Game Six: Clemson at Virginia
Saturday, October 12, 2002 Noon PM (EST) David A. Harrison Field at Scott Stadium Charlottesville, VA
Television: ESPN Play By Play: Pam Ward Color: Chris Spielman Sideline: Dave Ryan
Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports Properties Play By Play: Jim Phillips Color: Rodney Williams Sideline: Pete Yanity
Series History: Clemson leads 34-6-1
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Clemson vs. Virginia Series Clemson holds a commanding 34-6-1 lead in the series with Virginia, but the Cavaliers hold 6-5-1 advantage since 1990, including a 26-24 victory at Clemson last year. Clemson won the first 29 games of the series before Virginia cracked the win column with a 20-7 victory in Charlottesville in 1990. Ironically, Clemson’s first win in the history of the series (in 1955) was also by a 20-7 score.
Clemson’s 29-game winning streak between 1955-90 is tied for the fourth longest winning streak in NCAA history for one team over another. The record is 38 in a row held by Notre Dame over Navy, a streak that is still active heading into the meeting between the two schools in Baltimore this year on November 9. Nebraska has a current streak of 33 wins in a row over Kansas, a streak that started in 1969. Oklahoma had a 32-game streak over Kansas State between 1937-68 and Nebraska had a 29-gamer against Kansas State between 1969-97.
Virginia has gained its most success against Clemson when the game has been in September, an example of the Cavaliers traditional good start to a season. Virginia has won five of its six games over the Tigers in the month of September, including last year’s win in Death Valley on September 22, by a 26-24 score when Virginia scored with just one second left. Virginia is 5-1 against Clemson in the month of September since 1990, but just 1-4-1 in October and November since that year.
Overall, Clemson is 24-1-1 against Virginia in October and November, but just 10-5 against the Cavs in September. Virginia’s only win over Clemson in October or November took place in 1997 when the Cavs won at Clemson 21-7 on October 11th.
Virginia has won at Clemson as many times as it has won in Charlottesville. Clemson is 18-3-1 against Virginia in Death Valley and 15-3 in Charlottesville. Clemson won in Richmond in 1971, 32-15, the only neutral site game in the history of the series.
The only tie in the series took place in 1991, a 20-20 score at Clemson. The Tigers had 511 yards of total offense in that game and did not win, the only game in Clemson history in which Clemson has picked up at least 500 yards, yet did not win the game.
Clemson is 2-1 against Virginia under Tommy Bowden. Bowden picked up his first win as a Clemson head coach in 1999 against George Welsh and the Cavaliers, 33-14 in a game at Clemson. Clemson led that game 33-0, 35 minutes into the game. In 2000 Woody Dantzler led the Tigers to victory with a dazzling performance. Dantzler rushed for 220 yards and passed for 154 leading Clemson to a 31-10 victory. Virginia won on a touchdown with one second left last year, 26-24.
The two teams have been ACC rivals since that first meeting in 1955, but the two teams have not played every year since the league was formed in 1953. The two teams did not play in 1961, 1962, 1967, 1968, 1975, and 1976.
Clemson Has Come Back Against Virginia Clemson has come back from a deficit of 13 points or more to win seven times in its history and four of the victories have come against Virginia. Two of those wins have taken place in Charlottesville and two in Clemson.
Clemson’s greatest comeback in history took place at Virginia in 1992 when it overcame a 28-0 deficit with 32 minutes left to win 29-28. Louis Solomon, now a high school coach in New Jersey, led that comeback with an option offense. His 64-yard run just before halftime gave Clemson some momentum going into the locker room at halftime. Nelson Welch booted a 32-yard field goal with 55 seconds left to provide the winning margin. Virginia was undefeated and ranked 10th in the nation heading into that game. That remains the greatest comeback in ACC history involving two conference teams.
Clemson’s greatest comeback in Death Valley also took place against Virginia. Clemson trailed Virginia by 17 points at home in 1966, but came back to win 40-35. That was the first game that Howard’s Rock was present in Death Valley. Coincidence?
Clemson also overcame a 14-point deficit to Virginia in 1980 to win 27-24 in Charlottesville. Bill Smith, now on the Clemson Board of Trustees, returned a block punt for a touchdown to provide a key play in the comeback.
Obed Ariri then booted a 52-yard field goal with six seconds left to win the game. During a timeout when Virginia tried to ice Ariri, he carried on a conversation with the Virginia team. After he booted the game winner Ariri was asked if he felt any pressure. A member of Nigeria’s National Soccer team as a youth, Ariri replied, “Pressure?… there was no pressure. Pressure is playing for your country in front of 120,000 soccer fans in a foreign country.” Clemson also overcame a 13-point deficit in 1973 to win 32-27.
Clemson’s Greatest Comebacks to win or Tie
Opponent Site Down DeficitFinal 10-10-92 Virginia A 0-28 28 29-28 10-21-00NorthCarolina A 0-17 17 38-24 9-24-66 Virginia H 18-35 17 40-3510-11-80 Virginia A 10-24 14 27-24 11-17-62 Maryland A 0-14 1417-14 9-26-53 BostonCollege A 0-14 14 14-14 10-13-73 Virginia H0-13 13 32-27
Clemson Has Been Successful in Charlottesville Clemson has a 15-3 record against Virginia in Charlottesville. Clemson won the first 12 games played between the two teams in Charlottesville, including the 20-7 victory in 1955, the first game in the history of the series. Clemson won the first 12 games played between the two teams in Charlottesville. Herman Moore and Shawn Moore led Virginia to victory 20-7 over Clemson in 1990, Ken Hatfield’s first year. That Clemson team went on to a 10-2 record and final top 10 ranking. Virginia went to the Sugar Bowl that season and also won 10 games.
