Oct. 17, 2005
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Clemson Records 200-200 Game Most teams strive for offensive balance because an ability to rush and throw the ball with effectiveness usually translates to a victory. That has been the case in Clemson history. A look to the records shows that Clemson has never lost a game in which it has had at least 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing on offense.
That pattern continued in the victory over NC State, as the Tigers had 243 yards rushing and 246 yards passing in the 31-10 victory. It was the first time since the 2002 North Carolina game that Clemson had at least 243 yards rushing and 243 yards passing in the same game. Overall, it was the 17th time in Tommy Bowden’s career that Clemson has had at least 200 yards of each, the first time since Clemson had 302 passing and 240 yards rushing in the 63-17 win over South Carolina in 2003.
The 243 rushing yards by the Tigers were the most against NC State’s defense since the 2003 season when Florida State had 272 against the Pack. Clemson completed 71 percent of its passes in the game, the highest completion percentage against the Pack since the 2003 season when Virginia completed 41-55. Clemson is now 43-0-1 when it has at least 200 yards of each category, including 36 consecutive wins dating to 1976. The only time Clemson has failed to gain victory when it had at least 200 rushing and 200 passing took place in a 24-24 tie with Georgia Tech in 1976.
Tigers and Owls Met in 1991 Clemson and Temple have met just once previously. That game took place on September 21, 1991 and it resulted in a 37-7 Tiger victory. Clemson’s defense that year led nation in rushing defense, was fourth in total defense and 10th in scoring defense, and it enhanced its numbers that day when it held Temple to 89 yards rushing in 46 attempts. The Owls under Jerry Berndt gained just 104 yards in total offense in 58 plays for the day, just 1.8 yards per play.
A look to Clemson’s roster that day tells the story. Clemson’s point prevention unit included future first-round draft choice Wayne Simmons, 12-year NFL defensive tackle Brentson Buckner, four-time Pro Bowl player Chester McGlockton, 10-year NFL outside linebacker Levon Kirkland, and nine-year NFL linebacker Ed McDaniel. Those players combined for nine tackles for loss on the day.
Clemson was led on offense by sophomore running back Ronald Williams, who had 14 rushes for 86 yards. Quarterback DeChane Cameron completed 7-12 passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns, while the late Terry Smith had four receptions for 60 yards. Temple actually took a 7-0 lead in the first period when quarterback Trent Thompson hit tight end Bryant Garvin for a one-yard touchdown pass. Temple had 81 yards and five first downs in the first period, then had just 23 yards of total offense and just one first down over the last three periods.
Clemson tied the game at 7-7 on a trick play. Wide receiver Larry Ryans scored on a 25-yard run on an end-around with 10:28 left in the second period. Clemson scored 14 in the second period and 13 in the third to put the game away and capture its 10th straight home victory. Clemson improved its record 2-0 and moved to seventh in the AP poll after the victory.
Cody Coached at Both Schools There aren’t a lot of common denominators between Clemson and Temple, but Josh Cody is one coach who had a prominent role in the history of both institutions. Cody coached the football and basketball teams at both schools. In his first year as head football coach at Clemson (1927), he led the Tigers to a 5-3-1 record, then guided Clemson to back-to-back 8-3 seasons in 1928 and 1929, before an 8-2 mark in 1930. It marked the first time in Clemson history and the only time until 1977-79 that Clemson had three consecutive seasons of at least eight wins.
Cody considered leaving for another position after the 1928 season, but Clemson students, faculty, staff and supporters raised money to buy him a new Buick, and they presented it to him on the steps of Tillman Hall in the spring of 1929. Cody remained with the program through the 1930 season and he finished with a 29-11-1 record. That included a 4-0 record against South Carolina, still the only Clemson coach with a perfect record against the Gamecocks, given a minimum of three games as head coach.
Cody also coached the Clemson men’s basketball teams during this era. His best season was 1929-30 when the Tigers were 16-9. His final year as the basketball coach was the 1930-31 season. Upon leaving Clemson, Cody returned to Vanderbilt (his alma mater) as an assistant football coach and a head basketball coach. He was the head football coach and athletic director at Florida from 1936-1939.
In 1940, Cody was a line coach at Temple and was appointed Head Basketball Coach in 1942. He held that post until he became athletic director in 1952. During his tenure as basketball coach, Cody racked up 124 victories and guided the Owls to the NCAA Tournament in 1944, the first NCAA Tournament appearance in the history of Owl basketball. That team reached the Elite Eight of the tournament. In 1955, he coached the football team at Temple after the original coach resigned on the eve of the season. He passed away in 1961 at the age of 69.
