Clemson Whips Florida State


by - Correspondent -
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Chansi Stuckey had 11 catches for 156 yards and two TDs for Clemson.

CLEMSON - The up again, down again Clemson football season took another upswing at Death Valley Saturday, the Tigers continuing to wade through one of the most baffling campaigns in recent memory.



Charlie Whitehurst threw for 269 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon - two to Chansi Stucky - to lead Clemson past No. 16 Florida State, 35-14. The game was played before an announced crowd of 80,500.



"They beat us good," said Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden. "They just played better than us."


It was the final home game for Whitehurst and the other seniors, who were honored by being introduced as they ran down the Hill individually during pregame. They didn't disappoint the sellout crowd, snapping a 14-14 halftime tie with three third-quarter touchdowns to defeat FSU for the second straight time in Memorial Stadium.



"We were pretty good today, " said Whitehurst. "Maybe we proved we know how to finish a good team. That was something we couldn't do earlier in the season."


The victory improves Clemson to 6-4 overall, 4-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and makes the team bowl eligible for the seventh straight season. Florida State falls to 7-3 (5-3).



"I think our players, right now with the way this year has gone, feel like we can play with anybody," said Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden. "It's just a matter turnovers and execution and things of that nature."


Clemson began what would be the deciding quarter of play on defense, but quickly turned that around when Michael Hamlin intercepted FSU quarterback Drew Weatherford on a third-and-11 play and returned the pick to the Tigers' 44 yard line.



Five plays later Whitehurst hit Stuckey on a wide receiver screen, and Stuckey took it the distance from 32 yards away to give Clemson a lead it would not relinquish, 21-14.



"We caught them in a couple of blitzes, " said Bowden. "When you not only blitz the front four but you bring a couple of linebackers there is a lot of holes back there if you can execute getting it off, and I thought Charlie did a good of that."


After a Seminole punt, the Tigers embarked on an eight play, 52-yard drive for its second score of the quarter - a one-yard run by James Davis to make it 28-14.



An exchange of punts followed, then C.J. Gaddis picked off Weatherford on the first play of Florida State's next drive to set up the Clemson offense at the FSU 11. Three plays later, Whitehurst lobbed a pass to Aaron Kelly in the right corner of the end zone which the redshirt freshman caught as he fell toward the boundary.



Kelly was originally ruled out of bounds on the play, but after Bowden called timeout to stall for time, the officials decided to review the call.
The decision eventually was overturned after replays showed Kelly's right elbow landed in bounds before any other part of his body hit the ground.



The play made it 35-14 Clemson, and the Tigers would hold serve from there.



Meanwhile, the Clemson defense made life miserable for FSU quarterback Drew Weatherford.



Weatherford completed just 12-of-27 passes for 117 yards and was intercepted twice. He eventually was pulled in favor of backup Xavier Lee in the fourth quarter, but Lee was equally ineffective.



Clemson sacked FSU quarterbacks six times for 40 yards in losses.



Clemson started the fireworks early Saturday, taking the game's opening kickoff and driving 72 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown - Whitehurst finding Stuckey (11 catches, 156 yards) from 22 yards away for the score.



After forcing a punt, the Tigers struck paydirt again to go up 14-0, this time Davis crashing over from a yard away.



But Florida State would tie it in the second quarter without benefit of an offensive touchdown. Gary Cismesia kicked a pair of field goals to cut the lead to 14-6, then later the Seminoles blocked a Cole Chason punt and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. The two-point conversion pass from Weatherford to De'Cody Fagg tied the game at 14-14 with 2:03 left in the half.



Clemson closes out the regular season next week in Columbia vs. the University of South Carolina.


"Next week is going to be our Super Bowl," said Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning. "Next week is huge... huge."


Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
-----------------    -- -- -- --   -----
Florida State.......  0 14  0  0  - 14
Clemson............. 14  0 21  0  - 35



Scoring Summary:
1st 10:25 CU - Stuckey, C 22 yd pass from Whitehurst,C (Dean,J kick)
               12 plays, 72 yards, TOP 4:35, FSU 0 - CU 7
    05:17 CU - Davis, J 1 yd run (Dean,J kick)
                5 plays, 71 yards, TOP 2:07, FSU 0 - CU 14
2nd 11:48 FSU - Cismesia, G 31 yd field goal
                8 plays, 47 yards, TOP 2:23, FSU 3 - CU 14
    07:38 FSU - Cismesia, G 47 yd field goal
                5 plays, 22 yards, TOP 2:24, FSU 6 - CU 14
    02:03 FSU - Hayes, G 0 yd blocked punt return 
                (Fagg, D pass from Weatherford, D)
                FSU 14 - CU 14
3rd 08:58 CU - Stuckey, C 32 yd pass from Whitehurst,C (Dean,J kick)
               5 plays, 56 yards, TOP 1:55, FSU 14 - CU 21
    05:07 CU - Davis, J 8 yd run (Dean,J kick)
               8 plays, 52 yards, TOP 2:25, FSU 14 - CU 28
    00:34 CU - Kelly,A 4 yd pass from Whitehurst,C (Dean,J kick)
               3 plays, 11 yards, TOP 1:21, FSU 14 - CU 35


