Game 12: South Carolina at Clemson
Saturday, November 23, 2002 7:45 PM Memorial Stadium Clemson, SC
Television: ESPNPlay By Play: Dave BarnettColor: Bill Curry, Mike GolicSideline: Dr. Jerry Punch
Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports PropertiesPlay By Play: Jim PhillipsColor: Rodney WilliamsSideline: Pete Yanity
Series History: Clemson leads 59-36-4
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Nov. 18, 2002
Clemson’s Senior Class Closing Career Clemson’s senior class will play its final game in Death Valley on Saturday against South Carolina. This group of 22 seniors is bowl eligible for the fourth straight year and is looking to become the first senior class since the seniors of 1991 to play in four bowl games. Ten of the seniors have been starters this year, plus another, Derrick Brantley, who was a starter until a knee injury ended his Clemson career after just two games.
The group would also like to close out its career with three wins over rival South Carolina. This group won in Columbia in 1999 (31-21) , at Clemson in 2000 (16-14) , then lost last year in Columbia by five points, 20-15. Overall, this class has a 28-19 record, all under head coach Tommy Bowden.
Clemson has 14 original scholarship signees, one who became a scholarship player after he came to Clemson (Jeff Scott) and seven walk-ons in the class that will be running down the hill for the final time. Six of the original 14 scholarship players are red-shirts who came to Clemson in the fall of 1998 under Tommy West. Another, J.J. McKelvey, entered Clemson in January of 1999. Only Altroy Bodrick played during the 1998 season. He suffered a torn ACL in 2001 and missed that season. Nathan Gillespie, Gary Byrd, Nick Eason, Jackie Robinson and Bryant McNeal all red-shirted the 1998 season.
This class includes Brian Mance, who has 11 career interceptions, sixth best in Clemson history, Rodney Thomas, who has 294 career tackles, tied for 13th in Clemson history, and Bernard Rambert, whose 178 all-purpose running yards in the 2001 Humanitarian Bowl is a Clemson bowl record. Bryant McNeal has 20 career sacks to rank seventh in Clemson history, while Nick Eason 15 career sacks rank in a tie for 15th.
Clemson Seniors for 2002
Name Pos Hometown 2 Brian Mance CB Alcolu, SC 3 EricMeekins FS Easley, SC 11 Joe Bever QB Vancouver, WA 12 Jeff Scott WR Columbia, SC 20Bernard Rambert RB Summerville, SC 30 Eugene Koon WR Columbia, SC32 Wynn Kopp P Athens, GA 41 Rodney Thomas LB Cadwell, GA 42 AltroyBodrick LB Cameron, SC 43 Toby Albergotti LB Orangeburg, SC 47Rodney Feaster LB Chester, SC 49 Britt Sherman FB Mathias, WV 52Matt Watson SN Rock Hill, SC 55 Anthony Williams LB Irmo, SC 71Derrick Brantley OT Mullins,S C 75 Nathan Gillespie OG Dallas, NC79 Gary Byrd OT Stone Mountain, GA 82 Jackie Robinson WROrangeburg, SC 83 #Tony Elliott WR Charleston, SC 84 J.J. McKelveyWR Moncks Corner, SC 91 Bryant McNeal DE Swansea, SC 98 Nick EasonDT Lyons, GA
# Still has one more year of eligibility if he elects to take it.
Tigers from South Carolina Clemson has 37 players on its active roster who will dress for the South Carolina game. That list includes Columbia natives Airese Currie, Eugene Koon, and Todd McClinton. Of the 37, 29 are on scholarship. A look to the projected starting lineup for Clemson (given 3 wide receivers and a tight end on offense) for this game reveals that Clemson has 11 starters from the Palmetto State.
The 100th Meeting Between Clemson and South Carolina This is the 100th meeting between Clemson and South Carolina. The series dates to 1896 and the first year of football at Clemson, the fourth season for South Carolina. Clemson holds the advantage 59-36-4 since that first meeting in Columbia. Clemson has more wins over South Carolina than any other school and those victories represent 10 percent of Clemson’s all-time total (584-403-45).
South Carolina was victorious in Columbia, 20-15 last year, breaking a four-game winning streak for Clemson in the series. The Gamecocks will be trying to win over Clemson in back-to-back years for the first time since they gained victory in three consecutive years under quarterback Tommy Suggs from 1968-70. South Carolina is 0-8 against Clemson since 1971 when trying to defeat Clemson for a second consecutive year. The Clemson vs. South Carolina series ranks in a tie for 14th in college football history in terms of most played rivalries. The most played rivalry is the Minnesota vs. Wisconsin series, which will be played for the 112th time on the same day as the Clemson vs. South Carolina game. Earlier this year Kansas and Kansas State played for the 100th time, so the Clemson vs. South Carolina series will tie it for 14th on the all-time list.
This will be the 94th consecutive year that Clemson and South Carolina have met on the gridiron, every year since 1909. It ranks as the fourth longest uninterrupted rivalry in college football history, third among active rivalries. The only active rivalries that are longer are the Kansas vs. Nebraska rivalry (active since 1906) and the Minnesota vs. Wisconsin rivalry (active since 1907). The Kansas vs. Oklahoma rivalry ran 96 consecutive games before it was interrupted after the 1997 game.
Longest Uninterrupted Series in College Football History Gms Matchup Series Span 2002 Game 97 Kansas vs. Nebraska 1906-Pres. Nov. 9 96 Kansas vs. Oklahoma 1903-97 95 Minnesota vs. Wisconsin 1907-Pres. Nov. 23 93 Clemson vs. South Carolina 1909-Pres. Nov. 23 93 Wake Forest vs. NC State 1910-Pres. Sept. 14 92 Kansas vs. Kansas State 1911-Pres. Nov.2 91 North Carolina vs. Virginia 1910-Pres. Oct. 19 89 Ohio State vs. Illinois 1914-Pres. Nov. 16
Most Played Rivalries in Division I College Football History Games Matchup First Game 2002 Game 111 Minnesota vs. Wisconsin 1890 Nov. 23 111 Missouri vs. Kansas 1891 Oct. 26 109 Nebraska vs. Kansas 1892 Nov. 9 108 Texas vs. Texas A&M 1894 Nov. 29 107 Miami (OH) vs. Cincinnati 1888 Oct. 5 107 North Carolina vs. Virginia 1892 Oct. 19 106 Auburn vs. Georgia 1892 Nov. 16 105 Oregon vs. Oregon State 1894 Nov. 23 104 Purdue vs. Indiana 1891 Nov. 23 104 Stanford vs. California 1892 Nov. 23 103 Baylor vs. TCU 1899 DNP 102 Army vs. Navy 1890 Dec. 7 102 Utah vs. Utah State 1892 Aug. 31 100 Kansas vs. Kansas State 1902 Nov.2 99 Clemson vs. South Carolina 1896 Nov. 23 99 North Carolina vs. Wake Forest 1888 Oct. 26 98 Mississippi vs. Mississippi St. 1901 Nov. 28
Both lists above are active heading into the games of November 23. Note that five of the top 15 most played rivalries in college football history will be contested on November 23.
Throw out the Record Books? We always here the phrase, “You can throw out he record books when these two teams get together.” While there have been some upsets in this series, usually the team with the better record comes away with the victory. The team entering the game with the better overall record has a 15-2-1 record in the series since 1981. That computes to 86.1 percent over a 21-year period. Three times during that era both teams had the same record.
The team with the better record entering this game has won every year since and including 1997. The last time that did not happen was 1996 when Clemson was 7-3 and South Carolina was 5-5 and the Gamecocks won at Clemson, 34-31. Current Clemson offensive coordinator and assistant head coach Brad Scott was the head coach for South Carolina in that game.
For the history of the series, Clemson has a 37-14-3 record when it enters the contest with the better record, a 71.3 winning percentage. Clemson has had the better record in 54 of the 99 previous meetings. The teams have had the same winning percentage entering the game nine times and Clemson has a 7-2 record in those situations. Thus, Clemson is 44-16-3 (.722) against South Carolina over the years when the Tigers enter the game with at least the same record as South Carolina.
Clemson vs. South Carolina on ESPN This will be the fourth time in the last six years that the Clemson vs. South Carolina game will be shown on an ESPN network. The 1996, 1997 and 1998 contests were all on ESPN 2. The 1987 and 1989 games in Columbia were shown on ESPN. Clemson holds a 3-2 lead in games shown live on ESPN in the series. Clemson won the 1989, 1997 and 1998 contests, while South Carolina won in 1987 and 1996.
Clemson has won just four night games since 1995, but two of the four wins are over South Carolina. Those are the 1997 (47-21 in Columbia) and 1998 (28-19 in Clemson) contests. The first game of the series that was televised was the 1977 game, a 31-27 Clemson victory that was shown on a regional basis by ABC.
Top 10 Unusual Facts about the Clemson vs. South Carolina Series 10. Both coaches who have won bowl games for South Carolina will be on the field Saturday on opposing sidelines. Brad Scott was the first South Carolina head coach to win a bowl game when he took the Gamecocks to victory in the 1994 Carquest Bowl over West Virginia. Current South Carolina head coach Lou Holtz has taken South Carolina to bowl victories each of the last two years, both times against Ohio State. The Buckeyes have not lost since the Gamecocks defeated them 31-28 in last year’s Outback Bowl. 9. The visiting team won seven consecutive years in games played between 1991-97. 8. Josh Cody had a 4-0 record for Clemson against South Carolina between 1927-30. He is the only coach in the series to have a perfect record, given a minimum of three games coached. 7. Paul Williams is the last player to letter for both schools. He lettered for Clemson in 1978 and for South Carolina in 1980. 6. A Clemson captain actually played for South Carolina. Cary Cox lettered for the Gamecocks in 1943. After the war, he enrolled at Clemson and served as captain for the Tigers in 1947. 5. Since 1989, seven different coaches have served both schools. The list includes current Clemson offensive coordinator Brad Scott, Tommy West (now head coach at Memphis) , Miles Aldridge (now an assistant coach with the Buffalo Bills), David Bibee, Rich Bisaccia (now an assistant coach with the Tamp Bay Bucs), Woody McCorvey (now at Tennessee) and Chuck Reedy. 4. In 1948 and 1981 a blocked punt returned for a touchdown proved to be the pivotal play in a Clemson victory, victories that allowed Clemson to go on to an undefeated season. In both instances, the original line of scrimmage was the South Carolina 28-yard-line. 3. Willie Underwood had two interceptions to lead Clemson to victory over South Carolina in 1980. A starter for four years, the strong safety never had recorded an interception in any of his first 46 games as a Tiger, then had two against the Gamecocks in his 47th and final game. 2. In a placekicking career that spanned five years, Bob Paulling made 107 of 109 extra points. Both of his misses were at South Carolina, one in 1981 and one in 1983. He had a streak of 70 consecutive made extra points (second longest in Clemson history) in between the two miscues. 1. In the 30 games that Frank Howard coached at Clemson against South Carolina, Clemson scored 411 points and South Carolina scored 411 points.
Miller Fifth in Nation in Interceptions While this is “Senior Day” at Clemson, you could make a case that the best player on the Clemson team right now is a first-year freshman. Justin Miller had one of the best all-around games in Clemson history for a defensive back in the loss to Maryland last week. The first-year freshman from Owensboro, KY had two interceptions, a pass deflection, two caused fumbles and five tackles. Additionally, Miller returned four kickoffs for 152 yards, including a 76-yard return that led to a Clemson field goal. The kickoff return yardage total was sixth highest in Clemson history for a single game. It was one yard less than the 153 Derrick Hamilton had against Maryland in 2001.
