Nov. 15, 1999
Tigers from South Carolina The Clemson vs. South Carolina game is certainly special to all Clemson players, but it might have a longer family history with the players who are from the state. There are 31 players on the Clemson travel roster who are from the Palmetto State. This list does not include players being red-shirted and only includes those who have played in at least one game and should dress for this weekend’s game. Nine of the 31 players from South Carolina are starters.
Carswell 8th in Nation in Interceptions Needs 3 Tackles for Clemson Record
Robert Carswell had his sixth interception of the season at Georgia Tech and he also had a fumble recovery. It was the third time this year that Carswell had two takeaways in the same game. His interception total is the most by a Clemson player since 1995 when Brian Dawkins had six. Dawkins is now a starter with the Philadelphia Eagles and is among the NFL leaders in interceptions with four.
Carswell is ranked eighth in the nation and tied for first in the ACC in interceptions per game with a 0.6 figure. He needs two more interceptions to tie Robert O’Neal’s record of eight set in 1989 and two more takeaways to tie O’Neal’s record for takeaways in a season. O’Neal had eight interceptions and a fumble recovery that year.
In addition to forcing turnovers, Carswell has been outstanding in the tackle department. He has 115 for the year to lead all ACC defensive backs and needs just three to break the Clemson record for tackles by a defensive back. Anthony Johnson had 117 tackles in 1985 and Carswell has 115 in 10 games. Carswell now has 270 tackles for his career and needs just 25 tackles to break all-time great Terry Kinard’s record for tackles in a career by a defensive back. Kinard had 294 between 1978-82. Carswell now has 15 double digit tackle games in his career, including 10 in his last 12. He had 14 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery at Georgia Tech.
Carswell Named to Good Works Team
On September 21, Robert Carswell was to the American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team for 1999. The team honors those student-athletes who show exceptional dedication to community service and to the betterment of the communities in which they live.
Carswell, a native of Lithonia, GA was one of just 11 Division I-A players selected to the team. He is the first Clemson player chosen for the team in its eight-year history. Carswell is one of the leaders of Leadership in Football and Education (LIFE), a group of Clemson football players who mentor and spend recreational time with underprivileged children. He is also a frequent speaker at local churches and elementary schools.
The Stone Mountain High School (GA) product is also an active member of the Clemson Athletes Outreach Program. Last year he received an Atlantic Coast Conference Top Six Award, an honor given to six student-athletes at each ACC school for helping others and volunteering time in the community.
The other 10 Division I-A players chosen to the AFCA Good Works Team were Dan Alexander (Nebraska), Corey Atkins (South Carolina), Wes Counts (Middle Tennessee State), Casey Crawford (Virginia), Haven Fields (Auburn), Curtis Fuller (TCU), Seth Hanson (Kentucky), Grant Irons (Notre Dame), Bill Marsau (Iowa State), and Dulymus McAlister (Mississippi).
Young, Carson Named Academic All-District Kyle Young and Chad Carson, two mainstays of the Clemson football team, have been named to the GTE Academic All-District team. The team is made up of players from Division I-A or Division I-AA teams from the states of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.
Clemson and Duke were the only ACC schools with two selections on the all-district III team. Carson, a linebacker from Newnan, GA, and Young, a center from Clemson, SC, will now be candidates for the Academic All-America team, which will be voted on and announced in December. This is the first time Clemson has ever had two players on the All-District III team who were sophomores in terms of eligibility.
Carson is a biological sciences major with a 3.9 GPA. He is a sophomore in football eligibility, but a junior in the classroom. On the field, he has 118 tackles this year, an average of 11.8 per game. He ranks second on the Clemson team and fourth in the ACC.
Young is a secondary education major and has a 3.96 career GPA. Like Carson, he is a junior academically and a sophomore athletically. Young is the starting center and highest graded offensive lineman on the Clemson team. He has started every game this year and has averaged 70 snaps per game. He also leads the team in knock down blocks with 62. His consistent play is one reason the Tigers have averaged 401 yards per game, third highest average in Clemson history.
Other ACC players on the All-District III team are Spencer Romine of Duke (quarterback), Sims Lenhardt of Duke (kicker), Chris Hope of Florida State, and Dan Dyke of Georgia Tech (punter).
Clemson Defense Has Faced the Best Quarterbacks
Clemson ranks second in the ACC and 20th in the nation in pass defense. The Tigers ranked 56th in the country in pass defense last year and had just seven interceptions. This year the interception total has improved to 19th and that total is currently tied for third best in the nation. Florida State and Marshall, two Clemson opponents this year, have 20 and Clemson and Oregon have 19 apiece.
Clemson has achieved this improvement and high national ranking against a strong list of opposing quarterbacks. In fact, Clemson has faced five of the top 12, including each of the top three ranked quarterbacks in the nation in terms of passing efficiency. The list of quarterbacks who have faced Clemson this year are #1 ranked Joe Hamilton of Georgia Tech, #2 Chad Pennington of Marshall, #3 Michael Vick of Virginia Tech, #7 Chris Weinke of Florida State and #12 Dan Ellis of Virginia.
Those five quarterbacks have a combined passing efficiency figure this year of 160.4. Their combined efficiency against Clemson is just 120.5. They have combined to throw just six touchdown passes (five by Hamilton) and have thrown eight interceptions. For the year, the five quarterbacks have thrown 102 touchdown passes. Only Hamilton has had a better passing efficiency against Clemson than his season average.
Clemson vs. the 5 of top 12 Quarterbacks in 1999
Tigers Have Faced Toughest Schedule All 3 Undefeated Teams Clemson has faced the nation’s toughest schedule according to the Jeff Sagarin computer rankings. The Clemson schedule includes games against the only three undefeated teams left in college football, Marshall, Florida State and Virginia Tech. Clemson opponents are 63-36 so far this year.
As noted above, Clemson has faced five of the top 12 quarterbacks in the nation and also three of the top 20 rushers (Thomas Jones of Virginia, Lamont Jordan of Maryland and Shyrone Stith of Virginia Tech).
