Bowers' effort leads Tigers to win over Terrapins

by - Senior Writer -
Discuss on TigerBoard   Print   | TigerNetcom Facebook ClemsonTigerNet Twitter TigerNet RSS Feed
Andre Ellington scores on a 87 yard kickoff return.
Andre Ellington scores on a 87 yard kickoff return.

CLEMSON – Junior defensive end Da’Quan Bowers cradled the game ball while standing in the hallway outside of the locker room, and said he knew before the game that he wanted to put his teammates on his broad back and lead them to a badly-needed win.

Bowers, finally living up to his potential, was awarded the game ball by Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney after he recorded three sacks and four tackles for loss as part of a six-tackle effort for a Clemson defense that held Maryland to just seven points, helping Clemson (3-3 overall, 1-2 ACC) to a 31-7 victory over the visiting Terrapins in Death Valley Saturday afternoon.

The Clemson defense held Maryland to just 44 net rushing yards and forced three interceptions, allowing only the one touchdown. In 12 drives, the defense gave up the one score, forced a missed field goal, and forced six punts, one turnover on downs and the three interceptions.

“We needed this win and we needed to get back on track,” Bowers said. “It’s like Coach Swinney says, it’s a one game season, and we have to take it game by game. Our defense came to play ball today, and it showed. We showed great enthusiasm to begin the game, and then we tried to finish in the fourth quarter.

“This might be one of the best games I’ve ever played, I’m not sure. But I’m not sure how many mistakes I made, so I am sure there is something I can correct when I come in on Monday. I wanted to put my teammates on my back, and I want to give my teammates my best effort every time I go out there.”

Swinney said Bowers was just part of the equation for the defense.

“Da’Quan had a terrific game today, and I gave him the game ball for his great effort,” Swinney said. “Overall defensively, we played tough and worked through our difficulties. We came out in the third quarter and perfected our flaws. Kids like Miguel [Chavis] and [Xavier] Brewer especially impressed me today. He’s a really serious, focused player and I was happy to see him do well today.”

Andre Ellington’s 35-yard kickoff return set up Clemson on the opening drive of the game, and the Tigers used just over two minutes and six plays, ending with a Chandler Catanzaro 42-yard field goal. On third down, Kyle Parker hit tight end Dwayne Allen in the end zone for what appeared to be a touchdown, but the ball was knocked loose at the last second by Terp safety Antwine Perez.

The Tigers and Terps swapped several erratic possessions, but the Terps finally jumped on the scoreboard in the second quarter. Maryland tight end Will Yeatman, who had not caught a pass all season, caught three passes on the drive, including one that was a one-handed grab, to set up the score.

The Terps got the touchdown when running back Da’Rel Scott threw back to quarterback Danny O’Brien, who was open in the corner of the end zone, for a four-yard touchdown pass and 7-3 Maryland lead.

Ellington did his best Spiller impression on the ensuing kickoff, however, taking the kick straight up the middle for an 87-yard touchdown, and Clemson led 10-7.

Maryland’s next drive ended with a Bowers’ sack of O’Brien and a missed field goal by the Terps, after they had driven inside the Clemson 10-yard line, and the Tigers responded in a big way.

Parker narrowly avoided a sack, and hit a wide open Jamie Harper on the sideline on the first play from scrimmage, and Harper rumbled 40 yards for the first down. An amazing 12 plays later, Harper converted on a fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line by following Chad Diehl and Landon Walker into the end zone for the 17-7 Clemson lead with just 32 seconds remaining in the half.

The Clemson defense held on Maryland’s first possession of the second half and the punt was returned 41 yards by Jaron Brown, setting the Tigers up at the Terp 21-yard line. Five plays later, Ellington crashed in from the one-yard line for his second touchdown of the day, and Clemson led 24-7 with 11:02 remaining in the third quarter.

Maryland drove down to the Clemson thirty on the next possession, getting a big screen pass that covered 51 yards, but the Tiger defense held on fourth down for the first time this season, stopping the Terps on fourth-and-three on an incomplete pass. Up to that point, opposing offenses had been five-for-five on fourth down conversions.

The final points came with just over five minutes remaining when Xavier Brewer intercepted an O’Brien pass and raced untouched for a 61-yard touchdown.

“I knew before he [O’Brien] threw the ball that it was a touchdown,” Brewer said. “I told myself before the play that if they threw that route I was going to get a touchdown. I just read his eyes and made a great break on the ball and all I saw was green.”

“Maryland (4-2 overall, 1-1 ACC) head coach Ralph Friedgen said the lack of a running game hurt his offense in trying to contain Bowers.

“We were trying to do some things to help on Bowers,” Friedgen said. “He’s a good player. Like I said before the game, you have to get a running game going. You can’t let these guys get going and just tee off and come after you.”

Swinney said it was good to finally get a win.

“This was a great team win for us,” he said. “We came together as a family and played tough. The past games we’ve been close to pulling all the strings together to make us one unit, but today we finally did it and took care of business. We took care of the ball, played together and overwhelmed our opponent. We did what we had to do to win.”

