CU-Va Tech Gator Bowl Notes

by - Correspondent -
Keith Adams forces a fumble with a sack of Michael Vick.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Rod Gardner caught seven passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. He became Clemson's all-time reception leader in the process. He finished the game with 166 catches in his career for 2498 yards. He broke Terry Smith's record of 166 receptions and was just two yards short of becoming the second player in Clemson history to gain 2500 yards receiving.

+ Justin Watts caught four passes for 59 yards to finish his college career. Watts, just the second player in Clemson history to earn five letters, finished the season with 22 catches for 234 yards. He could have had the first touchdown if Woody Dantzler had seen him wide open near the endzone early in the second quarter

"We felt their rover back would blitz in and they switched something and my guy blitzed and their guy dropped," said Watts. "Woody didn't have time to react and see me. We just told him if we ran it again to try the other side first."

Watts' 27-yard reception led to a Clemson touchdown earlier in the second quarter.

"Sorenson jammed me and let me get by him," said Watts. "It was a big play and go the momentum back on our side, but we couldn't keep it."

+ Travis Zachery set a Clemson record with his 18th touchdown of the season on his 23-yard scoring catch in the second quarter. However, he broke his foot on the play. It was the second straight season that Dantzler's season ended with a broken bone in a bowl game. He left last year's Peach Bowl after he broke his arm making a tackle on an interception.

+ Zachery's replacement, Bernard Rambert, suffered bruised ribs in the third quarter and did not return. True freshman Keith Kelly played most of the fourth quarter at tailback.

+ Clemson threw two touchdown passes, giving the Tigers 19 for the season - a new single season record breaking the mark of 17 set in 1984.

+ Two coaches for Virginia Tech are former Clemson players. Offensive coordinator Ricky Bustle played at Clemson from 1973-76 and then spent two years at Clemson as a graduate assistant. Tight ends coach Dan Pearman played tight end for Clemson from 1983-87. He also coached at Clemson as a graduate assistant for two years.

+ According to the Virginia Tech media guide, there is no good definition for the word Hokie. The word apparently goes back to 1896 when the school changed its name from Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College to Virginia Polytechnic Institue. The school needed a new cheer and a contest was held to determine it. A senior at the school, O.M. Stull won the prize for his "Old Hokie" yell, which is still used today. When Stull was asked later if the word Hokie had any special meaning, he said it had been thought up to get special attention. It didn't have any real meaning.

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