first downs against Virginia on Sept. 22, yet lost the game 26-24. That was the most first downs by a Clemson team in a loss since Nov. 6, 1976. The Tigers had 29 first downs in a 27-23 loss to North Carolina at Death Valley. Clemson quarterback coach Mike O’Cain played as a reserve in that game for the Tigers. One other odd common stat, both starting quarterbacks for Clemson in those games had exactly 67 yards rushing. Steve Fuller had 67 in that loss 25 years ago, while Woodrow Dantzler rushed for 67 in the loss to Virginia.
Those are the only two games in Clemson history that the Tigers have had at least 28 first downs, yet lost. Clemson had won 16 in a row when recording at least 28 first downs dating to that 1976 game. In history, Clemson has had an even 50 games in which it has at least 25 first downs. The Tigers are now 44-5-1 in those games, an 89 percent winning mark.
Field Position Important Field position is an important statistic in any football game. That has certainly been the case when evaluating the Clemson defense this year. Clemson has allowed nine scoring drives in three games, seven touchdowns and two field goals. Opponents have driven over 66 yards for a score just once all year, an 81-yard drive for a touchdown by Central Florida in the season opener.
Twenty-three times this year the opposition has taken possession of the ball at their own 30 or worse. They have driven for a touchdown just once in those 23 possessions. They have added two field goals. On four of the opposition’s seven touchdowns, they have had to drive 52 yards or less. That includes a 44-yard drive for the winning drive by Virginia.
Tigers Drops Heartbreaker to Virginia Billy McMullen caught a one-yard touchdown pass from Bryson Spinner with just one second left, leading Virginia to a 26-24 win over Clemson at Death Valley on Sept. 22. It was the first game for the Tigers in two weeks, the first for Virginia in three weeks after college football play was stopped as the result of terrorist activities in New York and Washington DC on Sept. 11.
The scoring drive was the climax of a contest that kept the crowd of 79,000 fans at the edge of their seats. There were three lead changes in the contest. Clemson held a 10-6 lead at intermission, but Virginia scored two touchdowns within the first seven minutes of the third period to take a 20-10 lead. Clemson came back with two touchdowns of its own, one in the third period on a one-yard run by Travis Zachery in the fourth period.
Clemson had a 24-20 lead with five minutes left. The Tigers had driven the ball to the Virginia 31 and appeared to be on the verge of putting the game away. But quarterback Woodrow Dantzler was sacked by the Cavalier defense and fumbled ending the drive.
Clemson’s defense stood tall, thanks in part to a Donnell Washington sack. But, the Cavs downed a punt at the Clemson four to win the field position battle. The exchange of punts allowed Virginia to take over at the Clemson 44 with just 1:44 remaining. The Cavaliers drove the final 44 yards with a second to spare and came away with the victory, its third in history in Death Valley.
Clemson won the statistical battle, but not the scoreboard. Clemson had 433 yards of total offense, compared to 387 for Virginia. Clemson had the ball for 35 minutes, compared to 25 for the Cavs. As stated earlier, Clemson had 29 first downs, most ever for a Clemson team in a loss. Dantzler completed 25-34 passes for 251 yards. He had 10 consecutive completions at one point. Freshman Derrick Hamilton led the receivers with 9-90. Travis Zachery led the rushers with 23-87 and added 3-35 receiving. Dantzler added 67 yards rushing, giving him 318 yards of total offense.
Charles Hafley led the Tiger tacklers with 16, including 13 first hits. He also had an interception, Clemson’s first theft of the year. John Leake added 10 tackles, while Braxton K. Williams added nine in his first game as a free safety.
Turnover Margin Must Improve When Tommy Bowden became head coach of the Tigers he stated that turnover margin is the most important statistic when evaluating the success of a football team. When he turned around the Tulane program in 1997-98, that was a key stat. Both his 1997 and 1998 Tulane teams ranked fifth in the nation in turnover margin and the teams were a combined 18-4.