Clemson is also the only school in the nation to face three of the five quarterbacks nationally who are in their fourth year as starting quarterbacks. Chad Pennington of Marshall, Jamie Barnette of NC State and Joe Hamilton of Georgia Tech are all in their fourth years. All three defeated Clemson this year.
Clemson has a 5-5 overall record, but is still held in respect by the Sagarin poll. Clemson is ranked 16th in the nation in the overall rankings by Sagarin, the only team in the top 30 in the country that does not have a winning record. Obviously the schedule ranking has a lot to do with that. Clemson has faced #1 Florida State, #2 Virginia Tech, #12 Georgia Tech and #13 Marshall according to the Sagarin rankings.
It is also interesting to note that this weekend’s game will be a battle of the top two teams in the nation according to the Sagarin schedule ranking. Clemson is number-one and South Carolina is number-two.
National Schedule Ranking by Sagarin
Overall Sagarin Rankings
Georgia Tech 45, Clemson 42 Clemson is coming off the wildest combined offensive game in school history. Number-12 ranked Georgia Tech defeated the Tigers 45-42 in Atlanta on November 13th. It was the first time that Clemson was involved in a game in which both teams scored at least 40 points and it was the most points Clemson has ever scored in a loss.
Clemson made two major combacks in the contest. Georgia Tech took a 21-0 lead in the first quarter behind the passing of Joe Hamilton, who finished the day 22-30 for 322 yards and five touchdowns. With starting quarterback Brandon Streeter out for thegame with a dislocated hip, Woodrow Dantzler came off the bench and led Clemson back. In fact, he led Clemson all the way back by halftime to a 28-28 tie. In fact, Clemson had an opportunity to take the lead before intermission.
But, Tech came out hot in the third period and Clemson had three straight three-and-outs offensively. Clemson had just 20 yards total offense in the third period and Tech took a 45-28 advantage.
Clemson got back on track in the fourth period and scored two touchdowns to make the count 45-42. The Tigers got the ball back with 4:32 left in the game at the Clemson 41. But, the Tigers could get no closer than the Tech 39. A fourth-down pass to the endzone went incomplete and Tech ran out the final 3:07 of the game.
Dantlzer, playing just the last three quarters, gained 305 yards of total offense, 120 rushing and 185 passing. He threw for two scores, one to tight end Pat Cyrgalis and one to Mal Lawyer, and also rushed for a touchdown. Travis Zachery scored three touchdowns, the third time this year he has scored at least three touchdowns in a game. Cyrgalis was Clemson’s top receiver with 4-58. Tech shutdown Clemson’s top receiver Rod Gardner (2-45) and second leading receiver Brian Wofford suffered a sprained knee and did not play in the second half.
On defense, Keith Adams had 15 tackles and two sacks and broke the ACC record for tackles for loss in a season. He now has 29. Chad Carson also had 15 tackles and Robert Carswell added 14 tackles, a fumble recovery and a pass interception. But, the defense could not contain Tech, who gained 537 yards of total offense, most against Clemson since 1993. Hamilton’s 410 yards of total offense was the most ever against Clemson by an individual. Kelly Campbell was the top receiver with 8-135 and two scores.
Cyrgalis Active at Tight End Pat Cyrgalis led Clemson in receiving at Georgia Tech with a career high four catches for a career high 58 yards and his second touchdown of the seaosn. His 18-yard touchdown reception in the first half from Woodrow Dantzler was just the second touchdown reception by a Clemson tight end in the decade of the 1990s.
Cyrgalis, a freshman from New Jersey, had four catches in the game, the most by a Clemson tight end since Lamont Hall had 4-44 receiving at Wake Forest in 1997. It was the first time a Clemson tight end had led Clemson in receiving in a game since 1992, ironically at Georgia Tech, when Ty Gibson led the Tigers with 2-37 receiving. It was the most reception yards by a Clemson tight end since Jim Riggs had 3-83 and a touchdown against Georgia in 1985.
Speck Sets Clemson Record Chad Speck established a Clemson single game record at Georgia Tech for special teams tackles. The junior from Tennessee had seven special teams tackles, four first hits and three assists. Three of his tackles were on punt coverage and four were on kickoff return coverage. He broke the record of six special teams tackles in a game by Arthur Bussie against Long Beach State in 1990. Speck now has 14 special teams tackles this year, tops on the Clemson team.
From 103rd to 3rd in Turnover Margin One of the areas of improvement made by Coach Tommy Bowden and his staff is in the area of turnover margin. He stressed that as an area that needed improvement from his opening press conference. The daily reminders of putting the ball on the ground, or throwing interceptions has paid off.
This week, Clemson is third in the nation in turnover margin. Clemson has forced 26 turnovers this year and committed just 15. That is a +11 in terms of the total turnover margin. For last year, Clemson was a -11 for the 11 games. This year Clemson has scored an even 100 points off turnovers, while the opposition has scored just 34 points. Three of Clemson’s interceptions have been deep passes at the end of the half, thus not allowing the opposition time to score. Clemson was 103rd in turnover margin last year, so that is a 100-place improvement.
Tigers Try to Break Two Holtz Streaks Clemson will try to break two Lou Holtz streaks this weekend. Holtz is a perfect 4-0 against Clemson in his career. All four victories took place when he was the head coach at NC State (1972-75). Holtz is also undefeated as a Division I coach in the final game of his first season with a program. Saturday’s game will be the final game of South Carolina’s season, Holtz’s first year in Columbia.
This will be South Carolina’s second game against an ACC team this year. NC State defeated the Gamecocks 10-0 in the season opener for South Carolina in a driving rainstorm in Raleigh. NC State is the only common opponent for the two teams. The Wolfpack defeated Clemson 35-31 in Raleigh this year.
