Nov 9, 2002
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By DAVID DROSCHAKAP Sports Writer
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Charlie Whitehurst threw for 274 yards and four touchdowns as Clemson beat North Carolina 42-12 Saturday, handing the Tar Heels their first winless home record in 50 years.
The Tigers (6-4, 4-3 ACC) became bowl eligible for the fourth time in four seasons under Tommy Bowden with home games left against Maryland and South Carolina.
Clemson had no 100-yard rusher this season until Bernard Rambert got 106 and Tye Hill 105 as the Tigers rolled up more than 500 yards of offense on North Carolina’s porous defense.
The Tar Heels (2-8, 0-6) dropped their fifth straight and need a win over Florida State or Duke – both road games – in the next two weeks to avoid their first winless record in the conference since 1989.
Whitehurst was coming off the best performance by a quarterback in Clemson history in his first career start last week against Duke in which he threw for 420 yards and four TDs in a 34-31 win.
The Tigers didn’t need their quarterback to throw 52 times in this one against the ACC’s worst rushing defense. But when Whitehurst did let it fly, he was effective, passing for 178 of Clemson’s 295 yards by halftime.
He then drove the Tigers 85 yards to start the second half, completing passes of 15 and 31 yards before finding Chad Jasmin from 14 yards out.
Jasmin caught a 2-yard scoring pass late in the third to put the Tigers up by 23 as Whitehurst finished 12-for-20.
Clemson fell behind 9-0 in the first quarter, but Whitehurst threw scoring passes of 83 and 58 yards as the Tigers scored 21 unanswered points in the half to grab the momentum.
Whitehurst’s first long TD pass to Airese Currie late in the first quarter was the third-longest in Clemson history.
Whitehurst’s second scoring pass was up for grabs with 29 seconds left in the half, but 6-foot-4 J.J. McKelvey outjumped 5-10 Chris Hawkins at the 15, broke his arm tackle, and jogged into the end zone for a 12-point halftime lead.
Clemson’s first four scoring drives all lasted less than three minutes. One took just 24 seconds and another 54 seconds against the 109th-ranked defense in the country.
North Carolina finished 0-6 at Kenan Stadium in 2002. The last time the Tar Heels were winless at home was in 1952 when they went 0-4.
March 14, 2019