Clemson’s other losses in Charlottesville came in 1994 and 1998, Clemson teams that ended the season with losing records. The 1994 team was Tommy West’s first Clemson team and finished 5-6. That was the 1000th ACC game in the history of the league and Virginia won 9-6. Clemson forced seven turnovers, yet lost the game. Virginia also won in 1998, by a 20-18 score. Clemson finished that year, 3-8, Tommy West’s final year as head coach.
Thus, Clemson has lost just three games by a total of 18 points in its previous 18 games played in Charlottesville. Unranked Clemson teams have upset top 15 Virginia teams twice in the last 10 years. In 1992 Clemson defeated a top 10 Virginia team and in 1996 Clemson won 24-16 over a 15th ranked Virginia team.
Hamilton All-Purpose Performer The all-purpose running statistic was made for Derrick Hamilton. The sophomore from Dillon, SC has averaged 168.4 all-purpose running yards/game this year and has been especially effective in the last three games. 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 last Thursday night. As you can see by the chart below, he has had two of the top eight all-purpose running games in Clemson history over the last three weeks.
For the year, Hamilton has 174 yards rushing, second on the Clemson team, has 157 yards receiving, third on the Clemson team, has 320 yards in kickoff returns and 191 yards on punt returns. He leads the Clemson team in both return areas. Last year Hamilton finished third in the nation in kickoff return average and was the ACC champion in that category. Thus, Hamilton has at last 150 yards in all four categories already this year.
His current average of 168.4 yards per game is 20 yards per game ahead of the Clemson record of 148.5 yards per game set by Tony Horne in 1997.
Hamilton has been very effective when it comes to rushing. He has 14 rushes on reverses from his H-receiver position and has 174 yards, a 12.4 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. Five of his 14 carries have been for at least 10 carries, including a 77-yarder against Georgia Tech.
Entering the Virginia game Hamilton ranks ninth in the nation and first 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 RushRec KOR PR 274 Terrence Flagler Wake Forest1986 209 65 – – 267 Tony Horne Florida State 1997 – 131 109 27 263Raymond Priester Duke 1995 263 – – – 260 Cliff Austin Duke 1982 260- – – 256 Derrick Hamilton Georgia Tech 2002 97 22 41 96 254 DonKing Fordham 1952 234 – 20 – 252 Ken Callicutt South Carolina 1974197 55 – – 248 Derrick Hamilton Florida State 2002 23 69 104 52 246Buck George Presbyterian 1952 204 42 – – 242 Ronald WilliamsVirginia 1991 185 57 – –
Hunt Needs 2 PATs for Career Record Aaron Hunt established a career best for field goals in a game with four in the win over Louisiana Tech. The junior from Tennessee was 4-4 in the game and scored 15 of Clemson’s 33 points. He became the first Clemson player to record four field goals in a game since 1998 when David Richardson had four in the season opener. Hunt’s day included a 47-yard field goal, second longest boot of his career.
Hunt had field goals of 47, 22, 37 and 38 yards, distances that total to 144 yards. That was the seventh most yards on made field goals in a single game in Clemson history.
Hunt was 10-12 last year on field goals and is now 7-10 this year. He ranks 24th in the nation in field gals per game entering the Virginia game. He is also fifth in the ACC in overall scoring with 7.6 points per game.
Hunt has already moved into the top 10 in Clemson history in scoring. The junior has 106 extra points and 27 field goals for 187 total points. He needs six points to move ahead of Fred Cone and Lester Brown to move into seventh place.
Hunt is also just two extra points from becoming Clemson’s career leader in that category, quite an accomplishment for a junior and a fact that gives testimony to Clemson’s offense under Tommy Bowden. Bob Paulling holds the record with 107 and Hunt’s 106 is second. Hunt is already just the second player in school history to reach 100 extra points in a career.
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. Bob Paulling PK1979-83 0 107-109 23-41 209 7. Lester Brown RB 1976-79 32 192 8.Fred Cone RB 1948-50 31 3-4 189 9. Aaron Hunt PK 2000-02 0 106-11027-38 187 10. Ray Matthews RB 1947-50 28 168 Terry Allen RB 1987-8928 168 Kenny Flowers FB 1983-86 28 168
Simmons Has made Weekly Improvement Clemson quarterback Willie Simmons has made improvement each week during the 2002 season. The chart below shows that his passing efficiency has improved each of the last four games, hitting a high of 163.8 at Florida State in the most recent game. He has completed at least 63 percent of his passes each of the last two weeks and at least 58 percent for four games in a row. He is 52 of his last 83 passes for 728 yards, an average of 242 yards per game over three contests.
He had his best all-around game as a Clemson quarterback at Florida State. Playing in front of his mother and 50 other friends, the native of Quincy, FL completed 17-27 passes for 293 yards and two scores. The yardage total was a career high, as was his 11 yards per attempt. Simmons also had a career high 50 yards rushing in 13 attempts, giving him 343 yards of total offense, the eighth highest single total in Clemson history. Only Woodrow Dantzler, Bobby Gage and Brandon Streeter have had higher figures for a single game.