Owls Update Temple enters this game with a 0-7 record after a 34-3 loss at Miami (FL) last week. It was an active week for the Owls, who learned their head coach Bobby Wallace would be leaving the Temple program at then end of the season. Wallace has been the head coach of the Owl program since 1998 when the program was still in the Big East. (Temple is independent this year and in 2006 and will join the MAC in 2007).
The Owls will hope to duplicate an accomplishment of that 1998 season when they come to Death Valley on Saturday. That year an 0-6 Temple team pulled off one of the great upsets in school history with a 28-24 victory at Virginia Tech. Wallace is a respected coach who led North Alabama to three Division II National Championships during 10 seasons as the head coach from 1988-97.
Umar Ferguson is one of the top offensive players for the Owls. The leading rusher has 489 yards in six games, more than any other Clemson running back. He has scored three touchdowns and has a 3.6 average. The Owl quarterback is Mike McGann, who has completed 60-142 passes for 741 yards and one touchdown. The top receiver is Bruce Gordon, who has 22-316 yards.
The top defender for Temple is Manuel Tapia, who has 62 tackles. Chuck Dunbar has 44 tackles, including 8.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. Mike Mendenhall has 40 tackles, including a team best nine tackles for loss, 4.5 of which are sacks. The sack total is also a team best. Temples defense has forced 15 turnovers, has 43 tackles for loss and 12 forced fumbles.
Tigers Hold Pack to 10 Points Clemson enters Saturday’s game against Temple after recording a 31-10 victory over NC State on October 13. It was a dominating victory for Tommy Bowden’s Tigers in many ways. Overall, the 21-point victory margin was the best for Clemson in the series with the Pack since 1996 when Clemson won by 23 points in a 40-17 victory at Death Valley. The 21-point victory margin was the largest for the Tigers in any ACC game since a 40-7 win over Duke at Clemson in 2003. It was the largest margin of victory in an ACC road game since a 39-3 win at Georgia Tech in 2003.
The Tigers were outstanding on offense and defense. The 489 yards of total offense were the most by a Clemson team in any game since the Tigers recorded 542 yards of offense at South Carolina in 2003. Clemson held the Pack to 267 yards of offense and just 92 yards rushing in scoring 10 points. It was the fewest points scored by NC State against Clemson since a 30-10 Tiger victory at Clemson in 1989. It was the fewest points scored by NC State against the Tigers in Raleigh since 1988.
The 267 yards of total defense ranked as the best by the Clemson defense this year, as was the 4.2 yards per play allowed and the 88.1 passing efficiency defense, and the one touchdown allowed.
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 six 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 and NC State.
Clemson’s offensive line had its best performance against NC State, leading the Tigers to a two-year best 489 yards of total offense, including 243 on the ground. Clemson did not allow a sack even though the Tigers were going against an NC State defensive line that ranks among the best in the nation. Three of the four starting down linemen for the Pack are slated to be drafted in the first two rounds of the 2006 NFL draft.
Clemson has allowed just seven sacks all year, third best in the ACC.
Barry Richardson was Clemson’s nominee for ACC Lineman of the week for the NC State game after recording an 82 percent grade. That was quite an accomplishment considering he was going head-to-head with NC State’s Manny Lawson, one of the top defensive ends in the nation. Richardson had five knockdown blocks, including a key block on James Davis’s first touchdown run.
Not listed above is Nathan Bennett, who might be the most consistent of Bowden’s offensive linemen. Bennett actually leads the team in knockdown blocks with 45.5, followed by Roman Fry with 37.5. Roman Fry’s total included 11.5 against Wake Forest and 10.5 against the Wolfpack, the top figure by a Tiger in both games.
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.
Clemson Knockdown Block Leaders
Whitehurst Closing in on Dantzler’s Record Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst needs just 140 yards of total offense to become Clemson’s career leader in that category. Woodrow Dantzler holds the mark with 8,798 yards, 139 more than Whitehurst’s 8,659. Few observers felt Dantzler’s record would ever be broken because of his ability as a runner and passer. But, Whitehurst has already trumped Dantzler’s passing numbers and should break the total offense mark on Saturday. Whitehurst will appear in his 40th Clemson game when the Tigers play Temple, his school record 36th consecutive start at quarterback.
Whitehurst ranks 11th in ACC history in career total offense and will move into the top 10 when he passes Dantzler. Whitehurst has at least five games remaining and should reach third place in ACC history before he hangs up his Clemson jersey. He doesn’t have a realistic shot to reach Phillip Rivers of NC State or Joe Hamilton of Georgia Tech. But, he should reach the 9.630-yard total of former NC State quarterback Jamie Barnette.
