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Football Prepares for Virginia Tech

September 7, 1998

Homecoming for Assistant Coaches Three coaches in the Clemson vs. Virginia Tech game this weekend will be coaching against their alma maters. Clemson’s John Latina, in his fifth season as offensive line coach, is a 1978 Virginia Tech graduate. He played against the Tigers in Death Valley for Virginia Tech in 1978.

On the other side of the stadium are Ricky Bustle and Dan Pearman. Bustle is the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Virginia Tech and is a 1977 Clemson graduate. Pearman is the tight ends and offensive tackles coach at Virginia Tech and has two degrees from Clemson, his undergrad in 1987 and his graduate degree in 1989.

Bustle was a three-year letterman for the Tigers in 1974-75-76. He had 16 catches for 258 yards and two TDs in his career. His touchdowns came in consecutive games his sophomore year, against Tennessee and Wake Forest. He has been an assistant coach at Virginia Tech since 1987 with the exception of 1994, when he was at South Carolina.

Pearman started all 11 games for the Tigers 1987 ACC Championship team that defeated Penn State, 35-10 in the Citrus Bowl. He caught a pass in that game, the worst bowl game defeat in Joe Paterno’s career. Pearman coached at Alabam between 1990-97, earning a National Championship ring with the Tide in 1992.

Clemson Graduates in College Coaching This is quite a year for former Clemson players in coaching. In addition to the two former Tigers coaching for Virginia Tech, two former Tiger players are bringing teams in as head coaches this year. Bobby Johnson brought in the Furman Paladins last week and Mike O’Cain, Clemson’s MVP in 1976, will bring NC State to Death Valley on October 31.

There are many other former Tiger players in college coaching this year. Here is a list:

    Name            Years CU    Current School      Position        Ricky Bustle    1973-76     Virginia Tech       Offensive Coor.    Chip Davis      1985-88     Stephen F. Austin   Wide Receivers    J.C. Harper     1985-88     SW Missouri St.     Defensive Coor.    Lawson Holland  1972-74     Florida             Wide Receivers    Bobby Johnson   1970-72     Furman              Head Coach    Chris Lancaster 1985-87     Sam Houston St.     Offensive Coord/OL    Arlington Nunn  1987-90     Stephen F. Austin   Secondary    Mike O'Cain     1973-76     NC State            Head Coach    Danny Pearman   1984-87     Virginia Tech       Offensive Line    Todd Schonhar   1985-88     Sam Houston St.     Wide Receivers    Will Young      1992-95     Clemson             Graduate Asst.

Former Tiger Back to Death Valley The only player on the field Saturday who has had a 100-yard rushing game in Death Valley will be on the opposing sideline. Virginia Tech running back Lamont Pegues played for the Tigers in 1994 and 1995, leading the Tigers in rushing in his freshman season. But, he decided to transfer to Virginia Tech after the 1995 season and is now in his second year with the Hokies.

During his freshman season he had a career high 136 yards on 28 attempts in a Clemson victory over Georgia Tech. He also had 20-72 in Clemson’s victory over 12th ranked North Carolina in Chapel Hill. At some point this season, Pegues will have as many yards for Clemson as he has had for Virginia Tech. He rushed for 699 yards in two season for the Tigers and has 467 career yards rushing heading into Saturday’s game. He had 390 yards in his first season for Clemson and 391 yards in his first season for Virginia Tech.

Streeter Sets Opening Day Record Last week this release featured a list of never before published “Opening Day” records. One of the records not listed was for completion percentage by a quarterback. Wouldn’t you know it, Brandon Streeter broke the record. Streeter connected on 11-14 passes for 78.6 percent to get off to the best start in Clemson history for a Tiger QB in terms of completion percentage.

Streeter, whose father is the head coach at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, was especially effective in the second half. He completed each of his last seven passes for for 139 yards. Streeter was a prime reason Clemson gained 212 yards rushing and 202 passing for 414 total. It was just the fifth time under Tommy West that Clemson had at least 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing in the same game.

