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Clemson vs. Virginia Game Notes

Clemson vs. Virginia Game Notes

Sept. 17, 2001

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Game Three: Clemson vs. Virginia

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2001 5:45 PM (EST) Clemson Memorial Stadium (81,474) Clemson, SC

In the Rankings Clemson – #19 AP, #18 USA Today/ESPN Virginia – Unranked

Television: ESPN2Play By Play: Mark Jones * Color: Bill CurrySideline: Dr. Jerry Punch

Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports NetworkPlay By Play: Jim Phillips * Color: Mike EppleySideline: Rodney Williams

Series History: Clemson leads 34-5-1Tickets: $25, Available

Clemson Holds 34-5-1 Lead in Series Clemson holds a commanding 34-5-1 lead in the series with Virginia, but Virginia held the lead in the series 5-4-1 in the decade of the 1990s. The Cavaliers gained their first victory in the series in1990, by a 20-7 score in Charlottesville. Clemson had won 29 straight games in the series dating back to 1955. Ironically, Clemson’s first win in the series in 1955 was also by a 20-7 score.

Virginia has been a team that has gotten off to a great start in recent years and you can see that in the series with Clemson. Virginia was 4-1 in the month of September against Clemson in the 1990s, but just 1-3-1 in October and November against Clemson in the 1990s. Overall, Clemson is 24-1-1 against Virginia in October and November combined, but just 10-4 in September games against the Cavs. That includes last year’s victory.

Clemson has an 18-2-1 record against Virginia in Death Valley over the years and a 16-3 record at Virginia. The only tie took place in 1991, a 20-20 score in Clemson. Clemson has won both games against the Cavaliers under Tommy Bowden, a 33-14 win in 1999, his first win at Clemson, and a 31-10 victory at Charlottesville, VA last year.

Some of Clemson’s greatest comebacks in history have taken place against the Cavaliers. The top comeback came during Clemson’s 29-28 victory at Virginia in 1992. The Tigers were down 28-0, then scored the last 29 points of the game to record the greatest comeback in ACC history in a game involving two ACC teams. Clemson also overcame a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter in the 1980 Tiger victory, and a 17-point deficit in 1966, a 40-35 Clemson victory. For more on the Clemson-Virginia series, see the story on pages 14-15.

Last year vs. Virginia Facing his team’s toughest test of the season, Woodrow Dantzler responded with a performance that launched him into contention for the Heisman Trophy in Clemson’s 31-10 win at Virginia last year. The junior rushed for 220 yards and passed for 154, leading his team victory. The win moved Clemson to #7 in the AP poll.

Dantzler’s 220 rushing yards set an ACC record for a quarterback. The victory did not come as easily for Clemson as they had in previous weeks. The Tigers overcame four turnovers to come away with the win. Clemson never held a lead in the first quarter. The Cavaliers took over after a Clemson fumble at the Tiger three-yard line. Antoine Womack scored on a three-yard run to give Virginia a 7-0 lead. Womack ran for 80 yards in the game.

The Tigers pushed deep into Virginia territory on the ensuing drive. Tommy Bowden called for a fake field goal on a fourth-and-two situation to sustain the drive. Holder Jeff Scott received the snap and ran nine yards to the eight-yard line. Clemson settled for a 19-yard field goal by Aaron Hunt.

Virginia matched the Tigrs’ effort with an impressive drive. Dan Ellis passed to Billy McMullen for a 37-yard gain. A Clemson off-sides penalty put the Cavaliers at the Tigers’ 36-yard line. David Greene hit a 38-yard field goal to give the Cavaliers a 10-3 lead.

Virginia was forced to punt on its next drive. Joe Don Reames’ return would prove to be the most crucial play of the game. Reames took the Virginia punt 69 yards for a game-tying touchdown. The play was the first punt return for a touchdown in the Tommy Bowden era.

Later in the period, Travis Zachery got loose for a 21-yard run to the Cavalier 32 yard line. Dantzler finished the drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Jackie Robinson with 9:40 remaining in the second period. The score remained 17-10 at halftime.

