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Clemson vs. Wofford Football Game Notes

Sept. 7, 2011

Clemson vs. Wofford Complete Game Notes

Clemson vs. Wofford Series Clemson holds a 10-3 advantage in the series with Wofford. That includes a 38-14 victory over the Terriers on September 8, 2001, the Saturday before the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Now the two schools will play the day before the 10-year anniversary of that tragic event.

The last time Clemson played Wofford the Tigers were coming off a 21-13 season opening victory against Central Florida. The key play in that win over UCF was a 22-yard run on a fake field goal by holder Jeff Scott, who is now Clemson’s wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.

Wofford’s last win in the series took place in 1933, a 14-13 Wofford win in Spartanburg. Wofford also won consecutive games by shutout in 1925 and 1926.

The two teams first met in 1896, the first year of Clemson football. The Tigers won that game, 16-0, in Spartanburg in what was just the third game in Clemson football history. Clemson won the second meeting, 21-0, in 1900 in the second game of John Heisman’s coaching career at Clemson.

Clemson also shut out Wofford, 26-0, in 1940 in the second game of the head coaching career of Frank Howard. When the teams met in 2001 it was the second game of Tommy Bowden’s third year and now in 2011 it is the second game of Dabo Swinney’s third full season.

Clemson defeated Wofford 45-10 in 1981, the season opener of Clemson’s National Championship season. Wofford led 3-0 at the end of the first period of that game and finished the game with 293 yards of total offense, including 201 rushing. Only Nebraska would have more rushing yards against Clemson that year. Clemson allowed just 8.2 points per game that year, but the Terriers got 10.

In the last meeting between the two teams in 2001, Woody Dantzler completed 21-30 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns. J.J. McKelvey caught eight passes for 73 yards and two scores as Clemson held a 24-14 lead at intermission. Dantlzer also added 55 yards rushing on 13 attempts.

Chad Carson led the defense with 18 tackles, and Bryant McNeal had four tackles for loss, including two sacks. Eric Meekins had a 29-yard fumble return to give Clemson the lead for good in the second period.

Boyd Has Impressive First Start Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd had quite a debut as the Tigers starting quarterback. The native of Hampton, VA threw for 264 yards and three scores in the 43-19 victory. Boyd started out 3 of 9 passing and finished 20-30, meaning he was an efficient 17 of his last 21. Included in that stretch was a streak when he completed 13 straight passes.

At halftime Clemson trailed 16-13, and Boyd was just 6-12 for 65 yards, but he did not lose his confidence. He threw a 54-yard scoring pass to Dwayne Allen to give Clemson a 20-16 lead with 7:01 left in the third period, then competed 9-9 passes for 69 yards, including a seven-yard scoring pass to Jaron Brown. That put Clemson up 26-16 with 30 seconds left in the third quarter. Clemson finished off the day with the 24-point victory.

Boyd’s day would have to be considered the second best first start for a Tiger signal caller in history. The honor of the best goes to Charlie Whitehurst, who is now with the Seattle Seahawks. Whitehurst completed 34 of 52 for 420 yards and four touchdowns in his first start, a game at Duke in 2002. That 420 yards passing is a Clemson record for any game and the 34 completions are the most by a Clemson quarterback in a Clemson victory.

Boyd’s 264 yards passing were the most by a Clemson quarterback in 20 games, dating to the 2009 Miami game when Kyle Parker threw for a career high 326 yards in the 40-37 Clemson overtime win.

Boyd’s stats were very impressive when you look at what he had done prior to this year. Boyd had just 33 completions all of last year, then had 20 against Troy. He had 329 yards passing last year and had 264 in the opener this year.