Replacements Just Fine, Thank You The talk of the summer concerned who would replace 1997 Clemson star players Raymond Priester, Anthony Simmons and Nealon Greene. Priester left Clemson as the school’s all-time leading rusher, Greene was the all-time leader in passing and total offense, and Simmons was the number-two ranked tackler in history and a three-time All-American.

As noted above, Brandon Streeter guided the Clemson offense efficiently, completing 11-14 passes for 183 yards, registering a passing efficiency rating of 188.4. Freshman Travis Zachery replaced Priester with 15 attempts for 73 yards, nearly a five-yard average. Linebacker Chris Jones replaced Anthony Simmons on the inside and promptly did something Simmons never did, score a touchdown. He recovered an errant snap and recovered the ball in the endzone for a score. He also had a team best nine tackles.

Virginia Tech Update While Clemson enjoyed a 33-point victory over Furman to open the season, Virginia Tech flourished with a 35-point win over East Carolina. Like Clemson, Virginia Tech rushed for over 200 yards and had an efficient game passing the football.

Shyrone Stith and Lamont Pegues combined for 153 of the 222 rushing yards for the Hokies. Stith had 77 and Pegues had 76 and both had a rushing touchdown. Quarterback Al Clark was 8-13 passing for 106 yards and the Hokies completed passes to eight different players.

Frank Beamer’s defense allowed 303 yards of total offense and 16 first downs, but only three points. East Carolina made just 3-14 third-down conversions. Nat Williams led the Virginia Tech point prevention unit with 11 tackles, while Michael Hawkes had nine. Virginia Tech had eight tackles for loss and six pass deflections to go with two blocked kicks in the contest.

Battle of Bowl Teams There are only 17 Division I teams who have been to a bowl game each of the last three years and two of them will be facing off when Virginia Tech comes to Clemson. The Tigers have been to a bowl each of the last three years and Virginia Tech has a streak of five straight seasons in a bowl.

The other teams who have been to at least three straight bowls are Auburn, Florida, Iowa, Kansas State, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Syracuse, Tennessee and Washington. Note that three of the 17 are from the ACC.

Clemson went to the Gator Bowl in 1995, the Peach Bowl in 1996 and 1997. Virginia Tech went to the Independence Bowl in 1993, the Gator Bowl in 1994, the Sugar Bowl in 1995, the Orange Bowl in 1996 and the Gator Bowl in 1997. Virginia Tech has a 3-8 lifetime bowl record, while Clemson is 12-10.

Both teams were 7-5 last year and their victory totals in history and in the 1990s are amazingly similar. Clemson, including the win over Furman last week, now has 554 victories in history, while Virginia Tech has 549. In the 1990s, Clemson has 61 wins, while Virginia Tech has 58.

Clemson vs. Virginia Tech Series This is the first meeting between Clemson and Virginia Tech since the 1989 season. The series actually dates to 1900 when Clemson defeated Virginia Tech 17-5 to increase its record to 5-0-0 on the way to a perfect 6-0 mark under first-year coach John Heisman.

Clemson has a 17-7-1 lead in the series, including a 7-2 margin in games played in Death Valley. The Tigers are 3-0 against Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer and have won 12 of the last 13 against any VPI coach. Clemson was 6-1 against Virginia Tech in the decade of the 1980s.

Virginia Tech’s only win against Clemson since 1954 took place in 1986 when Bill Dooley led the Hokies to a 20-14 win in Death Valley in Clemson’s season opener. Both teams went on to bowl games and a top 20 final ranking. A key play in the game took place when Virginia Tech’s Mitch Dove recovered a blocked Bill Spiers punt in the endzone for a touchdown.

Spiers went on to an outstanding season as Clemson’s punter, averaging nearly 40 yards a punt. He of course was noted as a Tiger All-American baseball player, but it is ironic that he is being inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame today, when Clemson is playing Virginia Tech on the gridiron.

Defense has been a key in Clemson’s three victories in 1987-88-89 over Virginia Tech. The Tigers allowed just 24 points in those three games and one of those touchdowns was on a 90-yard kickoff return for a score by Marcus Mickel in 1989 at Virginia Tech. Current Clemson Head Coach Tommy West was the Tigers outside linebacker coach each of those three years against Beamer teams. One of West’s star players, Levon Kirkland, now with the Pittsburgh Steelers, had a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown in that game.

