Clemson - Duke Game Notes
Game Three: Clemson vs. Duke
Series History: Clemson leads 9-3 Last Year vs. Duke Tigers Seek 3-0 Start
Saturday, Sept. 15, 2001
1:00 PM (EST)
Clemson Memorial Stadium (81,474)
In the Rankings
Clemson - #19 AP, #18 USA Today/ESPN
Duke - Unranked
Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports Network
Play By Play: Jim Phillips * Color: Mike Eppley * Sideline: Rodney Williams
Tickets: $25, Available
Special Day: Hall of Fame
Duke enters Saturday's game with an 0-2 record. The Blue Devils lost
to top 10 Florida State 55-13 in the opener, then lost at Rice last
Saturday night, 15-13. The Owls are coached by former Clemson mentor
Clemson boasts an offense that is balanced, as 13 different players
have caught a pass and four different backs have at least 50 yards
rushing. Duke has more of a star system when it comes to running,
receiving and returns. Tailback Chris Douglas has been one of the
most productive players in the nation two weeks into the season. The
sophomore is second in the nation in all-purpose running.
Douglas does a little bit of everything. The native of Sherrils Ford,
NC leads the Blue Devils in rushing with 143 yards. The entire team
has just 171, so he has 84 percent of the club's rushing yardage.
Douglas also has three receptions for 86 receiving yards, including a
78-yard touchdown. He has added 210 yards on kickoff returns, giving
him 439 all-purpose running yards, 219 per game. Clemson is familiar
with Douglas. He scored twice against the Tigers last year in Wallace
Reggie Love is the top receiver for the Blue Devils with eight
catches for 115 yards. The 6-4 sophomore will not be making his first
trip to Clemson. He was a reserve on Duke's ACC Championship men's
basketball team a year ago. He made more than just token appearances.
His basketball season included an eight-rebound performance against
North Carolina in the ACC Championship game, a 26-point Duke win.
Clemson likes to run the football and the Tigers will be challenged
this weekend by Duke. The Blue Devils held Rice to 154 yards rushing
in 57 attempts last Saturday night, 2.7 yards per attempt. For the
season, Duke opponents average just 3.7 yards a rush. Ryan Fowler is
a player to watch on Duke's defense. The third-team freshman
All-American had 87 tackles last year, including 13 tackles for loss.
Ronnie Hamilton is an experience cornerback who will be someone
Woodrow Dantzler will have to keep his eye on. Hamilton had 63
tackles last season and has started 29 college games in his career.
Bowden Coached at Duke
Clemson head Coach Tommy Bowden was the offensive coordinator and
quarterbacks coach at Duke from 1983-86. That was his third different
assistant coaching assignment, but his first job as a coordinator.
During that time, Duke was 0-4 against Clemson, including a 21-9
Tiger victory at Duke in 1985.
In Bowden's first year as Clemson head coach, the Tigers defeated
Duke in Death Valley 58-7. Last year, he improved his record as a
head coach against Duke to 2-0 with a 52-22 victory. Clemson has
scored 110 points in two games against the Blue Devils.
Clemson vs. Duke Series Notes
* Clemson holds a 29-15-1 lead in the series with Duke, a series that
dates to a 20-6 Duke win in Durham in 1934. Duke won the first four
games of the series, all played at Duke.
* Duke never played at Clemson until 1959, a 6-0 Tiger victory.
* While Clemson holds a commanding 15-4-1 lead in the series at
Clemson, Clemson has a narrow 12-11 advantage in games played in
* Clemson has won nine of the last 11 overall and 16 of the last 20.
* Duke last defeated Clemson in 1998 at Duke, 28-23.
* Duke has not won at Clemson since 1980, a 34-17 Blue Devil triumph
that was led by Blue Devil quarterback Ben Bennett.
* Duke defensive coordinator Bob Trott was Clemson's defensive
coordinator in 1990, the year Clemson led the nation in total
defense. The Tigers finished that season with a 10-2 record, the last
time Clemson had a 10-victory season.