Visitor Has Upper Hand Recently There are many unusual notes and statistical oddities about the Clemson vs. South Carolina rivalry, but the one that sticks out currently is the success of the visiting team. The road team has won seven of the last eight games between the two teams dating to 1990. Clemson broke the streak of seven straight wins by the road team last year with a 28-19 Tiger victory in Clemson.
Clemson has had great success at South Carolina in recent years. In fact, Clemson has won five in a row at Williams Brice dating to a 45-0 victory in 1989. Clemson won in 1991 by a 41-24 count, took the 1993 game by a 16-13 score, then won in 1995, 38-17. Clemson won the last meeting in Columbia in 1997, 47-21. That is an average Clemson victory of 37.4 to 15 in the last five games in Columbia combined.
Last Year in Review Clemson 28, South Carolina 19 Clemson defeated arch-rival South Carolina for the first time on its own field since 1990 by a 28-19 score in the 96th meeting before 84,423 fans, the fourth largest crowd (now fifth) in Memorial Stadium history. The Tigers also broke the seven-year streak that saw the visiting team win the annual state championship game.
South Carolina took advantage of a Tiger defense, who was without its leading tackler, Chris Jones, on its first possession of the game when Gamecock quarterback Anthony Wright scrambled around right end four yards for the score. Troy Hambrick’s 20-yard run to the Tiger 19 set up the score on the 14-play, 80-yard drive.
The Tigers responded with a 13-play, 72-yard, 6:15 drive capped by Brandon Streeter’s seven-yard shovel pass to Javis Austin for a touchdown. Marcus Martin’s 18-yard, fingertip catch on third down from the South Carolina 24 set up the score.
The Gamecocks threatened on their next possession by driving into Tiger territory, but red-shirt freshman safety Charles Hafley got his first career interception to stem the tide. Hafley, who also had a career-high eight tackles, a caused fumble, and a touchdown-saving pass breakup, was named the ACC Rookie-of-the-Week for his efforts.
Austin scored his second touchdown when he ran four yards around right end with 6:28 left in the second quarter. Austin, who had nine carries for 50 yards and three catches for 32 yards, capped the 12-play, 58-yard drive that saw the Tigers convert all three third-down opportunities, including a Streeter to Rod Gardner hookup to give the Tigers first-and-goal.
On South Carolina’s second play of the second half, Tiger reserve outside linebacker Howard Bartley dropped into coverage and picked off Wright’s pass for his first career interception. Bartley then raced 48 yards to paydirt to give Clemson a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter.
Michael Allen picked off Phil Petty on the Gamecocks’ next possession and raced 50 yards down the sideline to the four-yard line, where Jermale Kelly finally pulled Allen down. Kelly’s tackle proved pivotal as Clemson was stopped on fourth-and-one on the ensuing drive.
The Gamecocks cut into the Tiger lead early in the fourth quarter on Steve Mixon’s one-yard plunge. But Courtney Leavitt missed the extra point and Clemson held on to a 21-13 lead.
The Tigers responded two possessions later with a six-play, 53-yard scoring drive. On third-and-nine, Streeter connected with Travis Zachery in the flats. Zachery, who had 53 rushing yards on 17 carries and three catches for 32 yards, avoided would-be tacklers and raced 26 yards for six.
South Carolina came right back with a scoring drive capped by a Petty to Mixon four-yard pass to cut the deficit to 28-19 with 7:01 remaining in the game. But Petty’s two-point try fell incomplete and kept the Tiger lead at two scores. Clemson kept the ball for the remaining time on its next drive to seal the game.
Clemson was led on defense by safety Robert Carswell with 11 tackles. Harold Means also had 10 tackles, three tackles-for-loss, and two sacks. Adrian Dingle, who was playing in his last game as a Tiger, added 1.5 sacks to give him 10.5 on the season, a new Clemson single-season record. The Tiger defense had five sacks to South Carolina’s none.
Clemson 47, South Carolina 21 Last Meeting in Columbia Clemson scored 44 unanswered points, including a 27-0 run in the third period, and defeated archrival South Carolina 47-21 at Columbia, SC. Nealon Greene completed 12-15 passes for 157 yards and three touchdowns and Tony Horne became the first player in Clemson history to score a touchdown on a punt return and a reception in the same game. The Tigers celebrated a 47-point performance, the most points scored by a Clemson team against South Carolina since 1900.
There was a pregame uncertainty about the physical condition of Raymond Priester, who had missed most of the last three games with a sprained ankle. But, Priester showed he was healthy on the opening drive and led the Tigers to a field goal that put Clemson up 3-0.
South Carolina then retaliated with a pair of rushing touchdowns, two of just 10 rushing scores yielded by Reggie Herring’s sixth-ranked rushing defense all season. The Gamecocks were driving for a third score of the first half when one play turned the course of the game. Troy Hambrick threw a bad pitch and Clemson freshman Chad Speck pounced on his first career fumble recover.
With just 1:48 remaining in the half, Clemson’s productive two-minute offense drove for a score. Greene was involved in all six plays, including a pair of double digit yardage runs. He found Brian Wofford for a seven-yard score 33 seconds before halftime.
Antwan Edwards, who had been moved to cornerback in week seven, dominated the third period like no Clemson defensive back since Terry Kinard won National Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1982.
First, he intercepted Victor Penn’s sideline pass. Six plays later Nealon Greene connected with Tony Horne for a record tying eighth touchdown pass of the season. It as Greene’s 15th scoring pass of the season, a Clemson single season mark.
The Clemson defense performed on cue. Tony Plantin, who had a season best seven tackles, combined with Adrian Dingle to sack Victor Penn. Punting from the shadow of their goal line, The Gamecocks booted to Tony Horne. The ACC’s top All-purpose player, made a few timely direction changes and darted 39-yards for a touchdown, Clemson’s first punt return for a score in six years.
But, the Clemson defense as not finished. On the very next South Carolina possession, Edwards was at it again. This time the ACC Defensive Player of the Week took the scoring load into his own hands and pranced 42-yards for a touchdown and a 33-14 Clemson lead.