Simmons set a school record for pass completions and attempts by an individual in a Clemson victory when Clemson defeated Louisiana Tech in the second game of the season. He completed 25-43 passes in that game for 242 yards. The Clemson team threw 44 passes in the game and it was just the second time Clemson had thrown 40 or more passes in a game and gained victory in the process. Clemson was 1-16 prior to the Louisiana Tech game when throwing at least 40 passes. The only other victory came at Wake Forest in 1999.
Simmons 25 completions against Louisiana Tech rank in a tie for fourth in Clemson history for a single game. The record is 27 set by Brandon Streeter against NC State in 1998 and at Virginia Tech in 1999. Simmons 43 attempts was tied for fifth highest, most ever in a Clemson victory. It was the most pass attempts by an individual without an interception in school history.
For the season, Simmons has completed 94-163 passes for 1064 yards and six scores. He is on pace to throw for over 2500 yards this season, something only Dantzler has done in Clemson history for a single season. Dantzler threw for 2578 last year, an average of 214 per game for a season. He has now completed 57.7 percent of his passes for the season and averages 212.8 yards per game threw the air.
Simmons is now fourth in the ACC in total offense and fourth in passing yards per game.
Willie Simmons Weekly Stats in 2002
Com-Att Yds TD-Int EffPct Rush Yds Plays Tot OffGeorgia 17-37 165 1-1 86.9 .459 8 -29 25 136 Louisiana Tech 25-43242 0-0 105.4 .581 6 -8 49 234 Georgia Tech 18-31 176 2-1 120.6.581 8 8 39 184 Ball State 17-25 188 1-1 136.4 .680 3 13 28 201Florida State 17-27 293 2-2 163.8 .630 13 50 40 343
Clemson Single Game Total Offense Bests
Rush Pass Player Site-OpponentYear 517 184 333 Woodrow Dantzler a-NC State (45-37) 2001435 185 252 Woodrow Dantzler a-Maryland (42-30) 1999 418 164 254Woodrow Dantzler a-Georgia Tech (47-44 OT) 2001 378 135 243 WoodrowDantzler H-Duke (59-31) 2001 374 141 233 Bobby Gage H-Auburn(34-18) 1947 374 220 154 Woodrow Dantzler A-Virginia (31-10) 2000366 23 343 Brandon Streeter H-Virginia (33-14) 1999 343 50 293Willie Simmons A-Florida State (31-48) 2002 337 51 286 NealonGreene a-Wake Forest (33-16) 1997 336 59 277 Woodrow DantzlerH-Florida State (27-41) 2001
Clemson Offense Making Weekly Improvement Clemson has averaged 359 yards per game so far this year, far below the 432 per game last year. But, the 2002 Tigers have shown improvement each week offensively, and we have the stats to back it up. A look to the chart below shows that first year starter, but graduate student Willie Simmons is becoming more and more confident in running the Clemson attack. Clemson has made improvement four games in a row in terms of total offense, passing efficiency and yards per play.
The Tigers recorded a season high 441 yards of total offense against Florida State thanks to a season high 334 yards passing. That passing yardage total was the fifth highest in Clemson history, the second best under Bowden. The record is 364 against Duke in 1963, and the best under Bowden is 343 against Virginia in 1999.
Clemson has also improved every week this season in passing efficiency. The team had a season best 173.8 figure against Florida State. Yards per play is a third area where Clemson has improved each week. Clemson averaged just 3.3 per game at Georgia, but had a 7.2 figure at Florida State, best ever for a Clemson team in a loss. This is the first time Clemson has improved its total offense total four straight weeks since 1983.
Clemson’s Game by Game Improvement
GA LT GT BS FSU TotalOffense 233 336 371 412 441 Passing Efficiency 86.9 106.6 120.6137.4 173.8 Yards/Play 3.3 4.3 5.2 6.1 7.2
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. Stephen Furr and 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.
Tigers Average 7.2 Yards/Play…And Lose Clemson gained 441 yards against Florida State in just 61 plays, an average of 7.23 yards per play. That was the highest yards per play average in Clemson history in a game the Tigers lost. The previous record was a 6.78 figure in a 28-25 loss to Maryland in 1959. In that game Clemson had 434 yards in 64 plays. Clemson had won 33 in a row when averaging at least 6.5 yards per play dating to the 1975 season when Clemson averaged 6.61 yards per play in a 25-21 loss to Duke.
How do you lose a game in which you averaged 7.2 yards per play on offense? Clemson struggled on special teams, losing a fumble on a punt return and a kickoff return, and dropping a perfect snap in punt formation. All gave Florida State scoring chances. Clemson had outscored the opposition 41-10 through the first four games in terms of points off turnovers, then was outscored 17-0 in that area at Florida State.
Elliott Making Big Contribution Walk-on senior Tony Elliott continues to make a big impact on the Clemson offense on a weekly basis. He is one of three Clemson receivers to catch at least one pass in every game this year and he actually has a six-game streak dating to last year’s Humanitarian Bowl against Louisiana Tech. For the season, Elliott has seven catches for 128 yards, fourth on the team in yardage and tied for fourth in catches.
He has made many big plays, and has four catches for at least 20 yards, second on the team behind J.J. McKelvey’s five. Elliott’s 18.3 yards per reception leads the team. He scored his first touchdown as a Tiger on a 44-yard touchdown reception against Georgia Tech, a key play in Clemson’s five-point victory.
