Oct. 10, 2005
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Clemson vs. NC State Series Notes ·Clemson and N.C. State will do battle in the 25th annual Textile Bowl when the two teams meet in Raleigh on Thursday. Clemson has a 16-8 advantage in the series since the game took on the Textile Bowl title in 1981, the year Clemson won the National Championship. The Textile Industry has a very important effect on the economy of North Carolina and South Carolina and the two schools competing in Thursday’s game. ·Overall, Clemson has a 45-27-1 lead in the series, including an 19-11 record in games played at Clemson. The Tigers are 16-11 against NC State in games played in Death Valley. · Clemson is 11-11-1 against NC State in neutral site games and 15-15 in games at Raleigh over the years. NC State has an 11-7 lead in games played in Carter-Finley Stadium, including two of the last three games in Raleigh. ·Many of the Textile Bowl contests have been close. Seven of the last eight games have been decided by eight points or less, including last year’s 26-20 Clemson victory at Death Valley. The lone meeting that was not close in the last eight years took place in 2002, a 38-6 NC State victory that was also played on a Thursday night and televised by ESPN. ·NC State was Clemson’s nemesis team from 1986-88. The Tigers won the ACC Championship each year under Danny Ford, but never beat the Pack in the process, losing all three seasons. It was the only loss for Clemson in the ACC in each of those years. · Tommy Bowden is 3-3 against NC State since he has been at Clemson. That includes a 1-2 record in Raleigh and a 2-1 ledger at Clemson. ·Over the last eight years the two teams have won in two-game sets. Clemson won in 1996 and 1997. NC State followed with victories in 1998 and 1999, then Clemson won in 2000 and 2001. NC State won in 2002 and 2003. Clemson won in 2004 and hopes the trend continues with a victory on Thursday to make it a fifth consecutive two-game streak. ·Over the last six years, NC State has won the three games in the series played at night and Clemson has won the three games played during the day. Additionally, NC State has won the three games televised by ESPN and Clemson has won the three games televised by other networks (ABC or Jefferson Pilot).
Landmark Games in Clemson vs. NC State Series ·1903–Clemson defeated NC State 24-0 in Columbia, SC in 1903. Clemson Head Coach John Heisman got married to Evelyn Barksdale in Columbia after the game. It is believed to be the only time in Clemson sports history that a coach has won a game and won a lady’s hand in matrimony on the same day. ·1948–Bobby Gage ran 90 yards on a punt return for the only score of the game in a 6-0 Tiger victory over the Wolfpack in 1948. It is still the longest punt return in the history of Death Valley. ·1950–Clemson defeated NC State 27-0 in 1950. Wyndie Windham led the Clemson defense and according to legend knocked out three NC State backs on three consecutive plays in the second half. ·1967–Clemson painted its shoes orange for the NC State game in Death Valley and the Tigers upset the 10th ranked Wolfpack 14-6. One of the linebackers on that NC State team was current Pack Head Coach Chuck Amato. Clemson clinched a tie for the ACC championship with the victory. Clemson painted its shoes orange because NC State had featured a defense that had worn White shoes during the season. It was the highest ranked team Clemson defeated in Death Valley in the Frank Howard era. ·1984–Clemson defeated NC State 35-34 in Raleigh in the highest scoring game decided by one point in Clemson history. No points were scored by either team in the fourth quarter. ·1991–Clemson wore purple jerseys for the first time since the 1920s in a 29-19 upset victory over NC State. NC State was undefeated and ranked 10th in the nation entering the game against Ken Hatfield’s Tigers. Nelson Welch kicked a record five field goals in leading Clemson to the victory. *1995–Clemson gave up over 500 yards total offense to the Pack, but still won 43-22. Leomont Evans tied a Clemson single game record with three interceptions.Recent Clemson vs. NC State Games1997— In Raleigh, Matt Padgett, now a Double AA professional baseball player, booted a 20-yard field goal with just 19 seconds left to give Clemson a 19-17 victory. The Tigers drove 78 yards in 14 plays to set up the winning score. Nealon Greene hit 20-32 passes for 250 yards and Tony Horne caught eight passes for 112 to key the Clemson offense. 1998–at Clemson, Torry Holt completed an incredible day with a nine-yard scoring pass from Jamie Barnette with just 37 seconds left. It was his fourth touchdown reception of the day. He had 225 yards receiving in that game and he is the only Clemson opponent to catch four scoring passes in the same game.1999–NC State, behind then Head Coach Mike O’Cain, defeated Clemson 35-31 in an exciting contest in Raleigh that featured 35 first-quarter points between the two teams combined, most combined points ever in the first period of a Clemson game. Clemson had five possessions in the fourth period with a chance to take the lead, but could not drive for a winning touchdown.2000–This game was a thriller that came down to the last possession before the Tigers came away with a 34-27 victory. Woody Dantzler completed 18-30 passes for 220 yards and also rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Rod Gardner had 10 catches for 137 yards (most reception yards ever by a Clemson player against NC State), while Travis Zachery added 31-147 and two scores.2001— Dantzler gained 517 yards of total offense, an all-time Clemson record. He had a career best 23-27 passes for 333 yards and four scores, and also rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns. It was arguably the best individual performance in Clemson history as he accounted for an ACC record six touchdowns. Still, it was a 45-37 outcome, as Phillip Rivers had another outstanding passing game for NC State.2002–T.A. McClendon had a breakout game with 178 yards rushing to lead NC State to a 38-6 victory in a Thursday night game in Death Valley. Clemson’s only touchdown came on a kickoff return by then freshman Justin Miller. It was his first career kickoff return. 2003–Phillip Rivers evened his career record against Clemson at 2-2 with a 213-yard passing performance, leading the Pack to a 17-15 victory in Raleigh in a game shown on ESPN on a Thursday evening. Clemson cut the deficit to 17-15 with five minutes left, but the Tigers could not get close enough for a winning field goal. NC State got the ball back with 3:54 left and ran out the clock.2004–Clemson won 26-20 when Charles Bennett intercepted a pass at the Clemson goal line on the last play to preserve the victory. It was the seventh time in the last eight meetings that the game was decided by eight points or less.
