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This Day In Clemson Sports – December 27, 1986

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With the 2001 Gator Bowl around the corner, and Clemson: Where the Tigers Play will be reliving Clemson’s four previous Gator Bowl wins leading up to the this season’s game in This Day In Clemson Sports. This Day In Clemson Sports has been provided to by the authors of the book, Clemson: Where the Tigers Play. Three members of the Clemson Athletic family wrote the book: Associate Sports Information Director Sam Blackman, the late Sports Information Director Emeritus Bob Bradley and Men’s Tennis Coach Chuck Kriese.

December 27, 1986 – Clemson 27, Stanford 21 Christmas came two days late for the Tigers as they won their first bowl since the 1982 Orange Bowl. After a brilliant first half display of offense and defense, Clemson managed to hold off a second-half Stanford rally and go on to defeat the 17th-ranked Cardinal, 27-21. Before a Gator Bowl crowd of 80,104, the Tigers scored 27 unanswered points in the first half and appeared to be on the way to a rout. But the second half was a different ball game as Stanford came out strong and put up 21 unanswered points of its own.

Gator Bowl MVP Rodney Williams completed 8-of-11 passes in the first half, but it was his execution of the option that helped Clemson gain a 27-0 halftime lead. After punting on their first possession, the Tigers scored on the next five. With the score 17-0 in the second quarter, Reggie Harris knocked the ball loose on a Stanford kickoff return and the Tigers recovered on Stanford’s 16-yard line. Two plays later, Ray Williams took a reverse in for a 14-yard touchdown, his first of the season. David Treadwell added his longest field goal of the year (46 yards) on Clemson’s next possession, putting the Tigers up 27-0 at the intermission.

But the Cardinal came back from halftime a different team. Kodak All-American tailback Brad Muster rushed for a touchdown and caught two scoring passes while the Clemson offense came to a standstill. With 1:43 left to play in the game, Clemson was forced to punt to the Cardinal with only a touchdown’s lead. But the Tiger defense rose to the occasion, as Stanford gained only six yards on the next four downs. The offense fell on the ball to run the clock out and the Tigers emerged victorious.

Tailbacks Terrence Flagler and Kenny Flowers combined for 149 yards. Sophomore Ricardo Hooper led the receiving corps with two catches for 44 yards. Terrance Roulhac and Flagler each had three catches with 22 and 23 yards, respectively. Rodney Williams rushed 16 times for 18 yards and one touchdown.

Defensively, the Tigers were led by linebacker Henry Carter, who recorded a career-high 13 tackles. Gene Beasley added seven tackles and broke up two passes. The game also marked Michael Dean Perry’s offensive debut, as he was put in as a blocking back on a goal-line situation in the first half.

Clemson: Where the Tigers Play, covers the major events that have occurred in over a century of athletic competition. From Frank Howard’s homespun humor to the National Championships Clemson has won in various sports, this book gives the many details of the Tigers at play.

For more information on purchasing the book contact Sam Blackman: Phone –