After another 3-and-out by the Clemson defense, the Tigers offensive line and Raymond Priester took its turn at demonstrating its dominance. Seven rushing plays in the middle of the field set up the Gamecocks for another scoring pass, this time to Mal Lawyer, who was Greene’s third different touchdown teammate of the evening.
The completion gave Clemson five touchdowns and 34 points in 15 minutes. The 27 points in the third period were the most productive frame by a Clemson team in nine years. The 27 points were scored in just 14 offensive plays, and it marked the first time in history that Clemson had two returns for touchdown in one quarter.
Clemson’s offense was not finished. On its first possession of the fourth period, Clemson drove 80 yards in 8 plays, all on the ground. Priester, who had 112 yards rushing on the day, provided much of the yardage on this 24-yard run. Freshman Javis Austin, who had a season high 90 yards for the evening, finished the drive with a 19-yard sprint up the middle behind outstanding blocks from a dominating offensive line. It gave Clemson touchdowns on six consecutive possessions.
Oldest Rivalry in the South The Clemson vs. South Carolina game is the longest active uninterrupted series in the South. This will be the 91st consecutive year that Clemson and South Carolina have met on the gridiron, every year since 1909.
There are three rivalries nationally that had a longer streak heading into this year. The only others longer than the Clemson vs. South Carolina rivalry are Kansas vs. Nebraska and Minnesota vs. Wisconsin.
Longest Active Uninterrupted Series in College Football
Other Notes on the Series
This is the 97th game in the history of the series, Clemson hasa 57-35-4 advantage in the series. Clemson has scored 1803 pointsand South Carolina has 1219. Clemson has beaten South Carolina morethan any other team. In fact, 10 percent of all of Clemson’s winsin history are over South Carolina. Wake Forest is second on thelist of Clemson victims with 50. Clemson has won 8 of the last 11games against South Carolina and the average score has been 29-19,which was nearly the exact score of last year’s game, a 28-19Clemson victory. Clemson has an 12-7-1 (.625) lead in the serieswith South Carolina in games played in Death Valley. Clemson has a26-16-2 (.614) advantage in games played in Williams Brice Stadium.As you can see, Clemson has nearly the same winning percentage athome as it has on the road. Over the last 37 games, or since thegame was moved to the end of the season for both teams, Clemson hashad the better record 25 times. Clemson has a 16-7-2 record since1962 when the Tigers have had a better overall record entering thecontest. Clemson has a 45-28-3 advantage in the series in gamesplayed in Columbia, including 26-16-2 in contest at Williams BriceStadium. The first meeting was held in 1896, Clemson’s first yearof football, and the Gamecocks came away with a 12-6 victory.
Tigers Tie ACC Record for Improvement Clemson tied the ACC record for improvement in the ACC standings this year. The Tigers were 1-7 and eighth in the final 1998 ACC standings, but the 5-3 record this year assures Clemson will be at least third in the final league standings for 1999. Nine other programs have made a five-place improvement in the ACC standings from one year to another.
Clemson has also made a four-game improvement in ACC wins from one year to another. It is just the fifth time in ACC history that a team made that big of a league victory jump. Only Georgia Tech and Coach George O’Leary, has made a five-game improvement, so Clemson’s improvement this year from one win to five, ties for second.
ACC Teams That Have Made a 5-Place Improvement in League Standings
*Note – Clemson is 2nd at the moment, but has clinchedat least 3rd
ACC Teams That have Made an Improvement of 4 ACC Wins in Consecutive Seasons
Clemson’s Improvement on Offense Significant Clemson has made a significant improvement when it comes to offense this year. A comparison between the first 10 games of this year with the per game averages of the entire 1998 season we see a large improvement. Clemson’s has improved its touchdown total by 45.7 percent, its passing offense by 33.6 percent, its total offense by 31.7 percent, its first down figure by 44 percent.
What is especially interesting is that Clemson has done this with two different quarterbacks, Brandon Streeter has played just 18 quarters all year due to injury and will not play at South Carolina due to a dislocated hip. Both quarterbacks have thrived in this offense, as both have had games of at least 350 yards of total offense.
Clemson Offense Comparison
Adams Sets ACC Tackle for Loss Record Clemson sophomore inside linebacker Keith Adams set an ACC record for tackles for loss this year with 29. He had two against Georgia Tech, giving him 29 for the year, two better than the previous mark held by Clemson’s William Perry (1984) and Rob Bodine (1991).
Adams had a Clemson single game record six tackles for loss against Duke on November 6, a Clemson record for a single game. The only other players in ACC history to reach at least 25 tackles for loss in a season are Ron Simmons of Florida State in 1977 and Mike McCrary of Wake Forest in 1992.
Adams had four sacks among his six tackles for loss against Duke and that was also a Clemson single game record. The four sacks gave him 11 for the season, another Clemson record. Adrian Dingle had 10.5 sacks last year and that had been the single season mark. He had two more at Tech so he now has an ACC best 13 for the year.
Adams now has 149 tackles for the season, an average of 14.9 per game. The Clemson record for tackles per game over a season is 14.83 by Anthony Simmons in 1996, so Adams is ahead of that record. Saturday he will become just the sixth player in Clemson history to record 150 tackles in a season.
ACC Single Season Tackles for Loss Bests
Adams National Defensive Player of the Year Candidate Sophomore linebacker Keith Adams is one of 15 semi-finalists for the Football News National Defensive Player-of-the-Year award. Adams, who is in his first year as a starter, has totaled at least 11 tackles and one tackle-for-loss in every game against the toughest schedule in the country according to the Sagarin Rating. He has also been named ACC Defensive Lineman-of-the-Week four times this season. Ironically, all four selections have been for performances in ACC home games.