Last Year vs. NC StateClemson 26, NC State 20 At Clemson Memorial Stadium Clemson turned six N.C. State turnovers into 16 points to win the 24th edition of the Textile Bowl 26-20. It was the seventh game in the last eight meetings between the two teams that was decided by eight points or less. After a Tiger turnover in its own territory, the Clemson defense was able to hold N.C. State out of the endzone, and John Deraney kicked a 28-yard field goal for the first points of the day. Whitehurst and the Tiger offense responded by moving the ball 76 yards in nine plays down to the N.C. State three. The drive stalled and Jad Dean connected on a 21-yard field goal to tie the score.
After a Tiger punt, the Wolfpack started a drive at their own 14-yard line. After picking up a first down, quarterback Jay Davis escaped pressure from the Tiger defensive line and tried to get the ball to his running back. However, the pass was intercepted by defensive tackle Eric Coleman and returned 20 yards for a touchdown.
The Wolfpack came storming back, as Davis led his team on a 13-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in a five-yard pass to Reggie Davis.The Wolfpack took over again with 2:48 to play and moved as close as the Clemson 24-yard line. N.C. State had two touchdowns called back because of illegal procedure penalties, and the drive ended with Justin Miller intercepting Davis in the endzone.
The Tiger defense forced a three-and-out to begin the second half, and after Miller returned a punt 15 yards, Clemson began the drive in Wolfpack territory. After a another third-down conversion, Whitehurst hit Currie for 24 yards and a touchdown.
The Clemson defense again made a stand, as Jamaal Fudge intercepted a Davis pass on the next drive and returned it to the Tiger 42. A personal foul penalty against N.C. State moved the ball into Wolfpack territory, and after moving 13 yards, Dean hit his second field goal of the day. The 47-yarder by Dean gave the Tigers a 10-point lead. Whitehurst led the Tigers on a 12 play, 40-yard drive that again ended with a field goal by Dean. The sophomore’s fourth field goal of the day, this time from 42 yards, put Clemson back up by two scores with 8:50 to play.
The Wolfpack again answered a Clemson score with a score of their own. This time it was in the form of a Deraney field goal from 44 yards away. Davis directed the Wolfpack down to the Clemson 11-yard line with under 30 seconds to play. After three incomplete passes, N.C. State faced a fourth down with eight seconds to play. Charles Bennett intercepted Davis at the four-yard line in what was the Wolfpack’s sixth turnover of the day. Tramaine Billie, Leroy Hill, and Travis Pugh each had 10 tackles apiece, while Anthony Waters had a team-high three tackles for loss. Hill also had a sack for the fifth-straight game, tying a Tiger record.
Clemson Veterans versus North Carolina StateGaines Adams (BAN)–Played 32 snaps and had two tackles in 2004 game as a reserve.Curtis Baham (WR) — Caught three passes for 27 yards in Raleigh in 2003. Had two receptions for 28 yards in 55 plays as a starter in 2004.Charles Bennett (DE)–Had game winning interception, the only interception of his 39-game career on the last play of the game at the Clemson four-yard line to preserve a 26-20 victory. Also had a caused fumble in that game.Tremaine Billie (WHIP) — Made two tackles in only 11 snaps in 2003. Had season high 10 tackles in 60 plays as a starter in victory at Clemson in 2004.Cole Chason (P) — Punted three times for a 36.7-yard average as a freshman in 2003. Had 37.0 average on five punts in 2004 game at Clemson.Duane Coleman (TB) — Rushed 11 times for 51 yards and caught three passes for 42 yards last year in Raleigh in 2003. Had 10-35 rushing and 1-14 receiving in 2004 game at Clemson.Jad Dean (PK)–Had a perfect 4-4 day kicking field goals and scored 14 of Clemson’s 26 points in Tiger victory at Clemson in 2004.Dustin Fry (C) – Had a 90 percent film grade in 2003 game at NC State. Had 80 percent grade for 15 plays in 2004 win at Clemson.Roman Fry (OG)–Made first career start at NC State in 2003. Jamaal Fudge (ROV) –Recorded seven tackles, including a 25-yard interception return in Clemson’s win in 2004. Made 10 tackles and had one pass break up in 2003. Had two tackles in 21 snaps in 2002.Tye Hill (CB) — Made three tackles as a starter in Raleigh in 2003. Had season high eight tackles and one pass broken up in Clemson win in 2004.Reggie Merriweather (RB)–Had 14-49 rushing in 42 snaps as a starter in Clemson win in 2004.Trey Tate (DT) — Had a sack in 2003 game that caused a fumble against Phillip Rivers. Had two tackles in 50 plays as a starter in 2004.Anthony Waters (LB)–Had seven tackles, including three tackles for loss, in 2004 Clemson win in Death Valley.Nick Watkins (LB)–Had five tackles in 27 plays as a reserve in 2004.Charlie Whitehurst (QB) — Has completed 43-87 passes for 443 yards and a touchdown in three games against NC State. Has a 1-1 record as starter against the Wolfpack. Completed 14-33 last year for 183 yards and a touchdown in Clemson’s 26-20 victory in 2004.Bobby Williamson (TE) — Caught five passes for 32 yards in 2003, most catches in a game by a Clemson tight end since 1975.
Tommy One Game Ahead of Dad The comparisons between father and son are inevitable. Clemson head Coach Tommy Bowden just coached his 100th game at the Division I level and he has 64 victories in those 100 games at Tulane and Clemson. A look to the record of his father, Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, shows that Tommy has a one-game lead over his father. Over Bobby’s first 100 games as a Division I head coach at West Virginia and Florida State, he had a 63-37 record.