Two Thorpe Award Candidates on Display When Clemson met Virginia Tech in 1984, the pregame attention centered around two of the top defensive linemen in the nation, Clemson’s William Perry and Virginia Tech’s Bruce Smith.

This year’s game could center around the play of two of the top defensive backs in the nation, Clemson’s Antwan Edwards and Virginia Tech’s Pierson Prioleau. Both are on the preseason Thorpe Award list, the award that is given to the top defensive back in the nation.

Edwards is the only returning All-ACC player for the Tigers. He is a preseason 1998 All-American according to various services and was a key to Clemson’s pass defense that allowed Furman to complete 6-15 passes for 73 yards. Edwards had two tackles in the game, as Furman planned their offense around avoiding the native of Mississippi. He did contribute 52 yards on a pair of punt returns, and leads the ACC in punt return average.

Prioleau is from Alvin, SC. He was a third-team All-American according to the Sporting News last year when he was third on the Tech team in tackles with 81. A fine All-Around athlete, he can vertical jump 43 1/2 inches. His top game last year was against Syracuse when he had 10 tackles and a 73-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Dingle Ties Sack Record, again Clemson senior defensive end Adrian Dingle tied his own single game Clemson record for sacks when he had three against Furman. He tied many other former Tigers by recording the three sacks, but joined only Jim Stuckey and Michael Dean Perry as the only Tigers to have a pair of three-sack games.

Dingle had all three of his sacks on the same possession, a first in Clemson history, and he had four tackles for loss for the day. In addition to his seven tackles and four total tackles for loss, he had a blocked kick and caused a fumble that led directly to a Clemson score.

Dingle, ranked as the top senior outside linebacker/defensive end in the nation according to one National Scouting Service, now has 34 career tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks. He has quietly moved into a tie for 10th in Clemson history in sacks and is now all alone in 11th place in school history in tackles for loss. He recently passed former Clemson greats Ed McDaniel and Jeff Bryant on the tackles for loss list.

Happy Birthday Tigers There are five members of the Clemson football roster who will celebrate their birthday on a gameday this season, but three will take place this Saturday when Clemson meets Virginia Tech. Starting center Jason Gamble turns 23 this Saturday, while second-team linebacker Harold Means and reserve receiver Jason Stockunas will turn 21.

Later this year, Joe Don Reames will turn 19 on the day Clemson meets Wake Forest in Death Valley, September 26th, and T.J. Watkins will turn 20 on October 3 when Clemson meets North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Birthdays can be special for players. In recent history the most outstanding performance by a Clemson player on his birthday took place on November 1, 1986 when Rodney Williams celebrated a birthday by completing 13-18 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns in a victory over Wake Forest. Williams, who still holds the Clemson record for victories by a starting quarterback (32), is now the a color analyst on the Clemson radio network.

Richardson Boots 4 Field Goals Placekicker David Richardson got his senior season off to a great start with a 4-4 field goal day against Furman in the opener. He connected on field goals of 25, 22, 39 and 24 yards. He was also a perfect 3-3 on extra points, giving him a career high 15 points scored.

Richardson did not become Clemson’s starting field goal kicker until the Maryland game on October 25th when he had two field goals. The Furman game marked the second time he has had four field goals in a game, he also did it at Wake Forest last year.

For his career, Richardson has made 19-22 and all but three attempts have come within the last seven games. Thus, Richardson is averaging nearly three field goals per game in this period.

The 19-22 field goal kicking gives him a .864 field goal percentage, best in Clemson history given a minimum of 20 attempts. In fact, he is far ahead of second place Donald Igwebuike, who made 32-43 between 1981-84, a .744 percentage.

Richardson certainly should have a good relationship with his snapper on attempts this year. The Tiger providing that chore on field goals and PATs is Kyle Young, who has been his next door neighbor for 12 years. Both Clemson players grew up in Clemson and live next door to each other on Folger Street, which is within walking distance of Death Valley. They were on the same high school team at Daniel and now compete for Clemson. Young is a red-shirt freshman and last Saturday was his first appearance for the Tigers, while Richardson is a senior.