Clemson started to pull away on its first possession of the second half. Dantzler eluded Cavalier defenders for 75-yards in a spectacular touchdown run, tied for the longest ever by a Clemson quarterback. Dantzer later displayed the same brilliance on another touchdown rush. His 45-yard touchdown made the score 31-10.

The Tiger defense was effective in keeping Virginia from capitalizing on four potentially costly Clemson turnovers. Virginia was shut out in the second half. The only Virginia touchdown followed the Tiger fumble on the Clemson three-yard line.

Clemson was led defensively by Keith Adams. The junior registered 13 tackles. Adams also had two tackles for a loss of 13 yards. Charles Hafley had 12 tackles and Chad Carson added 10. Darrel Crutchfield had his best game as a Tiger. Crutchfield, who tore his ACL against Florida State the previous year, recorded seven tackles and four passes broken up. He was a big reason Clemson moved up to first in the nation in pass efficiency defense after the game.

Virginia Update Virginia enters today’s game with a 1-1 record. It will be the Cavaliers first game since Sept. 1 when they defeated Richmond. Virginia was to play Penn State on Thursday, Sept. 13, but the game was postponed, as all ACC games were, due to the tragedy that took place in New York and Washington, DC on Sept. 11. It is the first of two consecutive games in which the opposition will have three weeks to prepare for the Tigers. Georgia Tech will go from Sept. 8 until Sept. 29 without a game.

Clemson of course has not played since Sept. 8, a 38-14 win over Wofford, so both teams are well rested heading into today’s game that will be shown on national TV by ESPN2.

Virginia is coached by Al Groh, a 1967 Virginia graduate who is one of four ACC coaches in their first year at the school. However, this is not Groh’s first year as an ACC coach. He was the head coach at Wake Forest from 1981-86, so he has experience coming to Death Valley.

Groh has extensive background in coaching. He began his college coaching career in 1968 as the freshman coach at Army. He became the freshman coach at Virginia in 1970, then became a fulltime coach in 1971. He also has assistant coaching experience at North Carolina (1973-77), Air Force (178-79), Texas Tech (1980) and South Carolina (1988).

He also has NFL experience, serving as an assistant with the Atlanta Falcons (1987), New York Giants (1989-91, Cleveland Browns (1992), New England Patriots (1993-96) and New York Jets (1997-99). He was head coach with the Jets in 2000, posting a 9-7 record.

Groh has had teams that boasted outstanding offenses over the years. That was seen at the NFL level last year with the Jets. His offense gained over 500 yards of total offense against the World Champion and record-setting Baltimore Ravens late in the season, more than any other NFL team. Groh has some outstanding offensive players on his Cavaliers team this year.

Arlen Harris is a junior running back who is third in the ACC in rushing with 89 yards per game. He ran for 99 yards in 24 attempts in his first career start against Richmond. Sophomore quarterback Bryson Spinner is fifth in the ACC in total offense and has a 129 passing efficiency rating, very close to the 134 that Woodrow Dantzler has recorded for the Tigers this year. His favorite target is Billy McMullen, who just might be the best wide receiver in the league. He is currently tied for the league lead in receptions and averages 75 receiving yards per game.

Virginia always has a top-flight defense. Groh was defensive coordinator of the Giants and Patriots in his NFL days. Angelo Crowell, a junior, is the top tackler on the team with 24 tackles, including two sacks, to lead the Virginia point prevention unit. John Duckett is second on the club with 15 tackles, while senior Darryl Sanders has 13 in two games. Virginia has allowed just five of 28 third down conversions, the best third-down conversion defense in the ACC.