Tigers Offense Improved from 2004 Clemson’s offense has shown improvement over last season in a number of categories. The Tigers have increased their total offense from 295.6 per game to 354.6, an increase of 20 percent in yards per game. That breaks down to 20 yards per game more on the ground and 38 yards per game improvement in the air.
Clemson is also improved in turnovers and that can lead directly to point prevention. Clemson has just three turnovers in five games, an average of 0.6 per game. The 2004 team had 24 turnovers in 11 games, an average of 2.18 per game. The improvement is also apparent in the play of quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, who has improved his completion percentage for 50.7 to 66.5, his passing efficiency from 97.3 to 126.5. He has also cut his interceptions drastically. He threw 17 last year and has just three in 166 passes so far in 2005. And two of the three were tipped passes by his receivers.
Clemson Offense Comparison
Charlie Whitehurst Comparison
Scott Family Goes overtime Clemson Assistant Head Coach Brad Scott was on the sidelines for the Tigers in the 16-13 overtime loss to Boston College. While he was enduring that game, his son, John, was playing in a double overtime game for Harvard against Brown. Ironically, Clemson was playing Boston College and his son John was playing in Boston, for Harvard. John had the upper hand on the day as the Crimson beat Brown 38-35. It was the 12th straight victory for Harvard, as the Crimson went 10-0 last year. John Scott is a reserve defensive back and special teams player for Tim Murphy’s team.
Scott is not the only Clemson coach to have a son playing college football this year. Outside linebacker coach Ron West is the father of Brad West, who is a starting outside linebacker at Appalachian State this year. A co-captain for the second straight year, West is third on the Mountaineer team in tackles. His season included an interception at Kansas earlier in the second game of the year.
Bowden, Amato Have Accomplishment in Common Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden and NC State head coach Chuck Amato are two of just four coaches in ACC history to take a league program to a bowl game in each of their first four years. The others are Lou Holtz (NC State 1972-75) and Bobby Ross (Maryland, 1982-86). Bowden actually took Clemson to a bowl game each of his first five years and is the only coach in ACC history to accomplish that feat.
Both Bowden and Amato have direct ties to Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden. Of course, Tommy Bowden is Bobby Bowden’s son and coached under college football’s winningest coach as a graduate assistant in 1978-79 and 1981-82 as a tight ends coach. Amato coached under Bobby Bowden at Florida State from 1982-1999. He served as Bowden’s assistant head coach from 1986-99.
Clemson Winless on ESPN Thursday Night Package This will be Clemson’s seventh appearance on ESPN’s Thursday Night College Football Package. Clemson is 0-6 in its previous appearances, including a 0-5 under Tommy Bowden. Clemson lost to Georgia Tech in the 1998 season under Tommy West, then lost at Virginia Tech and Michael Vick on a Thursday night in 1999, Tommy Bowden’s first year. The Tigers lost a pair of Thursday night games in 2002, at Florida State and at home against NC State. In 2003 Clemson lost at NC State, 17-15, the closest Clemson has come to winning on Thursday night. The Tigers dropped a 30-10 decision to a #12 Virginia team in 2004.
While Clemson has a 0-6 mark on Thursday night, it should be noted that five of the six losses have been to top 25 teams and four of the six have been on the road. Clemson played at home on a Thursday night in the ESPN package against Georgia Tech in 1998 and against NC State in 2002. Georgia Tech entered that 1998 game ranked 22nd in the nation, but finished the season 10-2 and ranked ninth in the nation. The 1999 Virginia Tech team finished 11-1 and ranked second in the country. The 2002 NC State team finished with a school record 11 wins and a top 20 ranking.
This will be Clemson’s seventh Thursday night game, its third against NC State.
Playing on Thursday is not new for Clemson historically. Clemson and South Carolina used to play on “Big Thursday” every year between 1909 and 1959. The game was played in Columbia in conjunction with the State Fair. Clemson has not won a game on Thursday since 1963 when Clemson defeated South Carolina on Thanksgiving Day. That game was moved from the previous Saturday due to the death of President John Kennedy. Overall, Clemson has played 122 games on Thursdays in its history and the Tigers are 52-60-10 in those games.
Based on his record, Tommy Bowden is a fan of playing on Saturdays. Bowden is 46-32 in his career. That breaks down to a 44-24 mark on Saturdays, 65 percent winning mark. He is 2-8 in games played on the other six days of the week, a 20 percent winning mark. The two wins on non-Saturday games came in bowl games, including the 2003 win over Tennessee that was played on a Friday.
Bowden is always cordial to the TV commentators covering the game. But the sight of Mike Tirico and Kirk Herbstreit can make him cringe. Bowden is 0-6 in his career when Tirico and Herbstreit broadcast a Clemson game for ESPN, 0-5 in the Thursday night package and the 2002 Tangerine Bowl (55-15) loss to Texas Tech. Clemson hopes a win to break the Thursday night jinx will balance out Clemson’s streak of overtime wins heading into this year. Clemson was 5-0 in overtime games entering this year, but that streak was broken when Miami (FL) beat Clemson in triple overtime 36-30 on September 17.
Clemson on ESPN Thursday Night Package
Grant Suffers Knee Injury Clemson wide receiver Kelvin Grant suffered a torn ACL in practice on Wednesday, October 6 and will be lost for the season. The junior from Camden, SC ranked fifth on the Clemson team in receptions this season with 10 catches and is fourth in reception yards with 84. Grant was injured during a drill in practice on Wednesday while making a cut. “Kelvin had been doing well, especially the last few weeks,” said Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden. “This is a big loss to our offense. He really had doing well on the field and in the classroom.”
Grant started five games last year and played in 10 overall when he had 23 receptions for 274 yards. He has 45 career receptions in 26 career games for 437 yards and one touchdown. Grant red-shirted the 2002 season at Clemson, so he has one more year of eligibility.
These Games are GoodClemson has played five games this season and all five have been decided by a touchdown or less within the last three minutes of the game. Four of the five have come down to the last play, including the last three, two of which have gone to overtime.
