Sept. 12, 2005
Tigers Start 2-0When Clemson defeated Maryland in College Park on September 10, it gave the Tigers a 2-0 start to the season, Clemson’s first 2-0 start since 2001. It marked the third time that Coach Tommy Bowden has won his opening two games at Clemson, as he had an 8-0 start to the 2000 season in addition to the 2-0 start in 2001. He also had an 11-0 start, and finish, at Tulane in 1998.
Historically, Clemson has struggled in the second game of the year, a contributing factor to Clemson achieving a 2-0 start just 10 times since 1971. The only other year Clemson has been 2-0 since 1992 was in 1997.
Starting off with a 2-0 start is an indicator of a strong season for the Clemson program over the last 35 years. In the seasons Clemson has started off the year by winning its first two games since 1971, the Tigers have an 81-25-1 record, a .762 winning percentage. For those nine seasons that is basically a 9-3 season. If Clemson can defeat Miami (FL) it would give Clemson its first 3-0 start since the 2000 season and just its second 3-0 start since 1992.
Clemson 2-0 Starts Since 1971
Two Top 25 Teams meet in Death ValleyClemson and Miami (FL) are both ranked in the top 25 of both polls this week, the first time two top 25 teams have met in Death Valley since November 18, 2000 when 16th ranked Clemson met 25th ranked South Carolina. The Tigers won that exciting game thanks to a late 50-yard pass from Woodrow Dantzler to Rod Gardner, and a game-winning 25-yard field goal by Aaron Hunt with three seconds left.
Miami (FL) did not play last week, but is still ranked 13th in the nation in both polls. The Tigers are 20th in AP and 23rd in the USA Today Coach’s poll. It is the second straight week Clemson has been ranked in the AP top 25, the first time this year Clemson has appeared in the Coach’s poll top 25.
This will be the 14th time in history that a top 25 Clemson team has played a top 25 opponent in Death Valley. Clemson has a 9-4 record in those previous 13 Top 25 meetings. A pair of top 25 teams met in Death Valley just twice in the first 40 years of the stadium, but there have been 11 in the last 23 seasons. Three of the four losses by Clemson in battles of top 25 teams in Death Valley have been against Florida State (1988, 1992 and 1997). When Clemson defeated Florida State in 2003, the Seminoles were third, but Clemson was unranked.
The only other team to defeat Clemson in a battle of top 25 teams in Death Valley is Notre Dame in 1977. That year, Clemson was 15th and the Irish were fifth entering that game. Notre Dame scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter behind Joe Montana to take a 21-17 victory. The Irish went on to win the National Championship. Clemson has had success when it enters a game in Death Valley as a top 25 team. Over the years, Clemson is 70-14-3 in games played in Clemson Memorial Stadium when the Tigers enter the contest as a top 25 team, a .816 winning percentage.
Games Involving Two Top 25 Teams in Death Valley
Whitehurst Off to Efficient StartClemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst is off to a strong start to his final year, leading Clemson to consecutive victories over Texas A&M and Maryland. In the two games combined, Whitehurst has completed 32-41 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. Whitehurst’s passing efficiency is 168.52, 15th best in the nation and best in the ACC given a minimum of 15 attempts per game. A year ago, Whitehurst had a passing efficiency figure of 97.3.
In the victory at Maryland, Whitehurst completed 18-22 passes and the 81.8 completion percentage was fourth best in Clemson history given a minimum of 15 attempts, the second best of Whitehurst’s career.
The graduate student from Duluth, Georgia has had nine games in his career in which he has had an efficiency ratio of 150 or better and two of the top seven have come in the first two games with Rob Spence as his coordinator. Whitehurst had a 155.47 efficiency rating in the win over Texas A&M, the seventh best figure of his career, then had a 179.78 against Maryland, the fourth most efficient game of his career.
Charlie Whitehurst’s Best passing Efficiency Games
Whitehurst Becomes 20-Game WinnerNow Second in Top 25 WinsCharlie Whitehurst became the sixth 20-game winner in Clemson history when the Tigers defeated Maryland 28-24 on September 10. He is the first Clemson quarterback to reach 20 wins in a career since Nealon Greene recorded 24 wins as a starter from 1994-97. Greene is still active in the game as the starting quarterback for Saskatchewan in the CFL.
Rodney Williams is the career leader with 32 victories, a total that is among the top 25 victories totals in NCAA history at the Division I level. Williams, a member of the Clemson Hall of Fame, guided the Tigers to three consecutive seasons of two losses from 1986-88 and won three bowl games as a starting quarterback. While Whitehurst can’t catch Williams on the career wins list, he can reach second ranked Greene with just four more wins. Other Clemson 20-game winners are Homer Jordan, Steve Fuller and Mike Eppley. Whitehurst is currently sixth on the victories list with DeChane Cameron and Woodrow Dantzler.
With the win over 17th ranked Texas A&M, Whitehurst now has five top 25 wins under his belt. He moved ahead of Homer Jordan, Mike Eppley and Nealon Greene in career wins over top 25 teams with that Texas A&M win. He trails only Williams, who had seven top 25 wins between the 1986-88 seasons. Whitehurst is 5-4 against ranked teams in his career (including 5-2 in his last seven), while Williams was 7-4. Whitehurst will have another opportunity when the Tigers face Miami (FL), who is 13th in both polls entering the game on Saturday.
Clemson’s Winningest Quarterbacks
Another Last Second Tiger VictoryEight of the last 13 Clemson games have been decided by seven points or less, and all on plays within the last three minutes of the game or in overtime. Clemson has won six of those eight close games with either pivotal offensive or defensive plays. The 42-yard field goal by Jad Dean that gave Clemson a 25-24 victory over Texas A&M came with just two seconds left and was the latest game-winning field goal by a Tiger player since David Treadwell’s 21-yard field goal with two seconds left best Georgia in 1987. The Tigers followed that with the win at Maryland on a 38-yard run by Reggie Merriweather with just 2:58 left. The Clemson defense then forced Maryland to relinquish the ball with 47 seconds remaining, thanks to a sack by Gaines Adams.
Clemson has had many a close victory under Tommy Bowden. Since he became the head coach in 1999, Clemson has registered 10 victories in which it has overcome a deficit or a tie game to score the winning points in the fourth quarter. Eight of the 10 have come with offensive plays inside the last 23 seconds or in overtime.
Clemson Heart Stoppers the last Two Seasons (6-2)
Merriweather Sets Clemson RecordClemson running back Reggie Merriweather scored the game winning touchdown for the Tigers in the 28-24 win at Maryland on September 10. His 38-yard jaunt around right end on a third-and-seven play with 2:58 left marked the second straight year and third time in his career that he had scored a game winning touchdown with three minutes or less left in game. In fact, it was the third time he had done it in the last seven games.
Merriweather scored from two yards out with 23 seconds left to give Clemson a 10-7 win over Maryland in 2004, then scored from a yard out in overtime against Miami just a couple of weeks later. Clemson kept the Hurricanes out of the endzone and Clemson had the victory.
When Merriweather scored his game winner at Maryland he became the first player in Clemson history to score three fourth-quarter game winning touchdowns in a career. Prior to last Saturday, Merriweather was joined in the Tiger record books in that category by Fred Cone, Doug Cline, George Usry, Lowndes Shingler and Jerry Butler. Merriweather is now one game-winning play behind David Treadwell. Treadwell booted a fourth-quarter game winning field goal for Clemson four times in his career, including consecutive years within the last 10 seconds against Georgia (1986-87).
First time Winners at Death ValleyMiami (FL) will attempt to become just the second first-time visitor in the last 28 years to win at Death Valley. The two schools have met six times previously, but never at Clemson. The only opponent since 1978 to win in its first visit to Clemson has been Marshall, a 13-10 winner in the season opener of the 1999 season, Tommy Bowden’s first game as head coach. Prior to that, the last first-appearance winner at Clemson was Notre Dame in 1977.
