Whitehurst Leads The Tigers To Fourth Straight
With a conference championship and a national championship out of reach, there was not much Charlie Whitehurst could still accomplish in his career at Clemson. Yet Saturday night, Whitehurst became the first Clemson quarterback to go 4-0 against in-state rival South Carolina.
In 2002, Whitehurst had the game winning touchdown run in the 27-20 victory. In 2003, Whitehurst ripped the Gamecocks at will in the 63-17 victory. In the third meeting Whitehurst directed the attack to a 29-7 victory.
The game Saturday night was almost a story book ending in the rivalry for Whitehurst. Whitehurst had been battling a shoulder injury since the fourth game of the season. Two of his first four passes were intercepted Saturday night. After the second interception, some started to question if Whitehurst would be the quarterback at the end of the game.
Whitehurst made a key third down throw to Curtis Baham to keep the Tigers’ final drive of the first half that led to a 50-yard field goal from Jad Dean.
The second half belonged to James Davis, but while Davis proved he is the Tigers’ new top weapon, Whitehurst proved he would not go quietly into the night.
The Tigers’ were down 9-6 in the fourth quarter. The Tigers’ faced a 1st and 35 following two consecutive penalties. On the first play, Whitehurst hit a shuffle pass to Davis for 15 yards. Then, Whitehurst put the Tigers in manageable third down by hitting an eight yard pass. On a third and twelve, Whitehurst completed a pass that will not be soon forgotten in the minds of Clemson faithful.
With game on the line, Whitehurst hit fellow senior Curtis Baham for a 28-yard gain. The pass play allowed the Tigers drive to continue, and Davis would cap the drive off with 2-yard touchdown run.
Whitehurst has shown very little emotion in his career at Clemson, but after he picked up 10 yards on a quarterback draw to seal the game, Whitehurst could not contain his emotions. He pumped his fist in celebration, as he had sealed his career against South Carolina.
Whitehurst was 4-0 against the memories, and as he left Williams Brice Stadium, a large banner read: “Charlie thanks 4-0 the memories.”