In his first year at Clemson the Tigers made considerable improvement and that was the case in turnover margin. Clemson was 103rd in the nation in turnover margin in 1998, the year before Bowden came to Clemson, then ranked 11th nationally in that category in 1999, his first year. Last year Clemson was third in the ACC and 35th in the nation in that category in recording a 9-3 ledger.
This year turnovers have been a problem. Clemson has committed eight turnovers and forced just four, a -1.33 per game. Clemson is currently 99th in the nation in turnover margin. Clemson has lost the turnover margin statistic in all three games so far this year.
Clemson’s Road Ranked Wins Clemson will have a chance to add to its list of road wins over ranked teams this weekend at Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are ranked ninth in the latest AP poll and 11th in the USA Today poll. Clemson last defeated a ranked team on road in 1997, a 19-17 win over a 25th-ranked (USA Today) N.C. State team.
Clemson has 16 road wins over ranked teams in its history. Clemson’s highest ranked road win took place at North Carolina in 1981 when the Tigers defeated an eighth-ranked Tar Heel team. Clemson was ranked second in the nation heading into that game. Clemson has two other road wins over top 10 teams, a 1983 win over 10th ranked North Carolina and a 1992 win at 10th ranked Virginia.
Clemson’s Highest Ranked Wins A win for Clemson over ninth ranked Georgia Tech would be the highest ranked Clemson win in since 1981 when Clemson defeated fourth-ranked Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, a 22-15 victory that gave Clemson the National Championship.
Regardless of site, Clemson has eight wins over top 10 teams in its history, three in Death Valley. Clemson has had 20 wins over top 25 teams since 1986 and has had at least one ranked win in 13 of the last 15 seasons (including this season). The Tigers defeated Virginia, 33-14, in 1999 when the Cavs were ranked 19th (USA Today), then downed a 25th-ranked South Carolina team last year. That was Clemson’s last win over a ranked team.
Dantzler Nearing 4,000-2,000 Mark Clemson quarterback Woodrow Dantzler enters the Georgia Tech game with 1,779 yards rushing and 3,886 yards passing in regular season games in his Clemson career. He needs 221 yards rushing and 114 passing to become the first ACC player in history to reach 2,000 yards rushing and 4,000 yards passing in a career. ACC statistics do not include bowl games, thus the above qualifier. Including bowl games, Dantzler has 1,868 rushing and 4,071 passing in his four-year career.
So far this season, Dantzler has 168 yards rushing and 612 passing for 780 total, an average of 260 yards per game in total offense. He ranks first in the conference in total offense per game and is 26th in the nation in that category.
Dantzler is coming close to an ACC record. As listed above, he has 1,779 career rushing yards in regular season play, just 161 away from Mike Dunn’s ACC record for career rushing yards by a quarterback. Dunn, a senior in 1978, had 1939 rushing yards for the Blue Devils in his career. Dunn is also the last ACC player (1976) to lead his team in rushing and passing in the same regular season. Dantzler currently leads the Tigers in both areas. He led the Tigers in both areas including bowl games last year.
Dantzler became Clemson’s career rushing leader among quarterbacks in the season opener against Central Florida when he gained 46 yards rushing. That put him ahead of Steve Fuller’s 1737 total. Dantzler now has 1868 (including bowl games).
The graduate student has connected on 68.5 percent of his passes this year, a record pace, and is now at 57.7 percent for his career, also best in school history. He needs just three touchdowns rushing or passing to break Steve Fuller’s touchdown responsibility record (44). He has improved to third in school history in passing efficiency and is also in the top five in total offense, passing yards and completions.