It has been thrill-a-minute for Clemson players, coaches and fans, and that has been the opinion of the editors of collegefootballnews.com. The internet site devoted exclusively to college football selects its top 10 games of college football each week. In each of the first five weeks, Clemson’s game has been ranked among the top seven games in college football that weekend.
In the first week of college football, Clemson’s 25-24 victory over Texas A&M ranked as the top game of the week. Jad Dean’s field goal with two seconds left was the game winner. Clemson’s game with Maryland in week II ranked seventh best, as the Tigers overcame a 10-point fourth quarter deficit and scored the game winner on a 38-yard run by Reggie Merriweather with 2:58 remaining.
Clemson’s 36-30 triple overtime loss to Miami (FL) was the second best game of Week III, trailing only Michigan State’s overtime victory at Notre Dame. The Clemson vs. Boston College game, another overtime affair that ended in the Eagles victory column by a 16-13 score, ranked seventh.
Then, the Clemson vs. Wake Forest game in Winston-Salem on October 1 ranked as the third best game of the weekend. Wake Forest scored with 33 seconds left to take a 31-27 lead, then Clemson drove to Wake Forest’s three-yard line on the last play of the game before Curtis Baham was stopped shy of giving the Tigers a game-winning touchdown.
Clemson was the only team in the country to have played a “Top10 game” each of the first five weeks of the season according to the site. The streak was stopped the weekend of October 8 when Clemson had an open date. The internet site also ranks the best game each week by conference. Each of the first five weeks Clemson’s game was ranked as the best game in the ACC.
Thrilling Games Continue All five of Clemson’s games so far this year have been decided with offensive or defensive plays within the last minute of play. That includes four of the five that have been decided within the last two seconds, four on the last play of the game. Clemson is the only school in the nation to have all five of its games decided by six points or less. The only school that is close is Navy, which has had all four of its games decided by seven points or less so far this season.
As far as Clemson history is concerned, this is the first time since 1906 that Clemson has played five consecutive games in the same season that have been decided by seven points or less. That year Clemson had three scoreless ties (Virginia Tech, NC State and Davidson), had a 6-0 win over Georgia and a 6-4 win over Auburn, to start the season. The last time Clemson played six consecutive games decided by seven points or less took place over the 1985 and 1986 seasons. Clemson had each of its last four games of 1985 decided by seven points or less, then started the 1986 season with two in a row. That is the longest streak in Clemson history for close games.
Clemson Played Consecutive Overtime Games Clemson played consecutive overtime games, losses at home to 13th ranked Miami (FL) 36-30 in triple overtime on September 17, and 16-13 in overtime to 25th ranked (USA) Boston College on September 24. It marked first time in ACC history that a league school played consecutive overtime games, but it has happened quite often nationally.
In fact, Clemson and TCU both played consecutive overtime games this year on the same weekends. No team has ever played three overtime games in succession. The overtime rule dates to the 1996 season. TCU won consecutive overtime games, a 23-20 win over Utah on September 15 and a 51-50 win over BYU on September 24. Clemson and TCU were the 17th and 18th occurrences of a team playing back to back overtime games. The first school to do it was Southern Cal in 1996, as the Trojans concluded their season with a loss to Southern Cal and a win over Notre Dame (Lou Holtz’s last game as Notre Dame coach).
In 2004 Texas A&M and Northwestern were the only teams to play consecutive overtime games. The last team to lose consecutive overtime games was Temple in 2003. However, the Owls had an open date in between overtime losses to Villanova and Cincinnati. Arizona State lost consecutive games in overtime on consecutive Saturdays in 2000. Both of those games were in double overtime.
Clemson won its first five overtime games between 1997-2004, but the Tigers have now lost two in a row. Entering the 2005 season there were two Division I teams with an all-time record of 5-0 in overtime, Clemson and BYU. Both lost in overtime on the same weekend this year. BYU lost to TCU, 51-50 on September 24.
Clemson and NC State have played the most overtime games among ACC schools so there is another opportunity when the teams meet on Thursday. NC State has played 10 overtime games in its history and Clemson is second with seven. Clemson has been involved in five of the last eight overtime games played involving ACC teams.
Clemson in Overtime (5-2)
Baham tops in ACC in Yards/Reception If Clemson gave an award at midseason most improved player on offense the winner would probably be Curtis Baham. The senior from New Orleans has had a lot of distractions this fall with the events of Hurricane Katrina and its impact on his family, but it has not effected him on the football field. It has in fact motivated him. So far this year Baham has been Clemson’s big play threat with an average of 22.3 yards per reception (14-312) and three touchdowns. He is tied for the team lead in touchdowns with Reggie Merriweather, who has three on the ground.
Baham had an 11-yard average as a sophomore in 2003 when he had 22 catches and an 11.8 average last year when he had 16 catches in 10 games. Baham has had at least one catch in every game and had a career high 87 receiving yards on five receptions in the triple overtime game against Miami (FL). He scored a tying touchdown in the first overtime on a fourth down pass from Charlie Whitehurst to send the game into a second OT. He had a 51-yard touchdown catch at Maryland that swayed the momentum in Clemson’s favor in the 28-24 Tiger victory.
Baham leads the ACC in yards per reception with his 22.3 figure, ahead of the 20.4 by Vernon Davis of Maryland, and Baham’s 62.4 receiving yards per game ranks fourth best in the conference.
If the season ended today, Baham’s 22.3 yard average would be the sixth best average in Clemson history among Tigers who have had at least 10 receptions in a season. The record is 32.1 by Gary Cooper in 1988 when he had 13 receptions for 417 yards. Baham will have a chance for the mark based on a minimum of 20 receptions for a season. That record is 22.6 yards per catch by Glenn Smith in 1950 when he had 22 catches for 498 yards. Only three players in Clemson history have averaged 20 yards per reception and had a minimum of 20 catches in a season. Those are Smith, Craig Brantley (1975) and Terry Smith in 1993.