Against Florida State he was at it again. A quarterback as a sophomore in high school at James Island High in Charleston, Elliott completed a 41-yard pass to McKelvey on an end-around play. It set up a Clemson field goal, giving Clemson a 17-14 lead at the time.
Elliott began his career at Air Force Prep School in Colorado, but transferred to Clemson in January of 1999. He has overcome much hardship. When he was nine years old his mother was killed in front of his eyes in an auto accident when their car was struck by a drunk driver.
Hall Over 100 Receiving Yards at Tight End Tight end Ben Hall had his top game as a Clemson player at Florida State with three catches for 69 yards. He did not score a touchdown, which he has done three times previously in his career, but the yardage total was a career high.
Hall now has eight catches for 112 yards this year, fourth on the team in receptions and fifth in yardage. The sophomore had eight catches for 79 yards and three scores all of last year. Hall is the first Clemson tight end to have over 100 yards receiving in a season since Pat Cyrgalis had 12-152 in 1999.
Clemson tight ends have been more involved in the offense since Brad Scott came to Clemson with Tommy Bowden in 1999. Clemson tight ends have caught eight touchdown passes the last four years (including one this year by Bobby Williamson). Clemson went nine years without a tight end catching a scoring pass between 1990-98.
Clemson does have a good tradition of tight ends. Bennie Cunningham was a two-time All-American in 1974-75 and was the only tight end named to the ACC’s 50-year Anniversary team. Jim Riggs was a two-time All-ACC player in 1985-86 and played in the Super Bowl with the Cincinnati Bengals. Lamont Hall is currently with the New Orleans Saints, his fifth year in the NFL after player for Clemson from 1994-97.
Defensive Linemen Getting Pressure One area of improvement for the Tigers and a reason Clemson has improved to 12th in the nation in total defense is the pressure Clemson is getting on the quarterback from the starting front four. The group of Nick Eason, Donnell Washington, Khaleed Vaughn and Bryant McNeal has recorded 11 of Clemson’s 15 sacks through five games. The foursome also has 28 quarterback pressures.
Last year Clemson had just 27 sacks and the starting front four linemen recorded just 15 sacks overall. The group was credited with 53 quarterback pressures for the 12 games in 2001. The pressure provided by the front four is a big reason the Tiger s are 11th in the nation in pass defense and 12th in total defense entering the Virginia game.
That pass defense and rush will be challenged this week when Clemson travels to Virginia. Virginia quarterback Matt Schaub is ranked fourth in the nation in passing efficiency with a 161.1 figure. Schaub is third in the ACC in total offense, second in passing efficiency and third in passing yards per game (219.8).
Last year vs. Virginia Virginia Cavaliers 26 Clemson Tigers 24
Billy McMullen made a leaping reception in the Clemson end zone with one second remaining to give Virginia a 26-24 upset victory in Death Valley on September 22nd. The Cavaliers’ win was their first over the Tigers since 1998.
Virginia managed to escape with a win despite a strong offensive performance from Woodrow Dantzler and the Tigers. The Clemson graduate completed 25 of 34 passes for 251 yards. His 25 completions were a new career high, breaking his previous mark of 23 that he set against NC State in 1999. His mark also fell just two completions short of the school record of 27, set by Brandon Streeter in 1999.
Clemson accumulated 29 first downs in the game, just the second time in school history that Clemson has had that many first downs yet lost the game. The Tigers gained 433 yards of total offense and controlled the clock for over 35 minutes, yet lost.
Dantzler helped ignite the Tiger offense in the first quarter, going 4-for-4 for 44 yards on a scoring drive capped off by Terrance Huey’s 16-yard “Panther Play” touchdown run that made the score 7-0 Clemson. Huey took a handoff through his legs from quarterback Woodrow Dantzler stood still for a split second, then raced the 16 yards for the score. It was not only his first career carry, it was his first career offensive play.
After Aaron Hunt kicked a 45-yard field goal with 14:09 remaining before half time to give Clemson a 10-0 lead, Virginia’s David Greene countered with two field goals of 30 and 31 yards. Capping off drives of 14 and 10 plays, respectively, Greene’s efforts cut Clemson’s lead to four at the half.
With Clemson’s defense reeling from injuries to Nick Eason (just five plays all day) and Eric Meekins, the Cavaliers jumped out to a 10-point lead behind two third-period touchdowns.. Quarterback Bryson Spinner’s 6-yard touchdown run following a Dantzler interception made the score 13-10, and Spinner’s 14-yard pass to McMullen with 8:24 remaining in the third quarter finished off an eight play, 52-yard drive that gave Virginia a 20-10 lead.
Clemson’s offense responded on its next two possessions. Dantzler led the way on a 16-play, 80-yard scoring drive as he completed 7-7 passes for 61 yards on the drive. His one-yard run cut the Virginia lead to 20-17. On the next possession following a Virginia punt, Dantzler would complete two more passes before scrambling for an 18-yard run down to the Virginia 13-yard line. Travis Zachery’s two-yard touchdown run capped off a seven play, 59-yard drive that gave Clemson a 24-20 lead.