Dantzler on Clemson career Records Lists Rank/Category/Figure Left for Record
1st, quarterback rushing (1801) has record 1st, completionpercentage (.577) has record 2nd in touchdown responsibility (42) 3TDs 3rd in total offense (5939) 847 yards 3rd in completions (318)141 completions 4th in passing efficiency (127.7) 131.3 rating 4thin interception avoidance (2.9 percent) 2.55 percent 4th in totalplays (975) 184 plays 5th in passing yards (3820) 1900 yards 6th intouchdown passes (23) 13 TD passes
Clemson Records Held by Dantzler (22)
Total offense in a season-2899 (2000) Completion percentage incareer-.577 Most total offense in a game-435 vs. Maryland, 1999Yards rushing by a quarterback in season-1028 (2000) Yards rushingby a quarterback in a game-220 vs. Virginia, 2000 Yards rushing bya quarterback in a career-1868 100-yard rushing games in season bya quarterback-4 (2000) 100-yard rushing games by quarterback incareer-6 Most yards rushing in series of 3 games-520 (2000) Mostyards rushing in series of 4 games-623 (2000) Most totaloffense/game in season-241.6 (2000) Most total offense/game incareer-198 Most 200-yard total offense games in season-9 (2000)Most 300-yard total offense games in career-7 Most 100-yardrushing, 300-yard total offense games in a season-4 (2000) Most100-yard rushing, 300-yard total offense games in a career-6 Mostconsecutive games throwing a touchdown pass-6 (2000) Mostconsecutive games with 200 yards total offense-7 (2000) Mosttouchdowns rushing and passing in a season-24 (2000) Single gamepass completion percentage-.941 vs. The Citadel, 2000 Single gamepassing efficiency (Min 15 att.)-247.2 vs. The Citadel, 2000 Mosttotal offense plays in season-434 (2000)
Mance In top 15 in Punt and Kickoff Returns Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden said during the preseason that he thought he would have the best special teams since he has been the head coach of the Tigers. That is proving to be a correct prediction, and the leader of the special teams production has been cornerback Brian Mance.
Mance has been a terror for opposing special teams coaches through the first three weeks of the season. His production is reflected in the NCAA Statistics released Sept. 23. The junior was ranked 12th in the nation in kickoff returns with a 29.6-yard average on five returns, and 11th in punt returns with a 14.4-yard average on six returns. He has 237 yards on kickoff returns and 101 on punt returns for a total of 338 yards on 15 total returns.
Mance is the only player in the nation to rank in the top 15 in the country in both categories, making him king of return men in the nation. One former Tiger, Antwuan Wyatt, ranked in the top 15 in both categories in 1995. That season Wyatt averaged 25.0 on kickoff returns to average 12th in the nation, and his 12.3-yard average on punt returns ranked 15th.
Mance had flashes of brilliance in the return game as a sophomore, so his production this year is really no surprise. Last year he had six kickoff returns for a 26-yard average, and had a Clemson record 32-yard average on six punt returns in 2000. That punt return total included an 88-yard return in Death Valley against Georgia Tech, fifth longest punt return by a Tiger in history.
Mance is off to quite a start overall. He was the ACC Defensive Back of the Week in the first game of the season when he had 10 tackles and a pass broken up against Central Florida. He was then chosen ACC Specialist of the Week for his performance against Wofford.
Big Day for Clemson Big Macs Saturday’s win over Wofford was a big day for Clemson wide receiver J.J. McKelvey and defensive end Bryant McNeal. Both had a direct impact on Clemson’s 38-14 victory with career best performances. In fact, both players went from zero in their prime stat category in the first game to leading the Tigers in the second.
McKelvey had eight receptions for 73 yards and two scores in the victory over the Terriers. That included six catches in the second period alone. McKelvey did not have a reception in the first game, then had the eight against Wofford. In fact, he had just three career receptions for 90 yards in his career entering that contest. He is now ranked in the top 10 in the ACC in receiving and is second to Rod Gardner as the only Clemson receivers to catch two touchdown passes in a game under Tommy Bowden.
McNeal did not have a tackle in the season opener against Central Florida. He had six in the Wofford game, including four tackles for loss, the top total for the Tigers against Wofford. That included two sacks and a caused fumble. McNeal had just nine career tackles for loss entering the Wofford game, then had four in that game. He joined Keith Adams as the only Tigers to have at least four tackles for loss in a game under Tommy Bowden. He was the first defensive lineman to have four tackles for loss in a game since Adrian Dingle had four against Furman in the 1998 season opener.
