Tigers Make Plays To Beat Duke, 34-31

Tigers Make Plays To Beat Duke, 34-31

Nov 2, 2002

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DURHAM, N.C. – Aaron Hunt kicked a 21-yard field goal with 8 seconds left as Clemson rallied to beat Duke 34-31 Saturday, extending the Blue Devils’ ACC losing streak to 23.

The Tigers (5-4, 3-3 ACC) came back from a 24-10 deficit in the fourth quarter, thanks to redshirt freshman Charlie Whitehurst.

Making his first start, Whitehurst set school records with 34 completions and 420 yards passing. He also matched a Clemson record with four touchdown passes, and his 52 attempts were the third-most in school history.

Duke (2-8, 0-6) hasn’t won a conference game since Nov. 13, 2000, when they beat Wake Forest 48-35 in coach Carl Franks’ first season.

The teams combined for 947 yards of offense. Sophomore Adam Smith threw for 290 yards on 23-of-44 passing, with three touchdowns and three interceptions.

Clemson overcame Duke’s 14-point fourth-quarter lead by scoring 21 points in a span of just 4:15.

Whitehurst’s touchdown passes were for 47 yards to Airese Currie, 49 to Derrick Hamilton and 15 to J.J. McKelvey. The last one was set up by Tigers cornerback Justin Miller’s interception of a pass by Smith.

Trailing for the first time, the Blue Devils recovered a Whitehurst fumble at the Clemson 24 with 2:48 remaining. On second-and-10, Smith hit tight end Andy Roland in stride for the game-tying score.

The Tigers started the next drive at their own 40 thanks to Miller’s 37-yard kickoff return. After two incompletions, Whitehurst hit Hamilton for 19 yards and McKelvey for 11 yards.

Another completion to McKelvey for nine yards set up second-and-1 at the Duke 21, and Bernard Rambert moved the Tigers within short field-goal range with a 17-yard run. With Duke out of timeouts, Clemson ran the clock down to 12 seconds before sending Hunt on for the game-winner.