    Clemson Career Leaders in Field Goal Percentage    (Minimum 20 field goal attempts)    Player              Years   FG-FGA  Pct    David Richardson    1995-98 19-22   .864    Donald Igwebuike    1981-84 32-43   .744    Jeff Sauve          1991-95 15-21   .714    David Treadwell     1985-87 47-66   .712    Chris Gardocki      1988-90 63-97   .708        Nelson Welch        1991-94 72-102  .706

Clemson Not Ranked in Preseason Poll This is only the second time since 1987 that Clemson has not been ranked in the Associated Press preseason Top 25. The only other year in the last 12 seasons Clemson was not ranked was 1995, ironically, the year Tommy West achieved his highest win total. Clemson was not ranked in the preseason that year, yet achieved an 8-3 regular season record. Clemson was 25th in the preseason of 1994, 25th in the preseason of 1996 and 18th in the preseason poll of 1997.

Although Clemson ended the regular season of 1995 ranked 23rd in the country, a loss to Syracuse in the Gator Bowl knocked Clemson out of the polls. The last time Clemson was not ranked in the preseason, but made the final post bowl poll was 1986. Clemson was not ranked that year until October 6, then ended the season 8-2-2 and ranked 17th in the nation. Clemson also went from unranked in the preseason to making the final poll in 1983, 1981, 1977 1956 and 1951, and 1948.

The highest final ranking for a Clemson team unranked in the preseason was of course the 1981 Clemson team. The Tigers won the National Championship that season.

Outstanding Matchup of Kicking Games The Clemson vs. Virginia Tech game will be an outstanding matchup of kickers. Clemson features punter Kevin Laird, who was second in the ACC and 33rd in the nation last year with a 42.8 average. He saw his streak of eight straight games with a 40-yard punting average snapped against Furman. Placekicker David Richardson was 4-4 in the first game and is 19-22 on field goals for his career.

Virginia Tech counters with punter Jimmy Kibble and placekicker Shayne Graham. Kibble had a 50-yard average against East Carolina in the opener and is third in the nation in punting this week. He had a 45.1 yard average last year and finished 10th in the nation, first in the Big East. He had 19 punts inside the 20. Graham was 19-23 on field goals last year and 35-36 on PATs for 92 total points. He set the Big East record for kick scoring last year when he was a perfect 15-15 inside the 40. Last week he had one field goal against East Carolina.

Clemson has 18 Blocked Kicks under West Clemson has been outstanding in terms of special teams in recent years. The trend continued against Furman as the Tigers were 4-4 on field goals, had only four of eight kickoffs returned, and had its defense block a field goal attempt.

The blocked field goal attempt by Adrian Dingle was the fifth for the Tigers in the last four games and the 18th blocked kick by the Tigers since Tommy West became head coach in 1994. Clemson had three blocked punts against Auburn in the 1998 Peach Bowl, the most in a single game in Clemson history. Last year the Tigers had six total blocked kicks. The Clemson single game record is eight, held by the 1995 team.

The Woody Offense Clemson freshman quarterback Woody Dantzler saw his first action at quarterback in the win over Furman. Dantzler entered the game with 8:52 left in the second quarter and he did not come off the field until Clemson kicked a field goal with three seconds left before intermission.

Dantzler carried the ball on 12 of 18 plays run during the drive, which took 8:49 in clock time, the second longest drive in Clemson history in terms of time of possession. Only a 9:34 drive against North Carolina in 1992 is longer.

The native of Orangeburg, SC lined up in a shotgun formation on all the snaps and ran from the formation most of the time. He had 12 for 65 rushing and was 1-1 passing for 19 yards. Coach West had said prior to the game that Dantzler would enter the game in the second period and have his own “package.” That was the only action Dantzler saw in the game.

Turnovers, Rushing Margin in Clemson’s Favor Clemson had a +2 turnover margin and outrushed Furman 212-52 in gaining its 33-0 win in the season opener. When Clemson wins the rushing margin and the turnover margin in the same game it usually means a Clemson victory. The Tigers are now 21-2 under Tommy West when they win both statistical categories and are now 110-7-2 record over the last 21 seasons, a 93 percent winning mark.