Fifteen Graduates to Play in Clemson vs. Virginia Game Clemson has seven graduate students slated to hold starting positions for the Virginia game. Virginia has eight active players on its roster who already have degrees, meaning 15 players will be on the field in Death Valley who already have earned an undergraduate degree. The total for Clemson is a school record for a single team. The list is led by Heisman Trophy candidate Woodrow Dantzler, who received his degree in marketing from Clemson in August. Dantzler hugged Clemson President Jim Barker when he was presented his diploma on the stage at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Starting defensive back Charles Hafley and starting defensive tackle Nick Eason both earned their degrees in sociology that same day. Eason’s graduation was especially impressive because he still has two years of eligibility. He earned the degree in three years and three summer sessions and plans to earn a Master’s before his eligibility is up. He is the first Clemson football player to earn an undergraduate degree with two years of eligibility remaining.

Four other Clemson players received their degrees prior to this past August, and all four of them are starters on offense. Kyle Young, starting center, and T.J. Watkins, starting guard, earned their degrees in May. Young graduated Summa Cum Laude and is a two-time first-team Academic All-American. Wide receiver Matt Bailey also received his degree that day. Starting offensive guard Will Merritt received his degree in December of 2000, just a few days prior to the Gator Bowl.

Tigers Seek 3-0 Start As we noted in the Wofford program, Clemson has been 2-0 in a season just nine times in the last 31 years. Clemson has a 12-18-1 record in the second game of the season since 1970, and that includes wins in the second game of the year four of the last six years.

That said, it is obviously rare for the Tigers to jump out to a 3-0 start, certainly the team’s goal heading into the Virginia game. Clemson has been 3-0 or better to open a season just five times since 1961. Clemson was 12-0 in 1981, 6-0 to open 1987, 4-0 to open 1989, 3-0 to open 1991 and 8-0 to open last year.

Dantzler Nearing 4,000-2,000 Mark Clemson quarterback Woodrow Dantzler enters the Virginia game with 1,712 yards rushing and 3,635 yards passing in regular season games in his Clemson career. He needs 288 yards rushing and 365 passing to become the first ACC player in history to reach 2,000 yards rushing and 4,000 yards passing in a career. ACC statistics do not include bowl games, thus the above qualifier. Including bowl games, Dantzler has 1,801 rushing and 3,820 passing in his four-year career.

So far this season, Dantzler has 101 yards rushing and 361 passing for 462 total, an average of 231 yards per game in total offense. He ranks second in the conference in total offense per game in the top 35 in the nation.

Dantzler is coming close to an ACC record. As listed above, he has 1,712 career rushing yards in regular season play, just 228 away from Mike Dunn’s ACC record for career rushing yards by a quarterback. Dunn, a senior in 1978, had 1,939 rushing yards for the Blue Devils in his career. Dunn is also the last ACC player (1976) to lead his team in rushing and passing in the same regular season. Dantzler currently leads the Tigers in both areas. He led the Tigers in both areas including bowl games last year.

Dantzler became Clemson’s career rushing leader among quarterbacks in the season opener against Central Florida when he gained 46 yards rushing. That put him ahead of Steve Fuller’s 1,737 total. Dantzler now has 1,801 (including bowl games).

The graduate student has connected on 65.5 percent of his passes this year, a record pace, and is now at 56.7 percent for his career, second best in school history. He needs just four touchdowns rushing or passing to break Steve Fuller’s touchdown responsibility record (44). He has improved to third in school history in passing efficiency and is also in the top five in total offense, passing yards and completions.

Dantzler on Clemson career Records Lists Rank (Figure) Left for Record

1st in quarterback rushing (1801) has record 2nd in completionpercentage (.567) .569 3rd in touchdown responsibility (41) 4 TDs3rd in total offense (5621) 1165 yards 3rd in passing efficiency(128.0) 131.3 rating 4th in interception avoidance (2.7%) 2.55% 4thin total plays (918) 240 plays 5th in completions (293) 165completions 5th in passing yards (3820) 1900 yards 6th in touchdownpasses (23)13 TD passes

