|Final Clemson Football Notes|
|Press Release - Monday, December 6, 2004 4:20 PM||
|2004 (6-5, 4-4 ACC)|
# Homecoming; $ HOF Day
•Clemson ranked 10st in the nation in fewest yards per play allowed this year with a 4.36 average. The Tigers allowed just 3.56 yards per play over the last six games of the season. NC State led the nation in that category and total defense.
•Clemson ranked 12th in the nation in passing efficiency defense.
•Clemson will have 14 returning starters next year, seven on offense and seven on defense. The returning starters on offense are Barry Richardson (OT), Nathan Bennett (OG), Marion Dukes (OGT), Charlie Whitehurst (QB), Reggie Merriweather (TB), Chansi Stuckey (WA), and Curtis Baham (WR). The returning starters on defense are Charles Bennett (DE), Trey Tate (DT), Anthony Waters (LB), Tramaine Billie (WHIP), Jamaal Fudge (ROV), Justin Miller (CB) and Tye Hill (CB).
•Clemson will play Texas A&M (Sept. 3), Temple (Oct. 15) and at South Carolina (Nov. 19) next year for its non-conference games. Clemson will have conference home games against Boston College, Florida State, Miami (FL) and Duke. The Tigers will travel on the road to NC State, Maryland, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech. Clemson will not face ACC teams, Virginia, Virginia Tech or North Carolina.
•When Clemson defeated South Carolina in the final game of the 2004 season, it was the 600th victory in Clemson history. Clemson has now defeated South Carolina five of the six years Tommy Bowden has been at Clemson and seven of the last eight overall.
•Clemson is second in ACC wins since 1999, the year Tommy Bowden came to Clemson as head coach. The Tigers have 28 ACC wins in his six years, second to Florida State's 42.
•Clemson won two games in overtime this year, the opener against Wake Forest and the November 6 game at Miami (FL). Clemson is now 5-0 all-time in overtime games. Clemson is the NCAA leader in terms of most overtime wins without a loss since the rule came into effect for the 1997 season.
•Clemson had five games decided on the last play of the game in 2004 and six decided within the last 20 seconds. The four wins by seven points or less rank as the most since the 1993 team won five.
•Clemson's drew an average of 79,667 fans for its six home games in 2004. That ranks as the best average since the 2001 season when Clemson had an average of 80,152. The 79,667 figure for 2004 ranks third best in Clemson history. The record it 81,750 in 1988.
•This Clemson team started 1-4 and finished with a winning record. It was the first time since 1963 that Clemson had a 1-4 start or worse, then finished with a winning record. The 1963 team was 0-4-1 before finishing 5-4-1.
• Justin Miller leads the nation in kickoff returns with a 33.05 average. The bowl games do count towards the final stats, so he has not clinched the statistical national championship yet. If he does win the title, he would be the first Clemson player to win the kickoff return championship since 1986 when Terrance Roulhac won the title. The last Clemson player to lead the nation in any category was Keith Adams, who led the nation in tackles and tackles for loss in 1999.
•Miller also ranked 19th in the nation in punt return average with a 13.04 figure. He joined Devin Hester of Miami (FL) and Reggie
Bush of Southern Cal as the only players in the nation to rank in the top 20 in the nation in both kickoff returns and punt returns.
• Seniors Leroy Hill and Cedric Johnson have both accepted invitations to postseason all-star games. Hill will be in the East-West Game, while Johnson will be in the Orlando Gridiron Classic.
•Barry Richardson, Clemson starting offensive tackle as a first-year freshman, was named a second-team Freshman All-American by Rivals.com. The Football Writers team and The Sporting News team will be announced this week.
• Miller and Airese Currie both led the ACC in statistical categories Miller led the ACC in kickoff return average and Currie led in receptions and reception yards per game. Currie is the first Clemson player to lead the ACC in receptions per game since Perry Tuttle in 1980.
• Charlie Whitehurst is now 3-0 as a starting quarterback against rival South Carolina. He joined Homer Jordan as the only quarterback in Clemson history to defeat the Gamecocks three times. Of course, he could break that record next year with a victory in Columbia.
•When Whitehurst defeated Miami in Miami on November 6 he became the first quarterback in ACC history to defeat nine different ACC schools as the starting quarterback. He enters the 2005 season with an 18-11 record. The victory total is tied for eighth in Clemson history with Harvey White. The record is 32 by Rodney Williams from 1985-88 and second is Nealon Greene, who was 24-16 from 1994-97.
•Reggie Merriweather was Clemson's leading rusher with 670 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns this year. He was the only Tiger with a 100-yard rushing day, as he had 114 against Miami (FL) on November 6 and 125 against South Carolina on November 20. He had three rushing touchdowns in each game. Over the last six games, Merriweather had 115 carries for 508 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. That is an average of 84.7 yards per game. He led Clemson in rushing in each of the last six games.
•The Reggie Merriweather of the defense might have been WHIP linebacker Tramaine Billie who had 41 of his 62 tackles over the last six games of the season. Clemson won five of the six games he started.
•Charles Bennett had nine of his 14 tackles for loss and all five of his sacks over the last six games of the season.
•Leroy Hill finished the season with 19 tackles for loss and 106 tackles, team best in both areas. Hill had at least one tackle for loss in all 11 games and at least one sack in seven of the 11 games.