Clemson Season yards per Reception Bests
Minimum of 10 receptions for a 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.Williamson Had Career High at NC State Clemson tight end Bobby Williamson has fond memories of playing at NC State. Two years ago, Williamson had a career high five receptions for 32 yards against NC State in Raleigh. That is the most receptions in a game by a Clemson tight end since 1975 when Bennie Cunningham had six for 87 against Wake Forest.
Williamson has had injuries off and on starting with the preseason this year and has just five catches this season for 54 yards. But, Clemson has had the tight end involved this year. Three different tight ends have exactly five catches apiece (Cole Downer and Thomas Hunter the others). The group has 15 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown. Downer was injured against Miami (FL) and will not play against NC State. Last year, Clemson tight ends had nine catches for 142 yards all season.Stuckey Attempting to Join Exclusive Club Clemson Chansi Stuckey is on the verge of joining an exclusive club in Clemson football history. The junior receiver has accounted for a touchdown three different ways in his a career. He threw two touchdown passes as a freshman quarterback at Wake Forest in 2003. He ran for a touchdown as a reserve quarterback at South Carolina in 2003. He scored a touchdown on a punt return against Texas A&M in 2005. Now he just needs to score a touchdown on a reception to become the third player in Clemson history to account for a touchdown by four different means.
Stuckey has 21 receptions to lead the Tigers in that category this year. He ranks in a tie for fourth in the ACC in receptions per game with 4.2. But, he is yet to get that elusive touchdown. He has 48 career receptions to rank second among active Tigers in that category.
The other two Tigers to account for touchdowns four different ways are Bobby Gage and Ray Mathews. Both did it four different ways in the same season. Gage scored on a run, pass, reception and kickoff return in 1947, while Mathews scored on a run, pass, reception and punt return in 1948.
Clemson Offensive Line Young and Balanced When someone asks Head Coach Tommy Bowden to rate his top offensive linemen he usually has to pause and think about. Over the first five games, five different offensive linemen have had the highest film grade awarded by Assistant Head Coach Brad Scott. Center Dustin Fry led the way against Texas A&M, senior offensive guard Chip Myrick was the leader against Maryland, junior tackle Marion Dukes had the high grade against Miami (FL), guard Brandon Pilgrim was the best against Boston College and junior Roman Fry was the leader against Wake Forest.
Not listed above are Nathan Bennett and Barry Richardson, who might be the most consistent of Bowden’s offensive linemen. Bennett actually leads the team in knockdown blocks with 32, followed by Roman Fry with 23. Roman Fry’s total included 11.5 against Wake Forest. Duke has 20.5 knockdowns followed by Richardson and Pilgrim with 20 apiece. Dustin Fry is next with 18. Richardson is a first-year sophomore who was named a Freshman All-American last year.
What is encouraging for Bowden is the youth of the offensive line. Chip Myrick is the only senior among the 10 offensive linemen who have played in a game this year, meaning just about everyone will be back for the Tigers up front on offense in 2006.Matchup of Outstanding Freshmen Running Backs Thursday’s game between Clemson and NC State will feature two of the top first year freshman running backs in the nation. Both were ranked among the top 10 running backs in high school football last year and both are already leading their respective teams in rushing.
Clemson’s James Davis of Atlanta, GA has 72 carries for 290 yards and two scores this season. He is the top rusher among freshmen in the ACC so far this season and ranks seventh on the conference rushing charts with 58 yards per game. Davis burst on the scene with 101 yards in 19 carries against Texas A&M in his first career game, the first Clemson freshman running back to gain at least 100 yards in his opening game since Bobby Gage in 1945.
Davis scored his first two career touchdowns at Wake Forest and he also had five receptions in that game, second highest single game reception total in Clemson history for a running back. Davis has 13 catches for 73 yards so far this season and has started four of the five Tiger games. Davis was ranked as the seventh best running back in the nation by rivals.com last year when he rushed for 2,389 yards and scored 28 touchdowns at Douglass High School. He had 7,339 yards and 80 touchdowns for his high school career.
NC State’s Toney Baker has 46 rushes for 216 yards and four touchdowns so far this season to lead the Wolfpack in rushing. He has added eight receptions for 59 yards and scored one touchdown via the air. Baker was the third ranked running back in the nation by rivals.com last year. He set the North Carolina high school state record for career rushing yards with 10,231, breaking the former mark of T.A. McLendon by over 1000 yards.
Merriweather Needs Two for 1000 Clemson junior running back Reggie Merriweather needs just two yards rushing at NC State to reach the 1,000-yard mark for his career. That is quite an accomplishment for the native of North Augusta, GA considering he had just 16 carries his first year and has started just seven games in his three years.
Merriweather is slated to start at NC State after gaining 92 yards in 17 attempts at Wake Forest. He has averaged at least 5.0 yards per rush in three of the five games so far this year and currently ranks second on the team in rushing yards with 272. He has 272 yards in 54 attempts for a 5.0 average. Merriweather averaged 4.9 per rush as a sophomore and has a 4.8 average for his career (206-998).
Merriweather is currently 10th in the ACC in rushing yards per game with 54.4. He and freshman James Davis are both ranked in the top 10 in the conference. Davis is seventh with a 58.0 average.Merriweather Sets Clemson Record Clemson 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 a seven-game period.
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 the Maryland game, 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).
Yards/Play No Indication One would think that a leading indicator of success in a football game would be yards per play gained. But that has not been the case for Clemson this year. In fact, in each of the first five Clemson games in 2005 the team with the higher yards per play figure has lost the game. That trend continued when Clemson gained 5.7 yards per play compared to 5.4 for Wake Forest on October 1, a 31-27 Demon Deacon victory. The biggest disparity of the year in that area came in the opener when Texas A&M gained an incredible 7.2 yards per play and lost to the Tigers 25-24. Clemson averaged a healthy 5.3 per play that day.