Clemson Records Held by Dantzler

Total offense in a season-2899 (2000) Most total offense in agame-435 vs. Maryland, 1999 Yards rushing by a quarterback inseason-1028 (2000) Yards rushing by a quarterback in a game-220 vs.Virginia, 2000 Yards rushing by a quarterback in a career-1801100-yard rushing games in season by a quarterback-4 (2000) 100-yardrushing games by quarterback in career-6 Most yards rushing inseries of 3 games-520 (2000) Most yards rushing in series of 4games-623 (2000) Most total offense/game in season-241.6 (2000)Most total offense/game in career-191.1 Most 200-yard total offensegames in season-9 (2000) Most 300-yard total offense games incareer-6 Most 100-yard rushing, 300-yard total offense games in aseason-4 (2000) Most 100-yard rushing, 300-yard total offense gamesin a career-6 Most touchdowns rushing and passing in a season-24(2000) Single game pass completion percentage-.941 vs. The Citadel,2000 Single game passing efficiency (Min 15 att.)-247.2 vs. TheCitadel, 2000 Most total offense plays in season-434 (2000)

Zachery also Nearing ACC Record Travis Zachery is the greatest receiving running back in Clemson history. He has 69 career receptions, 67 in regular season play. The ACC record for career receptions by a running back (regular season only) is 73 by Roger Boone of Duke. He played with the Blue Devils from 1987-89.

Zachery continues to be one of Clemson’s top all-purpose players ever. The senior from Marietta, GA leads the team in receptions with nine and is tied with Woodrow Dantzler for the team lead in rushing with 101 yards. Zachery has 69 career receptions including bowl games. The previous Clemson record was 45 by Raymond Priester and Ray Yauger. So, if Zachery continues at his current pace, he will have twice as many receptions as any other running back in Clemson history by the time his career ends.

Mance In top 10 in Punt and Kickoff Returns Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden said during the preseason that he thought he would have the best special teams since he has been the head coach of the Tigers. That is proving to be a correct prediction, and the leader of the special teams production has been cornerback Brian Mance.

Mance has been a terror for opposing special teams coaches through the first two weeks of the season. His production is reflected in the first round of NCAA Statistics released Sept. 9. The junior was ranked fourth in the nation in kickoff returns with a 35.2-yard average on five returns, and ninth in punt returns with a 16.7-yard average on six returns. He has 176 yards on kickoff returns and an even 100 on punt returns for a total of 276 yards on 11 total returns, 25.1 return yards every time he has touched the ball.

Mance is the only player in the nation to rank in the top 10 in the country in both categories, making him king of return men in the nation. No Clemson player has ever finished the year ranked in the top 10 in the nation in both return categories. However, one other player, Antwuan Wyatt, ranked in the top 15 in both categories in 1995. That season Wyatt averaged 25.0 on kickoff returns to average 12th in the nation, and his 12.3-yard average on punt returns ranked 15th.

Mance had flashes of brilliance in the return game as a sophomore, so his production this year is really no surprise. Last year he had six kickoff returns for a 26-yard average, and had a Clemson record 32-yard average on six punt returns in 2000. That punt return total included an 88-yard return in Death Valley against Georgia Tech, fifth longest punt return by a Tiger in history.

Mance is off to quite a start overall. He was the ACC Defensive Back of the Week in the first game of the season when he had 10 tackles and a pass broken up against Central Florida. He was then chosen ACC Specialist of the Week for his performance against Wofford.

Mance is a prime reason Clemson ranked fifth in the nation in kickoff returns as a team and 10th in punt returns through games of Sept. 8. The Tigers are also 15th in the nation in net punting, a ranking that can be directly attributed to the fine performance from Wynn Kopp. The transfer from Georgia has a 43.7 average, but does not rank in the national stats because he doesn’t have enough attempts (only seven in two games, a punter must average 3.6 punt attempts per game to qualify). His net punting average is over 40 yards a boot, something no Clemson player has done since 1984 (Dale Hatcher).