When Clemson regained possession with 10:05 remaining, the re-juvenated offense seemed poised to put the Cavaliers out of reach. The Tigers were 3-3 on third-down conversions on the drive, but the march was abruptly stalled at the Virginia 31-yard line. Linebacker Almondo Curry’s sack of Dantzler forced a fumble that was recovered by defensive end Larry Simmons;
The Tiger defensive effort, led by Charles Hafley with 16 tackles and an interception, was able to contain the Cavaliers. A Donnell Washington sack was big in forcing Virginia to punt.
The Cavaliers pinned Clemson at their own four. After the Tigers went three and out, Virginia took over the ball at the Clemson 44 with 1:44 remaining. Billy McMullen (eight catches, 88 yards, 2 TD) caught three passes for 29 yards on the Cavalier drive, which included a 17-yard reception off a fullback option pass from Tyree Foreman. Three plays later McMullen made his catch with just one second left on the clock.
SEPT 22, 2001 AT CLEMSON, SC
Clemson 7 3 7 7 – 24 Virginia 0 6 14 6 – 26
Scoring Summary CU- Huey 16 run (Hunt kick), 1st, 0:39, 11-75 CU- Hunt 45 FG, 2nd, 11:43, 5-18 VA- Greene 30 FG, 2nd, 6:40, 14-65 VA- Greene 31 FG, 2nd, 0:54, 10-66 VA- Spinner 6 run (Greene kick), 3rd, 12:44, 4-33 VA- McMullen 14 pass from Spinner (Greene kick), 3rd, 8:24, 8-52 CU- Dantzler 1 run (Hunt kick), 3rd, 2:06, 17-80 CU- Zachery 2 run (Hunt kick), 4th, 12:36, 8-59 VA- McMullen 1 pass from Spinner (Schaub run failed), 4th, 0:01, 6-44
Team Statistics CU VA First Downs 29 19 Rushing 51-182 35-160 Passing 25-34-2 18-34-1 Passing Yards 251 227 Total Offense 85-433 69-387 Yard/Play 5.1 5.6 Return Yards 52 73 Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0 Total Turnovers 3 1 Penalties 8-81 11-80 Interceptions 1-2 2-26 Punt Returns 1-1 1-2 Kickoff Returns 4-51 4-71 Punting 3-30.7 4-46.2 3rd Down Conversions 5-13 3-13 Sacks by Defense 1-6 3-19 Time of Possession 35:09 24:51
Rushing (Att-Yds-TD) Clemson- Zachery 23-87-1, Dantzler 23-67-1, Huey 1-16-1, Rambert 3-9, Jasmin 1-3 Virginia- Harris 17-73, Foreman 10-58, Spinner 6-21-1, Schaub 1-10, Ward 1- (-2)
Passing (Com-Att-Yds-I-TD) Clemson- Dantzler 25-34-251-2-0 Virginia- Spinner 14-24-169-0-2, Schaub 3-9-41-1-0, Foreman 1-1-17-0-0
Receiving (Rec-Yds-TD) Clemson- Hamilton 9-90, McKelvey 5-41, Bailey 4-40, Robinson 3-36, Zachery 3-35, Rambert 1-9 Virginia- McMullen 8-88-2, Luzar 5-63, K.Luzar 2-33, McGrew 1-31, Anderson 1-8, Harris 1-4
Interceptions (No-Yds) Clemson- Hafley 1-2 Virginia- Newby 1-0, Crowell 1-26
Punt Returns (No-Yds) Clemson- Mance 1-1 Virginia- Pearman 1-2
Kickoff Returns (No-Yds) Clemson- Mance 3-61, Reames 1- (-10) Virginia- Pearman 3-54, Thomas 1-17
Clemson Defensive Leaders Tackles- Hafley 16, Leake 10, Williams, B., 9, Johnson 9, Meekins 7, Carson 7, Thomas 5, Bush 4, Washington 4, McNeal 4, Mance 4 Sacks- Washington 1-6 Tackles for Loss- Washington 1-6, Fountain 1-2, Leake 1-1
Clemson vs. Ball State, Don’t Blink Clemson and Ball State played their game on September 21 in just two hours and 33 minutes. That was the quickest Clemson football game since 1994 when Clemson defeated Furman 33-0 in just two hours and 28 minutes. The quickest Clemson game on record took just two hours and five minutes. That contest took place in 1977 when Clemson defeated Georgia in Athens, 7-6. That afternoon, a game that was not televised, the two teams combined to throw just 23 passes.
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
Running Game Key to Success under Bowden How important is the running game to Clemson under Tommy Bowden? The Tigers are 16-1 under Bowden when the Tigers rush for at least 200 yards. That stat was enhanced in the Ball State game when the Tigers gained 203 rushing in the victory over Ball State.Clemson has won 13 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 23-4 under Bowden when the Tigers win the rushing yardage stat. That includes a perfect 3-0 record this year. Clemson is also 14-3 under Bowden when it has a 100-yard rusher. Clemson is yet to have a 100-yard rusher this year, but has come close with Yusef Kelly gaining 97 and 99 yards rushing in two games this 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. In its 1025-game history, Clemson has a 39-0-1 record when it has at least 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing in the same game. The undefeated streak continued in Clemson’s most recent game when the Tigers had 209 passing and 203 rushing in the 30-7 win over Ball State.
That marked the 13th time in Tommy Bowden 41 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.
