Clemson vs La Tech Game Notes


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Tigers Coming Off Complete Game


Pitching a complete game in the
Major Leagues is becoming more and more
rare as the year’s go on. It has been many
years since Clemson fans saw as complete a
football game as the one demonstrated by
Tommy Bowden’s Tigers in the win over North
Carolina last Saturday. Clemson’s 52-7 victory
over North Carolina in Death Valley, was
Clemson’s largest margin of victory in history
over the Tar Heels.

On the offensive side of the ball,
Clemson gained 504 yards of total offense on
324 rushing and 180 passing. The 504 yards of
total offense were the most by a Clemson team
in an ACC game since the Tigers gained 528
against the Tar Heels in 2003. It was actually
Clemson’s third consecutive 500-yard total
offense game against the Tar Heels in the
series. The 324 yards rushing were the most by
a Clemson team since the Tigers gained 328 on
the ground in Woody Dantzler’s last home
game against Duke in 2001.


Clemson had seven rushing
touchdowns, the most by a Clemson team in
any game since it had seven in a win over Duke
in 1982. The record is 10 against Wake Forest
in 1981. At one point in the third period
Clemson has more rushing touchdowns than
North Carolina had first downs (7-6).
As far as scoring offense is
concerned, the 52 points were the most by the
Tigers in an ACC game since the 2001 season
when Clemson scored 59 in a 59-31 win over
Duke at Death Valley. The 45-point margin of
victory was the best by a Tiger team in any
ACC game since a 55-7 victory over Wake
Forest in 2000. It was the seventh largest
margin of victory in an ACC game in school
history.

On the defensive side, Clemson
allowed just 150 yards of total offense, the third
best defensive performance by a Tommy
Bowden coached team, and the best against an
ACC team. It was the best defensive
performance by a Clemson team in ACC
game since 1996 when the Tommy West’s
Tigers allowed just 113 yards in a shutout of
Maryland.
North Carolina had just eight first
downs, the fewest by a Clemson opponent
South Carolina had just eight in 2004. The +22
in first down margin (30-8) tied for the best by a
Clemson team since 1989.

In terms of time of possession, the
38:13 figure was the best under Tommy
Bowden coached Tiger team and the best by
any Clemson team since the 1992 victory over
North Carolina when the Tigers controlled the
clock for a school record 42:58.

In terms of special teams, Jad Dean
was 1-1 on field goals, a
42-yarder. Clemson’s kick coverage was
outstanding, led by the forced fumble by Sadat
Chambers in the first quarter that gave the
Tigers the ball first and goal on the North
Carolina nine-yard-line. Clemson converted the
turnover into a touchdown and a 21-0 lead at
the end of the firs quarter. North Carolina
average starting field position was its own 19.

One stat showed the combined effort
of the entire team. Clemson had 504 yards of
total offense and allowed just 150 for a +354
yards of total offense margin in the win over
North Carolina. That was the largest offensive
margin by a Clemson team since Clemson had
a +464-yard margin in a 55-7 win over Wake
Forest in 2000.


Clemson’s Largest Victorys in ACC Games

Mar CU-Opp Site-Opponent 	Date
+58 82-24  H-Wake Forest 	10-31-1981
+55 55-0   A-Virginia 		9-8-1984
+51 58-7   H-Duke 		11-6-1999
+48 48-0   A-Virginia 		10-9-1982
+48 55-8   H-Wake Forest 	9-17-2000
+47 47-0   A-Virginia 		9-26-1959
+45 52-7   H-North Carolina 	9-23-2006
+45 51-6   A-Wake Forest 	11-4-1978


Three Cheers for the Offensive Line


The offensive line certainly had a lot
to do with Clemson’s victory over North
Carolina, and the 3-1 start overall for that
matter. The starting five of Barry Richardson,
Roman Fry, Dustin Fry, Marion Dukes and
Nathan Bennett paved the way for the Clemson
ground attempt to pick up 324 yards rushing
and seven rushing touchdowns.

James Davis had four of the rushing
touchdowns, but was the first one to single out
the offensive line after the game. “ I’ve got to
give it to my offensive line. Those guys did a
great job fighting to push me in the end zone
when we were down on the one-yard line.
Those guys deserve the credit.”

