Adams, Tigers Rally In Fourth Quarter To Down Deacons, 27-17


by - Correspondent -
    |

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - As the final seconds ticked off the Groves Stadium scoreboard clock, Tommy Bowden took a quick detour en route to the traditional postgame handshake with the opposing coach.

The Clemson head coach took time to find defensive end Gaines Adams and give his senior a big, well-deserved hug; a hug borne out of Bowden's earlier plea for someone - anyone - to make a play and spark his Tigers.

Adams proved to be that spark, blowing up a botched Wake Forest field goal attempt on the first play of the fourth quarter, forcing a fumble he plucked out of midair and returned 66-yards for a touchdown. Adams' individual effort sparked a 24-point fourth quarter outburst Saturday afternoon, allowing Clemson to rally for a 27-17 victory at Wake Forest.

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for Bowden's Tigers (5-1, 3-1 ACC) at Groves Stadium, and knocked Wake Forest (5-1, 1-1) from the ranks of the unbeaten.

The win virtually came from nowhere, because for three quarters the game followed a familiar anti-Clemson pattern. Everything that could go wrong for the Tigers, it seemed, did go wrong as Wake Forest capitalized on four Clemson turnovers to build a 17-3 lead heading into the final period.

The Demon Deacons appeared ready to add to that lead when kicker Sam Swank lined up for a 42-yard field goal attempt on the first play of the fourth quarter.

But Wake holder Jon Temple bobbled the snap, and as he got up to try and run out of traffic Adams hit him with an upward, thrusting motion. The ball popped free and Adams picked it out of the air and rumbled untouched for the 66-yard score.

The momentum carried over to the next possession, when Brandon Cannon hit Wake quarterback Riley Skinner from behind and forced a fumble. The ball was recovered by Clemson's Rashaad Jackson at the Demon Deacons' 43.

Five plays later, Will Proctor (20-of-30, 214 yards, TD, 3 int.) found Aaron Kelly for a 20-yard TD pass to tie the game, 17-17, with 11:09 left in the game.

Wake Forest's next drive stalled near midfield and Swank's punt pinned Clemson back at its own four yard line.

A 10-yard run by Proctor, a four yard run from C.J. Spiller and a 10-yard pass from Procotr to tight end Thomas Hunter gave the Tigers a first down at the 28. The next play Spiller broke off right tackle and sprinted 72-yards down the far sideline for the Tigers' third touchdown of the period and a 24-17 lead.

C.J. Gaddis intercepted Skinner on Wake's next possession, and the Tigers drove the ball down inside the 10-yard line before settling on Jad Dean's 23-yard field goal. The kick came with 1:12 remaining and sealed the victory for Clemson.

Early on it looked like it would be anything but a profitable day for the Tigers.

Wake Forest's Kevin Marion returned the opening kickoff 93 yards to the Clemson seven yard line. And briefly in looked as if the tide would turn early when Clemson forced a fumble by Wake tailback De'Angelo Bryant and recovered inside the one.

Clemson drove almost the entire length of the field before stalling and settling for Dean's 20-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.

Then the Demon Deacons - and perhaps the demons - took over.

Wake Forest took the lead with :18 left in the period on a Skinner-to-Willie Idlette six yard touchdown pass. The Tigers promptly fumbled on the next possession when Proctor and tailback James Davis (26 carries, 95 yards) had a miscommunication on a handoff.

The Deacs then reached into their back of tricks and, on an inside handoff to wide receiver Nate Morton, saw Morton throw back to Skinner who had gotten behind cornerback Duane Coleman in the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown and a 14-3 lead.

The Tigers appeared poised to score late in the first half and cut into the Wake Forest lead, but Proctor was intercepted by Kevin Patterson at the Deacs' 11.

It was 14-3 at the half and 17-3 after Swank's 22-yard field goal with 5:13 left in the third quarter.

Clemson ended up outgaining Wake Forest 428-219 in total offense, and held the Deacs' to just 78 yards rushing. Each team committed four turnovers.

The victory was dampened a bit by another season-ending injury. Wide receiver Rendrick Taylor suffered a fracture in his left arm after falling hard in an attempt to reel in a third-quarter pass. Taylor will have surgery on the arm sometime in the next few days.

Clemson has a short turnaround this week, traveling to Charlotte on Thursday to face Temple.