Whitehurst already holds 39 Clemson records, including 13 career marks. He is already the Clemson career record holder for passing yards, completions, completion percentage and touchdown passes. His 21 career victories are tied for fourth in school history with Steve Fuller and Mike Eppley. That career record is an unattainable 32 wins by Rodney Williams (1985-8), but Whitehurst certainly hopes to reach Nealon Greene’s 24 wins between 1994-97.
So far this season, Whitehurst has completed 67 percent of his passes, ahead of the single season mark of 63 percent by Brandon Streeter in 1999. He is coming off one of his best games of the year, a 22-31 for 246 yards performance at NC State on October 13.
ACC Career Leaders in Total Offense
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. 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.
Stuckey has 29 receptions to lead the Tigers in that category this year and rank in a tie for second in the ACC with 4.8 catches per game. But, he is yet to get that elusive touchdown reception. He has 56 career receptions to rank first among active Tigers in that category.
The junior receiver is coming off one of his most productive games as a Tiger. In the win at NC State, he had eight receptions for 103 yards, the second 100-yard receiving game of his career. His total included a 39-yard reception, the longest catch of his career. He also had 22 yards rushing on two attempts, including a 21-yard run, the longest run of his career.
Davis Leads ACC Freshman Rushers Freshman running back James Davis gain 143 yards in 12 attempts and score a pair of touchdowns in Clemson’s 31-10 win over NC State. He was named the Player of the Game by ESPN for his performance. Davis consistently made big plays, as he had six different runs of at least 10 yards. For the season, Davis now has 433 yards in 84 attempts, 5.2 yards per attempt. It was the second 100-yard game of the year for the first-year freshman and the 143 yards ranked fifth best among freshmen for a single game in school history.
Davis was on his way to a 200-yard game, but he suffered a fractured left wrist on his first carry of the third period and could not return. He will be lost for at least 3-4 weeks. Davis is ranked fifth in the ACC in rushing yards per game entering this week’s play, first among freshmen.
Davis’s rushing total was the most by any Clemson player since October 13, 2001 when Woodrow Dantzler gained 184 yards in 23 attempts at NC State (four years ago to the day on the same field). It is interesting to point out that Dantzler also wore number-one and the Tigers were dressed in white jerseys and purple pants that day. Davis’s performance was the best by a Clemson running back since Travis Zachery had 151 yards in 29 attempts against Maryland in 2000.
Top Single Game Freshman Rushing Performances
Davis to Miss 3-4 Weeks Freshman running back James Davis had surgery on his broken left wrist on Octobeer 14, one day after he gained 143 yards rushing at NC State.. Davis is expected to miss at least three-four weeks. Davis suffered the injury early in the third period of Clemson’s 31-10 victory at NC State on Thursday evening. He attempted to break his fall with his left hand while being tackled. The native of Atlanta had 12 rushes for 143 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Clemson ground unit that finished the game with a season high 243 yards on the ground. Davis’s rushing total was the fifth highest in Clemson history for a freshman. He now has 433 yards in 84 attempts this year, 5.15 average. His four touchdowns are tied for the team lead with wide receiver Curtis Baham.
“James had an outstanding game on Thursday night,” said Head Coach Tommy Bowden. “He was on pace to have a 200-yard game. We will miss him, there is no doubt and are optimistic he will be back in three to four weeks.
“But we have outstanding, experienced running backs in Reggie Merriweather and Kyle Browning. We will have to get a third tailback ready. We will have a personnel meeting over the weekend to determine what we will do in that regard until James returns.”
Waters Seventh in Nation in Tackles for Loss 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 65 stops and ranks third in the ACC and 25th 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 is coming off a victory at NC State where he led the Tigers in tackles with 11, including four tackles for loss. He now has 10.5 tackles for loss for the season to rank second in the ACC and seventh in the nation in that category. He has 15 more tackles than any other Clemson player and 6.5 more tackles for loss than any other Tiger defender.
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 six games Waters has 65 stops and 10.5 tackles for loss to lead the Tigers in each category.
On a per game basis, Waters is averaging nearly 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 1.75 per game. Waters has led Clemson in tackles in four of the first six 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 4.83 plays, better than the tackle for every 6.4 plays by Hill in 2004.