The offensive line doesn’t get credit
for individual statistics, so they take great pride
in the team rushing and total offense figures.
The numbers 300 (for rushing yards) and 500
(for total offense) are lofty goals for any
offensive line, but both were attained in the win
over North Carolina.

The Tigers now average 202 yards
per game on the ground, 18th best in the nation.
The Tigers are 19th in total offense, gaining 425
yards per game, and third in scoring, putting up
41.5 points per contest. Clemson is also 14th in
the nation in fewest sacks allowed with just four
in four games. That is tied for the best figure in
the ACC.

The five starters in the offensive line
now have a combined 111 career starts, the
fourth highest total among the 119 Division I
teams. Nathan Bennett leads the active Tigers
on the offensive line in starts with 29, while
Marion Dukes has 27, Barry Richardson has 24,
Dustin Fry has 17 and Roman Fry has 14.
In terms of knockdown blocks, Roman
Fry leads the way with 37, while Nathan
Bennett is close behind with 36. Dustin Fry has
29, followed by Barry Richardson with 28 and
Marion Dukes with 24.5. Bennett leads in
intimidation blocks with 10.5, followed by
Roman Fry with 10.


Clemson One of 7 Over 200 in Both Areas


One of the hallmarks of an offense
coordinated by Rob Spence is balance. The
Tigers were the only team in the ACC to rank in
the top four in the ACC in both rushing offense
and rushing defense last season.
The balance has continued this year
as Clemson is first in rushing with 202.5 yards
per game, and is second in passing at 222.5
yards per contest. That has contributed to a
425-yard average that is first in the ACC by 45
yards per game. Clemson has not led the ACC
in total offense since 1991.

The balance is also shown in the
national stats. Clemson is one of seven
schools in the nation averaging at least 200
yards per game in rushing and passing. The
others are Michigan State, Louisville, Nebraska,
Missouri, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State.


Averaging 200 Rushing and Passing

Team 		Rush  (Rank) Pass (Rank)
Louisville 	249.5 (7)    273.5 (7)
Michigan State 	255.5 (5)    221.3 (45)
Nebraska 	224.3 (10)   248.3 (26)
Clemson 	202.5 (18)   222.3 (44)
Oklahoma State 	203   (17)   211.8 (50)
Texas A&M 	206   (15)   227.3 (37)
Missouri 	210.3 (14)   260.8 (20)
     


Louisiana Tech Visits Clemson


Louisiana Tech comes to Clemson
this weekend with a 1-2 record, losses at
Nebraska and Texas A&M, and a victory over
Nichols State. The Bulldogs have a history of
throwing the football and that has continued this
year with quarterback Zac Champion, who
ranks in the top 35 in the nation in total offense.

Champion has a 131 passing
efficiency and has thrown for 664 yards and
four scores with just one interception in 80
attempts. His top receiver is Jonathan Holland
with 13 catches for 221 yards and a touchdown.
Louisiana Tech also has a strong rushing attack
led by Patrick Jackson, who has 240 yards to
rank 47th best in the nation.

Quin Harris is the top defensive
player with 9.67 tackles per game. He ranks
27th in the nation in that category and is third in
the WAC Conference.


Tigers vs. Louisiana Tech


While Clemson and Louisiana Tech
have met just twice previously in history, it
seems like the Tigers and Bulldogs have been
meeting on fields of athletic competition on a
regular basis of late.

The two teams met in the
Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, ID at the end of
the 2001 season, then the Bulldogs traveled to
Clemson for the home opener (second game) of
the 2002 season. That was two meetings within
a three-game period on the Clemson schedule.
Then, last March, Louisiana Tech came to
Clemson for the NIT in basketball, a contest the
Tigers won for their first postseason win since
1999.