Miami (FL) is the 46th different team to come to Clemson Memorial Stadium and the previous 45 have a record of 11-33-1 in their first game at Clemson. Three of the 11 first-time winners (Alabama, Kentucky, Marshall) have beaten the Tigers by the exact same score, 13-10.
A look to Clemson’s home record over the years shows why the Tigers enjoy playing in Death Valley. Clemson has a record of 301-114-15 at home over the years, a .717 winning percentage. Clemson is 246-255-25 away from home, a .490 winning percentage for those 526 games on an opponent’s home field. Clemson is 55-44-5 in neutral site games. You might notice that Clemson now has 602 all-time victories, 301 at home and 301 away from home.
Clemson has a 228-88-7 record in Death Valley (since 1942), a .717 winning percentage for 323 games. Tommy Bowden has followed the lead of his predecessors when it comes to playing at home. He is 29-10 so far in his 39 home games, a .744 winning percentage. Clemson has won five in a row at home and 12 of the last 13. The only loss in that 13-game span was to Georgia Tech in the second game of the 2004 season.
First-time Winners at Death Valley
Tigers Perfect in Turnover ColumnOne of the reasons for Clemson’s 2-0 start is the turnover margin statistic. The Tigers ranked 100th in the nation out of 117 teams in turnover margin last year, including a dead last ranking after the first five games (1-4) when Clemson lost 14 turnovers on offense and gained just two on defense.
Clemson has forced just four turnovers so far this season on defense, but has yet to commit a turnover on offense. This is the first time since the 1994 season that Clemson has gone consecutive games without a turnover. Clemson did not have a turnover against North Carolina and Georgia Tech in consecutive games in November that year. Most coaches will tell you that winning the turnover statistic, or limiting turnovers on offense will usually lead to victory. That has been the case with Clemson. The Tigers have now won 11 consecutive games dating to 2002 when it wins the turnover margin stat (forces more turnovers than it commits). Clemson is 28-7 under Bowden when the Tigers win the turnover margin stat. Clemson has had 11 games under Tommy Bowden when it has not committed a turnover on offense and the Tigers are 10-1 in those games.
Clemson New Orleans Duo Leads Way at MarylandTwo starting members of the Clemson football team from New Orleans, LA played at a high level in the victory over Maryland. Both had to be playing with distractions, as their families have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Starting wide receiver Curtis Baham and starting linebacker Nick Watkins have accounted for all of their relatives, but their family homes and cherished belongings are probably gone for ever.
Both put the distractions behind them at Maryland and had career games. Baham caught a pair of touchdown passes, a first in his career, and the first Clemson player to do that since 2003 (Derrick Hamilton vs. Duke). His day included TD catches of six and 51 yards. The 51-yarder brought Clemson to within three points in the fourth quarter and it was the longest catch of his career by 27 yards.
Watkins was the second leading tackler on the Clemson defense with a career high 13 tackles, including a team best 10 first hits. His afternoon included six special teams tackles, including five solo stops on punts and kickoffs. That was the second highest single game special teams tackle total in school history, trailing only the seven special teams tackles recorded by Chad Speck against Georgia Tech in 1999.
Waters Records Season HighAnthony Waters had a team best 14 tackles in the win over Maryland. The junior from Lake View, SC had nine first hits and five assists in the four-point Clemson victory. That was Waters career high in the tackle column by four, as his previous high came last year against Georgia Tech. That was also the second game of the season and a game that was decided by a 28-24 score. The good news was that Clemson won by that score this time instead of suffering a difficult loss.
The 14 tackles at Maryland rank by Waters rank as just the second double figure tackle game of his career. His day also included a career high four tackles for loss. Waters had nine tackles for loss all of last year, including three apiece against NC State and Miami (FL). Waters has 12 career tackles for loss, but 10 of them have taken place in his last six games.
Adams Pressuring QuarterbackGaines Adams was moved to the “Bandit” end position last spring, as defensive coordinator Vic Koenning sought to take advantage of the 6-5, 260-pounder’s athletic ability. Adams showed that athletic ability in the win over Maryland recording a career high eight tackles, including four tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
Adams, who played eight-man football at Cambridge Academy in Greenwood, SC for former South Carolina quarterback Steve Tanneyhill, made a key sack on Maryland’s final drive. With the Terps on the Clemson 40 with a second-and-10 and just 1:45 left, Adams sacked Terps quarterback Sam Hollenbach. Clemson then held Maryland on third and fourth down, clinching the Tiger victory.
Clemson vs. Miami (FL) Series·This will be the seventh meeting between Clemson and Miami (FL) on the gridiron. Miami (FL) has a 4-2 edge in the series that dates to 1945. This will be just the seventh meeting, but the third time both teams have entered the game ranked in the top 20. The other occasions were in 1950 and 1956. ·This will be Miami’s first ever trip to Clemson. The two teams met last year and Clemson came away with a 24-17 win in overtime. The two teams will not meet in the regular season again until the 2009-10 time period. · Miami won that 1956 meeting, 21-0 in the Orange Bowl. Clemson went on to finish with a 7-2-2 record in 1956, and was ranked 19th in the final AP poll, while the Hurricanes finished 8-1-1 and were ranked sixth. The Tigers also played in the Orange Bowl that year against Colorado and lost 27-21. Thus, both of Clemson’s losses in 1956 came in the same Stadium, the Orange Bowl. · Clemson’s first victory in the series took place in the Orange Bowl game at the end of the 1950 season. Frank Howard and the Tigers won that game, 15-14, when Clemson middle guard Sterling Smith tackled Miami running back Frank Smith in the end zone for a safety with under two minutes left. It is one of just two times Miami (FL) has lost an Orange Bowl game since 1950. The only other time Miami (FL) has lost an Orange Bowl postseason game was in 1995 (end of the 1994 season) when Nebraska defeated the Hurricanes, 24-17. · The two teams also met in the 1951 Gator Bowl and the Hurricanes came away with a 14-0 victory. That was also a battle of top 20 teams. Jim Dooley had four interceptions to lead the Miami (FL) defense, an NCAA record for interceptions in a bowl game. · Clemson had scored just 28 points against Miami in the first five games of the series prior to last year when Clemson scored 24 in an overtime victory. The first five games of the series were played between 1945-56 and Frank Howard was Clemson’s coach in all five meetings. · Clemson’s greatest victory in its history took place in Miami’s home stadium. The Tigers didn’t beat Miami to record the victory, however. Clemson won the 1981 National Championship with a 22-15 victory over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, Miami’s home facility.
Clemson vs. Miami (FL) Series (2-4)
A1–Orange Bowl game at end of 1950 season, N2 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, FL #Denotes Overtime
Last Year in ReviewClemson 24, Miami (FL) 17 (OT)At the Orange Bowl November 6, 2004 Clemson scored 21 unanswered points and held Miami (FL) scoreless in the second half to upset the #10 Hurricanes 24-17 in overtime at the Orange Bowl. The win was Clemson’s third triumph over a top-10 team in the past 13 games. The Tigers also improved to 5-0 all time in overtime games.
The game did not start out well for the Tigers, as Frank Gore scored on a 23-yard touchdown run on the game’s opening drive. It took the Hurricanes only five plays to move 68 yards in 2:04. The Tigers were forced to punt on their first drive of the night, and again the Hurricanes wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. John Peattie connected on a 35-yard field goal.
The Clemson offense got on track on its next possession, moving 43 yards in eight plays. The 20,000th point in Clemson history was recorded by Jad Dean when he made a 48-yard field goal. Miami got the ball back after a Clemson punt with 1:47 left in the first half, and Gore scored again on a 14-yard run to give the Hurricanes a 17-3 lead with just 19 seconds left before halftime.