Carson, Leake top Clemson Tacklers Chad Carson and John Leake are becoming quite a one-two punch on Clemson’s second line of defense. Against Wofford’s run oriented attack numbers 45 and 46 combined for 34 tackles. Carson had 18 and Leake picked up a career high 16. Leake now leads the team with 35, while Carson is second with 32.
For Carson the 18 tackles against Wofford tied for his second highest single game total as a Tiger. The only performance that is higher is the 22-tackle performance he had against Georgia Tech at Death Valley last year. That is an ironic fact in itself considering that Carson’s father played for Georgia Tech.
Carson now has 343 tackles for his career, eighth best in school history. He moved ahead of Tim Jones with seven tackles against Virginia. Next on the list is former teammate Robert Carswell, who had 374 between 1997-00. If he averages 10 tackles a game over the rest of the season he will finish his career ranked fourth in Clemson history, trailing only Bubba Brown, Anthony Simmons and Jeff Davis. That is impressive company.
Leake has a long way to go to catch Carson, but he is taking a similar path. Carson had just 11 tackles his freshman year as a reserve linebacker in 1998. Leake had nine as a reserve last year.
10. Henry Walls LB 1983-85 33611. Jim Stuckey DT 1976-7931412. Doug Brewster LB 1987-90 312
West Puts in Extra Effort Some Clemson fans might have seen a strange sight during post-game traffic of Clemson’s 21-13 win over Central Florida on September 1. Some fans caught in the traffic on College Avenue might have noted Assistant Coach Ron West riding a green bicycle, beating the considerable traffic as the result of a crowd of 79,500 people. West borrowed the bike owned by one of his players, offensive lineman Nick DiPrimio to get across Route 123 in a timely fashion. The reason for his haste? West was in a hurry to get to Boone, NC to see his son, Brad, play for Appalachian State in its season opening game against Liberty.
The use of the bike enabled West to save considerable time. He then took a back route to Boone and he arrived with eight minutes to go in the half. His son, a freshman, did not play in the game, but it certainly meant a lot to Brad to have his father at his first college football game.
West is one of three Clemson assistant coaches with a son who plays college football. Offensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach Brad Scott is the father of Clemson wide receiver Jeff Scott. The younger Scott scored a touchdown on a 22-yard run in the first game of the season against UCF, the eventual game winner. He had a reception for five yards against Wofford. Jack Hines’ son Robert is the starting quarterback at Tennessee-Martin.
Tigers Only Division I Team With Two Academic All-Americans Clemson is the only school in the nation with two returning first-team Academic All-Americans on its roster. Linebacker Chad Carson and center Kyle Young were both named first-team Academic All-Americans in 2000. That was the first time in Clemson history the Tigers had two first-team selections in the same year.
Carson is a senior with a 3.94 career GPA in biological sciences and is pursuing a Rhodes Scholarship. He led the Tigers in tackles last year and ranked fourth in the nation. Young led the Tigers in knockdown blocks last year with 120. He graduated from Clemson with a 3.97 career GPA last year and is now taking postgraduate courses. He was also a first-team Academic All-American in 1999 and is trying to become just the second ACC player in history to be a three time first-team selection. Mike Diminick, who played for Duke in the 1980s, is the only other ACC player to be a three-time first-team selection.
Clemson 34-0-1 With 200 Yards Passing and Rushing Clemson gained 200 yards rushing and 286 yards passing in the win over Wofford, the eighth time under Tommy Bowden Clemson has had at least 200 yards of each in the same game. Clemson is 8-0 in those games under Bowden and now 34-0-1 in history when gaining at least 200 of each. Clemson first turned the trick against Wake Forest in 1953.