Box Score

                                     CU       WF

FIRST DOWNS...................       23       15
  Rushing.....................       10        5
  Passing.....................       12        8
  Penalty.....................        1        2
NET YARDS RUSHING.............      214       31
  Rushing Attempts............       39       31
  Average Per Rush............      5.5      1.0
  Yards Gained Rushing........      223       78
  Yards Lost Rushing..........        9       47
NET YARDS PASSING.............      214      188
  Completions-Attempts-Int....  20-30-3  19-24-1
  Average Per Attempt.........      7.1      7.8
  Average Per Completion......     10.7      9.9
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS...........      428      219
  Total offense plays.........       69       55
  Average Gain Per Play.......      6.2      4.0
Fumbles: Number-Lost..........      2-1      4-3
Penalties: Number-Yards.......     6-47     4-45
PUNTS-YARDS...................     2-68    5-219
  Average Yards Per Punt......     34.0     43.8
  Net Yards Per Punt..........     34.0     43.8
  Inside 20...................        0        4
  50+ Yards...................        0        0
  Touchbacks..................        0        0
  Fair catch..................        0        0
KICKOFFS-YARDS................    6-244    4-230
  Average Yards Per Kickoff...     40.7     57.5
  Net Yards Per Kickoff.......     17.7     37.5
  Touchbacks..................        0        4
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD.    0-0-0    1-0-0
  Average Per Return..........      0.0      0.0
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD    0-0-0  6-138-0
  Average Per Return..........      0.0     23.0
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD..   1-21-0   3-39-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD.   1-66-1    0-0-0
Miscellaneous Yards...........        0        0
Possession Time...............    31:37    28:23
  1st Quarter.................     7:58     7:02
  2nd Quarter.................     7:52     7:08
  3rd Quarter.................     7:13     7:47
  4th Quarter.................     8:34     6:26
Third-Down Conversions........  4 of 12  2 of 11
Fourth-Down Conversions.......   1 of 1   0 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      3-3      3-4
Sacks By: Number-Yards........     4-27      0-0
PAT Kicks.....................      3-3      2-2
Field Goals...................      2-3      1-1

Individual Statistics 

Clemson

Rushing         No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
--------------------------------------------
Spiller, C       9  104    0  104  1 72 11.6
Davis, J        26   96    1   95  0 13  3.7
Ford, J          1   13    0   13  0 13 13.0
Proctor, W       3   10    8    2  0 10  0.7
Totals...       39  223    9  214  1 72  5.5

Passing         Att-Cmp-Int Yds TD Long Sack
--------------------------------------------
Proctor, W        30-20-3   214  1   41    0
Totals...         30-20-3   214  1   41    0

Receiving        No.  Yds   TD Long
-----------------------------------
Kelly, A           5   91    1   41
Ford, J            4   28    0   11
Davis, J           3   48    0   31
Spiller, C         3   18    0   15
Taylor, R          2   12    0    9
Hunter, T          1   10    0   10
Grisham, T         1    4    0    4
Harris, L          1    3    0    3
Totals...         20  214    1   41

Punting          No.  Yds   Avg Long In20   TB
----------------------------------------------
Chason, C          2   68  34.0   42    0    0
Totals...          2   68  34.0   42    0    0

                  Punts   Kickoffs  Intercept
All Returns     No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg
---------------------------------------------
Gaddis, C        0   0  0  0   0  0  1  21 21
Totals...        0   0  0  0   0  0  1  21 21

Field goal attempts
----------------------------------------
Dean, J         1st 07:47  20 yds - Good
Dean, J         3rd 11:45  53 yds - Missed
Dean, J         4th 01:12  23 yds - Good

Kickoffs         No.  Yds  TB  OB   Avg
---------------------------------------
Dean, J            6  244   0   0  40.7



Wake Forest

Rushing         No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
--------------------------------------------
Harris, K       12   51    1   50  0 14  4.2
Bryant, D        5    7    1    6  0  3  1.2
Marion, K        2    4    0    4  0  2  2.0
Belton, R        1    3    0    3  0  3  3.0
McWhite, D       2    3    0    3  0  3  1.5
Woods, T         2    1    1    0  0  1  0.0
Temple, J        1    0   10  -10  0  0 -10.0
Skinner, R       6    9   34  -25  0  5 -4.2
Totals...       31   78   47   31  0 14  1.0

Passing         Att-Cmp-Int Yds TD Long Sack
--------------------------------------------
Skinner, R        23-18-1   169  1   36    4
Morton, N          1-1-0     19  1   19    0
Totals...         24-19-1   188  2   36    4

Receiving        No.  Yds   TD Long
-----------------------------------
Morton, N          4   64    0   36
Idlette, W         3   38    1   29
Tereshinski, J     3   29    0   18
Moore, K           2   18    0    9
Skinner, R         1   19    1   19
Belton, R          1   11    0   11
Bryant, D          1    7    0    7
Selmon, Z          1    5    0    5
Rinfrette, M       1    4    0    4
Harris, K          1   -3    0    0
Marion, K          1   -4    0    0
Totals...         19  188    2   36

Punting          No.  Yds   Avg Long In20   TB
----------------------------------------------
Swank, S           5  219  43.8   48    4    0
Totals...          5  219  43.8   48    4    0

                  Punts   Kickoffs  Intercept
All Returns     No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg
---------------------------------------------
Idlette, W       1   0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0
Belton, R        0   0  0  2  18 10  0   0  0
Marion, K        0   0  0  1  93 93  0   0  0
Vaughn, C        0   0  0  1   9  9  0   0  0
Patterson, K     0   0  0  0   0  0  1  14 14
Gattis, J        0   0  0  0   0  0  1   0  0
Ghee, P          0   0  0  0   0  0  1  25 25
Hollis, W        0   0  0  2  18  9  0   0  0
Totals...        1   0  0  6 138 93  3  39 25

Field goal attempts
----------------------------------------
Swank, S        3rd 05:13  22 yds - Good

Kickoffs         No.  Yds  TB  OB   Avg
---------------------------------------
Swank, S           4  230   4   0  57.5

FUMBLES: Clemson-Proctor, W 2-1. Wake Forest-Skinner, 
R 2-1; Bryant, D 1-1; Temple, J 1-1.

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