So far this year Miller has seven interceptions, including four over the last three games. He ranks fifth in the nation, first among freshmen in that category. His two thefts against Maryland marked the first time since1989 that a freshman had two interceptions in the same game. Robert O’Neal had two at Duke that year, ironically, also a game Clemson lost. O’Neal has the Clemson freshman and overall single season record with eight thefts during that 1989 season.
But, as you can see by the list below, Miller’s total is second best in school history. He will have two games to break the mark that was set by O’Neal 13 years ago. In case you were wondering, the national record for interceptions in a season by a freshman is 13, by George Shaw of Oregon in 1951. He had an incredible 13 thefts in just 10 games that year.
Miller now has eight passes broken up to go with those seven interceptions. The 15 passes defensed are also second among freshmen in Clemson history to the 17 O’Neal recorded during the 1989 season. He is second to Brian Mance in passes defensed on the Clemson team this year. Both are prime reasons Clemson ranks 15th in the nation in pass defense.
Miller will have a chance to tie the Clemson record for consecutive games intercepting a pass this weekend against South Carolina. The record is four games in a row with a pick held by Bobby Gage in 1948, Terry Kinard in 1980 and 1981, and Dexter Davis in 1980. Miller is also making a strong contribution as a kick returner. For the season he has 10 for 375 yards. That 37.5 average would lead the nation if he had enough attempts. A player must average 1.2 attempts per game to qualify. That means, if Miller has six more attempts and holds his average over the last two games he would qualify for the national stats.
Miller was named to the ESPN.com all-first year freshman team for September. He was joined in the secondary by J.J. Billingsley of Colorado, O.C. Collins of Memphis and Matt Fawley of Arizona State. Other ACC players named were D’Quell Jackson of Maryland (LB), Darryl Blackstock of Virginia (LB), Kwakou Robinson of Virginia (DL), T.A. McLendon of NC State (RB), and D’Brickashaw Ferguson of Virginia (OL).
Clemson Most Interceptions in a Season
Year Class Int-Yds Robert O’Neal 1989Fr. 8-96 Justin Miller 2002 Fr. 7-68 Fred Knoebel 1951 Jr. 7-29Johnny Rembert 1982 Sr. 6-128 Steve Ryan 1977 Jr. 6-67 Terry Kinard1981 Jr. 6-31 Terry Kinard 1982 Sr. 6-3 Dexter Davis 1990 Jr. 6-32Dennis Smith 1974 Jr. 6-47 Brian Dawkins 1995 Sr. 6-55 RobertCarswell 1999 Jr. 6-72 Alex Ardley 2000 Jr. 6-61
National Interceptions/Game Leaders (Through games of 11-16)
Name School Yr GPInt-Yds Int/G 1. Jason David Washington St. Jr. 86-71 0.75 2. Gerald Jones San Jose State Jr. 11 8-116 0.73 3. JimLeonhard Wisconsin So. 12 8-114 0.67 Bop White Ohio University Sr.9 6-52 0.67 5. Justin Miller Clemson Fr. 11 7-68 0.64 Randee DrewNorthern Illinois Jr. 11 7-103 0.64 Lynaris Elpheage Tulane Jr. 117-108 0.64 Gabe Franklin Boise State So. 11 7-70 0.64
Hunt 11th in nation in field goals Clemson junior placekicker Aaron Hunt continued his outstanding season against Maryland last Saturday night. Kicking in rain and slick field conditions, Hunt made 4-4 field goals, hitting from 29, 35, 22 and 42 yards. He scored all 12 of Clemson’s points. It marked the second time this year he had a 4-4 day in terms of kicking field goals.
For the season, the Lou Groza Award semifinalist is 15-18, an outstanding .833 figure. He has actually made 15 of his last 16 field goal attempts after missing his first two of the year against Georgia. His only miss since the opener was a 49-yarder against Georgia Tech. He has made 11 straight inside the 36-yard line and 10 in a row overall. The Clemson record for consecutive made field goals is 14 by Obed Ariri in 1980.
Hunt is currently 11th in the nation in field goals per game with 1.50 per game. He has played in just 10 of the 11 games because he did not play against NC State. Hunt is now 35-46 for his career on field goals, a 76.1 percent mark. The Clemson career record on a percentage basis is held by Bob Paulling, who made 34-41 between 1979-83, a . 829 mark.
With the 12 points against Maryland, Hunt now has 78 points for the year, tops on the Clemson team. He has 227 points for his career, sixth in Clemson history and just five points from moving into fifth place past former All-American David Treadwell. Hunt has 122 extra points in his Clemson career, an all-time school record.
Clemson all-time Scoring List
Name Pos Years TD PATFG Pts 1. Nelson Welch PK 1991-94 0 85-92 72-102 3012. Travis Zachery RB 1998-01 50 300 3. Obed Ariri PK 1977-80 099-103 63-97 288 4. Chris Gardocki PK 1988-90 0 72-72 63-89 261 5.David Treadwell PK 1985-87 0 92-93 47-66 233 6. Aaron HuntPK 2000-02 0 122-126 35-46233 7. Bob Pauling PK 1979-83 0 107-129 23-41 209 8. LesterBrown RB 1976-79 32 192 9. Fred Cone RB 1948-50 31 3-4 189 10. RayMatthews RB 1947-50 28 168 Terry Allen RB 1987-89 28 168 KennyFlowers FB 1983-86 28 168
South Carolina Update South Carolina enters Saturday’s game with a 5-6 record. Lou Holtz’s team is in need of a victory to become bowl eligible for the third straight year. South Carolina has never been to a bowl game three consecutive years. That will certainly be motivation for the Gamecocks, who are coached by a man who has taken six different programs to bowl seasons, the only coach in college history to do that. Holtz has 238 coaching victories in his career, tied for eighth in Division I history with former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes. Hayes coached his final game at Ohio State against Clemson in the 1978 Gator Bowl.
South Carolina has lost four games in a row and has been outscored 107-31 in those four games. The Gamecocks rank 45th in the nation in rushing and are coming off a game in which they gained 197 yards on the ground against a very good Florida rush defense. Clemson gave up 285 yards rushing against Maryland, so that will be an area South Carolina will attempt to exploit.
South Carolina’s top rusher is Corey Jenkins, a former professional baseball player who has 655 net yards on 160 attempts, a 4.1 average. Andrew Pinnock is second on the club in rushing with a 495 yard figure. Like Jenkins, Pinnock has also scored four touchdowns.
Jenkins is the top passer over the season with round numbers of 100 completions and 10 interceptions in his 180 attempts. Dondrial Pinkins started last week against Florida and could be the signal caller Saturday evening as Jenkins gets work in the secondary. Pinkins, who made his first career start at Florida last week, is 24-51 for 252 yards and a touchdown.
The top receiver for South Carolina is Ryan Brewer with 27 catches for 288 yards. He has been injured of late, but is certainly a threat as a receiver and kick returner. Michael Ages is second on the squad with 19 catches for 303 yards. Troy Williamson leads the team in touchdown receptions with three.
South Carolina has been solid on defense, ranking 34th in the nation in defense against scoring. They combine the defensive effort with the eighth best net punting figure in the nation to frequently win the field position battle. Dunta Robinson is a player in the secondary Clemson will have to worry about the entire game. He has four interceptions to lead the club. Jonathan Martin is the top tackler with 114, 6.5 of which are tackles for loss. He has also recovered a team best three fumbles. Lance Laury is second on the team in tackles with 88, including four tackles for loss. Langston Moore is a strong player up front with 55 tackles, including a team best 9.5 tackles for loss. George Gause has 52 stops and a team best four sacks.
Clemson 15th in Nation in Pass Defense Clemson has improved to 15th in the nation and first in the ACC in pass defense, giving up just 175 yards per game. A big factor has been Clemson’s ability to pick off passes. The Tigers have 19 for the year, tied for fourth in the nation. Of course, cornerbacks Justin Miller (7) and Brian Mance (5) have a lot to do with that. Also special congrats to reserve defensive lineman Mo Fountain, who has two interceptions as a defensive end. He made a very athletic deflection and interception against Maryland last week.
This is quite an improvement over last year when Clemson ranked 66th in the nation in pass defense and gave up 240 yards per game. If the season ended today this would be the best Clemson pass defense since 1989 when the Tigers gave up just 168 yards per game. This is the most interceptions in a season since Tommy Bowden 1999 team also had 19 interceptions.
The solid effort in the pass defense area was shown against NC State. Philip Rivers entered the game ranked first in the nation in passing efficiency with a 170 rating points figure. But, against the Tigers his rating was just 99.0. Rivers threw for just 129 yards, his low mark of the season. And, it was not because he just threw a couple of passes, he threw 24, meaning he averaged just 5.4 yards per attempt, also a season low. No NC State receiver had more than 29 yards receiving in the game.
Here is a comparison of Clemson’s pass defense figures in 2001 and 2002:
2001 2002 Pass Yards/Game Allowed 240.6 174.5TDs/Game Allowed 1.83 1.27 Interceptions/Game 1.08 1.73Yards/Attempt Allowed 7.27 6.00 Yards/Completion Allowed 13.40 10.4Efficiency Rating 127.0 110.8 National Ranking Pass Def. 66th 15th
Meekins, McNeal to Tie Clemson Record Clemson defensive players Bryant McNeal can tie the Clemson record for games played when they participate against South Carolina Saturday night. Each has played in every game the last four years, including bowl games against Mississippi State (1999 Peach), Virginia Tech (2001 Gator Bowl) and Louisiana Tech (2001 Humanitarian Bowl).
If they play against South Carolina they will join Rodney Williams (1985-88, QB), Mark Drag (1985-88, MG), Jeff Bak (1985-88, C), Otis Moore (1986-89, DT), Stacy Fields (1987-90, TE), Jerome Henderson (1987-90, CB), John Johnson (1987-90, OLB), Jeb Flesch (1988-91, OG), Levon Kirkland (1988-91, OLB), Ed McDaniel (1988-91, LB) and Justin Watts (1996-00, WR), with 48 career games played. Obviously, they could wipe all those players from the record book by also playing in a bowl game.
Clemson Has Played 11th Toughest Schedule Clemson has a 6-5 record against a schedule ranked as the 11th most difficult in the nation by the Jeff Sagarin computer poll, a rating published by USA Today. Sagarin is one of the computer rankings used by the BCS standings.
Clemson has losses to three of the top 12 teams in the nation according to the ranking, Florida State, Georgia and Maryland. Clemson’s highest schedule ranking in the history of the Sagarin poll is a #7 rating in 1999, Tommy Bowden first year as head coach. Clemson was 6-6 that year, but still had a final top 25 ranking (24th) according to Sagarin’s computer rankings. Clemson’s highest overall final ranking by Sagarin is #15 in 2000.
Nation’s Most Difficult Schedules, 2002
Team Rec. Rating 1. Southern Cal 8-281.15 2. Stanford 2-8 79.99 3. North Carolina 2-9 79.11 4. FloridaState 8-3 78.90 5. Colorado 8-3 77.81 6. Iowa State 7-5 77.33 7.UCLA 7-3 76.73 8. California 6-5 75.91 9. Texas Tech 8-4 75.80 10.Alabama 9-2 75.54 11. Clemson 6-5 75.50
Last Year in Review Clemson Tigers 15 South Carolina Gamecocks 20
In front of a record crowd of over 85,000 fans, South Carolina snapped a four-game losing skid against archrival Clemson with a 20-15 victory at Williams-Bryce Stadium in Colombia. The win was South Carolina’s first over Clemson since 1996 and their first victory at home against the Tigers since 1987.