Now Louisiana Tech returns to
Clemson in the first year of a two-for-one threeyear
contract. The Tigers will play Louisiana
Tech in Shreveport, LA in 2008, then Louisiana
Tech will come back to Clemson for the third
game in 2009. Clemson has won both of the
previous meetings between Clemson and
Louisiana Tech. The Tigers captured the
Humanitarian Bowl game 49-24 in Woody
Dantzler’s last game as a Clemson player. The
Tigers threw five touchdown passes in that
game, an all-time Clemson single game record.
Clemson then won the 2002 game at Clemson
33-13 behind quarterback Willie Simmons, who
is now a graduate assistant video coordinator
on the Clemson staff.


Another Jack Bicknell Coaches against
Clemson


Jack Bicknell will bring his Louisiana
Tech team to Clemson on Saturday. He is the
second member of his family to serve as head
coach against the Tigers in Death Valley. His
father, Jack Bicknell, brought Boston College to
Death Valley in 1982 and left with a 17-17 tie
behind sophomore quarterback Doug Flutie.
The following year, Boston College defeated
Clemson 31-16 in Boston.

So, dad was 1-0-1 against Clemson in
those two games in the early 1980s. Son is 0-2
vs. the Tigers, the loss at the Humanitarian
Bowl in 2001 and the regular season loss at
Clemson in 2002.The Bicknells are the only
father-son combination to coach against
Clemson, never mind both coaching against the
Tigers in Death Valley.

The younger Bicknell has already won
41 games at Louisiana Tech, a position to took
over in 1999, the same year Tommy Bowden
came to Clemson. He had an 8-3 season that
first year, including a 29-28 win at Alabama.
His resume also includes a 20-19 win at
Michigan State in 2003 and a strong 7-4 season
in 2005. His team upset a top 25 Fresno State
team 40-28 in the season finale of 2005.

Like Bowden, Bicknell is already third
in his school’s history in total victories. Bicknell
trails only Joe Aillet and Maxie Lambright on the
all-time Louisiana Tech victory list. The
school’s heritage includes quarterback Terry
Bradshaw, an All-American in 1968 and 1969
who took the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super
Bowl titles.


Anybody Seen Cole Chason?


Clemson fans have been anxious to
see an improved Cole Chason this season, but
they will have to wait at least another week.
Chason has been in uniform for two home
games and is yet to punt. In Clemson’s 54-6
season opening win over Florida Atlanta, he
did not appear as a punter. Then in the win
over North Carolina, he did attempt a punt, but
was roughed on the play, giving Clemson a first
down, wiping out the attempt on the official
stats. He never had to return for a punting
chore the rest of the game.

This is the first time Clemson has not
had to punt for two games in one season since
1988. That year, in consecutive games late in
the season against North Carolina and
Maryland, the Tigers did not have to attempt a
punt. The only other game Clemson has not
had to punt in the last 25 years took place in
1981 in the 82-24 win over Wake Forest.

In the two games Chason has punted
this year, he has done well, showing
considerable improvement over 2005 when he
had a 36.4 average and had five punts blocked.
So far this year, Chason has 13 punts for a 39.8
average. He has a fine 37.9 net figure, which
would be a career high for the senior if the
season ended today. Chason has actually
played in all four games this year, as he serves
as the holder on Jad Dean’s placekicks.


Davis Challenging Touchdown Record


Clemson running back James Davis
ranks third in the nation in scoring with 13.5
points per game. The sophomore from Atlanta
already has nine touchdowns this year.
He had four touchdowns in the victory over
North Carolina, the first time a Clemson
player has scored four touchdowns in a game
since 2003 when Chad Jasmin scored four in a
63-17 win over South Carolina.

Davis became the ninth player in
Clemson history to score at least four
touchdowns in a single game. The record is
five, set by Maxcey Welch against Newberry in
1930, and by Stumpy Banks against Furman in
1917. Travis Zachery is the only Clemson
player to score four touchdowns in a game
twice. He did that twice against Duke once in
1999 and again in 2001 in his final home game.

Davis has now scored at least one
touchdown in each of his last eight games. He
had a four-game streak to close the 2005
season, including two in the win over Florida
State. So far this year Davis, scored one in the opener against Florida
Atlantic, then had two apiece against Boston College and Florida State.

Davis still has a ways to go to catch Travis Zachery’s Clemson
record for consecutive games scoring a touchdown. He had 13 games in
a row between the 2000 and 2001 seasons.