The program had just 28 such games in the first 103 years of Clemson football prior to Bowden’s arrival and now has had eight in the 26 games he has been head coach of the Tigers. The streak was nearly snapped last year at Georgia Tech in 1999. Clemson had 231 yards rushing and 197 passing in the loss at Georgia Tech. The only tie game in which Clemson had at least 200 of each took place in 1976 when Clemson had 248 rushing and 234 passing in a 24-24 tie in Atlanta against Tech.
Clemson Still 25th in USA Today Poll Clemson is ranked 25th in the latest USA Today Coach’s poll. The Tigers have been ranked in the top 25 in the USA Today poll for 23 consecutive weeks. This is the second longest streak of consecutive weeks ranked in the top 20 in the AP poll in Clemson history. The record for consecutive top-20 rankings is 41, set between the final poll of the 1986 season and the Oct. 10, 1989 poll. The Tigers were ranked between third and 17th in the nation in all 41 or those polls. The record for consecutive weeks in the top 25 is 50 in a row between Oct. 24, 1989 and Oct. 19, 1992. The Tigers were ranked between 6 and 25 during that streak. Clemson was ranked between 21-25 in six of those 50 weeks. Clemson has had two other streaks of 14 weeks or more ranked in the top 20. One took place from Sept. 21, 1981 through Sept. 13, 1982, a 15-week streak, while the other took place between Oct. 12, 1959 and Oct. 10, 1960, a 14-week streak.
Six First-Year Freshmen Have Seen Action Clemson played five first-year freshmen in the season opener against UCF. The list included three receivers in Roscoe Crosby, Airese Currie and tight end Ben Hall. On defense, Moe Fountain and Eric Sampson were first-year freshmen that saw action.
Crosby started the game, the first first-year freshman to start at wide receiver in the season opener 1944 when Arthur Hagan started every game as a first-year freshman. That was during WWII when the United States Armed Services drafted most of Clemson’s upperclassmen. It didn’t take Crosby much time to have an impact. He caught a Utah pass from quarterback Woodrow Dantzler on the first play of the season and he turned it into a 12-yard gain. He also caught 33-yard pass for Clemson’s longest play of the day from scrimmage. Crosby finished the day with three catches for 64 yards. The yardage total led the Tigers against UCF. Hall also made his first career catch in the contest.
LeRoy Hill became the sixth first year freshman to play in a game when he played linebacker against Wofford. Hill had four tackles in 10 plays of action in the Clemson win. Hill, Fountain and Sampson all will have to play important roles for the Tigers in the Georgia Tech game.
Herring Suffers Torn Achilles The same day that Altroy Bodrick suffered a torn ACL, defensive coordinator Reggie Herring suffered a torn Achilles tendon. Herring suffered the injury while exhorting his defense after a good play during the August 18th scrimmage.
Herring, who never missed a game due to injury during his playing career at Florida State, will not miss a game this year. He coached from the press box for the first two games of the season, then returned to the sidelines for the Virginia game.
Herring showed some intestinal fortitude on August 22nd when he had the surgery to repair the torn Achilles at 6:30 AM, then returned to practice that afternoon at 3:30 PM. He coached from the sidelines while sitting in a golf cart. He was helped during that day by pain killers, causing Tommy Bowden to comment, “That is the first time I had an assistant coach on morphine during practice.”
Zachery Goes over 2600 Rushing For the second straight year, Travis Zachery opened the regular season having to prove himself after suffering a painful injury in a bowl game. The Doak Walker Award candidate suffered a broken ankle on a 23-yard scoring reception from Woodrow Dantzler in the Gator Bowl against Virginia Tech and that kept him out of the rest of the game and spring practice.
He proved that he is back to full strength against Virginia with a season high 87 yards rushing and 35 yards receiving for a total of 122 yards from scrimmage. He scored a touchdown on a two-yard run and now has 42 in his career, 35 rushing and seven receiving. He has 36 touchdowns over his last 27 games.
Zachery enters the Georgia Tech game with 2670 career rushing yards, fourth best in school history. The greatest receiving running back in Clemson history, he has a record 72 career catches for 758 yards. He has 3704 all-purpose running yards in his career, second best in school history.