Each team was forced to punt on their first drive of the second half. On Clemson’s second possession, Charlie Whitehurst hit Airese Currie for 37 yards on a third-and-long. Reggie Merriweather busted through the line on the next play for 27 yards and a touchdown. The Tigers moved the ball to the Hurricane nine yard-line and faced a fourth-and-two on the next possession. Tommy Bowden reached into his bag of tricks, as Dean took an over-the-shoulder pitch from holder Cole Chason on a fake field goal and ran to the Miami three-yard line. Merriweather barreled into the endzone on the next play to tie the score at 17-17.
Neither team scored during the remainder of regulation, and the game moved into overtime. Miami won the toss and elected to play defense first. After a pass interference penalty in the endzone moved the ball to the Hurricane 11 yard-line, Whitehurst found Currie at the Miami two, just shy of a first down. Merriweather scored his third touchdown of the night on the next play.
Brock Berlin hit Roscoe Parrish for 20 yards down to the Clemson 10 on Miami’s possession. Tyrone Moss ran for five yards, and two incomplete Berlin passes brought up a fourth down. Berlin’s last gasp throw into the endzone sailed wide of Lance Leggett. The Tiger defense had 17 tackles for loss on the night, tied for second-most in a game in Tiger history. Eric Coleman contributed two of the team’s four sacks and was named the ACC Co-Defensive Lineman-of-the-Week.
Clemson had not played in the Orange Bowl since winning its only national title on January 1, 1982 by beating Nebraska 22-15. It was Miami’s first loss at home against a league opponent since 1998. It was also only Miami’s third loss in their last 177 games when leading after three quarters.
Three of Top 10 NFL Cornerback Prospects on DisplayAccording to collegefootballnews.com, three of the top seven NFL cornerback prospects will be in action when Clemson plays host to Miami (FL) on Saturday afternoon. The internet site ranks Clemson cornerback Tye Hill as the fifth best NFL prospect at cornerback in the nation. It also lists Miami;s Kelly Jennings sixth and Miami’s Devin Hester as the seventh best.
Hill is off to a solid start with two takeaways in the first two games. He had a fumble recovery in the win over Texas A&M and an interception in the win over Maryland. That interception brought a smile to Hill’s face because he never had an interception last year. He did have a Clemson record 21 passes broken up and ranked third in the nation in passes defensed. His interception last Saturday at Maryland was the third of his career and his first since the 2003 Florida State game.
One thing Hill has been doing all fall is working on his catching. During early stages of practice and even in pregame warm-ups, Hill will go through drills with the wide receivers to improve his pass catching abilities.
It is interesting to note by the list below that the ACC is the cradle of cornerbacks. No less than five of the top seven cornerbacks listed are from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Will Blackman of Boston College is ranked fourth and will be coming to Clemson on September 24.
Top NFL Prospects at Cornerback (Collegefootballnews.com)
Hill Preseason Honors for 2005*Writers All-America Watch List *Honorable mention All-American by collegefootballnews.com *First-team All-ACC by Street & Smith *First-team All-ACC by Rivals.com *First-team All-ACC by collegefootballnews.com *First-team Preseason All-ACC by ACC Sportswriters Association *Second-team All-ACC by Athlon *Second-team All-ACC by Lindy’s *Second-team All-ACC by Phil Steele *#5 NFL prospect at cornerback by collegefootballnews.com *#6 Best Cornerback in nation by collegefootballnews.com *#7 Cornerback in the nation by Lindy’s * #16 Cornerback in the nation by Phil Steele *#17 Best Player in the ACC by collegefootballnews.com *Clemson’s “Star of the team” by collegefootballnews.com
Four of Six Home Games Already Sold OutClemson plays six home games this season and at least four will be sellouts. The opener with Texas A&M was a pregame sellout and over 80,000 people attended the contest. The Miami (FL) game is also a pregame sellout, as is the Florida State game on November 12. The Boston College game was announced as a pregame sellout, then Boston College returned some tickets the Monday prior to the game. But, it is a high probability that that game will be sold out by the end of the week. Tickets still remain for the Temple game on October 22 and the Duke game on November 5.
Clemson averaged 78,823 fans last year and ranked 17th in the nation in average attendance. Clemson has averaged at least 76,000 fans in each of the six seasons of the Tommy Bowden era and it is obvious that this year will make it number seven. Interest in Clemson football has been strong for many years. Clemson has ranked in the top 20 in the nation in average home attendance ever seasons since 1981. Clemson’s highest national ranking in attendance was fifth in 1988 when the school drew a season record 81,750 fans per game.
Coker Faces Another BowdenThis is the first of consecutive games in which a Clemson opponent is facing both Bowdens in consecutive games. Miami met Florida State and Bobby Bowden in its opener and now faces Tommy Bowden and Clemson in its second game of the season. Next week, Clemson plays host to Boston College, which has to face Florida State this weekend. Wake Forest will also play both Bowden’s consecutively, but will play Tommy and Clemson (October 1) the week before it plays Bobby and Florida State. Bobby Bowden defeated Larry Coker and Miami (FL) in the season opener 10-7. Coker had beaten Bobby Bowden five straight games until the season opener this year. Clemson’s Tommy Bowden is 1-0 against Coker, Clemson’s 24-17 overtime victory last year in Miami.Overcoming Double Digit DeficitsClemson had a remarkable comeback victory at Maryland on September 10. It marked just the third time in school history that Clemson overcame a double digit deficit in the fourth quarter to win the game. The Tigers trailed Maryland 24-14 with under eight minutes left in the game. But Curtis Baham caught a 51-yard scoring pass from Charlie Whitehurst with 7:35 left and Reggie Merriweather scored from 38 yards out with 2:58 remaining to give Clemson the 28-24 lead and victory.
The only other occasions Clemson overcame a double digit fourth quarter deficit to gain victory took place in 2002 at Duke and 1980 at Virginia. Thus two of the three double digit fourth quarter comebacks in Clemson history have taken place under Tommy Bowden. As far as a double digit deficit at any point in a game, Clemson has now achieved that comeback 22 times. Bowden has five of the 22 double digit comeback victories. It is interesting to note that 16 of the 22 have taken place on the road.
Clemson’s Greatest Comebacks to win or Tie
#Denotes fourth quarter deficit Comebacks under Tommy Bowden in bold
Whitehurst Has Seven Fourth-Quarter ComebacksWhen Charlie Whitehurst led Clemson to a 28-24 victory at Maryland it marked the seventh time in his career that he has taken Clemson to victory after the Tigers had trailed at some point in the fourth quarter. Clemson has overcome a fourth quarter double digit deficit just three times in history and Whitehurst has been the quarterback for two of those three. In addition to the Maryland game on September 10, he led Clemson to victory at Duke in 2002 as a freshman after Clemson trailed 24-10 in the fourth quarter. Four of the comebacks have taken place at Clemson and three on the road.
It should be noted that Clemson actually has eight fourth quarter comebacks during this time period (2002-present). Clemson overcame a 24-22 deficit in the fourth quarter against Texas A&M in the 2005 season opener, but Will Proctor engineered that game winning drive when Whitehurst was injured. Preliminary research indicates that Whitehurst and Joel Klatt of Colorado are the only active quarterbacks with seven fourth quarter comeback victories over their careers.
Charlie Whitehurst Fourth Quarter Comebacks
Note: The time left is the time on the clock when Clemson took over the ball on offense.
Longest Drive in Clemson HistoryIt appears that long drives will be a hallmark of this Clemson offense under coordinator Rob Spence. In the opening game of the season against Texas A&M, the Tigers had a 96-yard drive that led to a field goal, the sixth longest drive in Clemson history in terms of yardage. Clemson finished that game with 37:58 in terms of time of possession, the largest time of possession total for the Tigers in the seven years of the Tommy Bowden era.
Then, against Maryland, Clemson’s opening drive was 17 plays, 75 yards, a drive that took 9:47 off the clock. That was the longest drive in Clemson history in terms of time of possession. The previous long was 9:34 against North Carolina in 1992.