Adams is one of seven linebackers and joins Alex Brown (DE, Florida) as the only two sophomores to make the list. Other semi-finalists include LaVar Arrington (LB, Penn State, Jr.), Courtney Brown (DE, Penn State, Sr.), Tyrone Carter (S, Minnesota, Sr.), Na’il Diggs (LB, Ohio State, Jr.), Deon Grant (DB, Tennessee, Jr.), Julius Jackson (LB, Nebraska, Sr.), Corey Moore (DE, Virginia Tech, Sr.), Julian Peterson (LB, Michigan State, Sr.), Corey Simon (DT, Florida State, Sr.), Mark Simoneau (LB, Kansas State, Sr.), Adalius Thomas (DE, Southern Mississippi, Sr.), Brian Urlacher (S, New Mexico, Sr.), and Nate Webster (LB, Miami (FL), Jr.).
Clemson Award Finalists or Semifinalists
Adams Enhancing Linebacker Tradition Clemson has a strong tradition of excellence at the linebacker position. The Tigers have seven former linebackers on NFL rosters this year, including Pro Bowl players Ed McDaniel (Minnesota) and Levon Kirkland (Pittsburgh) and 1997 first round draft choice Anthony Simmons (Seattle). Clemson also has had first round draft choice Wayne Simmons (1992 by Green Bay) in the 1990s and all-time great Jeff Davis, the captain of the National Championship team.
Current linebacker Keith Adams, only a sophomore, is striving to enhance that linebacker reputation by his play so far this season. He is on a pace to have the finest season in Clemson history for a linebacker, never mind just a sophomore. Through nine games, Adams has 149 tackles, an average of 14.9 per game, best in the ACC.
Adams had at least one sack in each of the first five games this year, tying Chester McGlockton’s record for consecutive games with a sack. McGlockton did it in 1989-90. The Maryland game is the only game this year in which he failed to record a quarterback sack, but he has had at least one tackle for loss in every game.
Comparison of Sophomore Seasons
Clemson Needs One Win to become Bowl Eligible Clemson needs just one more victory to reach the magic six wins and become bowl eligible for 1999. This would be quite an accomplishment for a program that was picked sixth in the ACC preseason football poll and ranked in the mid-fifties in most of the preseason publications that ranked all 114 Division I teams.
Clemson has already exceeded its win total of last year when it was 3-8 and has already four times as many ACC wins as last year. Clemson was tied for eighth in the league standings in 1998 and has already clinched at least a third-place finish.
Clemson has been outstanding in recent years when it smells a bowl game. Clemson has an 8-2 record since 1988 when it heads into games that can make the Tigers bowl eligible.
This will be the third time in history Clemson has entered the South Carolina game at the end of the season needing a win to clinch a bowl. In 1985 the Independence bowl told both teams prior to the game that the winner would be selected. Clemson won that game in Columbia, 24-17. IIn 1997, Clemson won at South Carolina, 47-21 with a bowl bid on the line. So Clemson is 2-0 against South Carolina when it needs to gain victory to qualify for a bowl. Conversely, South Carolina clinched a bowl with a win at Clemson in 1994.
Landmark Accomplishments in Clemson victory over Duke
Most points in any Clemson game since a 59-0 victory over LongBeach State in the season opener of 1990. Most points in an ACCgame since 1981 when Clemson defeated Wake Forest 82-24. It was thesecond highest point total ever for Clemson in an ACC game. Largestvictory margin in an ACC game since a 55-0 win at Virginia in 1984.Most yards of total offense since gaining 606 in a 54-3 win over UTChattanooga in 1992. Most yards gained in total offense in an ACCgame since gaining 756 against Wake Forest in 1981. It was thethird highest total offense game in an ACC game in history. KeithAdams set Clemson single game record for sacks (4) and tackles forloss (6). Travis Zachery scored four touchdowns, just the sixthplayer in Clemson history to do so and just one off the single gamerecord of five. Terry Jolly became first Clemson lineman to returnan interception for a touchdown since 1964. Brandon Streetercompleted 22-30 passes for 279 yards, best performance ever for aClemson senior quarterback in his final game in Death Valley.
Gardner Needs 4-45 Receiving Game for 2 Records Clemson receiver Rod Gardner had two catches for 45 yards against Georgia Tech and now needs just four catches for 45 yards at South Carolina to establish Clemson single season records in both areas. Gardner now has 67 receptions for 826 yards. Tony Horne holds the reception record with 70 in 1997 and Perry Tuttle’s reception yardage record of 915 yards has stood since 1980.
Gardner is now 16th in the nation in receptions per game with a 6.7 figure. That is second best in the ACC. His yardage average of 87.1 is 28th best in the nation. One of the greatest examples of Clemson’s improvement in the passing games is the existence of three Tigers ranked among the top 10 receivers in the ACC. Rod Gardner (2), Brian Wofford (4) and Mal Lawyer (10) are all in the top 10. Clemson has never had three of the top 10 receivers in the league.
Wofford ranks 45th in the nation in receptions per game with 5.2 and has 52 total for the year. This is the first time in history that Clemson has had two players on the same team reach 40 catches in the same year, never mind 50. Gardner’s 6.7 receptions per game is at a Clemson record pace, while Wofford’s 5.2 catches per game would be third best in Clemson history.
Top Clemson Single Season Reception Totals
Clemson Top Reception Yardage Seasons
Top Receptions/Game Figures
Here is a list of Clemson players who have ranked in the final top 25 in the nation in receiving:
*Receivers ranked on total receptions
Gardner Tied Record vs. Marshall Clemson wide receiver Rod Gardner tied one all-time Clemson record and set two others in the season opener against Marshall. The junior from Jacksonville, FL caught 11 passes for 111 yards. That is a lot of ones for his night’s work, and that effort has led to his number-one ranking among the receivers in the ACC. He has had at least six catches in every game this year.
Gardner’s opening day performance tied the Clemson single game mark held by Phil Rogers, who had 11 receptions at North Carolina in 1965. Gardner’s performance was the most ever for a Tiger in Death Valley (58 years) and the most ever by a Clemson player in the opening game of the season.