Woody Dantzler completed 15 of his 29 passes for 204 yards to go along with two touchdowns. Dantzler also rushed for 102 yards on 20 carries. Clemson’s defeat marked just the second time in Dantzler’s career that he had rushed for 100 yards and tallied 300 yards of total offense in a single game, in a Tiger loss.
The key play of the game came early in the fourth quarter. From the one-yard line, backup quarterback Corey Jenkins carried the ball across the goal line on fourth-and-goal to give South Carolina a 20-9 lead, which the Gamecocks never surrendered.
Cornerback Sheldon Brown kept South Carolina in the game midway through the first half, when on fourth-and-one from the Carolina 43 yard-line, trailing 6-0, Brown intercepted a Dantzler pass intended for Travis Zachery that would have resulted in a Tiger touchdown. Brown intercepted another Dantzler pass at the Carolina goal line as the first half expired, ending another Clemson scoring threat. Brown had not had an interception all year heading into the contest.
South Carolina’s offense held the ball over 21 minutes and engineered a pair of long (in terms of time) scoring drives that made the difference in the game. Jenkins’ one-yard run in the fourth quarter finished off a drive that had lasted 14 plays and 80 yards, and Daniel Weaver’s 42-yard field goal in the third quarter capped off a seven play, 40-yard drive that took over seven minutes off the clock. Clemson had just nine yards and six plays in the third period.
Clemson scored first when Dantzler connected with Airese Currie for a 54-yard touchdown reception, but Aaron Hunt consecutive extra point attempts made was snapped at 44 after Clemson’s Akil Smith was penalized 15 yards for excessive celebration. After Weaver and Hunt exchanged field goals of 29 and 24 respectively, Derek Watson gave the Gamecocks the lead for the first time with a six-yard touchdown run with 2:26 remaining before halftime. The ensuing Tiger drive lasted 10 plays and covered 40 yards, but was cut short by Brown’s second interception of the game.
Carolina’s opening second-half drive lasted 13 plays while covering 40 yards; most importantly, however, 12 of the 13 plays were running plays, and the Gamecocks managed to keep the ball for 7:50 before the Tiger defense held them to a field goal. Phil Petty and Corey Jenkins teamed up to lead the South Carolina drive down the field, which covered 80 yards on 14 plays. Petty completed all four of his passes for 39 yards and added the key seven-yard rush to set up Jenkins’ one-yard carry on fourth down.
The Carolina scoring drive would prove to be the difference in the game. Dantzler’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Hamilton with 2:38 remaining in regulation provided a spark for the Tiger defense. Clemson got the ball back with 17 seconds left, but a long pass for Derrick Hamilton and Currie fell incomplete and the game ended.
NOV. 17, 1999 AT COLUMBIA, SC Clemson 6 3 0 6 – 15 South Carolina 0 10 3 7 – 20
CU – Currie 54 pass from Dantzler (kick failed), 1st, 9:03, 6-96 SC – Weaver 29 FG, 2nd, 9:05, 9-28 CU – Hunt 24 FG, 2nd, 5:02, 11-73 SC – Watson 6 run (Weaver kick), 2nd, 2:26, 7-86 SC – Weaver 42 FG, 3rd, 7:50, 13-40 SC – Jenkins 1 run (Weaver kick), 4th, 12:27, 14-80 CU – Hamilton 11 pass from Dantzler (Dantzler pass failed), 4th, 2:38, 8-85
CU SC First Downs 16 19 Rushing 31-146 55-215Passing 15-29-2 14-24-1 Passing Yards 204 152 Total Offense 60-35079-367 Yard/Play 5.8 4.6 Return Yards 123 52 Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0Total Turnovers 2 1 Penalties 7-53 8-86 Interceptions 1-1 2-9 PuntReturns 3-19 4-29 Kickoff Returns 4-103 1-14 Punting 5-37.8 4-40.83rd Down Conversions 5-13 8-19 Sacks by Defense 1-4 3-4 Time ofPossession 24:23 35:37
Rushing (Att-Yds-TD) CU – Dantzler 20-102, Rambert 5-26, Zachery 5-19, Hamilton 1-(-1) SC – Pinnock 14-80, Watson 18-54-1, Brewer 6-37, Petty 7-29, Jenkins 8-22-1, Gause 1-(-6) Passing (Com-Att-Yds-I-TD) CU – Dantzler 15-29-204-2-2 SC – Petty 14-23-152-1-0, Jenkins 0-1-0-0-0 Receiving (Rec-Yds-TD) CU – Zachery 5-40, Crosby 4-42, Currie 3-65, Hamilton 2-20, McKelvey 1-37 SC – Scott 6-73, Brewer 4-23, Gause 1-36, Ages 1-14, M. Thomas 1-7, Watson 1-(-1) Interceptions (No-Yds) CU – Francis 1-1 SC – S. Brown 2-9 Punt Returns (No-Yds) CU – Mance 1-14, Reames 1-3, Hamilton 1-2 SC – Brewer 4-29 Kickoff Returns (No-Yds) CU – Hamilton 4-103 SC – Watson 1-14 Clemson Defensive Leaders Tackles -Carson 15, Leake 15, Thomas 12, Hafley 11, Vaughn 10, Bush 9, Washington 7,Sampson 5, McNeal 5, Polk 5, Francis 4 Sacks -Thomas 1-4 Tackles for Loss – Thomas 2-8, Vaughn 1-6, Feaster 1-4, Leake 1-3, Eason 1-2, Coleman1-2, Bush 1-1, Johnson 1-1
Clemson Veterans vs. South Carolina Altroy Bodrick (LB)–Had1 tackle in 3 plays against the Gamecocks in 1999. Had 2 tackles in 25 plays in the 2000. Missed 2001 game due to a season ending torn ACL injury. Airese Currie (WR)–Had his only touchdown of the year (54-yard scoring pass from Woody Dantzler) to go along with 3 catches for 65 yards against South Carolina in 2001 Nick Eason (DT)–Had 5 total tackles and a tackle for loss in 28 plays in the 1999 game. Had 7 tackles and 2 quarterback pressures in 55 plays in 2000. Had 2 tackles, one tackle for loss, and 2 quarterback pressures in 29 plays in the 2001 game. Mo Fountain (DE)–Had 3 tackles in 19 plays in the 2001 game. Aaron Hunt (PK)–Went 3-3 in field goals and added an extra point in the 2000 game. He made the winning field goal from 25 yards out with just three seconds remaining. Made a 24-yard field goal but missed an extra point in the 2001 game at South Carolina. Wynn Kopp (P)-Had a 37.8 average on 5 punts in the 2001 game. Also played against South Carolina in 1998 and 1999 for Georgia. Had 2-33.5 average in 1998 and 4-33.0 average in 1999. John Leake (LB)–Had 17 total tackles, a tackle for loss, and a quarterback pressure in the 2001 game against South Carolina. Brian Mance (CB)–Had a tackle and assist in just 2 plays in the 1999 game. Had 3 tackles in 4 plays to go along with a 28-yard kick off return in the 2000 game. Had 3 total tackles in 79 plays and 2 punt returns for 16 yards in the 2001 contest against South Carolina J.J. McKelvey (WR)–Had a 37-yard catch in the 2001 game. Bryant McNeal (DE)–Had 3 total tackles, 2 of which were tackles for loss, a sack, and a quarterback pressure in the 1999 contest. Had 1 tackle in 13 plays in 2000. Had 5 tackles and 2 quarterback pressures at South Carolina in 20001. Eric Meekins (SS)–Had 3 total tackles in 72 plays in the 2001 game. Jackie Robinson (WR)–Had 1 catch for only a yard in 55 snaps in 2000. Missed the 2001 game due to a pulled hamstring injury. Rodney Thomas (LB)–Had 14 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and a sack in 72 plays in the 2001 game. Khaleed Vaughn (DE)–Had an assisted tackle in 19 plays in the 2000 game. Had a season high 10 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and two quarterback pressures in 62 plays at South Carolina in 2001. Donnell Washington (DT)–Tied a season high with 7 total tackles in 26 snaps in the 2001 contest. Kevin Youngblood (WR)-Had two receptions for 42 yards in the 2000 game. Missed the 2001 game due to a broken leg.
Clemson Now Bowl Eligible Clemson has a 6-5 record and became bowl eligible with its 42-12 victory at North Carolina last weekend. This is the 15th time in the last 18 years Clemson has been eligible for a bowl game. It is the fourth straight year Clemson has been eligible under Head Coach Tommy Bowden. If the Tigers advance to a bowl, it would be the first time since the 1988-91 era that Clemson has gone to a bowl game at least four years in a row.
It would be special for Clemson’s senior class. No Clemson senior class has gone to four bowls since the senior class of 1991 led by Levon Kirkland and Ed McDaniel. Clemson has a 13-12 overall record in bowl games. Clemson ranks in the top 20 in college history in bowl victories and total bowl appearances.
Clemson is eligible for selection to the Gator Bowl (Jan. 1), the Peach Bowl (Dec. 31), the Tangerine Bowl (Dec. 23), the Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte (Dec. 28) or the Seattle Bowl (Dec. 30). The selections are made in that order.
Clemson’s Bowl History (13-12)
Bowl Site Opponent (Rk) W/L Score 1939 Cotton Dallas, TXBostonCollege (11) W 6-3 1948 Gator Jacksonville, FL Missouri W24-23 1950 Orange Miami, FL Miami (FL) (15) W 15-14 1951 GatorJacksonville, FL Miami (FL) (15) L 0-14 1956 Orange Miami, FLColorado (20) L 21-27 1958 Sugar NewOrleans, LA LSU (1) L 0-7 1959Bluebonnet Houston, TX TCU (7) W 23-7 1977 Gator Jacksonville, FLPittsburgh (10) L 3-34 1978 Gator Jacksonville, FL OhioState (20) W17-15 1979 Peach Atlanta, GA Baylor (20) L 18-24 1982 Orange Miami,FL Nebraska (4) W 22-15 1985 Independence Schreveport, LA MinnesotaL 13-20 1986 Gator Jacksonville, FL Stanford (20) W 27-21 1987Citrus Orlando, FL PennState (20) W 35-10 1988 Citrus Orlando, FLOklahoma (10) W 13-6 1989 Gator Jacksonville, FL WestVirginia (17)W 27-7 1990 Hall of Fame Tampa, FL Illinois (18) W 30-0 1991 CitrusOrlando, FL California (14) L 13-37 1993 Peach Atlanta, GA KentuckyW 14-13 1995 Gator Jacksonville, FL Syracuse L 0-41 1996 PeachAtlanta, GA LSU (17) L 7-10 1997 Peach Atlanta, GA Auburn (13) L17-21 1999 Peach Atlanta, GA MississippiSt. (15) L 7-17 2000 GatorJacksonville, FL VirginiaTech (6) L 20-41 2001 Humanitarian Boise,ID LouisianaTech W 49-24
Whitehurst 2-1 as Starter Clemson freshman quarterback Charlie Whitehurst has posted a 2-1 record as a starter this year. He won his first two starts on the road at Duke and North Carolina, November 2 and 9, respectively. Whitehurst was the first Clemson freshman quarterback to win his first two starts since Dexter McCleon did it in the last two games of the 1993 season. McCleon, a red-year freshman at the time, defeated South Carolina in the regular season finale and Kentucky in the Peach bowl to end that season, Ken Hatfield’s final season. McCleon then moved to the secondary and never played quarterback again so he ended his career with a 2-0 record.
Whitehurst was trying to become the first freshman since 1985 to win three starts when he started against Maryland, but the Terps came away with the victory. The only Clemson freshman quarterback to win more than two games as a starter is Rodney Williams, who posted a 5-3 record in 1985 as a red-shirt freshman. Williams won his first four games that year as a starter, the only Clemson freshman to win his first four games as a starter.