Clemson’s Longest Drives–Time of Possession
Clemson’s Longest Drives–Yardage
Hall of Fame Weekend at ClemsonTwo national player of the year athletes and two athletes who ranked among the top 50 female athletes for the first 50 years of the ACC highlight the 2005 Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame class. The class will be inducted at halftime of the Clemson vs. Miami football game at Clemson Memorial Stadium on September 17, 2005. The class includes Charles Warren, the only Tiger golfer in history to win the NCAA Championship and the 1998 National Player of the Year, baseball pitcher Kris Benson, the 1996 Unanimous Player of the Year in college baseball, and two-time All-America defensive back Donnell Woolford.
Greg Buckner, who led Clemson to a record three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances between 1996-98 and currently a starter with the Denver Nuggets, Cindy Stern-DeMartino, the first All-American in ACC volleyball history, and Gigi Fernandez, Clemson’s first NCAA finalist in women’s tennis, are also former star athletes in the class. Dr. Byron Harder, Clemson team physician for 33 years who will retire this summer, and former NCAA Faculty Representative Ken Vickery, are two administrators named to the noteworthy eight-person class.
Benson was named the National Player of the Year in College Baseball in 1996. He was a Unanimous first-team All-American that year when he posted a 14-2 record and a record 204/27 strikeout/walk ratio. He was not only named the ACC Player of the Year, he was named the ACC Athlete of the Year for all sports for the 1995-96 academic year. He is still the only Clemson athlete in any sport to win that award.
After his junior year at Clemson, Benson was the number-one selection of the Major League Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates, the only Clemson athlete in any sport to be chosen number-one in any draft. He was also a pitcher on the United States Olympic team that year. In 2003 he was named to the ACC’s 50-Year Anniversary baseball team. He is currently a starting pitcher with the New York Mets.
Woolford was a first-team All-America cornerback in 1987 and 1988, and joins Terry Kinard as the only two-time All-America defensive backs in Clemson history. Woolford is still Clemson’s career leader in pass deflections with 44. The native of Fayetteville, NC was a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award in 1988 and was a first-round pick (11th overall selection) of the Chicago Bears in 1988. He was named to Clemson’s Centennial Team in 1996. Woolford played in the NFL between 1989 and 1998 and was a Pro Bowl starter in 1993 when he played for the Chicago Bears.
Buckner became the first Tiger men’s basketball player in history to start for three NCAA Tournament teams and four postseason tournament teams. He was Clemson’s leading scorer for four straight years, just the fifth player in ACC history to accomplish this feat. He concluded his Clemson career ranked fourth in scoring with 1754 points. Buckner was an All-ACC player in 1996-97 when he led the Tigers to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and a number-eight final ranking by USA Today. He was also an All-ACC player as a senior in 1997-98, the last year Clemson advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
A starter in a Clemson record 122 consecutive games, Buckner was named ACC Rookie of the Year in 1994-95, the only Clemson basketball player to win that award. A second-round draft choice in the NBA after his senior year, he was a starter for the Denver Nuggets this past year, his seventh season in the NBA.
Warren won the 1997 NCAA Championship in men’s golf, the only Clemson golfer in history to win that tournament. He also finished second in 1 998, his senior year, when he won the Dave Williams Award as the outstanding senior golfer in the nation. The native of Columbia, who is the son of a former University of South Carolina cheerleader, won the ACC Championship in 1997 and 1998, the only Clemson golfer to win that tournament twice. He is the only ACC golfer in history to win the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Championship in the same year. A three-time All-ACC player and three-time All-American, Warren was named the IPTAY Athlete of the Year for the 1996-97 academic year and was named to the ACC’s 50-year Anniversary men’s golf team in 2003. Warren won two Nationwide Tour events in 2004 and is currently playing on the PGA Tour.
Fernandez played just one season of women’s tennis for the Lady Tigers, but what a season it was. As a freshman she compiled a 40-7 record in singles play and a 30-9 ledger in doubles play. The 40 singles victories still rank third best in Clemson history, while the doubles victory total is the second most for a season in school history. She was the number-two singles champion in 1983 and advanced to the NCAA Finals, the only Clemson women’s tennis player in history to reach the national finals. A medallist at the Pan American Games in singles and doubles in 1983, Fernandez went on to win Olympic Gold Medals for the United States in 1992 and 1996 as a doubles player. She was also a member of the 1990, 1991 and 1992 United States Federation Cup Team. Also a three-time doubles champion at Wimbledon, she was named to the ACC 50-Year Anniversary women’s tennis team in 2003.
Stern-DeMartino is the most decorated women’s volleyball athlete in Clemson history. She led Clemson to the ACC regular season championship in 1999 when the Tigers posted a 31-3 record. She was named the ACC Player of the Year and was named an All-American, the first volleyball All-American in ACC history. She was named to the USA National team in 1997. In 2003, Stern-DeMartino was named to the ACC’s 50-Year Anniversary volleyball team and was named one of the top 50 Women’ Athletes in ACC history.
Harder has been Clemson’s team physician since 1972, the longest tenure for any Clemson team physician in school history. He provided the medical needs for all four of Clemson’s National Championship teams and supervised medical needs of over 10,000 Clemson student-athletes in his career. The 1964 Clemson graduate, served the United States in Viet Nam in 1971.
Vickery served as Clemson’s Registrar from 1955-70 and was the Dean of Admissions and the University’s Registrar between 1970-82. Vickery served the University from an athletics standpoint from 1971-82 when he was the NCAA Faculty Representative. During his final academic year at Clemson the school won the National Championship in football. He was also the President of the Atlantic Coast Conference during the 1976-77 academic year. Vickery was the recipient of Clemson Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award, in 1977. Clemson’s Academic Learning Center for Athletes, Vickery Hall, was dedicated in his honor in 1991.
Bradley to be Inducted into Ring of HonorBob Bradley, who served Clemson for 45 years in the sports information office as director and emeritus director, will be inducted into the Clemson Ring of Honor at Clemson Memorial Stadium on Saturday during ceremonies prior to the Clemson vs. Miami (FL) game. The Ring of Honor, which began in 1994 with the induction of Frank Howard, Banks McFadden and Steve Fuller, is the highest award bestowed by the Clemson Athletic Department.
Bradley, who served Clemson from 1955 until his death on October 30, 2000, was one of the most honored administrators in ACC history. He won the Arch Ward Award as the College Sports Information Directors of America Man of the Year in 1976, the same year he also served as the organization’s national president. He was inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame in 1975, the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985, the Gator Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000, and the South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2001. The press box at Memorial Stadium was named in his honor in 1988.
On October 28, 2000, two days before he died, he was presented with “The Order of the Palmetto”, the highest honor accorded a civilian of the state of South Carolina. He was also presented the first Skeeter Francis Award by the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1990 for his contributions to the league.
In many ways Bradley represented the spirit of Clemson. That was never more obvious than in his final days when, fighting the bone cancer that would claim his life, he worked his 502nd consecutive Clemson football game against Maryland at Memorial Stadium. The game was played just 16 days prior to his death. When he worked his 500th consecutive Clemson game at Duke on September 30, 2000, Head Coach Tommy Bowden presented him with the game ball in the locker room during his post-game talk to the team. It is the only time Bowden has presented a game ball since he has been the head coach at Clemson.
Bradley was known for his dedication to his job. In addition to his famous football streak, he worked 313 consecutive ACC Tournament games between 1955 and 2000. He scored over 2000 Clemson baseball games in his 45 years covering Clemson baseball.
During his career, Clemson won countless publication awards and citations for service to the media. In fact, it was Bradley who devised the publication contests award system that the organization still uses today. He also devised the baseball scorebook that is used throughout the country for college baseball. Many of his former students have gone on to work in the profession.
Odd but TrueOdd numbered years have always been special to Miami (FL) and Clemson. A review of the Hurricanes national championship seasons (1983, 1987, 1989, 1991 and 2001) shows that all have come during odd numbered years.
Clemson has a streak of its own in odd numbered years. The Tigers have gone to a bowl game in every odd numbered season since and including 1985. Clemson’s last ACC Championship took place in 1991 and its only national championship came in 1981. Clemson is off to a 2-0 start and on track to continue that streak.