Davis, the sophomore from Atlanta, ranks second in the ACC
and 31st in the nation in rushing with 92.3 yards per game. He has
been Mr. Consistency in that all his single game totals have been
between 87 and 95 yards rushing. He might be the only player in the
nation with a 90-yard average without a 100-yard game.

Davis has already equaled his touchdown total from last year
when he scored nine to lead the Clemson team. He now has 18 career
touchdowns. The school record is 50 touchdowns by Zachery, who
played for the Tigers from 1998-01. He is also the last Clemson player to
rank in the top 10 in the nation in scoring for the course of a season.
Zachery was ninth in 2000 with 9.6 points per game when he scored a
school record 18 touchdowns.

Davis is second in the ACC in rushing with 92.2 yards per
game and is third in all-purpose running with 105.8 yards per game.
Those rankings go with his number-one ACC position in scoring with 13.5
points per game.


National Scoring Leaders

Rk Player           School      GP TD Pts PPG
1. Kory Sheets     Purdue        4 10 60 15.0
   Jovorski Lane   Texas A&M     4 10 60 15.0
3. James Davis     Clemson       4 9 54 13.5
   Garrett Wolfe   No Illinois   4 9 54 13.5
   Ray Rice        Rutgers       4 9 54 13.5
   Ian Johnson     Boise State   4 9 54 13.5
7. Dwayne Wright   Fresno State  3 6 36 12.0
8. Adrian Peterson Oklahoma      4 8 48 12.0


Clemson Ground Game Best Since 2001


As stated above, Clemson’s 324 yards rushing were the most
since the Tigers had 328 in a victory over Duke in 2001. It was just the
fifth 300-yard rushing performance by a Clemson team under Tommy
Bowden. Clemson now has a 5-0 record under Bowden when rushing for
at least 300 yards.

That isn’t a revelation to anyone, as that has been the case
over Clemson history. Clemson’s victory over North Carolina in fact
marked the 100th win in school history when the Tigers gain at least 300
yards on the ground. Clemson is now 100-3-1 when rushing for at least
300 yards in its history. One of the losses is to North Carolina, when the
Tigers had an even 300-yard game in 1976 when Clemson lost to the
Tar Heels 27-23 in Death Valley. The only other losses came at Duke in
1957 and to Florida State in 1995.

The Tigers also gained 504 yards in total offense in the victory
over North Carolina. Clemson has never lost a game when it has gained
at least 500 yards of total offense. Clemson is now 47-0-1 in its history
when gaining 500 yards. The only non victory took place in 1991 against
Virginia when the Tigers gained 511 yards in a 20-20 tie in Death Valley.


Who Are these Defenders?


One of the stories of the Clemson team so far this year has
been the play of Clemson’s defense. The Tigers have allowed just 234
yards per game to rank 12th in the nation in total defense. Clemson is
also 10th in the nation in pass efficiency defense.

When the season began, most thought Clemson would have a
strong defense. But, when seniors Anthony Waters and Tramaine Billie
were lost at linebacker, and Michael Hamlin, a third returning starter was
lost due to injury at safety, many thought Clemson would struggle
defensively. With these injuries, Clemson has a starting defense that
has just two returning starters from last year, Gaines Adams and Nick
Watkins.

Adams has been strong again with 3.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles
for loss to pace the defense in big plays, and Watkins has been solid and
now leads the team in tackles with 31. Adams is tied for the ACC lead in
sacks.
But, Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning has gotten
strong play from many young players. The Tigers have started as many
as six sophomores this year. Among the leaders are sophomore
linebacker Antonio Clay, who had 12 tackles against Boston College in
his second career start, defensive end Phillip Merling, who has 3.5
tackles for loss, and safety Chris Clemons, who had his first career
interception against North Carolina.

Over the last two games, conference contests against Florida
State and North Carolina, Clemson has allowed just 352 yards of total
offense, a good game for many teams. Florida State and North
Carolina have a combined 19 first downs in the two games and just 156
yards rushing on 60 attempts, 2.6 yards per carry. Florida State
averaged 3.5 yards per play on offense and North Carolina averaged 3.3
yards per play.