Whitehurst will be the first Clemson freshman to start the South Carolina game at quarterback since Nealon Greene in 1994. South Carolina won that contest. Clemson freshman quarterbacks are 2-2 since 1952 against the Gamecocks. The wins were recorded by Williams (1985) and McCleon (1993) and the losses by Patrick Sapp (1992) and Greene (1994).
As you can see by the chart below, it is difficult for a freshman to lead a team to victory. Clemson freshman starting quarterbacks are just 14-18 since 1952, so Whitehurst’s accomplishments are significant.
Records of Clemson Freshman Starting QBs
Year Record Home Away FirstStart Steve Fuller 1975 0-1 0-00-1 L at Alabama Willie Jordan 1975 1-5 1-2 0-3 L, at Georgia TechRodneyWilliams 1985 5-3 3-1 2-2 W, Virginia Louis Solomon 1992 1-01-0 0-0 W, Duke Patrick Sapp 1992 1-3 1-1 0-2 L, WakeForest DexterMcCleon 1993 2-0 0-0 2-0 W, at S. Carolina Nealon Greene 1994 2-41-1 1-3 L, Georgia Woody Dantzler 1998 0-1 0-0 0-1 L, N. CarolinaCharlie Whitehurst 2002 2-0 0-0 2-0 W, at Duke Totals 14-17 7-57-12 4-5 in first start
Whitehurst Already Has Broken Records Charlie Whitehurst has started just three games, but he already has established 23 Clemson records on a game and season basis. Granted, 15 of them are freshman marks, but still, he is off to quite a start statistically and in the win column. It is safe to say it is the best start ever for a Clemson quarterback from an offensive production and touchdowns standpoint.
In his first start at Duke two weeks ago, Whitehurst completed 34-52 passes for 420 yards and four touchdowns. He was named ACC Offensive back of the week for that performance. He threw for 215 yards in the fourth quarter alone, a Clemson record for one period. His 34 completions were a Clemson single game record, as were his 420 passing yards. In fact, his 420 yards passing were the second best ever for an ACC quarterback in his first college start. Dave Brown threw for 444 yards for Duke in his first college start in 1989.
Against North Carolina, Whitehurst completed 12-20 passes for 274 yards and four more touchdowns. His passing efficiency rating computed to 241.1, an all-time Clemson record for passing efficiency in a single game, given a minimum of 20 attempts.
Whitehurst now has completed 76-128 passes for 1004 yards and nine touchdowns. He is the first Clemson freshman to throw for 1000 yards in a season. He has thrown just two interceptions. He had a streak of 108 consecutive passes without an interception snapped in the Maryland game. His 145.3 passing efficiency is close to Mike Eppley’s 146 record for the course of a season, given 15 attempts per game. He has already broken the Clemson freshman record for touchdown passes, passing yards, and completions.
Records Set by Charlie Whitehurst in 2002 Overall Clemson (8) *Most completions in a game (34) vs. Duke, 11-2-02 *Most passing yards in a game (420) vs. Duke, 11-2-02 *$Most touchdown passes in a game (4) vs. Duke, 11-2-02 a and vs. North Carolina, 11-9-02 *Most passes attempted without an interception (52) vs. Duke, 11-2-02 *Most total offense plays (65) vs. Duke, 11-2-02 *Highest passing efficiency, min of 20 attempts (241.1) vs. North Carolina, 11-9-02 *Passing yards in consecutive games (694) vs. Duke, UNC, 2002 *Most yards passing in a quarter (215) vs. Duke, 11-2-02 $indicates tied record
Clemson Freshman Records (15) *Most completions in a game (34) vs. Duke, 11-2-02 *Most passing yards in a game (420) vs. Duke, 11-2-02 *Most touchdown passes in a game (4) vs. Duke, 11-2-02 vs. North Carolina, 11-9-02 *Most passes attempted without interception in a game (52) vs. Duke, 11-2-02 *Most total offense plays in a game (65) vs. Duke, 11-2-02 *Total offense in a game (414) vs. Duke, 11-2-02 *Passing Efficiency in a game (241.1) vs. North Carolina, 11-9-02 *Completions in a season (62) *Passing yards in a season (874) *Completion percentage in a season (62.7) *Touchdown passes (9) *Touchdown/interception ratio (9/1) *Yards per pass attempt in season (8.57) *Yards per completion in season (13.7) *Touchdown responsibility in a season (10)
Clemson Track Athletes Making Contributions Clemson has a history of dual sport athletes, especially when it comes to players who have run track and played skill positions on the Tiger football team. James Trapp is still in the NFL (10th year) with the Baltimore Ravens. He might have been Clemson’s greatest track athlete in history and is in the Clemson Hall of Fame for his accomplishments in that sport. Doug Thomas, the only Clemson player in history with two kickoff returns for touchdowns in the same year (1990) was also an All-American in track before playing with the Seattle Seahawks.
The tradition continues based on Saturday’s game at North Carolina. Airese Currie and Tye Hill both will run on Clemson’s for Bob Pollock’s Clemson track team this year. Hill red-shirted last year due to a foot injury, but Currie earned All-America honors on the 4X100 relay team outdoors. Clemson finished second in that event outdoors at the NCAAs in Baton Rouge last year. Currie has been timed in 10.40 in the 100 meters, while Hill’s best is 10.51.
Both players nearly had 100-yard days at North Carolina. Currie caught two passes for 90 yards, while Hill, seeing his most extensive action since the Virginia game, had 14 carries for 105 yards. For the season, Currie has 11 catches for 242 yards and three touchdowns. His 22.0 yards per reception figure is best on the team. Hill has 204 yards in 35 attempts so far, a 5.8 average, best among the running backs.
Currie has jump-started the Tigers on the comeback trail each of the last two weeks. His 47-yard touchdown reception on a fourth-and-10 play from the Duke 47 brought Clemson from 14 points back to just a 24-17 deficit. The Tigers went on to a 34-31 win. At North Carolina, Clemson trailed 9-0 before he caught an 83-yard scoring pass from Charlie Whitehurst in the first quarter. That was the third longest pass play in Clemson history and the longest since 1978. It was the longest pass completion in the history of Kenan Stadium.
Running Game Key to Success under Bowden How important is the running game to Clemson under Tommy Bowden? The Tigers are 17-1 under Bowden when the Tigers rush for at least 200 yards. That stat was enhanced in the North Carolina game when the Tigers gained 256 rushing in the victory over the Tar Heels. Clemson was 8-8 on third down conversions in the second half of that game thanks to the running game.
Clemson has won 14 straight when rushing for at least 200 yards dating to the 1999 Georgia Tech game when the Tigers rushed for 231 yards, yet lost the contest, 45-42.
Clemson is 24-5 under Bowden when the Tigers win the rushing yardage stat. That includes a 4-1 record this year. Clemson is also 15-3 under Bowden when it has a 100-yard rusher. Clemson had a pair of 100-yard rushers at North Carolina as Bernard Rambert had 19-106, a career high in yardage, while freshman Tye Hill added 14 for 105, also his career high. Hill had not carried the ball since running 32 yards for a score at Virginia back in early October. He scored on an eight-yard run in the second half.
That marked the first time since the 1996 Virginia game in Charlottesville that Clemson had two running backs in the same game gain over 100 yards. Kelton Dunnican and Raymond Priester accomplished that feat. A third running back had a big game for the Tigers. Fullback Chad Jasmin had three catches for 47 yards and two scores in the win at North Carolina. It marked the first time since 1986 that a Clemson running back caught two touchdown passes in the same game. All-American Terrence Flagler had two receiving scores at Wake Forest that year. Jasmin was injured vs. Maryland, but should be back for the South Carolina game.
Sharpe Leads offensive Line vs. North Carolina Clemson had its top game of the season from its offensive line in the win at North Carolina. The line had a combined 46 knockdown blocks, including 13 intimidation blocks. The team leader in terms of intimidation blocks was junior walk-on center Tommy Sharpe.
The 255-pounder from Albany, GA had 11 knockdowns, including two intimidation blocks for his 64 plays of action. He graded 86 percent in the contest and had a big part in Clemson’s 530-yard performance, a season high. Clemson also had a season high 256 yards on the ground and Sharpe had a lot to do with that.
Sharpe has now started three games this year. He continued to play well in the Maryland game as the led the Tigers with eight knockdown blocks for his 51 plays of action. That means he has had 19 knockdowns in his last two games. He has virtually come out of nowhere. He does not even have a bio in the Clemson media guide…. He will have one next year.
200 of Each Means Clemson Victory Balance is obviously a hallmark of any successful offense. That has been the case for Clemson over the years and under Tommy Bowden. Clemson gained 256 yards rushing and 274 passing in its victory over North Carolina, the second time this year Clemson has had at least 200 of each in a game.
In its 1031-game history, Clemson has a 40-0-1 record when it has at least 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing in the same game. The win at North Carolina marked the 14th time in Tommy Bowden 47 games as Clemson coach that the Tigers had at least 200 of each. Clemson did it just 27 times in 985 games prior to his arrival. The only time Clemson did not win when it gained at least 200 of each was at Georgia Tech in 1976 when the two teams played to a 24-24 tie.
Clemson Has Depth at Quarterback With the emergence of Charlie Whitehurst in the win over Duke, Clemson now has one of the deepest quarterback positions in Clemson history. How many schools in the nation can say they have two quarterbacks who have throw for four touchdowns in a game and have had over 300 yards total offense in a single game.
Clemson can make that statement. Simmons threw for a school record tying four touchdowns at North Carolina in 2000,while Whitehurst did it last week at Duke and did it again at North Carolina the very next week. Whitehurst had a 414-yard total offense day at Duke last week, while Simmons had a 343-yard day at Florida State earlier this year. Both rank among the top 10 single game performances in Clemson history.
Both players have also led Clemson to a come-from-behind victory. In 2000 as a freshman Simmons led Clemson to a 38-24 win at North Carolina. Clemson trailed by 17 points in that game and it is the second greatest comeback in Clemson history. At Duke, Whitehurst led Clemson to victory after the Tigers trailed by as many as 14 points.
So far this season, Simmons has thrown for 1503 yards and six touchdowns. Whitehurst has thrown for 1004 yards and nine scores. This is just the second time in Clemson history that the Tigers have had two 1000-yard passers. The other season was Tommy Bowden first year, 1999 when Brandon Streeter and Woody Dantzler both did it. Whitehurst has completed 59.4 percent of his passes, while Simmons has clicked on 58.1 percent of his passes.
Clemson Single Game Total Offense Bests
Rush Pass Player Site-Opponent Year 517 184 333 WoodrowDantzler a-NC State (45-37) 2001 435 185 252 Woodrow Dantzlera-Maryland (42-30) 1999 418 164 254 Woodrow Dantzler a-Georgia Tech(47-44 OT) 2001 414 -6 420 CharlieWhitehurst a-Duke (34-31) 2002 378 135 243Woodrow Dantzler H-Duke (59-31) 2001 374 141 233 Bobby GageH-Auburn (34-18) 1947 374 220 154 Woodrow Dantzler A-Virginia(31-10) 2000 366 23 343 Brandon Streeter H-Virginia (33-14) 1999343 50 293 Willie Simmons A-FloridaState (31-48) 2002 337 51 286 Nealon Greene a-WakeForest (33-16) 1997 336 59 277 Woodrow Dantzler H-Florida State(27-41) 2001
Clemson Single Game Completion
Att, Yds Player Site-Opponent (Score) Year 3452, 420 Charlie Whitehurst A-Duke(34-31) 2002 27 43, 195 Brandon Streeter A-VirginiaTech (11-31) 1999 27 38, 329 Brandon Streeter H-NC State (39-46)1998 26 33, 206 Nealon Greene H-Virginia (7-21) 1997 25 48, 237Tommy Kendrick A-Florida State (13-39) 1970 25 55, 273 Patrick SappA-Maryland (23-53) 1992 25 34, 251 Woody Dantzler H-Virginia(24-26) 2001 25 43, 242 Willie SimmonsH-Louisiana Tech (33-13) 2002
McNeal and Eason Both Have Seven Sacks Nick Eason continued his outstanding final season in the win at North Carolina. The graduate student from Lyons, GA had six tackles to lead all defensive linemen and added two tackles for loss, including his seventh sack of the year.