Clemson jumped out to a 35-0 halftime lead and coasted to a 52-22 in
at Duke last year. Woodrow Dantzler eluded Duke defenders for 22
rushes for 134 yards and three touchdowns. He was again effective
through the air, connecting on 11 of 19 passes for 174 yards and one
touchdown. The game marked the third consecutive outing in which
Dantzler had accounted for more than 300 total yards; a feat never
previously accomplished in Clemson history.
Dantzler's first completion of the game came early on the team's
second drive. He found Rod Gardner for a 17-yard pass that put the
Tigers' in Duke territory. Dantzler handed off to Travis Zachery on
three consecutive plays of 27, 4 and 1 yards. The one-yard plunge put
Clemson in front 7-0.
Clemson held a seven-point lead at the end of the opening period. The
Tigers rebounded with their biggest quarter of the year. Clemson
scored 28 points in a 7:18 time span and opened at 35-0 lead by
intermission. Dantzler rushed for his first score of the day on the
opening play of the second quarter.
On Duke's next drive sophomore cornerback Brian Mance returned an
interception 57 yards to the Duke 4. Zachery made the score 21-0 on
his second one-yard rushing touchdown of the day. Dantzler broke free
for a 34-yard rush on the third play of the Tigers' next possession.
The Tigers scored their 28th point of the period when Dantzler found
Morgan Woodward for an eight-yard Woodrow to Woodward touchdown.
The Tigers lost the shutout early in third quarter. Duke registered a
safety after blocking a Jaime Somaini punt into the Clemson endzone.
The Blue Devils gained only four yards before punting the ball back
to the Tigers. The Tigers then marched 93 yards on a 13-play drive
that resulted in a one-yard Dantzler touchdown run. Dantzler rushed
five times for 49 yards on the drive. The Tigers led 42-2.
Duke bounced back with their first touchdown of the afternoon.
Douglas escaped for a 41-yard touchdown run. Willie Simmons took over
for Dantzler late in the third quarter. Simmons connected with Kevin
Youngblood on a 38-yard touchdown pass.
Duke scored two touchdowns in the last two minutes of the contest.
Douglas rushed for his second score of the day to complete a 10-play,
80-yard drive. Jackie Robinson fumbled the ensuing kickoff. Ben
Erdeljac scored on a five-yard run to make the score 52-22 with 46
Keith Adams had an enormous day in the Duke backfield. The Butkus
Award candidate recorded four tackled for a loss of 28 yards and
three of those were sacks. Braxton Williams tallied two sacks for a
loss of 10 yards.
Clemson Veterans vs. Duke
* Jovon Bush had a sack for nine yards in 27 snaps against Duke in 1999.
* Chad Carson has 16 tackles in three games against Duke, including
eight tackles in 57 snaps in 1999.
* Woodrow Dantzler hs completed 14-23 passes for 214 yards and two
scores, and has 26 rushes for 158 yards and three scores in three
games vs. Duke. He has 49 plays for 372 yards in his career vs. Duke.
He had 308 yards at Duke last year in three quarters of play.
* Nick Eason had three tackles, including two tackles for loss vs.
Duke last year.
* Charles Hafley has nine tackles and two PBUs in three career games vs. Duke.
* Aaron Hunt booted a 22 yard field goal and was 5-5 on extra points
vs. Duke in 2000.
* Brian Mance had a 57-yard interception return at Duke last year. He
also had four tackles in that 2000 game.
* Bernard Rambert has 12 carries for 47 yards in two years vs. Duke.
* Jackie Robinson caught his first career TD pass vs. Duke in 1999.
He has five career catches for 59 yards against the Blue Devils.
* Braxton K. Williams has eight tackles, including two sacks against
Duke. Both sacks took place at Duke last year.
* Morgan Woodward caught an eight-yard scoring pass at Duke last year.