McKelvey/Youngblood One-two Receiving Punch Clemson receivers J.J. McKelvey and Kevin Youngblood have become quite a one-two punch among Clemson receivers so far this year. The tall duo has combined for 46 receptions in five games, nearly 10 catches per game, for 520 yards. Both players give quarterback Willie Simmons a big target, as McKelvey is 6-4 and Youngblood a 6-5 player.
Both have had career high performances of 10 catches in a game this year, the high reception total for an ACC player this year. 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. Both are in the top 10 in the ACC in receptions per game. Youngblood is among the top 30 in the nation on a per game basis.
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 added another 100-yard game at Florida State when he had 5-117 at Florida State. Thus, McKelvey has 15-240 yards over the last two games. He is the first Tiger to have consecutive 100-yard receiving games since Rod Gardner did it in 2000.
It is interesting to note that five of the 12 double figure reception games in Clemson history have come under Tommy Bowden.
Top Pass Reception Games in Clemson History
Yds Player Site-Opponent Year11 129 Phil Rogers A-North Carolina 1965 11 111 Rod GardnerH-Marshall 1999 10 123 J.J. McKelvey H-Ball State 2002 10 85 KevinYoungblood H-Louisiana Tech 2002 10 110 Tony Horne H-AppalachianState 1997 10 131 Tony Horne H-FloridaState 1997 10 148 Hank WalkerH-Auburn 1947 10 144 Charlie Waters H-Alabama 1969 10 124 PerryTuttle A-Wake Forest 1980 10 151 Perry Tuttle H-Maryland 1981 10122 Rod Gardner H-Duke 1999 10 137 Rod Gardner H-NC State 2000
Clemson with Five Appearances on ESPN The Clemson vs. Virginia game will be the fourth of at least five appearances for the Tigers on ESPN during the regular season. This will be the most live regular season appearances on ESPN for Clemson. Clemson’s season opener was also on the network, a 31-28 loss at Georgia. Clemson also played Georgia Tech on ESPN-2 in the season’s third game and also met Florida State on a Thursday night prime time game on October 3. The Virginia game on Saturday on ESPN-2 will be the fourth of the season and the NC State game on October 24th has already been selected.
If Clemson is chosen for another game in November it would have six appearances, the same number of times Notre Dame is shown each year on NBC.
Clemson has been on ESPN four times in a season in 1989, 1997 and 1999, but each of those seasons included a bowl game appearance on the world’s top sports network. Clemson was 4-0 in games on ESPN in 1989, 1-3 in 1997 and 0-4 in 1999.
Clemson is 14-23 in live broadcasts on ESPN over the years, but has won two of its last four. Clemson concluded the 2001 season with a win over Louisiana Tech in the Humanitarian Bowl, a game that was shown on ESPN. Clemson played 24 games on a tape-delayed basis on ESPN, all between 1979 and 1984. Clemson was 15-8-1 in those games. Thus, Clemson’s all-time record on ESPN is 29-31-1 lifetime. The Tigers have struggled in ESPN night games of late. The Tigers have won just four of their last 20 ESPN night games.
Clemson Veterans vs. Virginia *Altroy Bodrick (LB)-Has played just one game in his career against the Cavaliers, he missed the 1999 and 2001 games with injuries. He had two tackles in 14 snaps in the 2000 game at Charlottesville. *Nick Eason (DT)-Has played three games in his career against Virginia and has just two tackles. Played just five snaps last year as he missed most of the game with a sprained ankle, an injury he suffered on the fifth play of the game in 2001 at Clemson. *Mo Fountain (DT)-Played 12 snaps and had two tackles, including a tackle for loss for two yards against Virginia as a first-year freshman last year. *Derrick Hamilton (WR)-Had nine catches for 90 yards in 38 snaps as a starter against Virginia in 2001. The nine receptions were a career high and tied a Clemson record for receptions in a game by a freshman. *Leroy Hill (LB)-had three tackles in just eight plays against Virginia as a first-year freshman in 2001. *Aaron Hunt (PK)-Made 2-4 field goals and 7-7 extra points in two games against Virginia. Made a 19-yarder in the win in 2000 and a 45-yarder in the two-point loss in 2001. *Kevin Johnson (CB)-Had a career high nine tackles, including eight first hits in 70 snaps as a starter against Virginia in 2001. *John Leake (LB)-Had 10 tackles in 65 plays as a starter against Virginia in 2001. *Brian Mance (CB)-Has had exactly four tackles in each of the last two games against Virginia. Also had 61 yards in kickoff returns against the Cavs last year. *J.J. McKelvey (WR)-Had five catches for 41 yards in 65 plays as a starter against Virginia in 2001. It is McKelvey’s career high in terms of snaps for one game. *Bryant McNeal (DE)-Has played in three games against Virginia and has seven total tackles. Had four stops and three quarterback pressures last year, he had three tackles as a reserve in the 2000 game in Charlottesville. *Eric Meekins (DB)-Had seven tackles in just 29 plays as a starter in last year’s game in Clemson against Virginia. *Bernard Rambert (RB)-Has played in two games against Virginia and has 11-37 on the ground. *Jackie Robinson (WR)-Had 30-yard scoring reception at Virginia in 2000, one of his three career TDs. Had 3-36 last year at Clemson. *Willie Simmons (QB)-Has dressed for three games against Virginia, but has never appeared in a game against the Cavaliers. *Rodney Thomas (LB)-Had five tackles in 60 plays against Virginia in 2001. *Khaleed Vaughn (DE)-Has played in two games against Virginia and has three tackles, including a sack at Charlottesville in 2000. *Donnell Washington (DT)-Had four tackles, including a six-yard sack in 61 snaps against Virginia in 2001.