Third Down Conversion Improved vs. Wake Forest Clemson had its problems on third down in the overtime loss to Boston College as Clemson was 0-11 in that category. It marked the first time on record that Clemson failed to convert a single third-down. But, that improved against Wake Forest as Clemson converted 7-13 opportunities. That was the first time since the 2003 South Carolina game that Clemson had converted on at least 50 percent of its third down opportunities.
Hill Top Draft Choice Candidate According to Kiper Clemson cornerback Tye Hill is off to a strong start in 2005 and ESPN analyst Mel Kiper has taken note. In his latest listing of top senior NFL Draft prospects, Kiper ranks Hill 14th overall, third among defensive backs. Hill has made a seven place jump in Kiper’s rankings since the season began. Kiper ranks Southern Cal quarterback Matt Leinart first in his rankings of draft eligible players, followed by Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk. The only defensive backs ranked ahead of Hill are Virginia Tech cornerback Jimmy Williams and Tennessee defensive back Jason Allen.
Hill has 32 tackles to rank fifth on the team, including 25 first hits, which is tied for second on the club. Hill is coming off a career high 11 tackles at Wake Forest, including three tackles for loss. That was a Clemson single game record for tackles for loss by a defensive back. Hill now has two interceptions for 11 yards and three total passes broken up for the season. He also has a fumble recovery for a team best three takeaways, and has a caused fumble to be involved in another turnover.
Mel Kiper’s Top Senior Prospects(September 2005)
*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
Bowden Has Coached 100 Games Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden coached his 100th game as a Division I head coach when the Tigers played at Wake Forest. Bowden has a record of 64-36 for his first 100 games as a head coach, 22 at Tulane and 78 at Clemson. He was 18-4 in two seasons with the Green Wave and 46-31 so far in his seven seasons at Clemson.
Bowden is the 24th head coach in Clemson history and he is already third in school history in coaching victories with 46. 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). That was also the 600th win in Clemson history.
Bowden is also moving up the Clemson coaching ranks in other areas. He now has eight wins over top 25 teams at Clemson, also third among Tiger 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 is also third in conference wins with 29 and fourth in wins by seven points or less. He has 14 of those close victories, tied with Jess Neely who had 14 between 1931-39. Frank Howard had 49 and Danny Ford had 26 wins by seven points or less.
Clemson’s Winningest Coaches
Tigers Have Faced Difficult Schedule Clemson has played three top 25 teams (USA/Coaches poll) within its first five games. This is the first time Clemson has played three top 25 teams within the first five games of the season since 1966 when Frank Howard’s team played three top 10 teams within the first five games of the season. Clemson played #17 Texas A&M, #13 Miami (FL) and #25 Boston College within the first four games of the season, the first time history Clemson played three top 25 teams within the first four games.
In many ways this has been the most challenging home schedule in Clemson history. Four of the six opponents who will come to Clemson (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) was 13th entering its game at Clemson and Boston College was 25th in the USA Today poll. Florida State is a consensus top five team at the moment. They will come to Clemson on November 12.
Clemson has never had four top 25 teams come to Clemson in the same season. In fact, 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 at home 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 22-26-1 against top 25 teams in Death Valley over the years. Coach Bowden is 5-6 against top 25 teams at home in his seven 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 34 games against top 25 teams at home.
Another indicator of Clemson’s tough schedule this year is the Sagarin schedule ranking. Through games of October 8, Clemson’s schedule ranked eighth in the nation. It is interesting to note that NC State’s schedule is ranked 10th in the Sagarin rankings, meaning both teams competing Thursday night have been used to playing top notch competition.
Sagarin Schedule Ranking (Through Games of October 8, 2005)
Clemson Limiting Mistakes One hallmark of Clemson’s offense under offensive coordinator Rob Spence has been efficiency and a lack of mistakes. Clemson did not commit a turnover for its first 213 offensive snaps of the season, or until Charlie Whitehurst threw an interception on the last play of the third overtime against Miami, the third game of the season.
Clemson then went the entire game against Boston College without committing a turnover. The Tigers had two turnovers, both interceptions on tipped passes, at Wake Forest. Thus, the Tigers have just three turnover in five games and four overtime periods. That is one turnover for 351 plays, or one turnover every 117 offensive snaps. Clemson is ranked tied for third in the nation in fewest turnovers committed with just three, one behind Fresno State and Virginia Tech and tied with UCLA. Clemson and Virginia Tech are the only teams in the nation that have not lost a fumble so far this season. Clemson is ranked 17th in the nation in turnover margin so far this year, a marked improvement over the #99 ranking last year.
Here are some other notes on Clemson’s lack of mistakes in 2005: · Another area that shows the discipline of this Clemson team is penalty differential. Clemson leads the ACC in fewest penalties committed with just 17 for 146 yards in the first five games. The opposition has had 48 for 403 penalty yards, which is the most by any ACC team’s opponent. That is 31 more penalties for 257 more penalty yards for the opposition so far this year. So, Clemson is gaining 51.4 yards per game on penalty differential so far this season. · Clemson’s 17 penalties in a five-game stretch rank as the fewest in any five-game period in Clemson history. · When Clemson had just one turnover in its first four games, it marked the first time since 1994 that Clemson committed just one turnover over any four game span. · 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 under Tommy Bowden. However a streak was stopped when Clemson lost to Boston College, 16-13 in overtime in the fourth game of the season. The Tigers had won 11 consecutive games dating to 2002 when it won the turnover margin stat (forces more turnovers than it commits). Clemson forced two turnovers (interceptions by Tye Hill and Jamaal Fudge) against Boston College. Clemson is 28-8 under Bowden when the Tigers win the turnover margin stat. · Clemson has now had 12 games under Tommy Bowden when it has not committed a turnover and the Tigers are now 10-2 in those games.