National Leaders in Tackles for Loss
Hamlin Has Outstanding Opening Game Michael Hamlin made his first start at the CAT safety position at NC State and the red-shirt freshman responded with a career high eight tackles. He was Clemson’s second leading tackler and a big reason the Tigers held NC State quarterback Jay Davis to just 133 yards passing in 31 attempts. Davis had passed for at least 200 yards in 10 of the last 11 games and was leading the ACC in passing yards per game entering the contest.
Hamlin’s success was not a surprise, as he had contributed 19 tackles in the first five games of the season as a reserve safety. He now has 27 tackles for the season on 17 first hits and 10 assists in 184 plays on defense.
A native of Timmonsville, SC, Hamlin attended Lamar High School, the same school that sent for Clemson All-American and Pittsburgh Steeler All-Pro linebacker Levon Kirkland to Clemson. Hamlin was the leading tackler in the 2005 Spring game with 11 tackles. He was a finalist for Mr. Football in South Carolina his senior year. He had 23 career interceptions at the high school level.
Fudge Records 10th Career Takeaway Clemson senior free safety Jamaal Fudge has shown an instinct for the football since he first appeared in a game for the Tigers in 2002. Now one of the senior leaders of the Clemson defense, Fudge recorded his 10th career takeaway in the victory over NC State on October 13. With Clemson leading the Pack 14-0 in the second quarter, Fudge stripped the ball from NC State running back Toney Baker and recovered the ball while lying on the ground. Clemson took possession and immediately drove 63 yards for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead.
Fudge now has eight career interceptions and two fumble recoveries for 10 career takeaways, most among current Clemson players. He also has three career caused fumbles, so he has been prominent when it comes to forcing turnovers. In 2003 he had a caused fumble near the goal line against North Carolina on the last Tar Heel play that saved a Clemson victory. Fudge has one interception this year and is trying to become the first player in Clemson history to lead the Tigers in interceptions three consecutive years. He has his hands full if he wants to accomplish that feat because teammate Tye Hill already has three interceptions, 16th best total in the nation.
Fudge has 33 tackles this year to rank sixth on the team. That gives him 242 for his career, most among active Clemson players.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 376.7, an increase of 27 percent in yards per game. That breaks down to 40 yards per game more on the ground and 41 yards per game improvement in the air.
Clemson is also improved in turnovers and that can lead directly to point prevention. Clemson has just four turnovers in five games, an average of 0.67 per game. The 2004 team had 24 turnovers in 11 games, an average of 2.18 per game. Clemson is currently tied for second in the nation in fewest turnovers (4) and tied for first in fewest lost fumbles (0).
The improvement is also apparent in the play of quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, who has improved his completion percentage for 50.7 to 67, his passing efficiency from 97.3 to 130.6. He has also cut his interceptions drastically. He threw 17 last year and has just four in 197 passes so far in 2005. And three of the four were tipped passes by his receivers.
Clemson Offense Comparison
Charlie Whitehurst Comparison
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 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 Good Clemson has played six games this season and each of the first five were decided by a touchdown or less within the last three minutes of the game. Four of the five came 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 was 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 Clemson’s first five games of the 2005 season were decided with offensive or defensive plays within the last minute of play. That includes four of the five that were decided within the last two seconds, four on the last play of the game. Clemson and Navy were the only schools in the nation to have each of their first five games decided by seven points or less.
As far as Clemson history is concerned, this was the first time since 1906 that Clemson 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 streak was broken at NC State when Clemson came away with a 31-10 victory.
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)
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.
Baham Still over 20 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 20.4 yards per reception (16-324) and four touchdowns. He is tied for the team lead in touchdowns with James Davis, who has four 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 ranks fourth in the ACC in yards per reception with his 20.3 figure. If the season ended today, Baham’s 20.3 yard average would be the 11th 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 Players Clemson 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. Merriweather Goes over 1000 Yards Clemson junior running back Reggie Merriweather went over the 1000-yard mark in his career when he had 47 yards in 12 attempts at NC State. He needed just two yards to reach the milestone and did it with his first carry. He enters the Temple game with 1045 yards on the ground.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 the Temple game so he should enhance that number. He has averaged at least 5.0 yards per rush in three of the six games so far this year and currently ranks second on the team in rushing yards with 319. He has 319 yards in 66 attempts for a 4,8 average. Merriweather averaged 4.9 per rush as a sophomore and has a 4.8 average for his career (206-998).
Merriweather is currently 12th in the ACC in rushing yards per game with 53.2. He and freshman James Davis are both ranked in the top 12 in the conference. Davis is fifth with a 72.2 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).