Returning Red-shirts Have Made a Difference Three players who have had a positive impact on Clemson’s 2002 season are Yusef Kelly and 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 312 net yards, an average of 62.5 yards per game. He has nine of Clemson’s 26 rushes of 10 yards or more this season. He leads the team in touchdowns with seven and is first in scoring with 42 points. Kelly sat out last year to red-shirt and was not injured.
Youngblood is the team’s top receiver with 24 catches for 200 yards and a score. He is among the ACC’s top receivers with 4.8 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 five games so far this year at the roverback position, a hybrid free safety and linebacker. He has 23 tackles to eighth on the team and also has two tackles for loss, a sack and a fumble recovery. Bodrick missed all of last year with a torn ACL.
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 21 tackles, including a sack in his 291 snaps from scrimmage. He had nine of those tackles in the opener at Georgia, the second highest total for the Tigers in that game.
Eason Remains in the Lineup Nick Eason had a lot to do with Clemson’s victory over Georgia Tech. The graduate student had two sacks in the victory. He was a big reason Tech quarterback A.J. Suggs had -50 yards rushing in the game. Eason had six tackles and two quarterback pressures.
It marked the first time in Eason’s career that he had two sacks in the same game. He now has 26 career tackles for loss, first among active Clemson players. Clemson’s defense had five sacks against Georgia Tech and continually forced pressure on A.J. Suggs. Clemson allowed just 303 yards of total offense and the Tigers now allow 281 yards per game for the season.
Eason was injured late in the Ball State game with a knee sprain. However, he returned thanks to an open date week and had four tackles and a sack against Florida State. He now has four sacks for the season, tied for the high total on the Clemson team.
Miller Shows All-Around Abilities Freshman defensive back Justin Miller had a reception and an interception against Louisiana Tech, an example of his fine all-around abilities. The first-year player had a nine-yard reception in the first half and an interception in the endzone at a key juncture of the second half to thwart a Bulldog drive. He was named ACC Rookie of the Week for his performance against the Bulldogs.
It marked the first time since 1964 that a Clemson player had an interception and a reception in the same game. Pat Crain was the last to do it as he had a 15-yard interception return and a reception against Virginia on Halloween of 1964. It should be noted that players went both ways in those days, so Miller was the first to do it in the two-platoon era. Miller also had three tackles in the game and played 29 snaps. With the season ending injury to starter Toure Francis, Miller will get a lot of action this season.
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).
Miller is tied for the team lead in interceptions with two and has 24 return yards in the process. He has 16 tackles for the year, including a five on special teams, tied for second on the team. He has had at least one pass defensed in four straight games.
Kelly Leads Ground Game Yusef Kelly (formerly Keith Kelly his first two years at Clemson) had a career high 99 yards rushing in the win over Ball State. He has now led Clemson in rushing three of the last four games. He had 25 attempts for 97 yards and three touchdowns in the win over Louisiana Tech. Kelly now has seven touchdowns for the year to exceed his previous career high and ranks 38th in the nation in scoring.
Kelly’s 97 yards against Louisiana Tech broke his previous career high of 93 yards against Wake Forest in 2000. He then broke that mark against Ball State. Kelly sat out last year as a red-shirt. He got his chance in the lineup when Bernard Rambert was in street clothes due tendonitis in a foot. He added 20 carries for 89 yards last week in the win over Georgia Tech. He showed his durability as 57 of his 89 yards came in the fourth quarter of that key ACC win.
Leake Ranked 9th in Nation in Tackles The top returning tackler on the Clemson defense is junior John Leake and he has led the team so far this year with 61 tackles. In the first round of NCAA defensive stats, Leake was ninth in the nation on a per game basis.
He has had at least 10 tackles in four of the five games this year, including 17 in the win over Louisiana Tech. The native of Plano, TX had 134 tackles last year, an increase of 125 stops over his freshman year. Leake never played a snap on defense as a freshman, then played 687 last year when he ranked second for the course of the season behind the now graduated Chad Carson.
Leake is ranked 23rd in the nation among linebackers by The Sporting News in its preseason publication. He ranked 11th in the ACC in tackles per game last year and led the team in tackles in five of the 12 games. He had a season high 19 tackles in the win over Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
Leake has football in his blood. His father played for Wyoming as a wide receiver in the 1960s. He opened the 2002 season with a strong game, as he had eight tackles to rank second on the team. He also led the team with a pair of tackles for loss and had much to do with Clemson’s ability to hold Georgia to but 203 yards of total offense.
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 1400 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.
Byrd leads a young offensive line. Each of the other four offensive line starters are in their first year as starters. Byrd has 19 career starts and the other four offensive linemen have combed for 17. Byrd and Greg Walker are the only Tigers to start every game this year.
Clemson Offensive Line Experience
2002 Career Player YearGP-GS GP-GS Gary Byrd, OT Grad 5-5 30-19 Greg Walker,OG Jr. 5-5 29-5 Jermyn Chester, C Jr. 5-4 12-5 William Henry, OTGrad 4-3 9-3 Cedric Johnson, OG So. 4-4 15-4 Tommy Sharpe, C Jr.5-1 5-1 Mark Jetton, OG Fr. 1-0 1-0 Chip Myrick, OG Fr. 1-0 1-0Vontrell Jamison, OT So. 1-0 1-0 *Nick Black, 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 416 Yards, 30.6 Points Under Bowden Clemson has a 25-16 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 416.5 yards per game in total offense.