Maryland vs Clemson (Oct 16, 2010 at Clemson, SC)

Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
-----------------    -- -- -- --   -----
Maryland............  0  7  0  0  -  7       Record:
Clemson.............  3 14  7  7  - 31       Record:

Scoring Summary:
1st 13:10 CU - Chandler Catanzaro 42 yd field goal, 6-36 1:50, MD 0 - CU 3
2nd 11:33 MD - O'Brien 4 yd pass from Scott (Baltz kick), 8-81 4:33, MD 7 - CU 3
    11:21 CU - Andre Ellington 87 yd kickoff return (Chandler Catanzaro kick), , MD 7 - CU 10
    00:32 CU - Jamie Harper 1 yd run (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 13-80 6:52, MD 7 - CU 17
3rd 11:02 CU - Andre Ellington 1 yd run (Chandler Catanzaro kick), 5-21 2:17, MD 7 - CU 24
4th 05:31 CU - Xavier Brewer 61 yd interception return (Chandler Catanzaro kick), , MD 7 - CU 31

                                     MD       CU
FIRST DOWNS...................       18       13
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............    21-44    44-94
PASSING YDS (NET).............      306      119
Passes Att-Comp-Int...........  47-25-3   21-8-0
TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS.....   68-350   65-213
Fumble Returns-Yards..........      0-0      0-0
Punt Returns-Yards............     3-28     3-52
Kickoff Returns-Yards.........     5-95    2-122
Interception Returns-Yards....      0-0     3-94
Punts (Number-Avg)............   7-43.7   7-38.9
Fumbles-Lost..................      1-0      0-0
Penalties-Yards...............    10-93     3-30
Possession Time...............    28:09    31:51
Third-Down Conversions........  4 of 14  4 of 16
Fourth-Down Conversions.......   0 of 1   2 of 3
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      1-2      2-3
Sacks By: Number-Yards........      1-3     3-26

RUSHING: Maryland-Meggett 8-29; Scott 4-18; T. Watson 2-15; Robinson 1-1;
To. Smith 1-minus 4; O'Brien 5-minus 15. Clemson-Andre Ellington 16-41; Kyle
Parker 10-41; Jamie Harper 8-8; Tajh Boyd 1-7; Chad Diehl 1-1; Roderick McDowell
6-minus 1; TEAM 2-minus 3.

PASSING: Maryland-O'Brien 24-45-3-302; Scott 1-1-0-4; Robinson 0-1-0-0.
Clemson-Kyle Parker 7-20-0-106; Tajh Boyd 1-1-0-13.

RECEIVING: Maryland-Cannon 7-67; Furstenburg 5-98; To. Smith 4-55;
Yeatman 3-41; Dorsey 2-8; Tyler 1-18; T. Watson 1-11; McCree 1-4; O'Brien 1-4.
Clemson-Bryce McNeal 2-12; Marquan Jones 2-10; Jamie Harper 1-40; Dwayne Allen
1-24; Jaron Brown 1-20; Kasey Nobles 1-13.

INTERCEPTIONS: Maryland-None. Clemson-Xavier Brewer 1-61; DeAndre
McDaniel 1-33; Darius Robinson 1-0.

FUMBLES: Maryland-Hughes 1-0. Clemson-None.

Stadium: Memorial Stadium      Attendance: 71000
Kickoff time: 12:11 PM  End of Game: 3:23 PM   Total elapsed time: 3:12
Officials: Referee: Tom Zimorski; Umpire: Danny Worrell; Linesman: John Busch;
Line judge: Jack Weiland; Back judge: Dale Shaw; Field judge: Kip Johnson;
Side judge: Watts Key;
Temperature: 71 deg    Wind: Calm      Weather: Sunny skies

Rate this Story:
11 votes

Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment
Discuss on TigerBoard   Print   | TigerNetcom Facebook ClemsonTigerNet Twitter TigerNet RSS Feed
4-star CB includes Clemson in top group
4-star CB includes Clemson in top group
WATCH: Tiger fans welcome Clemson basketball back to campus
WATCH: Tiger fans welcome Clemson basketball back to campus
Players say the pieces are in place for Clemson to have long-term success
Players say the pieces are in place for Clemson to have long-term success
Clemson-Louisville Saturday game rained out
Clemson-Louisville Saturday game rained out
Gabe DeVoe saves his best for last
Gabe DeVoe saves his best for last
What Brownell, DeVoe and Reed said after the loss to Kansas
What Brownell, DeVoe and Reed said after the loss to Kansas
Clemson basketball team arrival time
Clemson basketball team arrival time
Gabe DeVoe:
Gabe DeVoe: "I'm going to miss this team. A special group of guys"
WATCH: Clemson players locker room interviews after loss in Sweet 16
WATCH: Clemson players locker room interviews after loss in Sweet 16
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Daily Digest
Clemson Gear
Clemson Gear