Seven times a Clemson player has had 10 catches in a game. Gardner did it again against Duke on November 6 when he had 10 for 122. Tony Horne did it twice in his 70-reception season of 1997, while Perry Tuttle had a pair of 10-catch games, one in 1980 and one in 1981. Hank Walker was the first Clemson receiver to have a double-digit reception game, as he had 10 against Auburn in 1947. Charlie Waters, more famous for his exploits as an NFL defensive back, had 10 catches against Alabama in 1969.
Tiger Offense Breaks Season Passing Yardage Mark Clemson has passed for 2464 yards this season, an all-time Clemson record and there is still another game to play. The 1997 Clemson team, behind quarterback Nealon Greene, threw for 2299 yards and that was the previous best. Last year’s Clemson team threw for 2030 and those are the only other teams over 2000 yards in a season for the Tigers.
Clemson has reached this level with two quarterbacks throwing for over 1000 yards. Brandon Streeter has passed for 1165 yards, while Woodrow Dantzler has 1252 yards passing. This is the first time in Clemson history that two different quarterbacks have thrown for over 1000 yards. Clemson is also on a record pace in terms of completion percentage. The Tigers stand at 62.6 percent so far this year, ahead of the single season record of 60.5 in 1997.
The Tigers have also already set the record for 200-yard passing games in a season. Clemson has eight this year, one more than the 1997 team had.
Clemson Averaging Over 400 Yards Per Game With the 428 yards of total offense against Georgia Tech , Clemson improved its total offense average to 401.5 for the season. If the season ended today that would be third best in Clemson history. Only two Clemson teams have averaged 400 yards a game over the course of a season. The 1978 Clemson team averaged 427.8 yards a game and the 1991 Clemson team averaged 404 per game.
Zachery Nears touchdown Mark Travis Zachery had a breakout game against Duke. The sophomore picked up 141 yards rushing on 17 attempts and scored four touchdowns. He became just the sixth player in Clemson history to score four touchdowns in a game, the first since Emory Smith against Wake Forest in 1995.
Zachery had three more scores at Georgia Tech and now has 14 touchdowns for the season and has jumped from nowhere to 10th in the country in scoring. He is fourth in the ACC and 45th in the nation in rushing with 80.2 yards a game. He is also now returning punts and has caught 16 passes out of thebackfield. He ranks first on the team in all-purpose yards per game at 99.6.
Jolly Scores on Interception Return Junior tackle Terry Jolly became the first Clemson lineman in 34 years to return an interception for a touchdown when he rambled 20 yards with a Duke pass attempt on November 6. It was the first time since 1964 that a lineman had accomplished the feat. Ted Bunton had a 48-yard interception return against Virginia for a score.
Jolly has been coming on strong of late and now leads Clemson defensive linemen in tackles and tackles for loss. He has 55 stops for the year, tied for fourth on the team. He also has 10 tackles for loss for 37 yards, second on the team behind Keith Adams monster total of 29. Jolly had a career high 11 tackles at Wake Forest, most by a Clemson defensive lineman this year. He also had eight tackles, seven first hits, at Georgia Tech. He had two tackles for loss and a sack in the win over Duke to go with his interception return. He also had a fine game at NC State with nine tackles, three behind the line of scrimmage.
Odd But True Clemson ended its odd game jinx with the 58-7 win over Duke. Clemson had lost every odd numbered game this year prior to the win in game 9 against Duke.
This streak went against Clemson’s success in odd numbered seasons in recent years. Clemson has been to a bowl game or won at least nine games in every odd numbered season since 1977. Obviously, Clemson could keep this streak alive by going to a bowl this year, a goal that is still alive.
This odd success rate is even more prevalent in the last eight years. Over the last four odd numbered seasons, Clemson is 34-15-1, a 70 percent winning percentage. Clemson has been to a bowl game each year and can clinch one for 1999 with a win on Saturday. Over the last four even numbered years, Clemson is just 20-25, a 44.4 percent winning percentage. Clemson has been to a bowl game just one of the last four even numbered seasons.
Polite Provides Big Plays One of the most improved players on the Clemson defense this year has been cornerback Dextra Polite. The senior from Moultrie,GA has 13 passes broken up to lead the team, including three in consecutive games against Maryland and Florida State. He had two passes broken up at Georgia Tech.
Polite provided two of the biggest defensive plays of the season in the win at Wake Forest. First, he made a solo tackle on top Wake Forest rusher Morgan Kane at the one-yard line that prevented a touchdown on a second-and-goal play. Clemson ended up limiting Wake Forest to a field goal, thus that was a four-point tackle.
Then, after Clemson had taken a 5-3 lead, Polite made a one-handed interception at midfield and returned it 27 yards. Clemson converted the turnover into a touchdownd that salted the game away. He was named ACC Defensive Back of the Week for that performance.
Polite now has four interceptions for the season, second on the team and 40th best in the nation. He was outstanding against Florida State, recording three passes broken up and an interception. He was in charge of defending Peter Warrick most of the night. Although Warrick caught 11 passes, he averaged only 11 yards a catch and never had a gain over 19 yards. For the year, Polite has 37 tackles, 11 passes broken up and three interceptions.
Final Stretch for Clemson seniors Clemson’s 11 seniors are heading down the home stretch with just one regular season game left and hopefully a bowl game. This is the smallest senior class at Clemson since the 1985 season when the Tigers also had 11. Of the 11 seniors listed below, just seven are on scholarship. This list does not include Terry Witherspoon, who could return to Clemson for the 2000 season if he graduates this summer.
This year’s senior class features Brandon Streeter, who has established nine Clemson passing records in his career. Brian Wofford and Mal Lawyer are both ranked in the top eight in Clemson history in receptions, while Domarco Fox has been a starting defender for three years and has been among the team’s top five tacklers three years in a row.