Clemson has also been perfect on placekicking, as Aaron Hunt is 1-1 on field goals and 8-8 on PATs. His 43-yarder against Wofford was a career long. Clemson has also been outstanding on kick coverage. Clemson opponents have just 19 total punt return yards, 6.3 a return, and the opposition has averaged just 16.8 yards per kickoff return.

Big Day for Clemson Big Macs Saturday’s win over Wofford was a big day for Clemson wide receiver J.J. McKelvey and defensive end Bryant McNeal. Both had a direct impact on Clemson’s 38-14 victory with career best performances. In fact, both players went from zero in their prime stat category in the first game to leading the Tigers in the second.

McKelvey had eight receptions for 73 yards and two scores in the victory over the Terriers. That included six catches in the second period alone. McKelvey did not have a reception in the first game, then had the eight against Wofford. In fact, he had just three career receptions for 90 yards in his career entering that contest. He is now ranked in the top 10 in the ACC in receiving and is second to Travis Zachery for the season. McKelvey joined Rod Gardner as the only Clemson receivers to catch two touchdown passes in a game under Tommy Bowden.

McNeal did not have a tackle in the season opener against Central Florida. He had six in the Wofford game, including four tackles for loss, the top total for the Tigers against Wofford. That included two sacks and a caused fumble. McNeal had just nine career tackles for loss entering the Wofford game, then had four in that game. He joined Keith Adams as the only Tigers to have at least four tackles for loss in a game under Tommy Bowden. He was the first defensive lineman to have four tackles for loss in a game since Adrian Dingle had four against Furman in the 1998 season opener.

Carson, Leake top Clemson Tacklers Chad Carson and John Leake are becoming quite a one-two punch on Clemson’s second line of defense. Against Wofford’s run oriented attack last week numbers 45 and 46 combined for 34 tackles. Carson had 18 and Leake picked up a career high 16. Both players now have 25 for the season.

For Carson the 18 tackles against Wofford tied for his second highest single game total as a Tiger. The only game that is higher is the 22-tackle performance he had against Georgia Tech at Death Valley last year. That is an ironic fact in itself considering that Carson’s father played for Georgia Tech.

Carson now has 336 tackles for his career, ninth best in school history. He needs just three against Duke to move past Tim Jones into number-eight. If he averages 10 tackles a game over the rest of the season he will finish his career ranked fourth in Clemson history, trailing only Bubba Brown, Anthony Simmons and Jeff Davis. That is impressive company.

Leake has a long way to go to catch Carson, but he is taking a similar path. Carson had just 11 tackles his freshman year as a reserve linebacker in 1998. Leake had nine as a reserve last year. Carson made the starting lineup as a sophomore in 1999 and had 27 tackles in his first two games. Leake has entered the starting lineup as a sophomore and has 25 tackles through his first two games.

Clemson Career Tackle Leaders
Rk Player Pos Years No
1. Bubba Brown LB 1976-79 515
2. Anthony Simmons LB 1995-97 486
3. Jeff Davis LB 1978-81 469
4. Ed McDaniel LB 1988-91 489
5. Randy Scott LB 1975-78 382
6. Keith Adams LB 1998-00 379
7. Robert Carswell FS 1997-00 374
8. Tim Jones LB 1991-94 338
9. Chad Carson LB 1998-01 318
10. Henry Walls LB 1983-85 336
11. Jim Stuckey DT 1976-79 314
12. Doug Brewster LB 1987-90 312

West Puts in Extra Effort Some Clemson fans might have seen a strange sight during post-game traffic of Clemson’s 21-13 win over Central Florida on September 1. Some fans caught in the traffic on College Avenue might have noted Assistant Coach Ron West riding a green bicycle, beating the considerable traffic as the result of a crowd of 79,500 people. West borrowed the bike owned by one of his players, offensive lineman Nick DiPrimio to get across Route 123 in a timely fashion. The reason for his haste? West was in a hurry to get to Boone, NC to see his son, Brad, play for Appalachian State in its season opening game against Liberty.