Young Tigers Make and Impact Clemson got a lot of production from its freshman class in the season opening victory against Troy. Here are some notes on the freshmen from the opener:

  • Clemson played 70 players against Troy and 24 of them were freshmen, 12 true freshmen and 12 red-shirt freshmen. The 12 true freshmen were the most in one game in school history.
  • The 12 true freshmen that played were Martavis Bryant, Sammy Watkins, Mike Bellamy, Tony Steward, Cole Stoudt, Stephone Anthony, Charone Peake, Robert Smith, Grady Jarrett, Corey Crawford, DeShawn Williams and Adam Humphries.
  • The impact of the freshmen began on the first drive when Sammy Watkins caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Tajh Boyd on Clemson’s second play of the game. Watkins scored with 14:34 left in the first quarter, meaning he had scored just 26 seconds into his career. That is the earliest a freshman has scored into his career in school history. The previous record took place when Terry Allen scored at the 8:53 mark (6:07 into the game) of the first period against Western Carolina in 1987.
  • Watkins went on to catch seven passes for 81 yards, the most receptions and most reception yards for a Clemson player in his first game in school history. Terrance Roulhac (1983) and Roscoe Crosby (2001), both had 64 receiving yards in their first game, respectively. Aaron Kelly had four catches in his first game in 2005 for the reception mark.
  • In the second half freshman Mike Bellamy raced 75 yards for a touchdown on his first career rush. That was the longest run by a Clemson player in his first run from scrimmage. The previous record was a 72-yard run by Craig Crawford against Wake Forest in 1981.
  • Martavis Bryant had a 54-yard reception on his first career reception in the fourth period as well. Clemson true freshmen had 291 all-purpose running yards for the day.
  • On defense, true freshman Stephone Anthony had a sack and a pass deflection, while Robert Smith had an interception.
  • Freshman Sammy Watkins had 81 yards receiving and classmate Mike Bellamy had 81 yards rushing against Troy in each player’s first career game. That is a good number for a school that won the national championship in 1981.
  • Freshmen scored three touchdowns in the game, as Watkins scored on a 33-yard reception, Bellamy on a 75-yard run and D.J. Howard on a one-yard run. It was the first time freshmen scored three times in the same game since the 2006 South Carolina game when C.J. Spiller scored on an 80-yard run and a 31-yard run and Jacoby Ford scored on a 76-yard touchdown pass. The record is four touchdowns by freshmen against Appalachian State in 1990. That day Ronald Williams (father of Clemson defensive tackle DeShawn Williams) scored three and Derrick Witherspoon scored one.
  • Bellamy (139) and Watkins (98), the freshman duo from Florida, combined for 237 all-purpose yards in the opener. That is 17 yards ahead of what Spiller and Ford did in their first game against Florida Atlantic in 2006. Spiller and Ford combined for 220 that day. Spiller and Ford rank as the number-one all-purpose yardage duo in the history of college football.
  • Bellamy’s 139 all-purpose yards were the most by a Clemson true freshman in his first game since 2006 when Ford had 148 against Florida Atlantic.

Wofford Enters with 1-0 Record Defending Southern Conference Champion Wofford enters this game with a 1-0 record in 2011 after a 35-28 victory over Presbyterian. Last year the Terriers were 10-3 and reached the quarterfinals of the FCS playoff.

Jeff Ashley had two touchdown receptions and Eric Breitenstein added 107 rushing yards and a touchdown on 19 carries in the win over Presbyterian. It was the 11th career 100-yard rushing game for Breitenstein who is the preseason Southern Conference Player of the Year. Quarterback Mitch Allen was 7-of-14 passing for 138 yards and he added 44 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Alvin Scioneaux led the team with 10 tackles, including two sacks. Penalties were a problem for the Terriers, with 11 for 121 yards in the game. Wofford had 534 yards of total offense, including 352 rushing in another potent performance for the Wofford team. That was not a surprise because the Terriers led Division FCS in rushing last year with nearly 300 yards per game.

Wofford head coach Mike Ayers (Georgetown, Ky. `74), the winningest coach in school history, is in his 24th season at the Terrier helm with a record of 155-107-1. Ayers is in his 27th year as a collegiate head coach and has a record of 165-128-2 that includes a three-year stint as the head coach at East Tennessee State from 1985-87.

Ayers has earned Southern Conference Coach of the Year honors from the league coaches in 2000, 2003 and 2007 and by the media in 2000, `02, `03 and `10. Ayers was the 2003 recipient of the Eddie Robinson Award as Division I-AA’s National Coach of the Year and also earned the 2002 Division I-AA National Coach of the Year.