Clemson has held three of the first four opponents under 300
yards total offense, usually the sign of a Clemson victory. In fact,
Clemson is 3-0 this year when holding the opposition under 300 yards,
and 0-1 when the opposition exceeds 300 yards. Clemson has won six
straight games over two years when holding the opposition under 300
yards and is 25-5 under Tommy Bowden.

Clemson is ranked in the top 20 in the nation in total defense,
rushing defense and pass efficiency defense, but doesn’t have anyone
ranked in the top 10 in the ACC in tackles. The top tackler so far is Nick
Watkins with 31 tackles, while Duane Coleman is second with 30.
Starting middle linebacker Antonio Clay is third with 25 and Chris
Clemons is fourth with 23. Gaines Adams has 4.5 tackles for loss and 3.5
sacks to lead the way in both categories. He also has 11 quarterback
pressures.


Clemson Returns to Polls


Clemson returned to the AP and USA Today Coaches polls on
September 17 after its win at ninth-ranked Florida State. Clemson was
ranked 19th by Associated Press and 23rd by USA Today coaches
according to the polls released on Sunday, September 17. Clemson
remained in the polls this past Sunday with a #18 ranking by AP and a
#19 ranking by USA Today.

The win over ninth-ranked Florida State was the second
highest ranked team Clemson has defeated on the road in its history.
The only win that is ranked higher is the 10-8 victory over eighth-ranked
North Carolina in 1981.

Clemson was 18th in both polls during the preseason this year
and remained in that position after the season opening win against
Florida Atlantic. Clemson dropped to 26th in the poll points in AP and 27th
in USA Today after the one-point overtime loss to Boston College.
The Tigers jumped from unranked to 19th by AP after the 27-20
win at ninth-ranked Florida State on September 16. That was the
biggest jump from being unranked to a spot in the polls since the 2001
season when unranked Clemson won at ninth-ranked Georgia Tech 47-
44 in overtime, then moved to 19th in the AP poll.


Clemson has now been ranked in the top 25 of the AP poll for
eight of the last nine polls dating back to last year. The Tigers finished
21sth in the final poll of both AP and USA Today last year.


Clemson in the Polls in 2006

Week      AP USA
Preseason 18 18
Sept.  3  18 18
Sept. 10  26 27
Sept. 17  19 23
Sept. 24  18 19


Clemson Ranked in top 20 in Total Offense and Total Defense


Clemson is ranked in the top 20 in the nation in total offense
and total defense this week. The Tigers are averaging 425 yards per
game on offense, 19th best in the nation and rank 12th in total defense
with an average of 234.8 yards per game allowed.

Clemson is one of just three schools nationally ranked in
the top 20 in the nation in total offense and total defense. The
others are Missouri (1st in defense, eighth in offense), and Florida
(8th in defense, 9th in offense).

Only five Clemson teams in history have finished the season
ranked in the top 25 in both total offense and total defense in the same
season. The last team to do it was the 1991 Clemson team. That was
also the last Clemson team to win the ACC Championship. Clemson was
25th in the nation in total offense that season with a 409.7 average and
was fourth in total defense with a 263.2 figure. Clemson finished that
year with a 9-2-1 record.

Prior to that, the 1978 team was the last to do it. That 11-1
Clemson team ranked fourth in total offense and 15th in total defense, still
the only Clemson team in history to rank in the top 15 in both areas in
the same season.


Clemson Teams Ranked in Top 20 in Offense and Defense

Year Total Offense Total Defense
1957 327.7 (19th ) 215.9 (16th )
1960 305.2 (25th ) 214.3 (18th )
1963 313.9 (20th ) 184.7 (5th  )
1978 436.7 (4th  ) 254.2 (15th )
1991 409.7 (25th ) 263.2 (4th  )
2006 425   (19th ) 234.8 (12th )


Clemson Has +190.2 Total Offense Differential


As stated above, Clemson ranks in the top 20 in the nation in
both total offense and total defense. Clemson has out-gained the
opposition by 190.2 yards per game so far this year. If the season ended
today that would be a record for total offense differential in a season by
nearly 25 yards per game. The existing record for a complete season is
+165.2 yards per game set by the 1978 Clemson team that finished the
year sixth in the nation in the final polls with an 11-1 record.
The last Clemson team to out-gain the opposition by at least
100 yards per game is the 1991 Clemson team that won the ACC
Championship. That Clemson team had 403 yards of total offense per
game and gave up just 272.6 for a +130.4 margin. The best total offense
margin under Tommy Bowden took place in 2000 when Clemson had a
total offense margin of 90 yards per game.