As a team, this class has helped Clemson to two bowl games and a win today could go a long way towards making it three bowl games in four seasons. Another highlight was a 6-2 ACC record and second place finish in 1996, Peach Bowl appearances in 1996 and 1997, and this year’s home victory over 19th ranked Virginia.
Clemson Senior Class
Clemson Leads ACC in Sacks Clemson led the ACC in sacks last year with 40 and the Tigers hold the same standing in the league so far this year. In fact, Clemson has equalled that figure this year with 40 through 10 games. Keith Adams is the leader in that area with 13 for 89 lost yards. That is already a Clemson single season record. Fourteen other players have contributed to the sack total this year.
Clemson had eight sacks against Duke. That was the most sacks by the Tigers in a single game since Trevor Pryce and the Tigers had eight in a victory over Maryland in 1996. Clemson averaged 3.6 sacks a game last year in leading the ACC. Clemson averages 4.0 sacks per game so far this year. The Clemson record for a season is 46, set in 1992 and 1996.
Death Valley Attendance Record Set vs. Florida State Clemson set an all-time attendance record for fans and media on October 23 when Florida State came to town. The Bowden vs. Bowden game attracted 86,092 fans according to ticket manager Van Hilderbrand. That broke the record of 85,872 set against South Carolina in 1994.
Clemson averaged 77,787 for its five home games, up from an average of 68,312 of last year. That is the highest season average since 1990 and the sixth highest in Clemson history. Clemson drew 79,186 for the opener against Marshall, the third largest opening day crowd in Clemson history. The North Carolina game drew 81,737 and the Virginia game drew 66,922.
Three Tiger Tacklers Over 100 Tackles Three players have led Clemson in tackles all year and all three average over 11 stops per game. No team in Clemson history has finished the year with three players averaging at least 11 tackles per game. Keith Adams (14.9), Chad Carson (11.8), and Robert Carswell (11.5) are all averaging in double figures this year and all three already have over 100 tackles this year. All three rank among the top six tacklers in the ACC.
All three were in double figures at Wake Forest when Clemson had one of its best defensive performances of the season. Carson had a career high 16 tackles, while Adams had 13. Carswell had 10 stops from his safety position. They are certainly the leaders of the Clemson defense. No other Tiger has even recorded 60 tackles this season.
Defense Outstanding vs. Florida State Although Clemson suffered a loss to Florida State on October 23rd, it might have been the best performance of the year by the Clemson defense. When you take into account what Florida State averages per game and what they produced against the Tigers, it was the top game of the year for Clemson’s point prevention unit.
Florida State had just 17 points, one touchdown and just 3.9 yards per play against Clemson. Bobby Bowden’s team came into the game averaging 40 points, 4.7 touchdowns and six yards per play. The Tigers were also outstanding on special teams, holding the Seminoles to 6.5 yards per punt return.
Clemson’s defense continued its fine place at Wake Forest, holding the Deacons to just 128 yards passing and 239 yards of total offense. Wake Forest did not score a touchdown and scored just three total points. The Deacs had just 13 first downs and had three turnovers and three sacks against them.
Here is a chart that documents Clemson’s defensive performance against the Seminoles
Romano Makes Contribution Clemson punter Ryan Romano is quietly having a consistent and effective season. He might have had his best all-around game a against Florida State when he had eight punts for a 42.3 average. He averaged 46.2 yards a punt at Wake Forest and now has averaged at least 42 yards a punt in four of his last five games.
He had a career long 60-yarder againstFlorida State, and two punts inside the 20. Even more impressive is that he held Florida State, one of the most dangerous return teams in the nation, featuring All-American Peter Warrick. Warrick had just 2-10 in punt returns and FSU had just 4-26, meaning Romano had a 39-yard net punting figure for the evening.
Romano showed his all-around football abilities in the Florida State game when he completed a 23-yard pass on a fake punt to Braxton K. Williams, a play on fourth down that led to a Clemson touchdown.
Romano comes from an athletic family. His older brother Eric was a walk-on tight end at Florida State i nthe 1980s. Older brother Todd was a kicker for Iowa between 1991-95 and his brother Chad was a punter at Kansas State between 1992-96. His father was also a running back at Florida State.
Romano, who is studying to be a doctor and has been on the ACC Academic Honor roll each of his first three years at Clemson, has averaged 40.4 yards a boot this year and has a net figure of 36.4. He has 12 punts inside the 20 and 9 over 50. He has just five touchbacks against those 11 punts inside the 20.
Non-Quarterbacks 5-5 Passing Ryan Romano is one of three non-quarterbacks to attempt a pass this year. Five times on trick plays this year Coach Tommy Bowden has called some type of a pass from a kicker, holder or a receiver and they have worked for completions all four times. Rod Gardner is 2-2, Tony Lazzara is 1-1 for a nine-yard touchdown, Tucker Hamrick is 1-1 Romano is 1-1. The non-quarterbacks are now 5-5 for 47 yards and a touchdown. That computes to a 281.2 efficiency rating.
Witherspoon Ranked Second Among Fullbacks Clemson fullback Terry Witherspoon is ranked as the number-two senior fullback in the country available for the NFL draft according to the Sporting News. Witherspoon is ranked second behind Sammy Morris of Texas Tech and just ahead of Deon Dyer of North Carolina. Witherspoon has 14 rushes for 39 yards and one touchdown this season.
Witherspoon’s status for the draft will not be known until the summer. As a partial qualifier out of high school, he could come back to Clemson for another season of eligibility if he graduates this summer. He is on track to do that and could take that option.
Clemson Starts a Young Team Clemson starts one of the youngest teams in the nation. The Tigers start just three seniors on defense, Damonte McKenzie (DT), DoMarco Fox (SS) and Dextra Polite (CB). On offense, the only seniors are wide receivers Brian Wofford and Mal Lawyer. Thus, Clemson should have 17 starters back next year, nine on offense and eight on defense. This is the fewest seniors starting over the course of a season since 1994 when Clemson started just one senior on offense and four on defense.