Teammate Bryant McNeal had his seventh sack of the year against Maryland and is tied with Eason for the team lead. McNeal now has 20 sacks for his career, seventh best in Clemson history and just a half a sack away from Chester McGlockton’s total of 20.5. The all-time leader is Michael Dean Perry with 28. Eason has 15 for his career to rank in a tie for 15th.
Eason and McNeal now rank among the top 10 in the ACC in sacks. Eason’s total is the most for a Clemson defensive tackle since Trevor Pryce had 7.5 sacks in 1996. Pryce is now an All-Pro defensive tackle with the Denver Broncos. For the season, Eason ranks fifth on the team in tackles with 58. He is second in tackles for loss overall with nine, trailing only McNeal’s 11. Eason was Clemson’s defensive MVP in 2000 when he had seven sacks as a defensive end. He had an injury plagued 2001, but has come back strong this year.
Clemson Career Sack Leaders
Player Years Sacks 1. Michael DeanPerry 1984-87 28 2. William Perry 1981-84 27 3. Adrian Dingle1995-98 23 Keith Adams 1998-00 23 5. Brentson Buckner 1990-93 22 6.Chester McGlockton 1989-91 20.5 7. Bryant McNeal1999-02 20 8. Levon Kirkland 1988-91 19 Wayne Simmons1989-92 19 10. Anthony Simmons 1995-97 18.5 11. Jim Stuckey 1976-7918 15. Nick Eason 1999-02 15
Clemson Overcomes Deficits Clemson has overcame a nine-point deficit or more in each of its last three victories. Clemson trailed by nine points, 23-14, in the second half against Wake Forest on October 19th, then overcame a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win over Duke on November 2. Finally, Clemson trailed 9-0 after a safety and a touchdown by North Carolina before winning 42-12.
When Clemson overcame the 14-point deficit at Duke, it marked just the second time in school history that the Tigers have overcome a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to gain victory. It was just the seventh time in Clemson history that the Tigers have trailed at any point in a game by 14 points or more, then came back to gain victory.
The only other time Clemson has overcome a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit was in 1980 at Virginia. Ironically, Clemson trailed by the exact same score as this past Saturday’s game with Duke, 24-10, as the game entered the fourth period. But, Clemson scored the last 17 points of the game, all in the fourth period, to win the contest. Obed Ariri kicked a 52-yard field goal with just six seconds left to win. Bill Smith, now on Clemson’s Board of Trustees, returned a blocked punt for a touchdown with just four minutes left to provide a key play during the comeback.
The Tigers trailed Duke 17-10 entering the fourth period, then Duke scored on a 54-yard touchdown pass to take a 24-10 lead with just 11:11 left. But, Clemson scored three touchdowns in a 4:05 span to take a 31-24 lead before eventually winning 34-31 on a 21-yard field goal by Aaron Hunt with eight seconds left.
Tommy Bowden coached Tiger teams have shown an ability to come back, this year and in previous years. Clemson has now overcome a 12-point deficit to gain victory 10 times in history and three of these comebacks have been coached by Bowden. The others took place at North Carolina in 2000 (17 down in first half) and at Georgia Tech (12 down in the first half) in 2001.
The Clemson record for points overcome for victory is 28, set at Virginia in 1992. Clemson trailed 28-0 with 32 minutes left in that game, then won 29-28. Clemson trailed by only nine points heading into the fourth period of that game. That is also the ACC record for a comeback in a game involving two conference teams.
Clemson’s Greatest Comebacks to Win or Tie
Opponent Site Down Deficit Final 10-10-92 Virginia A 0-2828 29-28 10-21-00 North Carolina A 0-1717 38-24 9-24-66 Virginia H 18-35 17 40-3511-2-02 Duke A 10-24 #1434-31 10-11-80 Virginia A 10-24 #14 27-24 11-17-62 MarylandA 0-14 14 17-14 9-26-53 Boston College A 0-14 14 14-14 10-13-73Virginia H 0-13 13 32-27 10-16-76 Duke H 0-12 12 #18-189-29-01 Georgia Tech A 7-19 1247-44 (OT) 11-22-97 South Carolina A 3-14 11 47-21 10-20-90NC State A 3-14 11 24-17 11-23-85 South Carolina A 3-14 11 24-1711-20-93 South Carolina A 3-13 10 16-13 9-25-93 Georgia Tech H 3-1310 16-13 10-12-91 Virginia H 7-17 10 20-20 11-17-79 Notre Dame A0-10 10 16-10 10-5-74 Georgia H 0-10 10 28-24 10-4-69 Georgia TechA 0-10 10 21-10 10-24-38 Tulane A 0-10 10 13-10
#Denotes fourth quarter deficit Comebacks under Tommy Bowden in bold
Clemson Converting Before Halftime Clemson has done a good job of scoring just prior to the half in 2002. So far this year Clemson has recorded a touchdown on its last possession of the half with 80 seconds or less remaining in seven of the 10 games. Three of the drives have been for over 60 yards and the Tigers have negotiated the distance in less than 90 seconds in each situation. Clemson added a field goal at the horn at the end of the first half of the Maryland game, meaning Clemson has scored just before the half in eight of its 11 games this year.
The streak started when Clemson scored at Georgia on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Youngblood with just eight seconds left. The success continued last week at North Carolina when J.J. McKelvey caught a 58-yard pass from Charlie Whitehurst just 54 seconds prior to halftime.
Clemson’s Last Possession of the Half in 2002
Last Possession Drive Time Left Georgia TD, Simmons toYoungblood 21 Yds 9-64-1:16 :08 Louisiana Tech Failed to score3-20-1:07 Georgia Tech TD, Simmons toWilliamson, 2 yards 4-5-:50:38 Ball State TD, Hamilton 9 run 3-21-1:03 1:20 Florida St. TD,Simmons to Hamilton, 9 yards 6-86-1:25 :27 Virginia TD, Hill 32 run1-32-:08 1:00 Wake Forest TD, Yusef Kelly 1 run 6-65-1:15 :08 NCState Failed to score 3-0-1:05 Duke Failed to score 9-30-1:30 UNCTD, Whitehurst to McKelvey, 58 yards 3-58-:29 :54 Maryland FG, 22yards by Aaron Hunt 5-55-:33 :00
Meekins Defends in the Clutch Senior strong safety Eric Meekins is third on the Clemson team this year with 85 tackles. He has been known for his run support this year, but has not had that many opportunities to make plays in the secondary on pass plays.
He made up for that at Duke when he had three passes defensed, two PBUs and his first interception of the season. All three of his passes defensed took place in the fourth period. So, he had just one pass defensed in the first 35 quarters of the year, then had three in the fourth period at Duke.
First, he broke up a pass in the endzone on a fourth down play with just five minutes left to preserve a 31-24 Clemson lead. He then broke up a pass on a first down play with just three minutes left. Then, on Duke’s final play, he intercepted at midfield to clinch the Clemson victory.
Meekins had another solid effort at North Carolina with seven tackles and two passes broken up. So, he had five of his six passes defensed in the games at Duke and North Carolina. Meekins had a similar season in 2001 when it came to passes defensed. In a high scoring game at NC State, Meekins had three passes broken up. He had just four passes defensed all season.
For his career, Meekins has now played in 47 games, 21 as a starter. He has 192 career tackles, 11 passes broken up and three interceptions for 14 passes defensed. He had nine tackles against Maryland.
Mance All-ACC Candidate at Cornerback Brian Mance recorded his fifth interception of the season and his 11th as a Clemson Tiger against Wake Forest. It was the third straight game that he recorded a theft. The Clemson record for consecutive games intercepting a pass is four. Bobby Gage (1948), Terry Kinard (1980 and 1981) and Dexter Davis (1990) all hold the record with four straight games. Mance is the first Tiger with three in a row since Davis in 1990. His streak stopped at Duke, but he still had a pass broken up, giving him at least one pass defensed in eight games in a row.
Mance is now tied for sixth in Clemson history in career interceptions with his double figure career total. He is tied with Pete Cook (1950-52), Brian Dawkins (1992-95) and Peter Ford (1993-96). The all-time leader is all-time great Terry Kinard with 17. Kinard was recently inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Mance also has one fumble recovery in his career, giving him 12 career takeaways, best among active Tigers and among the top 10 totals in Clemson history. He needs just one more takeaway to move into sixth place in Clemson history.
Mance has moved into the ACC lead in interceptions and passes defensed and he ranks 11th in the nation in interceptions with his five picks in just eight games. He is a big reason Clemson is tied for the ACC lead in interceptions with 12. The senior had an outstanding game against Wake Forest with seven tackles, an interception and a caused fumble. He was named ACC Defensive Back of the Week for his performance, the third time in his career he has won that award.
The caused fumble against Wake Forest really saved the day for the Tigers. A Wake Forest running back was streaking towards the Clemson endzone when Mance stripped the ball from behind. The momentum carried the ball into the endzone and it was batted through the endzone for a touchback with 1:15 left. Clemson ran out the clock and won the eight-point decision.
The senior from Alcolu, SC has now played 43 games at Clemson, 22 as a starter. He has missed just one game (UNC in 2001) in his career when his brother was killed in auto accident last year on his way home from the NC State game.
For the season, Mance has 57 tackles to rank sixth on the on the team. He has played more snaps than any other Tiger with 714 plays and he also leads the team in passes defensed with 16.
Clemson’s Career Leaders In Interceptioins
Name Years Yds Avg. TD Int 1. Terry Kinard, FS 1978-82 1478.6 0 17 2. Fred Knoebel, CB 1950-52 122 8.1 0 15 3. EddieGeathers, CB 1977-80 114 9.5 0 12 Robert O’Neal, FS 1989-92 119 9.90 12 Alex Ardley, CB 1998-00 151 12.6 1 12 6. Brian Mance 1999-0273 6.6 0 11 Pete Cook, CB 195052 12911.7 0 11 Brian Dawkins, SS 1992-95 101 9.2 1 11 Peter Ford, CB1993-96 138 12.5 1 11
Leake and Thomas Nearing 150 Tackles Apiece Clemson linebackers Rodney Thomas and John Leake have been among the ACC leaders in tackles all season. Currently, Leake leads the way with 142 tackles, 63 first hits and 79 assists. He had a career high 21 tackles in the loss to Maryland. Thomas is second on the team with 140, 68 first hits and 72 assists. They rank second and third in the ACC in tackles, respectively. Both rank in the top 20 in the nation in tackles per game.
At least one of the players has led the team in tackles in all 11 games this year. The only other player involved in tackle leadership has been freshman cornerback Justin Miller, who tied Thomas for game honors against NC State with 12 tackles. Leake has led the team six times and Thomas has been a part of the lead five times. Thomas had a career high 19 tackles at Duke, while Leake added 14. Leake has nine double figure tackle games, while Thomas has eight.
As you can see by the numbers above, both have gone over the 100-tackle mark for the season. They both reached triple digits in the win at Duke. This is the second season of at least 100 tackles for both players. They have joined an exclusive club by reaching the century mark for the second time in their careers. Only 10 other Clemson players have had at least 100 tackles more than one season.