                                    FSU       CU

FIRST DOWNS...................       11       18
  Rushing.....................        4        7
  Passing.....................        7       10
  Penalty.....................        0        1
NET YARDS RUSHING.............      102       85
  Rushing Attempts............       32       41
  Average Per Rush............      3.2      2.1
  Yards Gained Rushing........      152      128
  Yards Lost Rushing..........       50       43
NET YARDS PASSING.............      124      269
  Completions-Attempts-Int....  13-34-2  21-33-1
  Average Per Attempt.........      3.6      8.2
  Average Per Completion......      9.5     12.8
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS...........      226      354
  Total offense plays.........       66       74
  Average Gain Per Play.......      3.4      4.8
Fumbles: Number-Lost..........      1-0      2-0
Penalties: Number-Yards.......     7-45     2-20
PUNTS-YARDS...................    9-359    8-252
  Average Yards Per Punt......     39.9     31.5
  Net Yards Per Punt..........     37.2     24.9
  Inside 20...................        2        1
  50+ Yards...................        1        0
  Touchbacks..................        1        1
  Fair catch..................        0        1
KICKOFFS-YARDS................    4-220    6-390
  Average Yards Per Kickoff...     55.0     65.0
  Net Yards Per Kickoff.......     34.5     50.8
  Touchbacks..................        0        2
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD.   3-53-1   5-24-0
  Average Per Return..........     17.7      4.8
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD   4-85-0   4-82-0
  Average Per Return..........     21.2     20.5
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD..    1-0-0   2-34-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD.    0-0-0    0-0-0
Miscellaneous Yards...........        0        0
Possession Time...............    27:03    32:57
  1st Quarter.................     5:51     9:09
  2nd Quarter.................     6:47     8:13
  3rd Quarter.................     7:21     7:39
  4th Quarter.................     7:04     7:56
Third-Down Conversions........  5 of 19  6 of 16
Fourth-Down Conversions.......   0 of 1   0 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      1-1      4-4
Sacks By: Number-Yards........     3-27     6-40
PAT Kicks.....................      0-0      5-5
Field Goals...................      2-2      0-1

Florida State

Rushing         No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
--------------------------------------------
Booker, L       16  112    0  112  0 31  7.0
Smith, A         6   27   10   17  0 20  2.8
Weatherford, D   4    3   10   -7  0  3 -1.8
Davis, C         1    0    7   -7  0  0 -7.0
Lee, X           5   10   23  -13  0  6 -2.6
Totals...       32  152   50  102  0 31  3.2

Passing         Att-Cmp-Int Yds TD Long Sack
--------------------------------------------
Weatherford, D    27-12-2   117  0   26    3
Lee, X             7-1-0      7  0    7    2
Davis, C           0-0-0      0  0    0    1
Totals...         34-13-2   124  0   26    6

Receiving        No.  Yds   TD Long
-----------------------------------
Booker, L          5    7    0    9
Reid, W            4   56    0   24
Henshaw, M         3   54    0   26
Davis, C           1    7    0    7
Totals...         13  124    0   26

Punting          No.  Yds   Avg Long In20
-----------------------------------------
Hall, C            9  359  39.9   50    2
Totals...          9  359  39.9   50    2

                  Punts   Kickoffs  Intercept
All Returns     No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg
---------------------------------------------
Reid, W          2  25 14  2  37 19  0   0  0
Williams, R      0   0  0  0   0  0  1   0  0
Hayes, G         0   0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0
Timmons, L       1  28  0  0   0  0  0   0  0
O'Neal, K        0   0  0  2  48 37  0   0  0
Totals...        3  53 14  4  85 37  1   0  0

Field goal attempts
----------------------------------------
Cismesia, G     2nd 11:48  31 yds - Good
Cismesia, G     2nd 07:38  47 yds - Good

FUMBLES: Florida State-Weatherford, D 1-0. 
Clemson-Stuckey, C 1-0; Merriweather,R 1-0.

Clemson

Rushing         No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
--------------------------------------------
Davis, J        17   76   11   65  2 15  3.8
Merriweather,R  17   40    5   35  0  8  2.1
Stuckey, C       1    8    0    8  0  8  8.0
Whitehurst,C     6    4   27  -23  0  3 -3.8
Totals...       41  128   43   85  2 15  2.1

Passing         Att-Cmp-Int Yds TD Long Sack
--------------------------------------------
Whitehurst,C      32-21-1   269  3   36    3
Stuckey, C         1-0-0      0  0    0    0
Totals...         33-21-1   269  3   36    3

Receiving        No.  Yds   TD Long
-----------------------------------
Stuckey, C        11  156    2   36
Baham,C            3   30    0   17
Kelly,A            2   13    1    9
Davis, J           1   44    0    3
Downer,C           1    9    0    9
Taylor, R          1    8    0    8
Harris,L           1    6    0    6
Harrell,C          1    3    0    3
Totals...         21  269    3   36

Punting          No.  Yds   Avg Long In20
-----------------------------------------
Chason,C           7  252  36.0   47    1
Team               1    0   0.0    0    0
Totals...          8  252  31.5   47    1

                  Punts   Kickoffs  Intercept
All Returns     No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg
---------------------------------------------
Stuckey, C       5  24 14  0   0  0  0   0  0
Kelly,A          0   0  0  3  72 30  0   0  0
Grisham,T        0   0  0  1  10 10  0   0  0
Hamlin,M         0   0  0  0   0  0  1  11 11
Gaddis,C         0   0  0  0   0  0  1  23 23
Totals...        5  24 14  4  82 30  2  34 23

Field goal attempts
----------------------------------------
Dean,J          2nd 14:11  56 yds - Missed

FUMBLES: Florida State-Weatherford, D 1-0. 
Clemson-Stuckey, C 1-0; Merriweather,R 1-0.


FUMBLES: Florida State-Weatherford, D 1-0. 
Clemson-Merriweather,R 1-0; Stuckey, C 1-0.

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