Last Second Wins under BowdenThe win at Maryland gave Clemson consecutive thrilling fourth-quarter comeback victories. It marked the 10th time since 2000 that Clemson has won a game with an offensive or defensive play with under three minutes remaining to gain victory. Nine of the 10 have been plays have taken place within the last 30 seconds of the game. Nine of the 10 listed below are offensive scores. The only defensive play listed is Charles Bennett’s interception at the Clemson goal line on the last play of the game against NC State last season.
Whitehurst, Baham Offspring of NFL PlayersClemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst threw two touchdown passes to Curtis Baham in Clemson’s 28-24 victory over Maryland. It was a passing combination that has strong football genes. Both Whitehurst and Baham are offspring of NFL players. Baham’s father Curtis played for the Seattle Seahawks in 1987. He was a star player at Tulane prior to his year in the NFL. Whitehurst is the son of former Green Bay Packers quarterback David Whitehurst. The elder Whitehurst played seven years in the NFL. During that time he played in 54 games, completed 51.4 percent of his passes for 6205 yards and 28 scores. He was the Green Bay starter for most of the 1978 and 1979 seasons when he passed for over 2000 yards each season.
Clemson Returns to Associated Press Top 25Clemson broke into the top 25 of the Associated Press college football rankings after its victory over 17th ranked Texas A&M. Clemson was ranked 25th and received 164 poll points after the 25-24 victory. Clemson then moved up to 20th in the AP and 23rd in the USA Today Coach’s poll with its 28-24 win at Maryland.
Clemson was one of seven ACC teams in the top 25 in the first week of the season, an all-time ACC record. The same seven teams are ranked this week with Virginia holding down the number 25 spot. Virginia Tech is the highest ranked ACC team with a number-four ranking after its 2-0 start.
Prior to this year, Clemson had not appeared in the AP top 25 since the second week of the 2004 season when Clemson was ranked 20th. The Tigers were 15th in the AP preseason poll last year, then dropped to 20th after an overtime victory against Wake Forest. The next week Clemson lost to Georgia Tech 28-24 and dropped out of the top 25 for the rest of the season.
This week’s ranking is the 32nd top 25 weekly ranking since Tommy Bowden became Clemson’s head coach in 1999. That includes 17 consecutive rankings during the 2000 season. That included a high ranking of number five in the AP poll for four consecutive weeks in October when the Tigers started 8-0. Clemson has been ranked in the final top 25 twice under Bowden, a #16 ranking in 2000 and a #22 ranking in 2003.
Fourteen Freshmen Made Debut vs. Texas A&MClemson played 57 men against Texas A&M in the season opener and 14 of them were first-year or red-shirt freshmen. The list included eight first-year freshmen, the most first-year freshmen to play in the opening game for the Tigers since 1995 when Tommy West played nine in the opening game of the season against Western Carolina. The same freshmen list also played at Maryland.
The first-year freshmen who played against Texas A&M included starting running back James Davis, wide receivers Rendrick Taylor and Tyler Grisham, defensive end Philip Merling, linebackers Antonio Clay and Josh Miller, defensive end Jock McKissic and defensive back Haydrian Lewis. The red-shirt freshmen who played for the first time for Clemson included wide receiver Aaron Kelly, defensive tackle Rashaad Jackson, defensive back Chris Clemons, safety Michael Hamlin, special teams players Cortney Vincent, and Akeem Robinson.
Clemson’s 2005 freshman class was regarded as among the best at Clemson in many years and among the best in the nation according to many services. In the 24 years of the red-shirt rule (including this season), Clemson has now played 132 first-year freshmen, an average of 5.50 per season. Fifty-six of the first-year freshmen have been offensive players, while 72 were defensive players and four have been kickers. Clemson played three offensive first-year freshmen and five defensive first-year freshmen against Texas A&M.
Since Bowden came to Clemson in 1999, the Tigers have played 34 first-year freshmen, 12 on offense, 20 on defense and two special teams. That is an average of 4.86 first-year freshman per year, so Bowden is a bit below the Clemson average for the last 24 years. The record for first-year freshmen played in one season is 11 in 1985. That year Danny Ford played six first-year freshmen on offense and five on defense. The 1994 Clemson team under Tommy West played 10 first-year freshmen, including a record nine on offense.
The most successful Clemson team to play a lot of freshmen is the 1995 Tiger team. That year Clemson played nine first-year freshmen on the way to an 8-4 season. The most wins for a Clemson team that has played at least eight first year freshmen is 10, set in 1989, a Clemson tam that played eight first-year freshmen in a 10-2 season. The most first-year freshmen Clemson has played in the Bowden era is nine, in 2001, just one more than what he played against Texas A&M. That year Bowden played three on offense and six on defense on the way to a 7-5 season.
Clemson has played at least one first-year freshman for all 24 years of the rule. The fewest was the one used in 2002 (Justin Miller). Bowden already has had two first-year freshmen earn All-America honors. Justin Miller (2002) and Barry Richardson (2004) were both named to the Football Writers first-team Freshman All-American team since Bowden has been the head coach.
Bowden First-Year Freshman Participants 1999: (5)–David Ellis (LB), Rodney Feaster (LB), Brian Mance (DB), Bernard Rambert (RB), Rodney Thomas (LB) 2000: (4)–Aaron Hunt (PK), Yusef Kelly (RB), John Leake (LB), Ronnie Thomas (WR) 2001: (9)–Eric Coleman (DT), Roscoe Crosby (WR), Airese Currie (WR), Moe Fountain (DE), Ben Hall (TE), Leroy Hill (LB), Tavaghn Monts (DB), Travis Pugh (FS), Eric Sampson (LB) 2002: (1)–Justin Miller (CB) 2003: (5)–Tramaine Billie (SS), Jad Dean (PK), Marion Dukes (OT), Sergio Gilliam (DB), Brandon Pilgrim (OG) 2004: (2)–La’Donte Harris (WR), Barry Richardson (OT) 2005: (8)–James Davis (RB), Rendrick Taylor (WR), Tyler Grisham (WR), Philip Merling (DE), Antonio Clay (LB), Josh Miller (LB), Jock McKissic (DT), Haydrian Lewis (DB).
Davis Had Impressive DebutClemson first-year freshman running back James Davis led Clemson in rushing in the season opening win against #17 Texas A&M with 19 carries for 101 yards. His evening included a 33-yard run, the long rush by a Tiger in the game and tied for the longest play of the game for Rob Spence’s offense.
That was quite a debut for the running back from Atlanta. He became just the fourth first-year freshman in Clemson history to gain at least 100 yards in his first game, the first to do it in 60 years. The last time it happened was on September 22, 1945 when freshman Bobby Gage and Jim Reynolds both had 100-yard performances in a 76-0 win over Presbyterian. Gage had 8-144 rushing and Reynolds 5-105.
The only other time a first-year freshman had a 100-yard rushing game in the opener was in 1943 when Jim Whitmire had 15-121 in a 13-12 loss to Presbyterian. That 1943 Clemson team was just about all freshman as the United States military had drafted Clemson’s entire junior and senior class for World War II.
Here are some other notes on Davis’s opening game performance · First Clemson freshman (red-shirt or first year) to gain at least 100 yards in any game since current teammate Tye Hill had 14-105 at North Carolina in 2002. · First Tiger first-year freshman to gain at least 100 yards since the 1994 Georgia Tech game when Lamont Pegues had 28-136 and Nealon Greene had 19-111 in a 20-10 Tiger victory in Death Valley. · Just the 20th 100-yard rushing day by a first-year freshman in Clemson history. The record is 234 in 33 rushes by Don King against Fordham in 1952. · The 26th 100-yard rushing performance by a red-shirt or first-year freshman in Clemson history. · Just the fourth freshman in Clemson history to record a 100-yard rushing game against a top 25 team. First-year freshman Dexter McCleon (12-127) and red-shirt freshman Emory Smith (18-113) had 100-yard game against an 18th ranked Virginia team in 1993. First-year freshman Ronald Williams had 17-108 against an 18th ranked Georgia Tech team in 1990.