Clemson has gained an average of 183 rushing and 233 passing over the 41 games. In an average game under Bowden the Tigers have averaged 30.6 points a game and scored four touchdowns. On average, the Tigers run the ball 44 times and throw it 32 times under Bowden. Clemson has scored 164 touchdowns in the 41 games, exactly four per game. Twenty-three of the 41 games Clemson has had at least 400 yards of total offense.
Clemson Offense in the Tommy Bowden Era (Figures are for 41 games)
Per Game Points 1253 30.6 Touchdowns 164 4.0First Downs 914 22.3 Rushing Attempts 1788 43.6 Rushing Yards 7487182.6 Pass Attempts 1327 32.4 Pass Completions 758 18.4 PassingYards 9589 233.9 Completion % .571 .571 Plays 3115 76.0 TotalOffense 17,076 416.5 Record 25-16 .610
Clemson’s Defense, You Gotta Lovett Clemson is most improved when it comes to defense. The Tigers are ranked first in the ACC in total defense, allowing just 281 yards per game, and that figure ranks 12th in the nation. Clemson has allowed just 156.6 yards per game passing, 11th best in the nation. Last year Clemson ranked 71st in the nation in total defense and 66th in pass defense. Clemson is 37th in rushing defense, up from 69th in the nation last year.
While Clemson gave up 48 points to Florida State and 31 to Georgia, mistakes on special teams had a lot to do with those totals. Each team scored against Clemson on a kickoff return and six of the eight touchdown drives the opposition took over in Clemson territory. In 11 possessions in which Georgia and Florida State took over at their own 40 or worse, they combined to drive for a touchdown just twice, once by each team. One other drive (Florida State) the opposition drove for a field goal.
Clemson allowed just 293 yards of total offense to the Louisiana Tech, the second straight game the opposition failed to reach the 300-yard mark. Clemson had allowed the opposition at least 300 yards in 17 straight games heading into the 2002 season.
Clemson has now given up just 1405 yards of total offense in five games, an average of 281 yards per game. Clemson allowed 395 yards a game last year, so it is easy to see the 281 figure for the first five games this year is considerably better. Clemson has allowed just 4.3 yards per play, much improved from the 5.3 allowed per play a year ago.
Many of the times the opposition has scored it has been the result of difficult field position after a turnover or a long kick return. Over the first five games the opposition has taken possession of the ball at their own 38 or worse 41 times. They have driven for a touchdown just five times in those 41 possessions. The defense had a streak of 18 straight possessions without yielding a touchdown in that situation broken in the Georgia Tech game.
What is especially encouraging to Clemson coaches is that Clemson has achieved these numbers against teams that are solid on offense. Georgia has eight offensive starters returning from a team that averaged 432 yards a game last year, but got just 203 yards against Clemson. Louisiana Tech averaged over 400 yards and 30 points a game last year, but got just 13 points and 293 yards against Clemson. Florida State ranks first in the ACC in total offense and is in the top 20 in the nation.
Clemson Defense Comparison
2001 Avg. 2002 First Downs/Game Allowed 21.916.6 Total Yards/Game Allowed 394.9 281.0 Rushing Yards/GameAllowed 154.3 124.4 Passing Yards/Game Allowed 240.6 156.6Yards/Play Allowed 5.3 4.3 Yards/Reception Allowed 13.4 9.5Yards/rush Allowed 3.8 3.4 Turnovers Forced 1.58 2.6
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 194-105-6 in conference play for its previous 49 seasons plus two games, a winning percentage of .647. Clemson’s 194 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 168, while NC State is fourth at 166. 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.
Losing First Game Not Always a Bad Sign Clemson lost its season opener at Georgia on August 31, but losing the opener is not always a bad sign for the Tigers. In fact, the last five times Clemson has lost its season opener, the Tigers have gone on to a bowl game or won at least nine games. Clemson has won two in a row since losing the season opener.
In 1999, Tommy Bowden first year, Clemson lost the opener to Marshall, but finished with a 6-6 record and a Peach Bowl bid. That Clemson team played the 10th toughest schedule in the nation that year and four of the six losses were to teams who finished the year ranked in the top 15 in the nation.
Clemson lost the season opener to North Carolina in 1996, 45-0, but came back to finish 7-4 in the regular season and played in the Peach Bowl. Clemson lost the opener at home in 1986 to Virginia Tech, then lost just one more game the rest of the year on the way to a Gator Bowl bid and a top 20 season.
The Tigers lost the opener of 1982 at Georgia, 13-7, then went the rest of the year without a loss, finishing 9-1-1. Clemson was on probation that year and could not go to a bowl. The 1977 team lost the opener to 10th ranked Maryland, then finished 8-4 with its first bowl bid in 18 years.
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, Jason Holloman, Freddie James, Mal Lawyer, John McDermott, Harold Means, Theo Mougros, Ryan Romano, Sean Sullivan, Justin Watts, Terry Witherspoon and 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
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
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 Totals15 30 81
*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, Chad Jasmin and 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 8Duke 12 8 Iowa State 13 8 Missouri 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 12 9 Alabama 12 9 Duke 12 9Florida 12 9
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
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