National Leaders in Fewest Turnovers Lost
National leaders in Fewest Penalties Committed/Game
Clemson Efficient in Red zone Through five games Clemson is a perfect 18-18 in terms of scoring in the red zone. The Tigers have scored nine touchdowns and added nine field goals in their 18 trips inside the opponent 20 so far this year. Of course, the efficient kicking of Jad Dean has a lot to do with that success rate. Clemson is the only ACC school to bat 1.000 in that area so far, but to continue that efficiency they will have to do it against an NC State team that leads the league in red zone defense. NC State has allowed just nine scores in 17 trips to the red zone so far this year.
Waters Top Tackler One of the top Clemson players of the 1960s was Charlie Waters, who went on to fame with the Dallas Cowboys of the 1970s. Now another player named Waters (no relation) is making a name for himself at Clemson. Anthony Waters is Clemson’s top tackler so far this year with 54 stops and ranks third in the ACC and 22nd in the nation in that category on a per game basis. That is saying something because the ACC might be the best conference in the nation when it comes to defense.
Waters has taken over the middle linebacker position left vacant by Leroy Hill, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and a third-team AP All-American. Last year, Hill had 106 tackles for 11 games and contributed 19 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Waters level of production is not far behind so far this year. Through fivegames Waters has 54 stops and 6.5 tackles for loss to lead the Tigers in each category.
On a per game basis, Waters is averaging 11 tackles per game, above the 9.6 per game by Hill. Hill averaged 1.72 tackles for loss last year, among the top 20 in the nation, and Waters stands at 1.3 per game. Waters has led Clemson in tackles in three of the first five games. He had 14 at Maryland when he was in a matchup with D’Quell Jackson, the ACC’s top tackler. He then posted 11 stops in the triple overtime game with Miami (FL). Against Boston College, he led the Tigers again with 14 stops, tying his career high for the second time in three games.
The native of Lake View, SC is averaging a tackle every 4.85 plays, better than the tackle for every 6.4 plays by Hill in 2004.
Clemson Defense Solid vs. Miami The NCAA overtime rule can play havoc with the evaluation of various statistics. That is the case with Clemson’s defensive performance against Miami (FL) in the most recent game, a 36-30 Miami triple overtime win. Miami scored 16 of its 36 points in the three overtime periods, which will hurt Clemson’s scoring defense stats all year. The same goes for total offense and yards per game, as Miami gained 73 yards in the overtime.
Through the 60 minutes of regulation, the Hurricanes gained just 264 yards of total offense, 49 yards less than they gained against Florida State’s famed defensive unit. The Hurricanes threw for just 109 yards on 23 pass attempts during regulation as Vic Koenning’s defensive unit allowed less than five yards per pass attempt. Clemson allowed just 5-14 third-down conversions in regulation and allowed just 15 first downs. Miami gained just 4.0 yards per play during regulation.
Anthony Waters led Clemson in tackles for the second consecutive game in the Miami loss with 11. C.J. Gaddis had his second consecutive double figure tackle game with 10, while Sergio Gilliam had a career high nine stops, including one behind the line of scrimmage.
Bennett Posts Top Game Senior defensive end Charles Bennett had his best game of the young 2005 season and the second best tackle game of his career when he had eight tackles against Miami (FL). The native of Camden, SC had five first hits and three assists for his eight tackles. Two of the eight were behind the line of scrimmage, including an eight-yard sack on Miami’s last possession of regulation, a stop that gave Clemson the ball back with a chance to tie the game. He also had three quarterback pressures in the Miami game.
Bennett’s career high for tackles in a game is 10, recorded at Florida State last year, a game in which he also had two tackles for loss. The sack against Miami (FL) was the seventh of his career and the first this season. The Miami game was his 13th career start, he has now started every game over the last two years with the exception of the Texas A&M game in 2004.
For the year, Bennett has 23 tackles on 15 first hits and eight assists. Another Last Second Thriller Eight of the last nine and 10 of the last 15 Clemson games, including all four this year, 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 10 close games over the last two years 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. Miami then defeated Clemson in three overtimes and Boston College stopped the Tigers in one overtime.
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 has overcome a 10 point deficit to win or tie the game each of the last three weeks. In all four games this year Clemson has led and trailed in the fourth quarter or overtime.
Clemson Heart Stoppers the last Two Seasons (6-2)
Dean 25-29 on Field Goals in Career Clemson kicker Jad Dean is the leading active placekicker in the nation in terms of career field goal percentage. The junior from Greenwood, SC has made 25-29 for his career, including 13-14 this season. That .8621 field goal percentage is first among active players, just ahead of Alexis Serna of Oregon State, who has made 28-33 for .8485. Dean has missed just four field goals in his career and all have come against Miami (FL). He missed three and made one in Clemson’s 24-17 overtime win at Miami (FL) in 2004 and was 3-4 against the Hurricanes this year with the only miss coming from 50 yards out.
All of Dean’s misses have been from 40 yards or more in his career. He is a perfect 10-10 this year and 18-18 inside the 40 for his career. He has made all 12 of his extra points this year and 29-30 extra points in his career. His only missed PAT took place against South Carolina last year. He is averaging 10.20 points per game this year, 16th in the nation. Dean is now ranked second in the nation in field goals per game so far this year with a 2.60 figure on 13 in six games. He is second behind Paul Martinez of Oregon. Dean and Martinez are the only players in the nation to kick six field goals in a game this year. Martinez had his six against Montana on September 10, just one week after Dean had his six against Texas A&M in the season opener. So, Dean is just ahead a kicker from Oregon State on the career field goal percentage list and just behind a kicker from Oregon on the field goals made per game list for this season.
Dean had the greatest field goal kicking day in Clemson history when the Tigers defeated Texas A&M, 25-24 in the season opener. 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. For his performance, Dean was named the National Player of the Week by USA Today.
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. Martinez matched the feat the next week against Montana for Oregon.
Dean was just one field goal off the national record for field goals in a game. 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. Dean also handles kickoffs for the Tigers. So far this year he has had 13 touchbacks in 27 attempts and has 65 touchbacks in 151 career kickoffs, .430. He was 6-6 in non-returnable kickoffs at Wake Forest.