* Travis Zachery has 288 yards on 40 rushes and seven touchdowns
against Duke in three years. That includes a 141-yard day against
Duke at Clemson in 1999. He scored a career-high four touchdowns that
As we noted last week, Clemson has been 2-0 in a season just nine
times in the last 31 years. Clemson has a 12-18-1 record in the
second game of the season since 1970, and that includes wins in the
second game of the year four of the last six years.
That said, it is obviously rare for the Tigers to jump out to a 3-0
start, certainly the team's goal heading into the Duke game. Clemson
has been 3-0 or better to open a season just five times since 1961.
Clemson was 12-0 in 1981, 6-0 to open 1987, 4-0 to open 1989, 3-0 to
open 1991 and 8-0 to open last year.
Dantzler Nearing 4,000-2,000 Mark
Clemson quarterback Woodrow Dantzler enters the Duke game with 1,712
yards rushing and 3,635 yards passing in regular season games in his
Clemson career. He needs 288 yards rushing and 365 passing to become
the first ACC player in history to reach 2,000 yards rushing and
4,000 yards passing in a career. ACC statistics do not include bowl
games, thus the above qualifier. Including bowl games, Dantzler has
3,801 rushing and 3,820 passing in his four-year career.
So far this season, Dantzler has 101 yards rushing and 361 passing
for 462 total, an average of 231 yards per game in total offense. He
ranks second in the conference in total offense per game and is 36th
in the nation.
Dantzler is coming close to an ACC record. As listed above, he has
1,712 career rushing yards, just 228 away from Mike Dunn's ACC record
for career rushing yards by a quarterback. Dunn, a senior in 1978,
had 1939 rushing yards for the Blue Devils in his career. Dunn is
also the last ACC player (1976) to lead his team in rushing and
passing in the same season. Dantzler currently leads the Tigers in
Dantzler became Clemson's career rushing leader among quarterbacks in
the season opener against Central Florida when he gained 46 yards
rushing. That put him ahead of Steve Fuller's 1,737 total. Dantzler
now has 1,801 (including bowl games).
The graduate student has connected on 65.5 percent of his passes this
year and is now at 56.7 percent for his career, second best in school
history. He needs just four touchdowns rushing or passing to break
Steve Fuller's touchdown responsibility record (44). He has improved
to third in school history in passing efficiency and is also in the
top five in total offense, passing yards and completions.
Dantzler on Clemson career Records Lists
Rank/Category/Figure Left for Record
* 1st, quarterback rushing (1801) has record
* 2nd in completion percentage (.567) .569
* 3rd in touchdown responsibility (41) 4 TDs
* 3rd in total offense (5621) 1165 yards
* 3rd in passing efficiency (128.0) 131.3 rating
* 4th in interception avoidance (2.7%) 2.55%
* 4th in total plays (918) 240 plays
* 5th in completions (293) 165 completions
* 5th in passing yards (3820) 1900 yards
* 6th in touchdown passes (23) 13 TD passes
Clemson Records Held by Dantzler
* Total offense in a season-2899 (2000)
* Most total offense in a game-435 vs. Maryland, 1999
* Yards rushing by a quarterback in season-1028 (2000)
* Yards rushing by a quarterback in a game-220 vs. Virginia, 2000
* Yards rushing by a quarterback in a career-1801
* 100-yard rushing games in season by a quarterback-4 (2000)
* 100-yard rushing games by quarterback in career-6
* Most yards rushing in series of 3 games-520 (2000)
* Most yards rushing in series of 4 games-623 (2000)
* Most total offense/game in season-241.6 (2000)
* Most total offense/game in career-191.1
* Most 200-yard total offense games in season-9 (2000)
* Most 300-yard total offense games in career-6
* Most 100-yard rushing, 300-yard total offense games in a season-4 (2000)
* Most 100-yard rushing, 300-yard total offense games in a career-6
* Most touchdowns rushing and passing in a season-24 (2000)
* Single game pass completion percentage-.941 vs. The Citadel, 2000
* Single game passing efficiency (Min 15 att.)-247.2 vs. The Citadel, 2000
* Most total offense plays in season-434 (2000)
Zachery also Nearing ACC Record
Travis Zachery is the greatest receiving running back in Clemson
history. He has 69 career receptions, 67 in regular season play. The
ACC record for career receptions by a running back (regular season
only) is 73 by Roger Boone of Duke. He played with the Blue Devils
Zachery continues to be one of Clemson's top all-purpose players
ever. The senior from Marietta, GA leads the team in receptions with
nine and is tied with Woodrow Dantzler for the team lead in rushing
with 101 yards. Zachery has 69 career receptions including bowl
games. The previous Clemson record was 45 by Raymond Priester and Ray
Yauger. So, if Zachery continues at his current pace, he will have
twice as many receptions as any other running back in Clemson history
by the time his career ends.