Davis was again Clemson’s top rusher in the win over Maryland with 82 yards in 20 carries. He also had 22 reception yards on three catches. He is fourth in the ACC in rushing and 36th in the nation entering Saturday’s game with Miami (FL). A penalty on a 29-yard run in the fourth quarter kept him from a second straight 100-yard rushing game. Had he gotten credit for that run and reached the 100-yard mark, he would have become the first Tiger since 1950 to gain at least 100 yards rushing in the opening two games of the season.
100-yard Rushing Games by Freshmen on Opening Day Player Year Opponent Att-Yds Jim Whitmire 1943 Presbyterian 15-121 Jim Reynolds 1945 Presbyterian 5-105 Bobby Gage 1945 Presbyterian 8-144 James Davis 2005 Texas A&M 19-101
Davis Opening Game StarterJames Davis was the starting tailback for Clemson in the season opener against Texas A&M, the first freshman to start at running back in the opener since Anthony Downs started as a first-year freshman against Furman in 1994. Downs had a strong game with 18-89 rushing in his first game, but that would be his career high rushing total for a game at Clemson.
Davis was just the seventh freshman (first-year or red-shirt) to start the season opener under Tommy Bowden and just the seventh running back to make the opening game start since 1953. The other freshman starters in the opening game under Bowden are Jermyn Chester (OG) and Aaron Hunt (PK) in 2000, Roscoe Crosby (WR) and Derrick Hamilton (WR) against Central Florida in 2001, and Cole Chason (P) and Nathan Bennett (OG) in 2003.
Overall, Davis was the 36th freshman to starting the opening game for Clemson since freshmen eligibility was adopted for the 1972 season. That is 34 freshmen in 36 years of freshmen eligibility.
Here is a list of opening day freshmen starters for Clemson since 1972. An asterisk means they were red-shirt freshmen:
1973 Ken Callicutt (TB), Nelson Wallace (DT) 1974 Jeff Mills (DT) 1979 *Gary Brown (OT), *Terry Kinard (FS) 1980 Jeff Wells (TE), James Farr (C) 1981 *Donald Igwebuike (PK) 1983 *Tence Mack (DE), *Henry Walls (LB), *Keith Williams (LB) 1984 *Michael Dean Perry (DT) 1985 *Frank DeIuliis (OT) 1986 *James Lott (FS) 1987 John Johnson (OLB), *Eric Harmon (OT), *Terry Allen (TB) 1988 Chris Gardocki (PK) 1991 *Nelson Welch (PK) 1992 *Marrio Greer (FB) 1993 *Emory Smith (FB), *Brett Williams (DE) 1994 Anthony Downs (TB), *Jim Bundren (OT), *Glenn Rountree (OG) 1995 Anthony Simmons (LB) 1996 *Rahim Abdullah (OLB) 1998 *Travis Zachery (RB), * Alex Ardley (CB) 2000 *Jermyn Chester (OG), *Aaron Hunt (PK) 2001 Roscoe Crosby (WR), *Derrick Hamilton (WR) 2003 *Nathan Bennett (OG), *Cole Chason (P) 2005 James Davis (RB)
Bowden Gains Eighth top 25 WinClemson has won five of its last seven games against top 25 teams, including three wins over top 10 teams over the last two years plus one game. Clemson’s win over 17th ranked Texas A&M gave Tommy Bowden eight top 25 wins in his career, third in Clemson history among head coaches.
Danny Ford had 20 top 25 wins in his career between 1978-89, still the Clemson record, while Frank Howard had 11 top 25 wins in his career between 1940-69. Howard might have had more top 25 wins than he is credited for because the AP polls only ranked a top 10 from 1961-68 and poll point totals for teams 11-25 don’t exist. Bowden went ahead of Ken Hatfield with the win over Texas A&M. Hatfield had seven wins over top 25 teams during his tenure from 1990-93.
Bowden Awards Four Game ballsTommy Bowden was in a giving mood after the Texas A&M win as he gave out four game balls. That is a rarity for Bowden, who gave out just one game ball in the locker room in his first six years. That went to former Clemson Sports Information Director Bob Bradley in 2000 at Duke, the day Bradley worked his 500th consecutive Clemson football game as Sports Information Director or Emeritas SID.
After the Texas A&M game Bowden presented game balls to his three new coaches, offensive coordinator Rob Spence, defensive coordinator Vic Koenning and defensive line coach Marion Hobby. He also gave a game ball to Jad Dean, the junior from Greenwood, SC, who booted a Clemson record six field goals, including the winner from 42 yards out with just two seconds left.
Dean Sets Clemson RecordClemson kicker Jad Dean had the greatest field goal kicking day in Clemson history when the Tigers defeated Texas A&M 25-24. The junior was a perfect 6-6 on field goals, including a 42-yarder with two seconds left to give the Tigers the one-point win. Dean was successful on attempts from 21, 21, 25, 18, 44 and 42 yards in breaking the single game record of five field goals set by Nelson Welch three times. Welch had five against NC State in 1991, Maryland in 1992 and North Carolina in 1994.
In addition to setting the Clemson record for field goals in a game, Dean also established a Clemson record for kick scoring points in a game with 19. He had one extra point in addition to the six field goals, breaking the record of 17 kick scoring points set by Welch in the game against Maryland in 1992.
Dean tied the ACC record for field goals with the performance. Josh McGee of North Carolina was 6-6 on field goals against Duke in 1999 and Vince Fusco of Duke was 6-7 on field goals against Clemson in 1976. His last field goal was from 57 yards, hit the cross bar and bounced over to tie the game at 18-18 at the final horn. Thus, two of the three ACC games in which a player has booted six field goals have come in games played at Death Valley.
Dean was the first Division I player to kick six field goals in a game since September 27, 2003 when Jonathan Nichols of Mississippi booted six against Texas Tech. Dean was just the third player to have six field goals in game in the 21st century and just the 18th to accomplish the feat in NCAA history dating to 1965 when Charley Gogolak of Princeton booted six against Rutgers.
Dean was just one field goal off the national record. Dale Klein of Nebraska had seven against Missouri on October 19, 1985 and Mike Prindle of Western Michigan had seven against Marshall on September 29, 1984.
Stuckey is Mr. Opening DayChansi Stuckey is the Walter Johnson of Clemson football. Johnson holds the Major League baseball record for wins on Opening Day with nine during his Hall of Fame career in the early stages of the 20th Century.
Stuckey has played well in season openers the last two years. Both have been close Tiger victories, the 25-24 victory over Texas A&M this year and the 37-30 overtime thriller against Wake Forest in 2004.
In the win over Texas A&M, Stuckey scored Clemson’s only touchdown on a 47-yard punt return in the first half. The junior wide receiver also had 3-50 receiving and three yards rushing, giving him 106 all-purpose yards for the game, second on the Clemson team behind James Davis’s 107.
Stuckey also had a great game on opening day in 2004 against Wake Forest. The native of Warner Robbins, GA had a career high eight catches for a career high 112 receiving yards. He also had 10 yards rushing, three punt return yards, a blocked punt, and a key block on Justin Miller’s 69-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Stuckey has had two 100-yard all-purpose running games in his Clemson career, and both have taken place on opening day the last two years. He finished the Texas A&M game with 53 punt return yards on two attempts. Prior to the Texas A&M game, Stuckey had just four career punt returns for 30 yards, then had the 47-yard return for a score on his first return of the 2005 season.
Clemson Special Teams Excellence ContinuesSuccess in the return game has been important to the Clemson team since Tommy Bowden became the Tigers head coach in 1999. When Chansi Stuckey raced 47 yards for a touchdown off a punt return against Texas A&M it was the 10th punt or kickoff return for a touchdown for Clemson since Bowden took over the program. And, that does not include a blocked punt return for a score last year against Utah State by Bobby Williamson. The kick returns are now evening divided, five punt returns for score and five kickoff returns.
