Clemson-Wake Forest Notes and Quotes


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NOTES

*Cullen Harper's seven-yard touchdown run in the first quarter was the third opening-drive touchdown on the season, and the first since September 26 against NC State, when Harper found CJ Spiller on a touchdown pass.. The run was Harper's second career rushing touchdown, with his first being last week against Duke.

*Mark Buchholz made a 48-yard field goal midway through the first quarter, tying his career-long. He then made a 52-yard field goal to end the first half. In addition to resetting his new career-long, it was the longest field goal by a Clemson kicker since David Richardson kicked a 52-yarder at Wake Forest in 1997. On the Day, Buchholz had makes of 48, 52, and 46 yards. He tied a Clemson record for FGs of 40+ yards in a game. Buchholz is the first player to make three field goals of 46 yards or more in a game.

*Wake Forest's Sam Swank also hit a 52-yard field goal in the third quarter today. This is the first game in Clemson history in which each team made a field goal of at least 50 yards.

*The Tigers outscored the Demon Deacons 17-0 in the second quarter. Clemson has now outscored its opponents 88-0 during the second period in the last four games.

*C.J. Spiller returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown. It is his second consecutive game with a kickoff return for a touchdown, which is the first time a player has accomplished that feat. In 2004, Justin Miller returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game against Florida State. The return is Spiller's ninth touchdown of 50 yards or more, a record which he holds. Spiller also recorded 194 all-purpose yards on the afternoon, his career high.

*The last time an opponent ran back a kickoff for a touchdown against Wake Forest was 2002, when Northern Illinois' Michael Turner went 93 yards for a score.

*Cullen Harper's three touchdown passes against Wake Forest re-established the Clemson season touchdown pass record at 26. This season, Harper has 4 INTs on 322 attempts, an interception percentage of 1.24% He has a 6.5 touchdown/interception ratio (26/4)

*Aaron Kelly's 10-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter was his 10th in the 2007 season, tying Derrick Hamilton's ten in 2003. The catch also tied Hamilton's consecutive games with a touchdown catch streak at five. Kelly then caught his 11th touchdown pass of the season in the fourth quarter, setting the new single-season touchdown reception record. Kelly also grabbed seven catches in the second quarter, believed to be a record for receptions in a quarter. He finished with 10-93.

*Kelly had 10 catches on the day, moving him into 5th on Clemson's all-time career receptions list with 148. He also gained 93 yards, moving him up to 8th on the all-time receiving yards list with 1,771. On the season, he has 67 catches for 841 yards. Kelly now has 16 career touchdown receptions, tied for third in Clemson history. He needs only three touchdown receptions to break Glenn Smith's 56-year old record of 18 career touchdown receptions. Smith played between 1949-51.

*The Tigers' scoring drive that ended in a Kelly touchdown catch was 7:32 in length, the longest drive for the Tigers this season. Receiver Tyler Grisham had his second career 100-yard contest, notching nine catches for100 yards. The 100 yards tied a career high, equaling his 100 against Virginia Tech earlier this season. Grisham also added 22 yards rushing.

*With his 62 yards today, James Davis now has 2,926 career yards moving him into third on Clemson's all-time career rushing list, passing Kenny Flowers.

*Clemson freshman Kortnei Brown recorded his first career sack in the third quarter.

*The 20 millionth fan passed through the gate today. Coming into the day, Clemson had 19,932,297 fans all-time. With today's attendance of 81,500, Clemson Memorial Stadium has now hosted 20,013,797 fans since opening in 1942.

*Today's win was Clemson's largest margin of victory over Wake Forest since a 55-7 victory in 2000.

*Clemson is now two victories away from an ACC Championship . The last time Clemson was in a position where it could win its last two conference games and win the conference championship was 2000. Clemson won its first six league games that year, then lost its last two conference games to Georgia Tech and Florida State. Florida State won the ACC title that year. The last time Clemson went into a game at Death Valley knowing a victory would give it a championship was 1991 when Clemson defeated Maryland 40-7 to clinch the ACC championship. Clemson can clinch the Atlantic Division championship with a win next Saturday against Boston College.

QUOTES

Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden

General thoughts on the game:

"I think our defense really set the tone. They have a difficult offense to hem up for four quarters but I think Coach Koenning set the tempo for the game. Cullen also played well and we had some help from the special teams play on coverage and returns."

On the defense:

"We really played at a higher level defensively. This was up there with our Virginia Tech and Florida State performances. It also helped that we were able to take care of the ball offensively and minimize mistakes."

On Aaron Kelly and Tyler Grisham:

"These guys have both played a lot of football. Tyler played as a true freshman and Aaron has been playing for three years. They are both very hard workers and they have talent too. They are both really tough guys."

On Phillip Merling:

"Phillip, Ricky (Sapp) and Jamie (Cumbie) all got in there and got some pressure on the quarterback. We had some quickness over the guard. They had been lacking in the production numbers, but they all really played well today. We also played great defense on the outside and we had a couple of coverage sacks."

On Cullen Harper:

"He has some great targets and his protection has been great. Wake does a lot of movement and different things defensively, but our guys did a great job getting ready. Cullen has also been making some really good decisions and hasn't turned the ball over."

On maintaining intensity at practice:

"I don't think it'll be a problem. BC is very talented, so I don't think we should have any trouble getting up for them. "

On Boston College excitement:

"Hold on to your ticket."

Clemson Running Back CJ Spiller

On 90-yard kick-off return:

"We gave them a little different look with James and I back there. I was able to get through the first group and then DeAndre McDaniel gave me a great block. It feels great to do that two weeks in a row. There have been times this year where the special teams have struggled, so it feels good to make a positive impact today."

On offensive performance:

"We came out from the start and put points on the board. It really felt good to score points early. Cullen (Harper) did a great job finding the open guy the entire game. You have to give the offensive line credit. They did a great job giving us time to make plays."

Clemson Linebacker Courtney Vincent

"We practiced hard the entire week. Our coaches had us prepared for Wake Forest. They are the defending champions and we knew we would have to have a great effort to win. Our defensive line--(Phillip) Merling, (Ricky) Sapp, (Jamie) Cumbie, all made plays for us. Their quarterback never had time to get comfortable back there."

"Next week is as big as it gets. We have everything in front of us. The key is to prepare like we did this week."

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