The use of the bike enabled West to save considerable time. He then took a back route to Boone and he arrived with eight minutes to go in the half. His son, a freshman, did not play in the game, but it certainly meant a lot to Brad to have his father at his first college football game.

West is one of three Clemson assistant coaches with a son who plays college football. Offensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach Brad Scott is the father of Clemson wide receiver Jeff Scott. The younger Scott scored a touchdown on a 22-yard run in the first game of the season against UCF, the eventual game winner. He had a reception for five yards against Wofford. Jack Hines’ son Robert is the starting quarterback at Tennessee-Martin.

Tigers Only Division I Team With Two Academic All-Americans Clemson is the only school in the nation with two returning first-team Academic All-Americans on its roster. Linebacker Chad Carson and center Kyle Young were both named first-team Academic All-Americans in 2000. That was the first time in Clemson history the Tigers had two first-team selections in the same year.

Carson is a senior with a 3.94 career GPA in biological sciences and is pursuing a Rhodes Scholarship. He led the Tigers in tackles last year and ranked fourth in the nation. Young led the Tigers in knockdown blocks last year with 120. He graduated from Clemson with a 3.97 career GPA last year and is now taking postgraduate courses. He was also a first-team Academic All-American in 1999 and is trying to become just the second ACC player in history to be a three time first-team selection. Mike Diminick, who played for Duke in the 1980s, is the only other ACC player to be a three-time first-team selection.

Merritt Leads Offensive Line vs. Wofford Clemson gained 200 yards rushing and 286 passing in the win over Wofford last week. The offensive line showed improvement over the season opener when the Tigers failed to reach the 300-yard total offense mark.

Will Merritt was average in the opener, but led the line against Wofford. The graduate student from Easley, SC, who is on the preseason Football Writers All-America list graded 89 percent and had 17 knockdown blocks. It was the second highest knockdown block total of Merritt’s career. He had 21 in the win over N.C. State in 2000. Tommy Bowden after the game on Sunday. Smith, making his first start since 1999, had a blocking grade of 84 from Clemson coaches.

Young Named to Rimington and Outland Watch List Clemson center Kyle Young has been named one of 21 centers to he preseason Dave Rimington Award Watch List and one of 26 candidates for the Outland Trophy. The announcement about the Rimington Award was made in New York by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, the sponsor of the award. The award, which goes to the top center in college football, is named after former Nebraska All-American Dave Rimington. It will be presented Dec. 15 in Lincoln, NE.

Young was one of three finalists for the award last year, which was won by Nebraska’s Dominic Raiola, who is now with the Detroit Lions. Young and Maryland center Melvin Fowler were the only ACC players among the 21 preseason candidates.

Young is now on the preseason list for three major awards. In addition to the Outland Trophy (picked by the Football Writers Association), Young is also a preseason candidate for the Lombardi Award.

Young, a native of Clemson, is in his third year as a starter for the Tigers. He was named a second-team All-American by Football News last season and was a third-team All-American by The Sporting News. He has been a first-team Academic All-American each of the last two years and will attempt to become just the second offensive lineman in college football history to be a three-time first-team selection.

Clemson 34-0-1 With 200 Yards Passing and Rushing Clemson gained 200 yards rushing and 286 yards passing in the win over Wofford last Saturday, the eighth time under Tommy Bowden Clemson has had at least 200 yards of each in the same game. Clemson is 8-0 in those games under Bowden and now 34-0-1 in history when gaining at least 200 of each. Clemson first turned the trick against Wake Forest in 1953.

The program had just 28 such games in the first 103 years of Clemson football prior to Bowden’s arrival and now has had eight in the 26 games he has been head coach of the Tigers. The streak was nearly snapped last year at Georgia Tech in 1999. Clemson had 231 yards rushing and 197 passing in the loss at Georgia Tech. The only tie game in which Clemson had at least 200 of each took place in 1976 when Clemson had 248 rushing and 234 passing in a 24-24 tie in Atlanta against Tech.