Mance In top 10 in Punt and Kickoff Returns
Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden said during the preseason that he
thought he would have the best special teams since he has been the
head coach of the Tigers. That is proving to be a correct prediction,
and the leader of the special teams production has been cornerback
Mance has been a terror for opposing special teams coaches through
the first two weeks of the season. His production is reflected in the
first round of NCAA Statistics released Sept. 9. The junior is ranked
fourth in the nation in kickoff returns with a 35.2-yard average on
five returns, and is ninth in punt returns with a 16.7-yard average
on six returns. He has 176 yards on kickoff returns and an even 100
on punt returns for a total of 276 yards on 11 total returns, 25.1
return yards every time he has touched the ball.
Mance is the only player in the nation to rank in the top 10 in the
country in both categories, making him king of return men in the
nation. No Clemson player has ever finished the year ranked in the
top 10 in the nation in both return categories. However, one other
player, Antwuan Wyatt, ranked in the top 15 in both categories in
1995. That season Wyatt averaged 25.0 on kickoff returns to average
12th in the nation, and his 12.3-yard average on punt returns ranked
Mance had flashes of brilliance in the return game as a sophomore, so
his production this year is really no surprise. Last year he had six
kickoff returns for a 26-yard average, and had a Clemson record
32-yard average on six punt returns in 2000. That punt return total
included an 88-yard return in Death Valley against Georgia Tech,
fifth longest punt return by a Tiger in history.
Mance is a prime reason Clemson ranks fifth in the nation in kickoff
returns as a team and 10th in punt returns. The Tigers are also 15th
in the nation in net punting, a ranking that can be directly
attributed to the fine performance from Wynn Kopp. The transfer from
Georgia has a 43.7 average, but does not rank in the national stats
because he doesn't have enough attempts (only seven in two games, a
punter must average 3.6 punt attempts per game to qualify).
Clemson has also been perfect on place kicking, as Aaron Hunt is 1-1
on field goals and 8-8 on PATs. His 43-yarder against Wofford was a
career long. Clemson has also been outstanding on kick coverage.
Clemson opponents have just 19 total punt return yards, 6.3 a return,
and the opposition has averaged just 16.8 yards per kickoff return.
Big Day for Clemson Big Macs
Saturday's win over Wofford was a big day for Clemson wide receiver
J.J. McKelvey and defensive end Bryant McNeal. Both had a direct
impact on Clemson's 38-14 victory with career best performances. In
fact, both players went from zero in their prime stat category in the
first game to leading the Tigers in the second.
McKelvey had eight receptions for 73 yards and two scores in the
victory over the Terriers. That included six catches in the second
period alone. McKelvey did not have a reception in the first game,
then had the eight against Wofford. In fact, he had just three career
receptions for 90 yards in his career entering Saturday. He is now
ranked in the top 10 in the ACC in receiving and is second to Travis
Zachery for the season. McKelvey joined Rod Gardner as the only
Clemson receivers to catch two touchdown passes in a game under Tommy
McNeal did not have a tackle in the season opener against Central
Florida. He had six in the Wofford game, including four tackles for
loss, the top total for the Tigers against Wofford. That included two
sacks and a caused fumble. McNeal had just nine career tackles for
loss entering the Wofford game, then had four in that game. He joined
Keith Adams as the only Tigers to have at least four tackles for loss
in a game under Tommy Bowden.