Zachery probably won’t catch Raymond Priester when it comes to the career rushing record (he needs over 1300 yards), but he will have a good chance to catch Priester in all-purpose yards. Priester had 4282 all-purpose yards (rushing, receiving and kick returns combined), just 578 yards ahead of Zachery’s current total (3704).
Clemson vs. Duke moved to Dec. 1 The Clemson vs. Duke football game, originally scheduled for Sept. 15 at Clemson, will be played Dec. 1 at Clemson Memorial Stadium. The contest was postponed due to the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington last Tuesday. The game will kickoff at 1:00 PM.
This will be the latest Clemson has played a regular season game since 1956 when the Tigers defeated Furman at Death Valley, 28-7 on Dec. 1. It will be just the sixth regular season game in the month of December in Clemson football history. The latest Clemson has had a regular season game is Dec. 8, a 1928 loss to The Citadel in Charleston.
The change in schedule means that Duke and Clemson will meet in the major sports of football and men’s basketball on consecutive days. The two schools will meet in men’s basketball at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Dec. 2. That will be the earliest conference basketball game for the Tigers since 1966. Clemson played at North Carolina to open the 1966-67 season on Dec.1.
Clemson’s Eason Named to AFCA Goodworks Team Clemson defensive tackle Nick Eason was named to the 2001 American Football Coaches Association Good Works team on Wednesday. The AFCA recognizes 11 Division I players every year for their community service involvement. Eason was the only ACC player named to the team. Eason has been active in community service since he first came to Clemson in 1998. Each year the ACC honors six student-athletes at each of its member institutions for their time spent on community service projects. Eason is the only Clemson student-athlete to be chosen for this award three times.
Eason, a graduate student from Lyons, GA, has traveled abroad with the Athletes in Action to speak with students about the positives of athletics and to teach youngsters about sports. He also is a frequent visitor to elementary schools in he area.
Clemson’s defensive MVP last year earned his degree from Clemson in August and still has two years of eligibility remaining (including he 2001 season). He is the first Tiger gridder to earn his degree (sociology) with two years of eligibility remaining.
Eason is the second Clemson football player to be named to the Good Works team. Robert Carswell, now with the San Diego Chargers, was named to the team in 1999.
Changes from the Press Guide There have been some changes as far as personnel is concerned since the 2001 Clemson media guide was published in July. Three players on the press guide roster are no longer on the team. Freshman Micheaux Hollingsworth has decided to attend a junior college. Freshman Grant Oliver decided to leave Clemson a week into practice and has left school. David Ellis, a two-year letterman at defensive end, decided to leave the team a week into practice.
Five players have changed positions since the beginning of practice. Braxton K. Williams has moved from star safety to strongside linebacker. Tyrone Lee, a letterman as a reserve tight end last year, has moved to fullback. Eric Sampson, who came to Clemson as a linebacker this year, is now the backup star safety. Brian Carr has moved from quarterback to free safety and freshman Eric Coleman has moved from tight end to offensive tackle.
Seven Graduate Students to Start for Tigers Clemson has seven graduate students slated to hold starting positions for today’s game with Wofford. That is an all-time record for graduate students on the Clemson football team.
The list is led by Heisman Trophy candidate Woodrow Dantzler, who received his degree in marketing from Clemson in August. Dantzler hugged Clemson President Jim Barker when he was presented his diploma on the stage at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Starting defensive back Charles Hafley and starting defensive tackle Nick Eason both earned their degrees in sociology that same day.
Eason’s graduation was especially impressive because he still has two years of eligibility. He earned the degree in three years and three summer sessions and plans to earn a masters before his eligibility is up. He is the first Clemson football player to earn an undergraduate degree with two years of eligibility remaining.
Four other Clemson players received their degrees prior to this past August, and all four of them are starters on offense. Kyle Young, starting center, and T.J. Watkins, starting guard, earned their degrees in May. Young graduated Summa Cum Laude and is a two-time first-team Academic All-American. Wide receiver Matt Bailey also received his degree that day. Starting offensive guard Will Merritt received his degree in December of 2000, just a few days prior to the Gator Bowl.