Clemson’s Top Total Offense Margin Seasons

Year Offense Defense Margin
2006 425.0 234.8 +190.2
1978 427.8 262.6 +165.2
1950 388.1 225.5 +162.6
1981 391.5 251.9 +139.6
1948 315.1 1772. +137.9
1990 355.4 219.2 +136.2
1987 378.5 245.4 +133.1
1991 403.0 272.6 +130.4
1939 282.0 157.5 +129.5
1963 313.9 184.7 +129.2


Clemson Averaging 41 Points Per Game


It is still very early, but Clemson has scored 41.5 points per
game so far this season, third best in the nation. The Tigers have
already reached the 50-point mark twice, a 54-6 win over Louisiana Tech
in the opener and a 52-7 victory over North Carolina in game four.
The record for 50-point scoring games in a season is three, set
by the 1950 Tigers who finished the year with a 9-0-1 record and top 10
ranking, and the 2000 Clemson team under Tommy Bowden, who
finished 9-3 with a #14 national ranking. That was a 50-year time span
for the 50-point scoring record.


Clemson’s number-three ranking in scoring is ahead of the
school record for the best finish in scoring offense for the course of the
season. Clemson’s best national finish in scoring offense in #5, a
ranking the 1978 Tigers had when they averaged 31.9 points per game.


Clemson’s Highest Scoring Teams

Rk Year PPG
1. 2000 34.7
2. 1950 34.4
3. 1984 31.5
4. 2001 30.8
5. 1983 30.7
6. 1978 30.7
7. 1989 30.7
8. 1988 28.5
9. 1981 28.2
   2006 41.5
   

Clemson Productive in Red Zone


One of the areas of improvement for Clemson this year has
been scoring touchdowns in the red-zone. A red-zone opportunity takes
into account all drives that have a possession that begin a series inside
the opposing team’s 20 yard-line (in other words a first-and-10 or first
and goal inside the opponent 20).

So far this year Clemson has had 21 red-zone possessions
and has scored 15 touchdowns and three field goals. That is a 71.4
percent success rate in terms of scoring touchdowns (15 of 21
opportunities) and a .857 scoring success rate.

Last year Clemson scored a touchdown just 57.4 percent of its
red-zone opportunities, but did come away with points 91.5 percent of the
time (43-47), the best in the ACC in coming away with points.
In the Bowden era (eight years) the current 71.4 percent
touchdown success rate would be the best if the season ended today.
The 2001 team, led by Woody Dantzler, scored a touchdown 27 of 38
opportunities for 71.1 percent.

And in the odd but true stat, Clemson has had exactly 47 redzone
opportunities in four of Tommy Bowden’s first seven years at
Clemson (see chart below).

Red-zone Production under Bowden

Year Opp TD FG Score % TD %
1999 47  27 9  .766 .574
2000 54  34 11 .833 .630
2001 38  27 3  .789 .711
2002 47  29 12 .872 .617
2003 47  26 12 .809 .553
2004 27  17 8  .926 .630
2005 47  27 16 .915 .574
2006 21  15 3 . 857 .714


Tigers lead ACC in Many Areas


A third of the way into the season, Clemson is well represented
on a team an individual basis in the ACC statistics. A Clemson player
ranks first or second in the ACC in rushing, passing yards, total offense,
pass efficiency, receptions, scoring, punt returns, touchdown scoring,
sacks and kick scoring.

From a team standpoint, Clemson leads the ACC in total
offense, rushing offense, scoring offense, first downs and third down
conversion percentage. Clemson is tied for first in the ACC in allowing
sacks. Clemson’s offensive line has given up just four in four games, tied
with North Carolina and Georgia Tech.

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