Carson, Leake top Clemson Tacklers
Chad Carson and John Leake are becoming quite a one-two punch on
Clemson's second line of defense. Against Wofford's run oriented
attack last week numbers 45 and 46 combined for 34 tackles. Carson
had 18 and Leake picked up a career high 16. Both players now have 25
for the season.
For Carson the 18 tackles against Wofford tied for his second highest
single game total as a Tiger. The only game that is higher is the
22-tackle performance he had against Georgia Tech at Death Valley
last year. That is an ironic fact in itself considering that Carson's
father played for Georgia Tech.
Carson now has 336 tackles for his career, ninth best in school
history. He needs just three against Duke to move past Tim Jones into
number-eight. If he averages 10 tackles a game over the rest of the
season he will finish his career ranked fourth in Clemson history,
trailing only Bubba Brown, Anthony Simmons and Jeff Davis. That is
Leake has a long way to go to catch Carson, but he is taking a
similar path. Carson had just 11 tackles his freshman year as a
reserve linebacker in 1998. Leake had nine as a reserve last year.
Carson made the starting lineup as a sophomore in 1999 and had 27
tackles in his first two games. Leake has entered the starting lineup
as a sophomore and has 25 tackles through his first two games.
Clemson Career Tackle Leaders
Rk Player, Pos Years No
1. Bubba Brown, LB 1976-79 515
2. Anthony Simmons, LB 1995-97 486
3. Jeff Davis, LB 1978-81 469
4. Ed McDaniel, LB 1988-91 489
5. Randy Scott, LB 1975-78 382
6. Keith Adams, LB 1998-00 379
7. Robert Carswell, FS 1997-00 374
8. Tim Jones, LB 1991-94 338
9. Chad Carson, LB 1998-01 336
10. Henry Walls, LB 1983-85 316
West Puts in Extra Effort
Some Clemson fans might have seen a strange sight during post-game
traffic of Clemson's 21-13 win over Central Florida on September 1.
Some fans caught in the traffic on College Avenue might have noted
Assistant Coach Ron West riding a green bicycle, beating the
considerable traffic as the result of a crowd of 79,500 people.
West borrowed the bike owned by one of his players, offensive lineman
Nick DiPrimio to get across Route 123 in a timely fashion. The reason
for his haste? West was in a hurry to get to Boone, NC to see his
son, Brad, play for Appalachian State in its season opening game
The use of the bike enabled West to save considerable time. He then
took a back route to Boone and he arrived with eight minutes to go in
the half. His son, a freshman, did not play in the game, but it
certainly meant a lot to Brad to have his father at his first college
West is one of three Clemson assistant coaches with a son who plays
college football. Offensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach Brad
Scott is the father of Clemson wide receiver Jeff Scott. The younger
Scott scored a touchdown on a 22-yard run in the first game of the
season against UCF, the eventual game winner. He had a reception for
five yards against Wofford. Jack Hines' son Robert is the starting
quarterback at Tennessee-Martin.
Tigers Only Division I Team With Two Academic All-Americans
Clemson is the only school in the nation with two returning
first-team Academic All-Americans on its roster. Linebacker Chad
Carson and center Kyle Young were both named first-team Academic
All-Americans in 2000. That was the first time in Clemson history the
Tigers had two first-team selections in the same year.
Carson is a senior with a 3.94 career GPA in biological sciences and
is pursuing a Rhodes Scholarship. He led the Tigers in tackles last
year and ranked fourth in the nation. Young led the Tigers in
knockdown blocks last year with 120. He graduated from Clemson with a
3.97 career GPA last year and is now taking postgraduate courses. He
was also a first-team Academic All-American in 1999 and is trying to
become just the second ACC player in history to be a three time
first-team selection. Mike Diminick, who played for Duke in the
1980s, is the only other ACC player to be a three-time first-team
Merritt Leads Offensive Line vs. Wofford
Clemson gained 200 yards rushing and 286 passing in the win over
Wofford last week. The offensive line showed improvement over the
season opener when the Tigers failed to reach the 300-yard total
Will Merritt was average in the opener, but led the line against
Wofford. The graduate student from Easley, SC, who is on the
preseason Football Writers All-America list graded 89 percent and had
17 knockdown blocks. It was the second highest knockdown block total
of Merritt's career. He had 21 in the win over N.C. State in 2000.