Clemson Opens Season with Shutout Clemson opened the 1998 season with a shutout victory over Furman, 33-0. It was Clemson’s first shutout since a 17-0 win over Maryland in 1995, the third year in a row Clemson shutout the Terps. Saturday’s victory over Furman was the first opening game shutout since the 1991 season when Clemson defeated Appalachian State 30-0. It was the highest scoring shutout victory since the 1990 season when Clemson downed Appalachian State, 48-0.

Furman had 125 yards total offense and ran just 44 snaps. It was the fewest plays by a Clemson opponent since the 1994 Furman game, Tommy West’s first game at Death Valley as head coach, when the Paladins also had 44 snaps. The 125 yards total offense were the fewest by a Clemson opponent sincethe 1996 Maryland game when the Terps had just 113 yards total offense against Clemson.

Six First-Year Freshmen Saw Action vs. Furman Six first-year freshmen saw action for Clemson against Furman. The list included Keith Adams (LB), Vince Ciurciu (RB), Chad Carson (LB), Gary Byrd (OT), Akil Smith (OT) and Braxton K. Williams (DB). Clemson played 63 players in the game and 15 were either red-shirt freshmen or first-year freshmen.

Freshmen certainly had a big impact on the rushing game. Travis Zachery and Woodrow Dantzler were the top two rushers for Clemson, as Zachery had 15-73 and Dantzler had 12-65. Adding in Ciurciu’s 7-33 and Slade Nagle’s 1-1, Clemson got 172 yards rushing from freshmen. This is the most rushing yards by Clemson freshmen since the 1994 Georgia Tech game when the Tigers had 277. Leading the way for the Tiger freshmen that day was Lamont Pegues, who had 28-136. Pegues will play against Clemson this weekend for Virginia Tech.

Adams’s Mother Loses Life Clemson’s victory over Furman was certainly diminished in terms of postgame excitement by the news that the mother of running back Dymon Adams lost her life during Saturday’s game. Rosa Lee Adams, 57, was pronounced dead at the Oconee Memorial Hospital Saturday afternoon. She collapsed during halftime and was rushed to the hospital, but attempts to revive her failed.

Clemson coach Tommy West informed Adams, who had not yet played in the game, that his mother had been rushed to the hospital as soon as he was made aware of the situation early in the third period. Adams was taken by police car to the hospital. That afternoon Adams drove with his sister to Asheville, NC to be with the rest of his family. Funeral services were not known as of this writing.

Clemson Over 200 Yards Rushing and 200 Passing Clemson had 202 yards passing and 212 yards rushing in the victory over Furman on September 5, the second straight year Clemson has had at least 200 of each in the season opener. Having at least 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing in the same game is an indicator for success for the Clemson offense. The Tigers are 26-0-1 in their history (8-0 in the decade of the 1990s and 5-0 under Tommy West) when having at least 200 yards of each.

The only time in history Clemson failed to gain victory when recording at least 200 yards rushing and passing took place in 1976 when the Tigers had 248 yards rushing and 234 yards passing in a 24-24 tie with Georgia Tech. The closest Clemson has come to a defeat in this situation took place in 1953 when Clemson lost to Auburn, 45-19. Despite the large margin of defeat, Clemson had 258 yards passing and 198 yards rushing.

Schedule Notes Clemson is playing seven games at home this year for the first time since 1993 and just the fifth time in school history…Clemson has won at least nine games every year they have had at least seven home games…Clemson does not have a road game after October 25th…Clemson must go on the road this year to North Carolina, Virginia and Florida State, the preseason top three teams in the league for 1998…Clemson plays at Virginia on September 19th, the only date in history in which Clemson has a perfect record (given a minimum of two games played)…Clemson is 8-0-0 lifetim on September 19th…Clemson has two teams on its schedule that are coached by former Clemson players, Furman (Bobby Johnson) and NC State (Mike O’Cain)…Clemson is 11-3 under Tommy West in the month of November, but the Tigers play just two games in November this year…Clemson plays on just one of the four Saturdays in November this year…Clemson will play host to its first ever Thursday night ESPN game on November 12th at 8:00 PM.