Thursday evenings game with NC State will be an interesting battle of the kickers. NC State’s John Deraney is a perfect 7-7 on field goals so far this season.
Active Division I Leaders in Field Goal Percentage
Bring a Pillow The Clemson vs. Miami (FL) game took 4:10 to play, the longest game in Clemson history in terms of overtimes and real time. The previous long was the 4:05 it took to play the Peach Bowl at the end of the 2003 season. That game, however, had a 27-minute halftime, five minutes longer than a normal game.
As you can see by the list below, of the 11 longest games in Clemson history, eight have taken place since Tommy Bowden became Clemson’s head coach.
Clemson’s Longest Games in terms of Real Time
#at Peach Bowl, $Humanitarian Bowl
Clemson New Orleans Duo Led Way at Maryland Two 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.
Baham continued his fine play against Miami and had five catches for 87 yards. That was a career high in yardage for Baham, who caught a five-yard scoring pass in the first overtime on a fourth-down play..
Watkins was the second leading tackler on the Clemson defense with a career high 13 tackles against Maryland 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.
Adams Pressuring Quarterback Gaines 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. He was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week for that performance.
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.
Adams had three passes broken up and three quarterback pressures against Boston College. He leads the Clemson team in passes broken up with four and leads the team in pressures with 10. He has 22 tackles overall.
Fudge Another Defensive Leader Clemson free safety Jamaal Fudge has been a leader on the Clemson defense for three seasons. The native of Jacksonville, FL has 29 tackles so far this year to rank sixth on the Clemson team. He also has five passes defensed to rank in a tie for first. He had his first interception of the season against Boston College in the endzone to thwart a BC drive. That was the eighth interception of Fudge’s career, tops among active Clemson players and 14th nationally among active Division I players. He has led Clemson in interceptions each of the last two years and is trying to become the first Clemson player in history to lead the team in interceptions three straight years.
Fudge has been a model of durability. He has played in 42 consecutive games (never missed a game) and has started each of the last 29. Only Charlie Whitehurst (34) has a longer streak of consecutive starts on the Clemson team. The 29 tackles this year give Fudge 238 for his career, more than any other active Tiger.
Four of Six Home Games Already Sold Out Clemson 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) and Boston College games were also a pregame sellout, as is the Florida State game on November 12. 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. Overcoming Double Digit Deficits Clemson 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. Clemson overcame a 10-point deficit against Miami (FL), but did not win the game. The Tigers sent the game into overtime with a 27-yard field goal by Jad Dean with 15 seconds left.
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
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
Last Minute Wins under Bowden The 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.
Last Second Wins under Bowden
Fifteen Freshmen Have Played for Tigers in 2005 Clemson 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. Dorell Scott entered the lineup at defensive tackle after the first game to give Clemson 15 first-year or red-shirt freshmen this year.
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 Debut Clemson 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
Davis Opening Game Starter James 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 Awards Four Game balls Tommy 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.
Using Proctor no Gamble One of the most important performances by the Tigers in the win over Texas A&M was turned in by junior quarterback Will Proctor. The junior from Winter Park, FL played virtually the entire fourth quarter as starter Charlie Whitehurst had to leave the game when he was struck in the head on a tackle by a couple of Texas A&M defenders. Proctor entered the game cold off the bench and had control of the Tiger offense for the last 23 offensive snaps of the game. On his first drive, he led the Tigers 11 plays for 53 yards to a 44-yard field goal by Jad Dean. During that drive he completed a 15-yard pass to Chansi Stuckey, his first career completion. With 3:40 left, Clemson took over possession at its own 42, trailing by 24-22. Proctor quarterbacked Clemson to a 33-yard drive in eight plays, that led to Dean’s game winning field goal.
For the 23 snaps in the fourth quarter, Proctor had three rushes for 18 yards and completed 2-4 passes for 28 yards. He led the Tigers to 118 yards of total offense in the fourth quarter when Clemson controlled the clock for 11:23. Prior to the Texas A&M game, Proctor had played just six career snaps at quarterback in three games, all in 2004 when he was also Whitehurst’s backup. He had thrown just three career passes prior to the A&M game, all incompletions.
Clemson Record by Uniform Clemson 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 6-7 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 Players Gaines 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. His father is now a color commentator on college football games on CSTV. 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. 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.
Georgia Renews Series with Clemson in 2013-14: Clemson and Georgia will renew their college football rivalry in 2013 and 2014 with a home-and-home series. Both schools made the announcement Thursday afternoon. The Clemson vs. Georgia rivalry dates to the 1897 season and the fourth game in Clemson football history. The series took on a national scope in the 1980s when Georgia won the National Championship in 1980 and Clemson won the title in 1981. The two teams split 11 games (5-5-1) between 1978-90. Between 1979-87 the teams played nine games and eight were decided by a touchdown or less. The two teams last played a two-game series in 2002-03 and Georgia won both contests, including a 31-28 victory in Athens in the opener of the 2002 season.
The two-game series calls for Georgia to come to Clemson in 2013 and the Tigers will travel to Athens in 2014. Last week Clemson announced that it had added Vanderbilt to its scheduled for 2012 and 2013. Combined with the annual game with South Carolina, it means Clemson will play three SEC schools out of its four non-conference games in 2013. The Vanderbilt and Georgia games will be at Clemson that year and the Tigers will travel to South Carolina.
“We have been working with Georgia since the NCAA announced Division I teams could add a 12th game,” said Clemson Senior Associate AD Dwight Rainey. “Both schools attempted to work out playing dates earlier than this, but previous commitments prevented it. There is certainly great history between the two programs and it is a very attractive series from a national standpoint.”
Clemson also announced Clemson will meet Pittsburgh in 2010 and 2011. The 2010 game will be at Pittsburgh, and the 2011 contest will be at Clemson. The series was earlier announced as being played in 2009 and 2011.
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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