Akil Smith also was lauded by Tommy Bowden after the game on Sunday.
Smith, making his first start since 1999, had a blocking grade of 84
from Clemson coaches.
Young Named to Rimington and Outland Watch List
Clemson center Kyle Young has been named one of 21 centers to he
preseason Dave Rimington Award Watch List and one of 26 candidates
for the Outland Trophy. The announcement about the Rimington Award
was made in New York by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, the sponsor of
the award. The award, which goes to the top center in college
football, is named after former Nebraska All-American Dave Rimington.
It will be presented Dec. 15 in Lincoln, NE.
Young was one of three finalists for the award last year, which was
won by Nebraska's Dominic Raiola, who is now with the Detroit Lions.
Young and Maryland center Melvin Fowler were the only ACC players
among the 21 preseason candidates.
Young is now on the preseason list for three major awards. In
addition to the Outland Trophy (picked by the Football Writers
Association), Young is also a preseason candidate for the Lombardi
Young, a native of Clemson, is in his third year as a starter for the
Tigers. He was named a second-team All-American by Football News last
season and was a third-team All-American by The Sporting News. He has
been a first-team Academic All-American each of the last two years
and will attempt to become just the second offensive lineman in
college football history to be a three-time first-team selection.
Clemson 34-0-1 With 200 Yards Passing and Rushing
Clemson gained 200 yards rushing and 286 yards passing in the win
over Wofford last Saturday, the eighth time under Tommy Bowden
Clemson has had at least 200 yards of each in the same game. Clemson
is 8-0 in those games under Bowden and now 34-0-1 in history when
gaining at least 200 of each. Clemson first turned the trick against
Wake Forest in 1953.
The program had just 28 such games in the first 103 years of Clemson
football prior to Bowden's arrival and now has had eight in the 26
games he has been head coach of the Tigers. The streak was nearly
snapped last year at Georgia Tech in 1999. Clemson had 231 yards
rushing and 197 passing in the loss at Georgia Tech. The only tie
game in which Clemson had at least 200 of each took place in 1976
when Clemson had 248 rushing and 234 passing in a 24-24 tie in
Atlanta against Tech.
Clemson Hall of Fame Day Saturday
Nine Clemson greats will be inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall
of Fame on Saturday during halftime ceremonies of the Clemson vs.
Duke game. The list includes former swimming All-Americans Rick
Aronberg and Jill Bakehorn, former Clemson men's basketball coach
Bill Foster and former track stars Michael Greene and Lisa Dillard
-Hanks. The list also includes Clemson's only four-time men's tennis
All-American, Richard Matuszewski and former women's basketball star
Two former Clemson football players who are still playing in the NFL
will be inducted. Levon Kirkland, now with the Seattle Seahawks, and
Chris Gardocki, now with the Cleveland Browns, will be represented by
family members this weekend. Both were teammates on the Tigers teams
from 1988-90. All three of those teams were 10-2.
Clemson in the Top 20 in 20 Straight Polls
Clemson is ranked in the top 20 in the nation in the latest
Associated Press poll and in the top 20 of USA Today. The Tigers are
ranked 19th in both polls. The Tigers have been ranked in the top 20
in all four polls so far this year and for 21 consecutive polls over
the last two years. This is the second longest streak of consecutive
weeks ranked in the top 20 in the AP poll in Clemson history. The
record for consecutive top 20 rankings is 41, set between the final
poll of the 1986 season and the Oct. 10, 1989 poll. The Tigers were
ranked between third and 17th in the nation in all 41 or those polls.