It marked the second consecutive year that Clemson had returned a punt for a touchdown in the season opener. In 2004, Justin Miller raced 69 yards for a touchdown in a 37-30 overtime win against Wake Forest. Then, Stuckey had the 47-yard punt return for a touchdown against Texas A&M in a one point Tiger victory. That means, the punt return for a touchdown meant the difference in the game in both contests.
Prior to Bowden’s arrival, Clemson was not known for scoring off special teams. In fact, Clemson had one of the worst records for kick returns between 1962-87. In that time period, Clemson had just four kick returns for touchdowns (all punts). Clemson once went 25 years without a kickoff return for a touchdown. Between 1970-87, Clemson went 999 combined punt and kickoff returns without a touchdown, then scored on the 1000th return on a 78-yard punt return by Donnell Woolford against Georgia Tech. In the 1971-98 time period, 28 seasons, Clemson had a combined seven kick returns for touchdowns. Now, in the seven years of the Bowden era, Clemson has already exceeded that total with 10 kick returns for scores.
Whitehurst Has 168.5 Efficiency RatingClemson starting quarterback Charlie Whitehurst completed 14-19 passes for 185 yards in the win over Texas A&M. He did not have an interception or a touchdown pass in the contest an thus finished with an efficiency rating of 155.5. He continued the fine play with a 179 efficiency rating at Maryland.
Recording a passing efficiency of at least 150 and a completion percentage of over 70 percent was an average performance for a Rob Spence quarterback. Clemson’s first-year offensive coordinator has had a habit of producing efficient quarterbacks. In his four years at Toledo prior to coming to Clemson, he had a top 16 signal caller in terms of passing efficiency and each starting quarterback had a completion percentage of at least 68.7 percent. Each of his last three years, the starting quarterback had a completion percentage over 70 percent.
Rob Spence’s Quarterbacks Over the last Four Years
Home Schedule the Toughest?In many ways this is the most challenging home schedule in Clemson history. Four of the six opponents (Texas A&M, Miami (FL), Boston College and Florida State) were ranked in the preseason top 25 of the AP poll. That is a first in Clemson history. There is a strong chance all four will be ranked when they come to Clemson. Miami (FL) is ranked 13th this week.
We will have to watch to polls to see how many of those teams are ranked when they come to Clemson. Clemson has never had four top 25 teams come to Clemson in the same season. In act, only the 2003 and 1988 seasons have seen as many as three top 25 teams play against Clemson in Death Valley. In 1988, Clemson lost to a 10th ranked Florida State team at home, but beat top 25 teams from Duke and South Carolina later in the season. In 2003, Clemson lost the opener at home to a top 10 Georgia team, then beat 25th ranked Virginia in overtime, and defeated third ranked Florida State.
Overall, Clemson is 22-24-1 against top 25 teams in Death Valley over the years. Coach Bowden is 5-4 against top 25 teams at home in his six years, including the 26-10 win over third ranked Florida State in 2003, the highest ranked team Clemson has beaten in history at home. The number of games against top 25 teams at home shows how the ACC has gotten stronger over the years. Clemson played just four games against top 25 teams at home between 1942-66. That is four games in 25 years. In the last 25 years Clemson has played 32 games against top 25 teams at home.
Bowden in Death ValleyTommy Bowden has enhanced Clemson’s reputation for winning at home, as the seventh year Clemson coach has a 29-10 mark at home, a .744 winning percentage. That includes 12 wins in the last 13 at Death Valley with the only loss coming to Georgia Tech last year by a 28-24 score. Tech scored two touchdowns in the last two minutes to win the game.
Bowden is 13-2 in non-conference home games since he took over in 1999. The losses came to Marshall (13-10), a team that finished the 1999 season 13-0 and ranked 10th in the nation, and in 2003 to Georgia (30-0) a team that finished 11-3 and ranked seventh in the final AP poll.
Bowden Now Third in Clemson Coaching WinsTommy Bowden has a 46-29 record as Clemson’s head coach and he is already third in total victories among the 24 Clemson mentors in history. Bowden trails only Frank Howard (165) and Danny Ford (96) on the Clemson list. When Bowden defeated South Carolina in the final game of the 2004 season, he moved ahead of Hall of Fame coach Jess Neely, who had 43 wins for the Tigers in his nine seasons (1931-39).
Clemson’s Winningest Coaches
Clemson Successful with Senior QuarterbacksClemson will be led by graduate quarterback Charlie Whitehurst in 2005. It doesn’t take a college football genius to determine that teams with an experience quarterback usually have a better chance of succeeding.
That has been the case with Clemson over the years. Since 1978 Clemson has had a senior as its starting quarterback during 11 season (including 2005) and the combined final record for the Tigers in those seasons is 86-32-2, a winning ratio of 72 percent. That basically equates to an 8-3 season.
Clemson has been to a bowl eight of those 10 seasons it has had a senior quarterback since 1978, and the two years it didn’t go to a bowl it was due to NCAA probation, not because of a poor record.
Three Walk-ons Earn ScholarshipsJust prior to the beginning of school (August 24), Clemson Head Football Coach Tommy Bowden added three original walk-ons to the scholarship list. The players who made their parents very happy when they told them to cancel that tuition check are linebacker Lionel Richardson, tight end Cole Downer and tight end Thomas Hunter. All three original walk-ons figure to see significant playing time this year. Richardson has lettered each of the last two years and actually started four games on Clemson,s 2003 team that finished the season in the top 25 of both polls. He had 24 tackles that year, including a career high seven tackles against Virginia and North Carolina. He is a second-team linebacker heading into this season.
Downer is a transfer from Hampden-Sydney College where he caught 10 passes in 2002, including six that went for touchdowns. He sat out 2003 at Clemson and played 97 snaps as a reserve tight end in 2004. He is looking for his first pass reception. Hunter lettered in 2003 and 2004 and has played in 21 consecutive games as a tight end or special teams player.
Whitehurst Looks to Move up ACC ChartsClemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst ranks in the top 15 in ACC history in two categories. Whitehurst is now 14th in total offense and passing yards. How high can Whitehurst go on the charts? Based on his career average of 218 yards per game passing and 220 yards per game in total offense, an average Whitehurst year would move him to third in passing yardage and total offense.
He needs 2818 passing yardage this season to become the second quarterback in ACC history to reach 10,000 yards passing and 2750 yards of total offense for the season to become the third quarterback to reach 10,000 yards of total offense. Whitehurst is already first in Clemson history in career passing yardage and second behind Woodrow Dantzler in total offense.
Clemson Record by UniformClemson has used seven different uniform combinations since Tommy Bowden became the head coach in 1999. The Tigers wore all orange for the Texas A&M game and came away with a victory, improving their record to 6-6 under Bowden in all orange. Clemson wore white jerseys and orange pants at Maryland. In 2003, the Tigers broke out purple jerseys for the Georgia Tech game in Atlanta on September 20 and the Tigers gained a 39-3 victory. It was the first time Clemson had worn purple jerseys since the 1991 season when Clemson wore them in a regular season game against NC State and for a bowl game against California.