Six Tigers on Preseason Award Lists Six Clemson players have been named to various preseason award lists for the 2001 season. Clemson quarterback Woodrow Dantzler is on the preseason list for the Davey O’Brien Award, which is given to the top quarterback in college football and the Unitas Award, which is given to the top senior quarterback. Running back Travis Zachery is on the Doak Walker Award list, which is given to the top running back in college football. Zachery is one of just two ACC players on the list. Clemson has two offensive linemen on the preseason Lombardi Award list. Center Will Merritt are both listed for the award that goes to the top lineman in college football. Clemson and Miami (FL) are the only two schools with two offensive linemen on the list. Defensive linemen and linebackers are also eligible. Young is also on the list for the Outland Trophy and the Rimington Award.
Chad Carson is the only Clemson defensive player on a preseason award list. Clemson’s top tackler from 2000 is on the preseason Butkus Award Watch List. Carson ranked fourth in the nation in tackles a year ago. Clemson linebacker Keith Adams was a finalist for the award last year.
Punter Wynn Kopp, who had a near 44-yard average in the season opener, is on the preseason list for the Ray Guy Award, which is given to the top punter in college football.
The only Clemson player to win a national award is Terry Kinard. The two-time first-team AP All-American was named the national defensive player of the year by CBS Sports in 1982. Kinard will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December and will be inducted into the Clemson Ring of Honor prior to the Clemson vs. Florida State game on Nov. 3.
Young Looks for Landmark Accomplishment Clemson center Kyle Young has been named a first-team Academic All-American each of the last two years. If he is chosen for a third time at the end of the 2001 season he will become just the second offensive lineman in college football history to be chosen a first-team Academic All-American in three different seasons. He would also become just the second ACC player in history to be chosen three times.
The College Sports Information Directors of America have chosen the academic All-America team every year since 1952, so the 2001 team will be the 50th team selected. Players chosen to the team must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA. Young had a 3.98 career GPA and graduated in May, Summa Cum Laude.
Young will try to join former Colorado offensive lineman Jim Hansen as the only three-time first-team selections. Hansen was named in 1990, 1991 and 1992. The only other ACC player to be a three-time first-team selection, regardless of position, is Mike Diminick, a defensive back from Duke, who was named first team in 1986, 1987 and 1988.
Overall, 12 different football players have been named first-team academic All-American three times. Clemson’s Kyle Young will attempt to join that group in 2001.
20 Tigers on NFL Rosters Twenty former Clemson football players, including four from last year’s 9-3 team that finished 14th in the final poll were named to NFL teams earlier this month. The list also included former Tiger lineman Corey Hulsey, who had not played since the 1998 season with the Tigers. Hulsey made the Buffalo Bills roster as a guard.
Rod Gardner (WR, Washington Redskins), Robert Carswell (FS, San Diego Chargers) and Darrel Crutchfield (DB, Philadelphia Eagles) were members of Clemson’s 2000 team that stuck with NFL teams as rookies. Terry Witherspoon was named to the San Diego Chargers practice squad. Gardner was a first-round pick and was a lock to make the Redskins. In fact, he is slated to start their season opener. Carswell was a seventh-round pick, while Crutchfield was a free agent.
Five of the 20 players on the list are in at least their 10th year in the NFL. That list includes Chris Gardocki, in his 11th year in the league as a punter. He will play for the Cleveland Browns this year. Terry Allen is a running back with the World Champion Baltimore Ravens, while Levon Kirkland, Ed McDaniel and Chester McGlockton are all former Tigers in their 10th year in the NFL.
The Seattle Seahawks will start two former Tiger linebackers in Anthony Simmons and Kirkland, while the Denver Broncos will start two former Tigers at defensive tackle in former All-Pros McGlockton and Trevor Pryce. The Seahawks, Broncos, Ravens, Chargers and Eagles all have two former Tigers apiece.
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