Clemson Records Set in 1999 In 10 games so far this year, many Clemson single game or miscellaneous individual records records have been set:Single Game Passing Yardage: 343 by Brandon Streeter vs. Virginia Singe Game Total Offense: 435 by Woodrow Dantzler vs. Maryland Single Game Rushing by quarterback: 183 by Woodrow Dantzler vs. Maryland Single Game Completions: *27 by Brandon Streeter vs. Virginia Tech Single Game Receptions: *11 by Rod Gardner vs. Marshall Most Completions 3 Consecutive Games: 74 by Brandon Streeter Completion Percentage, Season: 67.7 by Brandon Streeter Most Tackles for Loss, single game: *6 by Keith Adams vs. Duke Most Sacks in a single game: 4 by Keith Adams vs. Duke Most Tackles for loss in a season: 29 by Keith Adams Special Teams Tackles in a Game: 7 by Chad Speck at Georgia Tech Most Sacks in a season: 11 by Keith Adams Most Consecutive Games with a Sack: *5 by Keith Adams*Denotes tied record
Clemson Unbeaten when over 200 Rushing and Passing Clemson had 319 yards rushing and 239 yards passing in the victory over Duke on November 6. It was the third time this year Clemson has had at least 200 yards rushing and 200 yard passing in the same game. Clemson also did it in victories over North Carolina and Maryland 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 now 29-0-1 in their history (11-0 in the decade of the 1990s 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.
Achieving this balance was a hallmark of Tommy Bowden’s teams at Tulane. In fact, last year Tulane averaged 300 yards passing and 200 yards rushing, the only school in the nation to do it. In his two years and 22 games as head coach at Tulane, Tommy Bowden’s Green Wave teams had at least 200 yards of each in nine games, and they were 9-0 in those games.
Fans think of Clemson as a passing team, now with this new Indy 500 Offense under Bowden and offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez. In the 42-30 win over Maryland, Clemson ran the ball 56 times and threw it just 23 times. Clemson had 52 rushes against Duke. Clemson’s 290 yards rushing were its high total since gaining 291 on the ground against NC State in 1996. Clemson scored six rushing touchdwons in the game, its high mark since scoring six rushing against Long Beach State in 1990.
Young, Smith Lead Young Offensive Line Clemson’s young and light offensive line made large improvement against Maryland. That was obvious by the offensive production. The Tigers gained 542 yards total offense, its high total in seven years. Akil Smith was Clemson’s top offensive lineman in the win over Maryland. He graded 85 percent for his 81 plays of action and had a season high 11 knockdown blocks. He graded 85 percent with 11 more knockdowns in just 64 plays against Duke.
Kyle Young is just a sophomore, but is the most experienced of the linemen. The native of Clemson is the brother of former Clemson All-ACC guard Will Young and the grandson of former Tiger Ed McClendon. Young graded 85 percent for his 66 snaps against North Carolina and had seven knockdown blocks.
Clemson’s offensive line averages 261 pounds per man, but they are in good physical condition. Many of the starters have gone the distance this season. Young has seven complete games. John McDermott, starting tackle, actually has gone the distance in nine of 10 games so far this season, the only Tiger on the entire team who can make that claim. Akil Smith has seven complete games.
Guard Theo Mougros has gone the route in eight of the 10 games. T.J. Watkins, who starts at guard after playing tackle the first three games this year and tight end last year, has played every snap in one game and missed just one snap in another. Will Merritt, returned to action against Duke after suffering a broken collarbone on September 17. All five starters on the offensive line are underclassmen, three are sophomores (Young, Smith and Watkins).
Clemson Football Graduation Rate Cited by AFCA The Clemson football program cited this past summer by the American Football Coaches Association for a graduation rate of over 70 percent. For the class entering in the fall of 1993, Clemson had a 75 percent graduation rate. The national average was 56 percent.
“We congratulate our student-athletes first,” said Athletic Director Bobby Robinson. “We also feel this is a testimony to the efforts of our coaches and Bill D’Andrea’s staff at the Department of Student-Athlete Enrichment Programs.
“We have seen consistent improvement in the academic performance of our football program and all of our athletic teams in recent years since we built Vickery Hall in 1991. We are pleased with these results and our inclusion on this prestigious list.”
Clemson’s program is in good shape to earn future citations from the AFCA. Fourteen of the 18 seniors (78 percent) on Clemson’s 1998 team will have their degrees by August 7. The only four seniors on the 1998 team who have not yet earned their degrees are currently members of NFL teams.
This past spring the Clemson football team had a team GPA of 2.38, its highest on record for a semester, and 24 members of the squad were on the academic honor roll. Thirteen members of the team had a GPA over 3.00 for the year and will be named to the ACC Academic Honor roll in July. That list includes starting center Kyle Young who had a perfect 4.0 for the year. Quarterback Brandon Streeter, who already has his undergraduate degree, is also on that list.
Clemson is one of five ACC schools to make the list of honored schools. The other ACC schools with a graduation rate of at least 70 percent were Duke, Virginia, Wake Forest and North Carolina. Duke was honored as the national champion with a 100 percent rate for the class that entered in 1993. It is the 12th time in the 19 year history of the award that an ACC school has had the highest graduation rate. The ACC had 55 percent of its conference members on the list, the highest percentage in the nation.
Tigers Not Nocturnal If you see disappointment on the faces of Clemson coaches and administrators when a Tiger game is moved to a night kickoff due to television you might check Clemson’s record in the decade of the 1990s to see why a frown appears. In the decade of the 1990s Clemson has a 27 percent winning percentage in night games and a 65 percent winning mark in day games. Clemson is just 5-14 in night games in the decade and 63-32-1 in day games. Clemson is 68-46-1 overall.
This year has continued that trend. Clemson is 5-1 in day games and 0-4 in night games in 1999. The South Carolina game in Columbia will be a 12:30 Noon start.
July 30, 2021
July 29, 2021
July 28, 2021