Chad Carson, Charles Hafley, Keith Adams and Robert Carswell are recent Tigers to do it. Carson did it three years. Anthony Simmons is another three-time 100-tackle performer. Leake will have a chance to join Simmons, Carson, Jeff Davis, Bubba Brown and Randy Scott as three-time 100-tackle players next year.
Thomas now has a 294 tackles for his career, including the 100 he had last year and the 140 this year. Leake had 134 last year and nine as a freshman when he played just special teams. He now has 285 for his career. Leake has started each of the last 23 games, while Thomas has started 22 of the last 23.
Two Tigers Have Kickoff Return for Touchdown Clemson has had just nine kickoff returns for a touchdown by eight different players in its history, but two of the eight players are on the current Clemson team. On October 24, Justin Miller picked up a loose ball and raced 80 yards for a touchdown on a kickoff return in the second half. That was the first time a Clemson player had gone all the way for a touchdown on a kickoff return since last year’s Maryland game when Derrick Hamilton went 100 yards at Maryland for a score in a Clemson defeat.
This is the first time in history that two Clemson players on the same team have had a kickoff return for a touchdown. The list below shows that no teammates have ever done it. Doug Thomas had two in one season, 1990. Clemson once went 25 years without a kickoff return for a score, 1962-87.
Clemson currently ranks 25th in the nation in kickoff return average with a 22.71 figure. That figure is fourth best in the ACC. Clemson ranked 10th in the nation as a team last year with a 25.7 average. Derrick Hamilton ranked third individually a year ago. Hamilton is 57th in kickoff return average and 39th in punt returns nationally this year.
Clemson Kickoff Returns for touchdown (Chronological Order)
Opponent Year Yds John Maxwell Cumberland 1903 100 BobbyGage Duquesne 1947 89 Bill Mathis Georgia Tech 1959 99 Hal DavisGeorgia Tech 1962 98 Joe Henderson Georgia Tech 1987 95 Doug ThomasLong Beach State 1990 98 Doug Thomas Maryland 1990 98 DerrickHamilton Maryland 2001 100 JustinMiller NC State 2002 80
Clemson Trio of of 6-4 Receivers Have 137 Catches Youngblood, McKelvey Look to Reach 50 Mark Saturday Clemson receivers J.J. McKelvey, Kevin Youngblood and Derrick Hamilton are all at least 6-4 in height and they have used that advantage to rank in the top 10 in the ACC in receptions per game. They have combined for 137 catches and eight touchdowns in 11 games, 12.4 per game. Youngblood leads the way with 49 catches, while McKelvey has 47 and Hamilton 41. The Clemson record for catches in a season by three wideouts is 179 set by Rod Gardner (80), Brian Wofford (60) and Mal Lawyer (39) in 1999.
This year’s trio had its best collective game at Duke with a combined 25 receptions for 265 yards and three touchdowns. Each player had at least seven catches and a touchdown. McKelvey led the way with 10-103, while Hamilton had 7-61. Both players had touchdown receptions. It marked the first time since 1998 and just the second time in Clemson history that the Tigers had two 100-yard receivers in the same game.
Youngblood and McKelvey had career high performances of 10 catches in a game earlier this year. In fact, McKelvey has now done it twice. This is the first time in Clemson history that two players on the same team have had at least 10 receptions in a game. They are just the seventh and eighth players in Clemson history to catch 10 passes in a single game.
McKelvey had 10 catches for 123 yards and a score in the win over Ball State on the 21st of September. Youngblood had his breakout game against Louisiana Tech with 10 catches for 85 yards.
The list of other Clemson receivers who have accumulate at least 10 catches in a game includes current Washington Redskins firs-round pick Rod Gardner, who did it three times, Tony Horne, who was a Super Bowl Champion with the St. Louis Rams three years ago, Perry Tuttle, a first-round pick off of Clemson’s National Championship team of 1981, and Charlie Waters, one of the all-time greats in Dallas Cowboys history as a defensive back.
McKelvey now has three 100-yard games this year. He had consecutive 100-yard receiving games against Ball State and Florida State and now has a team best 694 receiving yards this season. He had a huge 58-yard touchdown reception in the final minute of the first half at North Carolina to break the game open.
It is interesting to note that six of the 13 double figure reception games in Clemson history have come under Tommy Bowden.
Top Pass Reception Games in Clemson History
Yds Player Site-Opponent Year 11 129 Phil Rogers A-NorthCarolina 1965 11 111 Rod Gardner H-Marshall 1999 10123 J.J. McKelvey H-Ball State 200210 103 J.J. McKelvey A-Duke 200210 85 Kevin Youngblood H-Louisiana Tech2002 10 110 Tony Horne H-Appalachian State 1997 10 131 TonyHorne H-FloridaState 1997 10 148 Hank Walker H-Auburn 1947 10 144Charlie Waters H-Alabama 1969 10 124 Perry Tuttle A-Wake Forest1980 10 151 Perry Tuttle H-Maryland 1981 10 122 Rod Gardner H-Duke1999 10 137 Rod Gardner H-NC State 2000
Clemson Completion Percentage Fourth Best in School History Clemson was at a record rate in terms of completion percentage prior to the NC State game. But, the Tigers connected on just 13-32 passes against the Pack’s tough defense.
Still, Clemson is completing passes at a 58.9 rate for the season, a mark that would be fourth best in school history if the season ended today. The record is a .605 pace by the 1997 Clemson team that was led by current Canadian Football league star Nealon Greene. The only other Clemson team to complete 60 percent over the course of the season is the 1989 Tiger team that was 117-195, exactly 60 percent. Current wide receivers coach Rick Stockstill was the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator that year.
Quarterback Willie Simmons has completed 58.1 percent of his passes so far this year on 137-236. He was 21-33 against Wake Forest, a 63.6 percent mark. He has thrown for 1503 yards and seven scores, an average of just under 200 yards per game. Charlie Whitehurst has completed 59.4 percent, a figure that would be fifth best in Clemson history if the season ended today.
Top Single Season Team Completion %
Year Comp-Att Pct 1. 1997 188-311 .6052. 1989 117-195 .600 4. 1999 117-195 .596 4. 2002216-367 .589 5. 2001 226-395 .572 6. 1995 122-215.567 7. 1985 137-247 .555 8. 1982 98-178 .551
Clemson Fourth in ACC in Total Defense Clemson is most improved when it comes to defense. The Tigers are ranked fourth in the ACC in total defense, allowing just 339.5 yards per game. Clemson has allowed just 175 yards per game passing, 15th best in the nation. Last year Clemson ranked 71st in the nation in total defense and 66th in pass defense.
Clemson allowed 395 yards a game last year, so it is easy to see the 339.5 figure for the first 11 games this year is considerably better. Clemson has allowed just 4.7 yards per play, much improved from the 5.3 allowed per play a year ago.
Clemson Defense Comparison
2001 Avg. 2002 First Downs/Game Allowed 21.918.5 Total Yards/Game Allowed 394.9 339.5 Rushing Yards/GameAllowed 154.3 165.0 Passing Yards/Game Allowed 240.6 174.5Yards/Play Allowed 5.3 4.7 Yards/Reception Allowed 13.4 10.4Yards/rush Allowed 3.8 6.00
Hamilton All-Purpose Performer The all-purpose running statistic was made for Derrick Hamilton. The sophomore from Dillon, SC has averaged 140.3 all-purpose running yards/game this year, 24th best in the nation. He had 256 all-purpose yard against Georgia Tech on September 14, then followed that with 160 yards against Ball State. He added 248 yards at Florida State and followed that with a 206-yard game at Virginia. As you can see by the chart below, he has had two of the top eight all-purpose running games in Clemson history this year. His current average of 140.3 yards per game is eight yards behind the per game record of 148.5 yards per game set by Tony Horne in 1997. His current figure is second best in Clemson history.
Hamilton has been very effective when it comes to rushing. He has 19 rushes on reverses from his H-receiver position and has 201 yards, an 10.6 yards per carry figure. No Clemson rusher has ever averaged over 10 yards per carry given a minimum of 15 rushes for the course of a season. Six of his 17 carries have been for at least 10 yards, including a 77-yarder against Georgia Tech.
Entering the Maryland game Hamilton ranks 24th in the nation and second in the ACC in all-purpose yards per game. Horne ranked 14th in the nation in 1997, the highest final ranking for any Clemson player in history.
Top All-Purpose Running Games in Clemson History
Player Opponent Year Rush Rec KOR PR 274 Terrence FlaglerWake Forest 1986 209 65 – – 267 Tony Horne Florida State 1997 – 131109 27 263 Raymond Priester Duke 1995 263 – – – 260 Cliff AustinDuke 1982 260 – – – 256 Derrick Hamilton GeorgiaTech 2002 97 22 41 96 254Don King Fordham 1952 234 – 20 – 252 Ken Callicutt South Carolina1974 197 55 – – 248 Derrick Hamilton FloridaState 2002 23 69 104 52 246Buck George Presbyterian 1952 204 42 – – 242 Ronald WilliamsVirginia 1991 185 57 – –
Tigers Recover On-Side Kick Whenever the Bowden’s get together chances are there will be some trickery involved. Tommy Bowden might have pulled off the most surprising play in the four Bowden Bowls when he had his team on-side kick after the Tigers first score, Clemson’s first kickoff opportunity, in the first quarter. J.J. McKelvey had been practicing the play all week and they worked it to perfection, giving Clemson the ball after the Tigers had tied the game at seven.
“The thing about that is you can’t practice it in pregame,” said Bowden the next day. “Rodney Allison had noticed in his film study that the player on that side of the field was retreating early to get into blocking position, so we decided to try it.”
McKelvey recovered at the Florida State 49 and Clemson drove for another touchdown, giving Clemson a 14-7 lead, its first lead in Tallahassee at any point of a game since 1989.
What was especially noteworthy is that the on-side kick was the first recovered by a Clemson team since the 1979 season. The Tigers last recovered an on-side kick in the fourth period of the 1979 Peach Bowl against Baylor. Clemson did not score on its extra possession that day and lost 24-19.
Returning Red-shirts Have Made a Difference Three players who have had a positive impact on Clemson’s 2002 season are Altroy Bodrick, Kevin Youngblood. All three red-shirted the 2001 season, but have come back strong this year.
Kelly is Clemson’s leading rusher this season with 393 net yards, an average of 56 yards per game. He has 10 of Clemson’s 35 rushes of 10 yards or more this season. He leads the team in touchdowns with eight and is second in scoring with 48 points. Kelly sat out last year to red-shirt and was not injured.
Youngblood is the team’s top receiver with 35 catches for 285 yards and a score. He is among the ACC’s top receivers with 5.0 catches per game. No Clemson receiver has led the league in that area since 1980 when Perry Tuttle paced the conference. Youngblood missed last year with a broken leg.
Bodrick has started all seven games so far this year at the roverback position, a hybrid free safety and linebacker. He has 36 tackles to eighth on the team and also has four tackles for loss, a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery. Bodrick missed all of last year with a torn ACL.
Field Position Has made a Difference Field position has been important for the Tigers this year, especially in the last three games. In fact, the team that has had the better average starting field position has won six of the seven games this year.
One of the reasons Clemson lost to Florida State and Virginia, despite winning the total offense war was field position. In the loss to Florida State the Seminoles average start was their own 43 yard-line, while Clemson’s average start was its own 30, a 13-yard difference. At Virginia the difference was 17 yards, as Clemson started at its own 22, but Virginia started on average at its own 39. Over the two game period the opposition started on average at its own 41, with Clemson starting at its 26.
