CLEMSON -- It is obvious Tye Hill likes to watch scary movies. That would at least explain why he watched a tape of last year’s nightmare debacle against Georgia Tech after personally living through it.
“That was a scary thing,” said Hill ( about watching last year’s game). “You can’t stop it. You wish you could pause it and say, ‘Ok, lets go back and do this play again.' But you can’t do anything about it.”
For a Clemson football player, not one game can bring back more bad memories than what happened in last year’s 28-24 loss in Death Valley.
“Why do you do that to yourself,” Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst asked. “What was he thinking?
Hill was thinking, “What had happened?”
It appeared the Tigers had beaten Georgia Tech when Kyle Browning broke off a 54-yard touchdown run which gave the Tigers’ a 24-14 lead with 3:18 to play.
But then a series of events took place that could only land in a Hollywood script. After a long kickoff return which brought the ball near midfield, the Yellow Jackets wasted little time cutting into the lead as quarterback Reggie Ball threw up a jump ball to Calvin Johnson from the Clemson 8 to make the score 24-21 with 1:50 to go.
Clemson appeared to have the game wrapped up, however, after recovering an onside kick at the 33 yard line. When Whitehurst scrambled for a 9-yard gain on the next play, the Tigers needed just a few inches to secure the victory.
“We had a chance to get the first down there and end the game,” Whitehurst said.
But a quarterback sneak netted no gain and on third down, Yusef Kelly, who initially made the first down, fumbled the ball where a lineman recovered it for a yard loss.
On the next play, Geoff Rigsby’s snap was low to Cole Chason and got away from the Clemson punter, where he scooped it up and was tackled at the Clemson 11.
Ball then followed with a perfect pass to Johnson who out jumped Justin Miller for the game-winner sending Clemson into a state of shock.
“We couldn’t believe it,” said bandit end Gaines Adams. “We were all shocked. We thought we had won the game and then we had to come out there and try and stop them. I think we just had are heads down and couldn’t believe it.”
Since that day Clemson has tried to forget about last year’s Georgia Tech game and move on.
“We have probably won some like that before,” said Whitehurst. “It kind of evens the field. Freak things happened and you kind kick yourself later, but it was a long time ago.”
But it wasn’t too long ago.
“I remember that game. I don’t think I will ever forget that game,” Hill said. “That’s the day the world was introduced to Calvin Johnson.”
Johnson single handedly beat Clemson by himself a year ago. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound sophomore had 8 catches for 127 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those three scores came against Hill, who said he learned a lot about playing in that game.
“I watched that whole game,” said Hill. “From looking at it, we all had great position on him and he we was just making plays. There wasn’t too much you could do about it, it was just one of those games you know.”
It’s just one of those games that are hard to watch if you are a Clemson fan or a Clemson player. But if you like watching scary movies like Hill does, than it is good entertainment.
“That was one of those games where I just had to look at and ‘ask what happened?’
It was tough,” Hill said. “I knew what was happening. I knew what was going to happen, but I just wanted to see it.
But Hill says he doesn’t plan on seeing the squeal if there is one.
“I hope I don’t have to see that ever again,” he said.