Clemson Record by Uniform Combination Under Bowden
Quick Notes On Clemson PlayersGaines Adams (DE)–Played eight man football in high school for former South Carolina quarterback Steve Tanneyhill. Curtis Baham (WR)–His father played running back for the Seattle Seahawks in 1987. Charles Bennett (DE)–Clemson’s leading returning tackle for loss player from last year when he had 14. Tramaine Billie (LB)–Wears number-20 because his favorite pro athlete is former Clemson All-American and current Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro Brian Dawkins. Came to Clemson as a running back. Kyle Browning (TB)–Averaged 5.7 yards per rush over his career, best among active Tigers. Jad Dean (PK)–Would compete with Charlie Whitehurst as the top golfer on the Clemson team. Shoots consistently in the 70s when he has the time during the summer. Cole Downer (TE)–Senior tight end who has yet to catch a pass, but had six touchdowns among 10 receptions his sophomore year at Hampden-Sydney College. Had three receptions in the opening win over Texas A&M. Marion Dukes (OT)–Had 61 knockdown blocks in 2004, most among returning Tiger offensive linemen in 2005. Dustin Fry (C)–Strongest player on the Clemson team based on a 485-pound bench press. Played his high school football for Summerville’s John McKissick, the winningest coach in high school football history. Jamaal Fudge (FS)–Sixth among active ACC players in career tackles entering 2005. Named by his mother after former Los Angeles Lakers forward Jamaal Wilkes. C.J. Gaddis (CAT)–Member of Clemson’s 2004 NCAA baseball team. Tye Hill (CB)–Starting cornerback who is one of three active Tigers who has had a 100-yard rushing game in his Clemson career. Ranked as fifth best NFL prospect at cornerback by collegefootballnews.com. Steven Jackson (FB)–Transfer from East Tennessee State after the Bucs dropped football. Listed as the top special teams play in the ACC by one preseason publication. Aaron Kelly (WR)–Came to Clemson after former Alabama wide receiver Curt Brown contacted Dabo Swinney while Kelly was in high school. Brown had played with Swinney at Alabama. Reggie Merriweather (RB)–Scored seven touchdowns in the last three games in 2004, including game winner in overtime against Miami (FL). Gave invocation at Clemson graduation ceremony last May. Barry Richardson (OT)–Started eight games at left tackle last year, the most ever by a first year freshman offensive lineman at Clemson. Chansi Stuckey (WR)–Chevrolet Player of the Game in Clemson’s season opening win over Wake Forest on ABC in 2004. Nick Watkins (LB)–In his first year as starting linebacker, his brother played at LSU and passed away in 2004 just prior to Clemson’s game with Florida State. Watkins responded with season high seven tackles. Charlie Whitehurst (QB)–His dad, David Whitehurst, played for nearby Furman in the 1970s and for Green Bay in the NFL. Charlie on the way to becoming accomplished golfer, he won long drive contest at ACC Football kickoff at The Homestead this past July. Bobby Williamson (TE)–Only married player on the team. Starting tight end in 2003, reserve defensive end with five sacks in 2004, who is now back to starting tight end in 2005.
Clemson Has Two New CoordinatorsClemson enters the 2005 with new coordinators on both sides of the football. Vic Koenning comes to Clemson as defensive coordinator from Troy, while Rob Spence comes to Clemson by way of Toledo.
Koenning, a former linebacker at Kansas State, led Troy’s 2004 defense to a top 10 national ranking in scoring defense, rushing defense, yards per play allowed and pass efficiency defense. His team was sixth in the nation in pass efficiency defense, eighth in rushing defense and 10th in scoring defense. The only other Division I team to rank in the top 10 in the nation in those three categories was National Champion Southern Cal. Troy’s defense was also first in the nation in interceptions (25) and tied for second in turnovers forced (32) in addition to ranking 16th in total defense.
Spence led Toledo to four consecutive top 13 final rankings in terms of total offense and in the top 25 in scoring, helping the Rockets to 35 wins in four years. Twice in his four years Toledo ranked in the top 20 in the nation in rushing and twice in the top 20 in passing.
Spence guided Toledo to an average of 474 yards and 35.2 points per game in 2004, helping Toledo reach the MAC Championship game and a bowl game. The Rockets gained 2013 yards rushing and 3,676 yards passing, during the regular season of 2004, joining only Louisville, Southern Cal and Oklahoma as 2000/3000 yard offenses in 2004. In each of his four seasons at Toledo, his starting quarterback ranked in the top 16 in the nation in passing efficiency.
Quick Notes on Clemson CoachesBrad Scott (OL)–Son John is a senior on Harvard’s football team in 2005. Son Jeff, who is just 24, is head football coach at Blythewood High School in South Carolina. Jack Hines (TE)–Daughter Jacquelyn is a sophomore on Clemson’s women’s soccer team. Marion Hobby (DL)–In his first year on Clemson staff. Received his first recruiting letter in high school from Clemson. It contained the William Perry lifesize Growth poster. David Blackwell (LB)–In third season at Clemson, he also serves as recruiting coordinator. Clemson had a top 20 recruiting year according to most services in 2005. Burton Burns (RB)–On of two coaches on Clemson’s staff who has been with Tommy Bowden all eight years he has been a head coach. Dabo Swinney (WR)–Played on Alabama’s 1992 National Championship team. His position coach in 1989 at Alabama was Tommy Bowden. Ron West (OLB)–Former Clemson player under Charlie Pell, his son Brad is senior starting linebacker at Appalachian State. Joins Burton Burns as the two assistant coaches who have been with Tommy Bowden all eight years he has been a Division I head coach.
Clemson Announces 2006 Football Opponents Clemson will play road games in major markets Boston and Philadelphia in addition to having ACC road trips to Florida State, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest according to the list of opponents the Tigers will play in 2006. Clemson only announced the list of opponents and game sites it will play in 2006. The dates of all games will be determined and released in January, 2006.
Clemson and the other 118 Division I teams will play 12 regular season games in 2006. The Tigers non-conference foes include South Carolina, Louisiana Tech, Temple and Florida Atlantic. All but the Temple game will be played in Clemson Memorial Stadium. The Tigers will play ACC home games against Georgia Tech, Maryland, NC State and North Carolina in 2006, while league road games will be at Boston College, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Florida Atlantic, who finished with a 9-3 record under Howard Schnellenberger, in 2004, will come to Clemson for the first time ever. Schnellenberger coached Miami (FL) to the 1983 National Championship. Louisiana Tech will travel to Clemson for the second time. Clemson has a 2-0 lifetime record against Louisiana Tech, a 49-24 victory in the Humanitarian Bowl to close the 2001 season, then a 33-13 win at Clemson in the second game of the 2002 season.
Clemson and Temple begin a three-year series in 2005 when the Owls come to Clemson on October 22. The two teams will meet in Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field, the home of the Philadelphia Eagles, in 2006.
North Carolina returns to Clemson’s schedule for the first time since 2003 when the Tigers won a thrilling 36-28 game in Death Valley. It will be the only game between Clemson and North Carolina between 2004 and 2009.
The Tigers travel to Wake Forest in 2006, the second consecutive year Clemson will play in Winston-Salem. Clemson plays at Wake Forest this year on October 1. When Clemson plays at Boston College in 2006 it will be Clemson’s first trip to Boston since the 1983 season when the Tigers suffered their only loss of the year to a Doug Flutie led Eagles team.
Clemson will not play ACC teams Virginia, Duke or Miami (FL) in 2006.
Clemson Opponents in 2006Home–Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Tech, South Carolina, North Carolina, NC State, Maryland, Georgia Tech Away–Boston College, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Temple, Wake Forest
West Endzone Notes Clemson is in the middle of a new West Endzone building project. The project began last March and will cause some inconveniences for fans this season. But, the project will have a positive effect on the Tiger program for years to come. Below are some facts concerning the project:
·Construction began in March on the West Zone. · The area sat 5800 last year, but around 4600 this year. · Total project estimated at $56 million. · First stage ready for use today includes new locker rooms for Clemson and visiting teams, new video scoreboard in the East Endzone and two Pro-Ad Display Screens located on the fascia of the North and South Decks. · The new video board in the east end is 64 feet wide. The Pro ad Display Screens are 150 feet wide. · New Clemson locker room is 6876 square feet, more than double the old locker room. · Clemson seating area will be concluded for the opening of the 2006 season. It will hold 914 West End Zone Club seats. · Clemson coaching offices also will be in the West End zone in 2007. · The entire project when completed will be 142,301 square feet. It will be four levels. · Clemson’s new capacity for this year will be about 80,000, down about 1500 from previous years, and will go to over 82,000 when project is completed.
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