Aug. 31, 2009
Complete Game Notes
Middle Tennessee Came to Clemson in 2003 This will be just the second time Clemson has faced Middle Tennessee in its history. The only previous meeting took place in 2003 when the Tigers downed the Blue Raiders by a 37-14 score at Death Valley. Clemson’s offense gained 481 yards that day, 298 passing and 183 rushing.
Charlie Whitehurst led the Clemson offense by completing 23 of 28 passes for 298 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for 41 yards on nine carries in one of his finest all-around games as a four-year starter under center for the Tigers. Airese Currie set a Clemson single game record for receptions that still stands today as he caught 12 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown. Derrick Hamilton had two touchdown receptions and caught four for 78 yards overall.
Jamaal Fudge led the Clemson defense with 17 tackles, while John Leake added 12. Travis Pugh had an interception and LeRoy Hill had nine tackles and two tackles for loss.
Clemson in Season Openers Clemson has won 19 of its last 25 season openers. That includes a 6-4 record the last 10 years when Clemson has played its most challenging season opening games. Clemson has lost three of its last seven season opening games, but all three were to top 25 teams, twice to Georgia (2002 and 2003) and last year to Alabama. Clemson has played five openers against top 25 teams in the last 10 years after having played just five top 25 teams in opening games total between 1936 (first year of the AP poll) and 1999.
Clemson has had some exciting season openers in recent years. In 2004 against Wake Forest, Clemson won a thrilling 37-30 overtime victory in a game that was televised by ABC. It gave Clemson an 8-2-1 record against ACC teams in season openers. Clemson won at home in 2005 in thrilling fashion, a 25-24, win over 17th ranked Texas A&M on a 42-yard field goal by Jad Dean with two seconds left. Clemson also beat a 19th ranked Florida State team in the season opener of 2007.
The Tigers are 83-22-8 (.770), regardless of site, in their first game of the season in the previous 113 seasons. Even though this is the 114th season of Clemson football, Clemson has had just 108 home openers in its history because five seasons Clemson did not play a game at home. In the 108 home openers Clemson has an 83-17-8 record against 33 different opponents.
Tigers to Honor Hunter by Wearing #17 Prior to the beginning of this season it was determined that sophomore linebacker Stanley Hunter would have to give up football due to his continuing battle with epilepsy. The native of Spartanburg, SC and former linebacker at Byrnes High School, had a solid freshman year when he had 37 tackles in just 158 defensive snaps. His average of one tackle for every 4.27 snaps, led the team in terms of fewest plays per tackle.
But during spring practice and over the summer, he had repeated spells that led to his retirement from the game. Hunter is still involved with the program as a student coach and hopes to go into the coaching profession.
Hunter is very popular among his teammates. As a result various players have come to Coach Brandon Maye, who normally wears number-20, will wear number 17 for the season opener against Middle Tennessee. Quarterback Willy Korn, who played at Byrnes High with Hunter, will wear number-17 for the Georgia Tech game. The plan is to have a different Tiger wear number 17 each game this year.
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