Third Down Conversion Over 50 Percent Last Two Weeks Clemson did not convert on third down in the overtime loss to Boston College (0-11), the first time on record that Clemson went an entire game without a third down conversion. Clemson coaches went back and analyzed each third down opportunity and vowed to improve in that area.
Since the Boston College game, Clemson has converted 15 of 28 third down opportunities for .536. Clemson was 7-13 against Wake Forest and 8-15 at NC State. That is the first time Clemson has converted over 50 percent of its third downs in consecutive games since the 2000 season. Clemson was 9-13 against Missouri and 11-19 against Wake Forest in the second and third games of the 2000 season.
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 101 Games Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden coached his 100th game as a Division I head coach when the Tigers played at Wake Forest. Bowden now a record of 65-36 for his first 101 games as a head coach, 22 at Tulane and 79 at Clemson. He was 18-4 in two seasons with the Green Wave and 47-32 so far in his seven seasons at Clemson. Tommy is one game ahead of his father at this point in his career. Tommy has 65 wins in his first 101 games as a Division I head coach. His father, Bobby Bowden at Florida State, had 64 wins in his first 101 games as a Division I coach.
Bowden is the 24th head coach in Clemson history and he is already third in school history in coaching victories with 47. 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 played three top 25 teams (USA/Coaches poll) within its first four games of 2005. 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. Frank Howard’s 1966 team played three games against top 10 teams within its first five 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 15 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 16, Clemson’s schedule ranked ninth in the nation.
Sagarin Schedule Ranking (Through Games of October 16, 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 and another interception on a tipped pass at NC State. Thus, the Tigers have just four turnover in six games and four overtime periods. That is one turnover for every 106 plays. Clemson is ranked tied for second in the nation in fewest turnovers committed with just four. Virginia Tech has just two, while Fresno State, UCLA, and Central Michigan are tied with the Tigers with four apiece. 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 has committed just 26 penalties in six games for 4.33 per game, tied for sixth best in the nation with Iowa State. *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. ·Clemson has not lost a fumble this year, joining Virginia Tech as the only two teams in the nation without a lost fumble. · 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 29-8 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 six games Clemson is 22-23 in terms of scoring in the red zone. The Tigers have scored 13 touchdowns and added nine field goals in their 23 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 leads the ACC in red-zone scoring percentage.
Clemson won the battle of red-zone scoring at NC State. Clemson entered the game first in the ACC in red-zone scoring percentage and NC State was first in red-zone defense. But, Clemson scored on 5-6 trips inside the red-zone, including four touchdowns in that game.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.
In common opponents between Clemson and Florida State this year, Clemson has had a better total defensive statistic in regulation play than the Seminoles against Miami (FL), Boston College and Wake Forest.
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 24 tackles on 15 first hits and nine assists.Another Last Second Thriller Nine of the last 11 and 11 of the last 17 Clemson games, including the first five this year, were decided by seven points or less, and all on plays within the last three minutes of the game or in overtime. Clemson won six of those 11 close games, but lost three in a row.
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. Wake Forest scored its game winning TD with 33 seconds left on a six-year touchdown pass. The Tigers then drove to the Wake Forest three before time ran out after Curtis Baham was tackled.
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 overcame a 10-point deficit to win or tie the game in games 2-5 this season. In each of the first five games this year Clemson led and trailed in the fourth quarter or overtime.
Clemson Heart Stoppers the last Two Seasons (6-5)
Dean 26-31 on Field Goals in Career Clemson kicker Jad Dean is second among active place kickers in field goal percentage. The junior from Greenwood, SC has made 26-31 for his career, including 14-16 this season. That .8387 field goal percentage is second to Alexis Serna of Oregon State, who is a. 86.11 percent. Dean is also second in the nation in field goals per game this year with 14 in his six games for a 2.33 per game figure.
Dean has missed just five field goals in his career, four against Miami (FL) in two games, and one against NC State. The NC State miss was from 39 yards, his first career miss from inside 40 yards after 18 consecutive made field goals from that distance. Dean is a perfect 14-14 on PATs this year and is averaging 9.7 points per game. He has already scored 58 points, a third of Clemson’s scoring.
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 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 15 touchbacks in 33 attempts and has 67 touchbacks in 157 career kickoffs, .430. He was 6-6 in non-returnable kickoffs at Wake Forest.
Active Division I Leaders in Field Goal Percentage
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 and three more at NC State. He is second on the team in pass deflections with four and leads the team in quarterback pressures with 13. He has 28 tackles overall.Eighteen 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. Four more red-shirt freshmen have played since the opening of the season, so Tommy Bowden has used 18 freshmen so far this year.
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-yea
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