Clemson in Top 20 for 22 Straight Polls Clemson is ranked in the top 20 in the nation in the latest Associated Press poll and in the top 20 of USA Today. The Tigers have been ranked in the top 20 in all five polls so far this year and for 22 consecutive polls over the last two years. This is the second longest streak of consecutive weeks ranked in the top 20 in the AP poll in Clemson history. The record for consecutive top 20 rankings is 41, set between the final poll of the 1986 season and the Oct. 10, 1989 poll. The Tigers were ranked between third and 17th in the nation in all 41 or those polls.

The record for consecutive weeks in the top 25 is 50 in a row between Oct. 24, 1989 and Oct. 19, 1992. The Tigers were ranked between 6 and 25 during that streak. Clemson was ranked between 21-25 in six of those 50 weeks. Clemson has had two other streaks of 14 weeks or more ranked in the top 20. One took place from Sept. 21, 1981 through Sept. 13, 1982, a 15-week streak, while the other took place between Oct. 12, 1959 and Oct. 10, 1960, a 14-week streak.

Six First-Year Freshmen Have Seen Action Clemson played five first-year freshmen in the season opener against UCF. The list included three receivers in Roscoe Crosby, Airese Currie and tight end Ben Hall. On defense, Moe Fountain and Eric Sampson were first-year freshmen who saw action.

Crosby started the game, the first first-year freshman to start at wide receiver in the season opener 1944 when Arthur Hagan started every game as a first-year freshman. That was during WWII when the United States Armed Services drafted most of Clemson’s upperclassmen. It didn’t take Crosby much time to have an impact. He caught a Utah pass from quarterback Woodrow Dantzler on the first play of the season and he turned it into a 12-yard gain. He also caught 33-yard pass for Clemson’s longest play of the day from scrimmage. Crosby finished the day with three catches for 64 yards. The yardage total led the Tigers against UCF. Hall also made his first career catch in the contest.

LeRoy Hill became the sixth first year freshman to play in a game when he played linebacker against Wofford. Hill had four tackles in 10 plays of action in the Clemson win.

Herring Suffers Torn Achilles The same day that Altroy Bodrick suffered a torn ACL, defensive coordinator Reggie Herring suffered a torn Achilles tendon. Herring suffered the injury while exhorting his defense after a good play during the Aug. 18 scrimmage.

Herring, who never missed a game due to injury during his playing career at Florida State, will not miss a game this year. He will coach the Tigers defense from the press box until he is able to walk without crutches. He could return to the sideline for today’s game with Virginia.

Herring showed some intestinal fortitude on Aug. 22 when he had the surgery to repair the torn Achilles at 6:30 AM, then returned to practice that afternoon at 3:30 PM. He coached from the sidelines while sitting in a golf cart. He was helped during that day by pain killers, causing Tommy Bowden to comment, “That is the first time I had an assistant coach on morphine during practice.”

Zachery Tops 2,500 For the second straight year, Travis Zachery opened the regular season having to prove himself after suffering a painful injury in a bowl game. The Doak Walker Award candidate suffered a broken ankle on a 23-yard scoring reception from Woodrow Dantzler in the Gator Bowl against Virginia Tech and that kept him out of the rest of the game and Spring practice.

He proved that he is back to full strength, leading Clemson in rushing with 48 yards and in receptions with five for 41 in the season opener against Central Florida. He scored a touchdown on a pass reception from Woodrow Dantzler, his 40th career touchdown and his seventh receiving. He now has 35 touchdowns in his last 26 games. Zachery enters the Virginia game with 2,583 career rushing yards, fifth best in school history. The greatest receiving running back in Clemson history, he has a record 69 career catches for 723 yards. He has 3,582 all-purpose running yards in his career, second best in school history.

Zachery probably won’t catch Raymond Priester when it comes to the career rushing record (he needs nearly 1,400 yards), but he will have a good chance to catch Priester in all-purpose yards. Priester had 4,282 all-purpose yards (rushing, receiving and kick returns combined), just 700 yards ahead of Zachery’s current total.