Clemson Looks for 2-0 Start Clemson will be looking for its second 2-0 start under Tommy West. The Tigers won their first two games last year, against Appalachian State and at NC State before Florida State handed Clemson a loss.

Clemson has been 2-0 just twice since 1991. A program that averages 8 wins per season over the last 21 years has been 2-0 just seven times since 1971. Clemson got off to a 2-0 start last year, 3-0 start in 1991, 4-0 in 1989, 2-0 in 1988, 6-0 in 1987, 2-0 in 1984 and 12-0 in 1981, Clemson’s National Championship season, but that is it for unblemished marks through two games in the last 27 years. Clemson has a 10-10-1 record in the second game of the season over the last 21 years.

Herring to be Inducted into High School Hall of Fame Clemson defensive coordinator Reggie Herring will be inducted into his high school’s Hall of Fame this year along with other members of the Astronaut High School’s “Dream Backfield” of 1975. Herring was the starting fullback and gained over 1000 yards rushing in addition being a top defensive player before going to the Florida State.

It is interesting to note that one of hte members of the “Dream Backfield” who will join Herring for the induction is Cris Collinsworth. Collinsworth went on to an outstanding college career at Florida before joining the Cincinnati Bengals. He is now an NFL commentator for Fox. The third member of that backfield was Joe Voor, who went on to play at the University of Florida.

The Clemson defense got off to a great start this past Saturday , shutting out Furman and allowing just 125 yards, including just 52 rushing. Clemson’s pass defense allowed just six completions in 15 attempts for just 73 yards.

Tigers in Professional Football Clemson has 23 former players on NFL rosters heading into the first week of the regular season (September 6). The list includes six players off of last year’s team. Anthony Simmons, the first round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, has been injured much of the preseason, but has made the Seahawks roster. Lorenzo Bromell is a member of the Miami Dolphins, while Tony Horne, a free agent, made the St. Louis Rams. Jim Bundren was cut by the Miami Dolphins, but was then picked up by the New York Jets. Raymond Priester (Tennessee) and Glenn Rountree (Carolina) were assigned to practice squads.

Terry Allen, one of the top running backs in the league, is in his eighth NFL season and he has the most NFL experience among former Clemson players in the NFL. The Indianapolis Colts have the most former Clemson players with three, Mike Barber, Chris Gardocki and Wardell Rouse. Rouse is on injured reserve.

The list of 23 players includes 14 that have been coached by Tommy West in his five years as head coach at Clemson. That does not include Wayne Simmons and Levon Kirkland, who were coached by West when he was the outside linebackers coach of the Tigers between 1982-89.

    Name                Pos Team                NFL Yrs    Terry Allen         RB  Washington Redskins 8       Mike Barber         LB  Indianapolis Colts  3    Lorenzo Bromell     DE  Miami Dolphins      R    Brentson Buckner    DE  San Francisco 49ers 4    Jim Bundren         OG  New York Jets       R       Brian Dawkins       DB  Philadelphia Eagles 2    Leomont Evans       DB  Washington Redskins 2    Chris Gardocki      P   Indianapolis Colts  7    Jerome Henderson    DB  New York Jets       7    Tony Horne          WR  St. Louis Rams      R    Levon Kirkland      LB  Pittsburgh Steelers 6    Dexter McCleon      DB  St. Louis Rams      1    Ed McDaniel         LB  Minnesota Vikings   6    Chester McGlockton  DT  Kansas City Chiefs  6    #Raymond Priester   RB  Tennessee Oilers    R    Trevor Pryce        DT  Denver Broncos      1    #Glenn Rountree     OG  Carolina Panthers   R    $Wardell Rouse      LB  Indianapolis Colts  2    Patrick Sapp        LB  Arizona Cardinals   2    Anthony Simmons     LB  Seattle Seahawks    R    Wayne Simmons       LB  Kansas City Chiefs  5    James Trapp         SS  Oakland Raiders     5    Curtis Whitley      C   Oakland Raiders     6    #Practice Squad.  $ injured reserve.