Clemson improved in that area against Wake Forest with an average start of its own 35 to Wake Forest starting at its own 27. And, Clemson won the game, 31-23.
Sampson Interception Ends Georgia Tech Threat Clemson sophomore Eric Sampson intercepted a Georgia Tech pass at the Clemson 16 with just 1:12 left and returned the theft 35 yards to ice the 24-19 victory for the Tigers in Death Valley on September 14th. Clemson then ran out the remaining time to clinch the victory.
Sampson’s interception marked the first time since 1993 that a Clemson player came up with a turnover inside Clemson territory within the last two minutes with Clemson leading by seven points or less. In other words it was the first time in nine years that a defensive player made a game saving turnover with two minutes or less left.
The last time it happened was in 1993 at Duke when Dexter McCleon, now with the St. Louis Rams, intercepted a Duke pass at the Clemson eight-yard line with just three seconds remaining. Clemson held on for a 13-10 victory. That was actually the second straight week a defensive player made a game saving play late in the contest. The previous week, October 2, 1993, linebacker Tim Jones broke up an NC State pass in the endzone with :00 on the clock to give Clemson the victory. The Pack snapped the ball from the Clemson 12 on that down.
Clemson fans have suffered through some close last second losses in recent years. Seven times since 1997 the opposition has driven for a winning field goal or touchdown with inside two minutes left in the game. That included last year in the third game of the season when Virginia scored with just one second left to defeat the Tigers 26-24. It also had included the last two times Georgia Tech had come to Clemson. They scored a touchdown with a minute left to defeat Clemson 24-21 in 1998 and scored a touchdown with seven seconds left in 2000 to defeat a third ranked Clemson team, 31-28.
Sampson has started every game this year and has been a big contributor. He has 35 tackles, including a sack in his 438 snaps from scrimmage. He had nine of those tackles in the opener at Georgia, the second highest total for the Tigers in that game.
Byrd Leads Offensive Line Gary Byrd is the leader of Clemson’s offensive line. With season ending injuries to veterans Derrick Brantley and Nick Black, the leadership burden is even heavier for Byrd. A graduate student from Stone Mountain, GA, Byrd has started two bowl games at Clemson, the 2001 Gator Bowl against Virginia Tech and the 2001 Humanitarian Bowl against Louisiana Tech. He is a veteran of over 1600 career plays and has been a common denominator on two of the most productive offenses in Clemson history.
Byrd has played well so far this year. In the win over Louisiana Tech he had an 85 percent total performance grade, including an 80 percent technique grade from Clemson line coach Ron West. He led the Tigers in knockdown blocks in the game with 11 and was a big reason Clemson scored 33 points in the contest. He had six knockdowns in the season opener against Georgia. He had two fumble recoveries against Florida State to keep Clemson drives alive.
Clemson Offensive Line Experience
2002 Career Player Year GP-GS GP-GS Gary Byrd, OT Grad 5-530-19 Greg Walker, OG Jr. 5-5 29-5 Jermyn Chester, C Jr. 5-4 12-5William Henry, OT Grad 4-3 9-3 Cedric Johnson, OG So. 4-4 15-4Tommy Sharpe, C Jr. 5-1 5-1 Mark Jetton, OG Fr. 1-0 1-0 ChipMyrick, OG Fr. 1-0 1-0 Vontrell Jamison, OT So. 1-0 1-0 *NickBlack, OT Jr. 5-1 21-1 *Derrick Brantley, OT Sr. 2-2 14-8
*Note: Lost for the season due to injury
Clemson Offense Averages 409 Yards, 30 Points Under Bowden Clemson has a 28-19 record under Tommy Bowden and a consistent balanced offense has been a big reason. Over the his four years he has been the head coach the Tigers have averaged 409 yards per game in total offense.
Clemson has gained an average of 178 rushing and 234 passing over the 47 games. In an average game under Bowden the Tigers have averaged 30 points a game and scored four touchdowns. On average, the Tigers run the ball 42 times and throw it 32 times under Bowden. Clemson has scored 181 touchdowns in the 47 games, nearly four per game. Twenty-six of the 47 games Clemson has had at least 400 yards of total offense.
Clemson Offense in the Tommy Bowden Era (Figures are for 47 games)
Per Game Points 1,395 29.7 Touchdowns 1813.85 First Downs 1,029 21.9 Rushing Attempts 1,995 42.4 RushingYards 8,373 178.1 Pass Attempts 1,525 32.4 Pass Completions 87418.6 Passing Yards 11,007 234.2 Completion % .573 .573 Plays 3,52074.9 Total Offense 19,217 413.2 Record 28-19 .596
Bowden Offenses Among Best in Clemson History Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden came to Clemson with the reputation of producing big numbers on offense. His Tulane team of 1998 averaged over 500 yards of total offense per game and was the only squad in the nation to average at least 300 yards passing and 200 rushing.
His offensive numbers have not been quite as striking at Clemson, but they have been noteworthy. Here is a list of the Bowden offensive stats as they relate to Clemson history in his three years at Clemson: *3 of the top 4 completion totals in Clemson history *The top 3 passing yardage single season figures *The top three seasons in terms of passing yards/game *3 of the top four completion percentage figures *2 of the top 3 yards per play figures, and top two since 1950 *3 of the top 5 total offense per game figures *3 of the top 4 first downs/game figures *2 of the top 7 scoring teams in school history
John Lovett New Clemson Defensive Coordinator John Lovett, defensive coordinator at Auburn for the last three seasons, was named Defensive Coordinator at Clemson last spring. Lovett has been an assistant coach at the college level for 23 years, including 13 seasons as a defensive coordinator. He has experience working with all levels of the defense, but has spent most of his seasons in the game coaching the secondary and outside linebacker position. Lovett is coaching the secondary at Clemson. Jack Hines, who coached the secondary at Clemson the last three years, has moved to the linebackers.
Lovett helped Auburn to bowl games each of the last two years. His 2000 defense ranked 14th in the nation in total defense and 15th in rushing defense, helping the Tigers to a 9-4 record and a berth in the Citrus Bowl against Michigan. Auburn won the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference that season.
In 2001, his defense had a lot to do with Auburn’s berth in the Peach Bowl. One of Auburn’s victories was a 23-20 triumph over then #1 ranked Florida. Lovett’s defense held Florida to 20 points, -36 yards rushing and 328 yards of total offense, season lows in all three categories for Steve Spurrier’s team that finished the season ranked third in the nation. The Tigers also forced five turnovers in the game, including four interceptions of passes thrown by Heisman Trophy finalist Rex Grossman. Lovett’s defense also held Georgia’s high-powered attack to but 17 points in a 24-17 Auburn triumph.
The 51-year-old coach, who was born in Nyack, NY, worked under Tommy Tuberville, the last seven years, four at Mississippi (1995-98) and three at Auburn (1999-01). He coached the secondary all four years he was at Mississippi, including the 1997 season when the Rebels had an 8-4 record, including a victory in the Ford Motor City Bowl.
Prior to coming to Mississippi in 1995, Lovett worked as defensive coordinator at the University of Maine for two stints. He first went to Orono in 1985 and served as defensive coordinator and secondary coach from 1985-88. He also served as defensive coordinator for the Black Bears in 1994. The 1987 team won the conference championship and qualified for the Division I-AA playoffs
Clemson Has More ACC Wins than Any Other School Clemson was a charter member of the ACC in 1953 and the Tigers began their 50th ACC season on a high note with a 24-19 victory. Clemson has a record of 195-106-6 in conference play for its previous 49 seasons plus four games, a winning percentage of .646. Clemson’s 195 victories are first among all conference teams in league games, 14 more than second place North Carolina, who has won 55 percent of its league games. Maryland is third with 169, while NC State is fourth at 168. Clemson has a winning record against every other ACC team since the league began with the exception of Florida State.
Clemson also leads the ACC in conference championships with 13. Florida State and Maryland are tied for second with nine (this includes co-championships). NC State and Duke are tied for fourth with seven wins apiece. Every current league member has won the league title at least once.
Clemson has Eight Graduates on Roster The 2002 Clemson team has already broken a school record and the kickoff of the season opener has not even taken place. This year’s team has eight graduates on its roster, a record for a Clemson team. The list includes three players who will travel to roster with two full seasons yet to play.
Clemson starting quarterback Willie Simmons, starting defensive end Khaleed Vaughn and reserve tackle William Henry are listed as graduates on the roster, but still have this year and 2003 in terms of eligibility. Simmons received his degree last May, accomplishing his course requirements in just three years and three summer schools. That is the earliest a Clemson scholarship football player has ever graduated. Vaughn and Henry both graduated this past August 10th and still have two years to play.
The list of graduates on the 2002 Clemson team includes starting wide receiver Altroy Bodrick, starting defensive tackle Nick Eason and starting offensive tackle Gary Byrd. Nathan Gillespie is a reserve offensive lineman who also has his Clemson diploma. Eason graduated in August of 2001, so he also had his degree with two years to play.
The previous high for graduates on a Clemson football team was seven set just last year. By the end of the 2002 academic year 18 of the 22 seniors on the 2001 football team already had their degree. Two of those players are in school this year and plan to graduate by May of 2003.
Clemson Graduates on 2002 Team
Pos Graduation Degree Jackie RobinsonWR Dec. 2001 Health Science Khaleed Vaughn DEAug. 2002 Marketing Willie Simmons QBMay 2002 Marketing William Henry OTAug. 2002 Sociology Altroy Bodrick ROVAug. 2002 Rec. Park Adm. Gary Byrd OT Aug. 2002Rec. Park Adm. Nick Eason DT Aug.2001 Sociology Nathan Gillespie OG Dec. 2001 Marketing
Clemson Has 82.4 Graduation Rate for 1996 Entering Class Clemson has eight graduates on its current roster, one of the top totals in the nation. The list of signees who entered Clemson in 1996 also had an outstanding graduation rate. Of the 17 Tigers who entered as scholarship players that fall, 14 have graduated, an 82.4 percent graduation rate. When the NCAA releases its graduation rates for that class next fall, Clemson should be among the national leaders. The class includes a perfect 9-9 in terms of graduates among African American signees for that year. No one in the nation can top that 100 percent rate.
Members of that class who have their Clemson degrees are Terry Bryant, Rod Gardner, Mal Lawyer, John McDermott, Harold Means, Theo Mougros, Ryan Romano, Sean Sullivan, Justin Watts, Brian Wofford.
It is interesting to note that the study does not include athletes who enter in January. Two other first-year players who started their Clemson careers in January of 1996 who graduated are Jason Gamble and Mike Seth. They are not included in the figures.
Tiger Teammates Clemson has 15 different sets of football players who went to the same high school or junior college. The list includes three schools that have sent Clemson three players apiece. Orangeburg-Wilkinson, the high school that sent 2001 senior Woody Dantzler to Clemson, still has three representatives on the current Clemson team in Ryan Hemby, Kevin Johnson and Jackie Robinson.
Fork Union Prep in Virginia has sent Clemson Eric Coleman, Maurice Fountain and Gaines Adams. Fountain was a high school teammate of wide receiver Kelvin Grant. The only brother combination on the list is the Vaughn brothers, Khaleed and Nigel, who both played at North Atlanta High in Atlanta, GA.