The record for consecutive weeks in the top 25 is 50 in a row between
Oct. 24, 1989 and Oct. 19, 1992. The Tigers were ranked between 6 and
25 during that streak. Clemson was ranked between 21-25 in six of
those 50 weeks. Clemson has had two other streaks of 14 weeks or more
ranked in the top 20. One took place from Sept. 21, 1981 through
Sept. 13, 1982, a 15-week streak, while the other took place between
Oct. 12, 1959 and Oct. 10, 1960, a 14-week streak.
Five First-Year Freshmen Played in Opener
Clemson played five first-year freshmen in the season opener against
UCF. The list included three receivers in Roscoe Crosby, Airese
Currie and tight end Ben Hall. On defense, Moe Fountain and Eric
Sampson were first-year freshmen who saw action.
Crosby started the game, the first first-year freshman to start at
wide receiver in the season opener 1944 when Arthur Hagan started
every game as a first-year freshmen. That was during WWII when the
United States Armed Services drafted most of Clemson's upperclassmen.
It didn't take Crosby much time to have an impact. He caught a Utah
pass from quarterback Woodrow Dantzler on the first play of the
season and he turned it into a 12-yard gain. He also caught 33-yard
pass for Clemson's longest play of the day from scrimmage. Crosby
finished the day with three catches for 64 yards. The yardage total
led the Tigers against UCF. Hall also made his first career catch in
LeRoy Hill became the sixth first year freshman to play in a game
when he played linebacker against Wofford. Hill had four tackles in
10 plays of action in the Clemson win.
Clemson Defense Better Than Expected
According to many of the preseason magazines, Clemson's "weakest
link" was supposed to be an inexperienced defense. The Tigers
returned just four starters from last year's 9-3 team. Four defensive
players made their first start against Central Florida and two others
were making just their second career start. Another was making just
his fourth career start.
But, the Tigers held the Golden Knights to but 13 points, 31 yards
rushing and 328 yards of total offense in recording a 21-13 victory.
In 2000, Central Florida averaged 30 points and 373 yards per game in
John Leake led the first-time starters with nine tackles in 51 plays
from his star safety position. The first-year sophomore has been a
bright spot in the preseason. He had three quarterback pressures and
a caused fumble to go with his nine tackles. Eric Meekins was another
first-time starter who had a strong game. The strong safety had seven
tackles in his 53 plays.
The Clemson defense was hard hitting with five caused fumbles,
including two by Braxton K. Williams. He became the first Clemson
defensive player to record two caused fumbles in the same game since
1996 when Tony DeSue had two against N.C. State.
Clemson limited Wofford to but 36 yards passing on Sept. 8, the
fewest by a Clemson opponent since 1991 when Temple had just 15 yards
passing. Clemson has now allowed just 27 points in two games and the
13.5 scoring defense ranks 29th in the nation.
Seven Graduate Students to Start for Tigers
Clemson has seven graduate students slated to hold starting positions
for today's game with Duke. That is an all-time record for graduate
students on the Clemson football team.
The list is led by Heisman Trophy candidate Woodrow Dantzler, who
received his degree in marketing from Clemson in August. Dantzler
hugged Clemson President Jim Barker when he was presented his diploma
on the stage at Littlejohn Coliseum.
Starting defensive back Charles Hafley and starting defensive tackle
Nick Eason both earned their degrees in sociology that same day.
Eason's graduation was especially impressive because he still has two
years of eligibility. He earned the degree in three years and three
summer sessions and plans to earn a Master's degree before his
eligibility is up. He is the first Clemson football player to earn an
undergraduate degree with two years of eligibility remaining.
Four other Clemson players received their degrees prior to this past
August, and all four of them are starters on offense. Kyle Young,
starting center, and T.J. Watkins, starting guard, earned their
degrees in May. Young graduated Summa Cum Laude and is a two-time
first-team Academic All-American. Wide receiver Matt Bailey also
received his degree that day. Starting offensive guard Will Merritt
received his degree in December 2000, just a few days prior to the
Series History: Clemson leads 9-3
Last Year vs. Duke
Tigers Seek 3-0 Start