Clemson players who played together in high school or prep school:
City State Players C.A. JohnsonColumbia SC Eugene Koon, ToddMcClinton Camden Camden SC Maurice Fountain, Kelvin Grant EasleyEasley SC EricMeekins, Josh Smith Fairfield Central Fairfield SC CharlesBennett, Altroy BodrickFork Union Prep Fork Union VA Eric Coleman,MauriceFountain, Gaines Adams JamesIsland Charleston SC Ryan Charpia, Tony Elliott Lexington LexingtonSC Fletcher Anderson, PhillipDieckmann Manning Manning SC Brian Mance, Travis Pugh NorthAtlanta Atlanta SC Khaleed Vaughn,Nigel Vaughn Orangeburg-Wilkinson Orangeburg SC Ryan Hemby, KevinJohnson, Jackie RobinsonRichland Northeast Columbia SC Airese Currie,Toure Francis Shanks Quincy FL Charles Harper,WillieSimmons, Ronnie ThomasSummerville Summerville SC Dustin Fry, Bernard RambertSW Miss. CC Summit MS Brandon Jamison, Kelvin Morris UnionUnion SC KyleBrowning, Roscoe Crosby
18 Tigers on NFL Rosters Clemson had 18 former players on NFL rosters entering play on September 8th, the opening day of the NFL season. The list includes four players who are now in double digits in the league in terms of years of service. Woody Dantzler, who is on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad, is the only member of the 2001 Clemson team to make a roster.
The list of veterans includes Chris Gardocki, who is in his 12th year in the NFL as a punter. The former pro bowl punter is with the Cleveland Browns. Gardocki holds the career punting average record for both the Browns (44.1) and the Indianapolis Colts (44.8). Chester McGlockton (Denver Broncos) and Levon Kirkland (Philadelphia Eagles) are both in their 11th seasons in the NFL. Kirkland made his 124th consecutive NFL start for the Eagles on Sunday against Tennessee. James Trapp, who is in the Clemson Hall of Fame for his track accomplishments from 1989-93, is in his 10th year in the NFL and is with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers all have two players apiece from Clemson on their respective roster. Twelve of the 18 players are defensive players, including four defensive linemen.
Two former Tigers stood out in week one. Rod Gardner had seven receptions for 131 yards and a score to help Washington to victory in Steve Spurrier’s first game as head coach. Adrian Dingle had two sacks to help the San Diego Chargers to a victory over Cincinnati.
Former Clemson Players on NFL Rosters
Pos Hgt Wgt CU Yrs NFLExp NFL Team Keith Adams LB 5-11 230 98-00 2nd DallasCowboys Lorenzo Bromell DE 6-6 275 96-97 5th Minnesota VikingsBrentson Buckner DE 6-2 305 90-93 9th Carolina Panthers &JimBundren OT 6-5 305 94-97 4th Miami Dolphins Robert CarswellDB 5-11 215 97-00 2nd San Diego Chargers #Woody Dantzler QB 5-11205 98-01 R Dallas Cowboys Brian Dawkins DB 5-11 200 92-95 7thPhiladelphia Eagles Adrian Dingle DE 6-3 272 95-98 4th San DiegoChargers Antwan Edwards DB 6-1 205 95-98 4th Green Bay PackersRod GardnerWR 6-3 218 97-00 2nd Washington Redskins Chris Gardocki P 6-1 20088-90 12th Cleveland Browns Lamont Hall TE 6-4 260 94-97 4th NewOrleans Levon Kirkland LB 6-1 270 88-91 11th Philadelphia EaglesDexter McCleon DB 5-10 195 93-96 6th St. Louis Rams ChesterMcGlockton DT 6-4 329 89-91 11th Denver Broncos Trevor Pryce DT 6-5295 1996 6th Denver Broncos Anthony Simmons LB 6-0 230 95-97 5thSeattle Seahawks James Trapp DB 6-2 190 89-92 10th Baltimore Ravens# Practice Squad & Injured reserve
Clemson Assistant Coaches Have Bowl Experience Clemson’s nine current assistant coaches and head coach Tommy Bowden have coached in a combined 81 bowl games. Of the current staff, Rick Stockstill has coached in the most bowl games with the Tigers, as the 2001 Humanitarian Bowl was his 10th as a Clemson assistant. Brad Scott leads the way in total bowl games coached with 15 between his time at Clemson, Florida State and South Carolina.
Two Clemson assistants have served as head coaches in bowl games. Scott led South Carolina to its first bowl win in history when he defeated West Virginia in the 1994 Carquest Bowl. Mike O’Cain, hired as Clemson’s quarterbacks coach in December of 2000, served as NC State’s head coach in three bowl games.
As you can see by the list below, eight of the 10 coaches on this staff have been together all three years of the Bowden era. Mike O’Cain has coached in two of the three bowl games. John Lovett is the only newcomer to the staff this year.
Position Player CU Bowl OverallTommy BowdenHead Coach 1 3 11 Rodney AllisonDefensive Ends 3 3 8 Burton Burns RunningBacks 3 3 4 JackHines Linebackers 1 3 8 John Lovett DefensiveBacks 0 0 5 MikeO’Cain Quarterbacks 0 2 @10 Brad Scott Tight Ends0 3 *15 ThielenSmith Defensive Line 2 3 5 Rick StockstillWide Receivers 3 10 10 Ron West Offensive Line 2 3 5 Totals 15 3081
*Includes one bowl (win) as head coach of South Carolina @Includes three games as head coach at NC State Overall is total as a coach only
Some Tigers using New Helmet The latest in equipment use in football at all levels is the Revolution Helmet manufactured by Riddell. Many Clemson players have switched to the new helmet for this season and Clemson equipment personnel estimate 30 players are using it this year. Many of the players are first-year freshmen.
Among the veterans using the helmet are starting outside linebacker Khaleed Vaughn, starting middle linebacker and top returning tackler John Leake, and running backs Yusef Kelley, Tye Hill. Linebacker David Dunham was troubled by a concussion early in preseason and switched to the Revolution. He has not had problems since.
The helmet is the result of five years of research conducted by the NFL, who concluded that 70 percent of concussions result from hits to the side of the head. The sides of the new helmet extend farther down toward the chin, creating a firm shell along the jaw line.
Clemson Faces Tough Schedule in 2002 In many ways this will be Clemson’s most difficult schedule. The 2002 Tigers have nine games against teams who had winning records last year and eight of the 2002 opponents played in bowl games last year.
Nationally, Clemson is tied for third in number of games against teams who had winning records in 2001 and tied for fourth in number of 2001 bowl opponents on the 2002 schedule.
Clemson has had some difficult schedules under Tommy Bowden. The 1999 schedule is listed as the 10th toughest in the nation according to the 2002 NCAA Record Book. In 2001, Clemson had five wins over teams with winning records, one off the Clemson single season record.
Most Difficult Schedules of 2002
Based on 2002 Opponents Who Played in 2001 Bowls
Team 2002 Games 2001 Bowl Opp 1.Florida State 13 9 Notre Dame 12 9 Virginia 13 9 4.Clemson 12 8 Duke 12 8 Iowa State 13 8Missouri 12 8 Texas 12 8 Wake Forest 12 8
Based on 2002 Opponents who had 2001 Winning Record
Team 2002 Games Winning Opp 1. FloridaState 13 10 Virginia 13 10 3. Clemson 129 Alabama 12 9 Duke 12 9 Florida 12 9
Clemson Home Games Draw 6.7 Times the Population You could make the statement Clemson is the most rabid football town in Division I. The data used compares average stadium attendance to city population. Last year Clemson ranked 15th in the nation in attendance average with an 80,152 figure. The town of Clemson has a population of just 11,939. That means Clemson’s average football attendance in 2001 was 6.7 times the population of the city.
A look to the 2001 attendance figures and the most recent city population totals shows that only six Division I schools had a higher average attendance than the city population.
School City 2001 Attend PopRatio 1. Clemson Clemson, SC 80,152 11,939 6.71 2. PennState State College, PA 107,576 38,420 2.80 3. Auburn Auburn, AL85,449 42,987 1.99 4. Virginia Charlottesville, VA 56,283 40,0021.41 5. Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA 50,762 39,573 1.28 6. IowaIowa City, IA 64,665 62,220 1.04
ACC Announces 50th Anniversary All-Time Football Team Clemson Leads All Schools With Nine Selections Nine former Clemson football players have been named to the 50th Anniversary All-ACC team, the conference announced in July. Clemson’s nine selections are the most among ACC schools. Players who have been named to the team are Joe Bostic, Jerry Butler, Bennie Cunningham, Jeff Davis, Steve Fuller, Terry Kinard, William Perry, Michael Dean Perry and Anthony Simmons.
All nine players were All-Americans at Clemson. Five of them earned such honors on more than one occasion. The honorees have won 10 ACC titles collectively, with three of the players earning a National Championship ring in 1981. Eight of the nine players were named to Clemson’s All-Centennial team in 1996. Butler, Davis, Fuller and Kinard are also honored in Clemson’s Ring of Honor.
Each of the honorees has played in the NFL at some point after their Clemson careers. Anthony Simmons, the youngest Clemson player honored by the ACC, is currently a starting linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks. The group collectively has played 76 years in the NFL and combined to win five Super Bowl Championship rings. Joe Bostic was a four-year starter and two-time All-American between 1975-78 on Clemson’s offensive line. He is also in Clemson’s Hall of Fame. In 1999, A panel of Clemson historians ranked him as the 11th best player in Clemson history. Bostic went on to play 10 seasons in the NFL, all with the Cardinals organization.
Jerry Butler earned first-team Associated Press All-American honors in 1978 and was ranked as the 4th best player in school history in 1999. He was famous for a diving backward touchdown catch that helped beat rival South Carolina in 1977. Butler, also a member of Clemson’s Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor, played nine seasons for the Buffalo Bills in the NFL.
Bennie Cunningham, Clemson’s most decorated tight end, was a two-time All-American. He was a consensus first-team All-American as a junior in 1974 and a first-team choice by the Sporting News in 1975. He was also ranked among Clemson’s greatest players in 1999. Cunningham won two Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers between 1976-85.
Jeff Davis was an All-American in 1981, the year Clemson won the National Championship. Davis is the third leading tackler in Clemson history. “The Judge” is a member of Clemson’s All-Centennial team, Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor. He was inducted into the state of South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2001. He played for six seasons in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Steve Fuller was a third-team All-American on the field in 1978 as well as a two-time Academic All-American. He was also the ACC Player-of-the-Year in 1977 and 1978, the only two-time selection in Clemson history. He was ranked as a top 5 player by Clemson historians in 1999, and is in the Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor. Fuller won a Super Bowl ring with the Chicago Bears in 1985.
Terry Kinard, perhaps Clemson’s most decorated athlete, was a two-time first-team AP All-American in 1981-82. He was a starting safety on Clemson’s 1981 National Championship team. He was named the 1982 National Player-of-the-Year by CBS. Kinard was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame last fall and the state of South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2002. He is still Clemson’s career leader in interceptions with 17, now a 20-year-old record. He won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants and played eight seasons in the NFL.
William Perry was a three-time All-American at middle guard for Clemson, a first in school history. He still ranks among Clemson’s career leaders in sacks and tackles for loss. Also a member of the 1981 team, Perry was named to the All-Centennial team and will be inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame this fall. “The Refrigerator” won a Super Bowl ring in 1985 with the Chicago Bears.
Michael Dean Perry, Clemson’s career leader in both sacks and tackles for loss, was a first-team All-American in 1987 when he was an Outland Trophy finalist. A member of the All-Centennial team, Perry was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 2000. He went on to considerable success in the NFL as he played in six Pro Bowls and was a four-time All-Pro with the Cleveland Browns.
Anthony Simmons was Clemson’s second three-time All-American. He likely would have been just the second player in NCAA history to achieve such honors four times had he not left for the NFL after his junior year. He is second on Clemson’s career tackles list, an impressive feat to accomplish in only three years. Simmons is currently a starting linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks.
March 14, 2019