Dean's Last Second Kick Buries #17 Aggies


by - Correspondent -
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Junior kicker Jad Dean nails the game-winner from 42-yards.

CLEMSON - Somewhere near noon on ESPN's Gameday, analyst Kirk Herbstreit had this reasoning for picking Texas A&M to defeat Clemson Saturday night at Death Valley.



"If you get Clemson down," Herbstreit said, "they'll quit."



Whether or not any of the Tiger players heard him, ultimately they proved Herbstreit wrong. And they did so in dramatic fashion.



Clemson (1-0) rode a school-record six field goals from junior kicker Jad Dean - including the game-winner from 42-yards away with :02 left to play - to a 25-24 upset of the 17th-ranked Aggies. The game was played before a sellout crowd at Memorial Stadium.



After the final two seconds elapsed following the ensuing kickoff, thousands of fans swarmed the field as Dean was playfully pummeled by his teammates. Head coach Tommy Bowden, speaking to an ABC television reporter in the midst of the hysteria, tried to play the role of wise old sage.




"You stay in this game long enough, you'll win some of these and you'll lose some," he said.



Fortunately for Bowden and Co. the Tigers won this one, getting positive momentum rolling into a next three weeks which sees games at Maryland, then home for both Miami and Boston College.



And they did it under trying circumstances, some of which might have led a lesser team to succumb to Herbstreit's analysis. For instance:



- Backup quarterback Will Proctor led the game-winning drive, having replaced starter Charlie Whitehurst who left the game early in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a mild concussion;



- They set up Dean's winning kick by riding freshman running back James Davis on eight consecutive plays on the final drive. Davis finished with 101 rushing yards in his collegiate debut;



- The Tiger defense, which gave up a nine-point lead in the second half, held Texas A&M to a three-and-out on its final stand, getting Proctor and the offense the ball back for the final drive;



- Finally, holder Cole Chason dug out a low snap from Nic Riddle and got a solid hold down to make Dean's winning kick possible.



All in all, it added up to yet another nailbiter, something Bowden saw quite a bit in 2004.



"I'm getting used to it, especially with the games we had last year," he said. "I hope the rest of the year doesn't go like it did tonight.



Trailing 24-22, Clemson held the Aggies (0-1) on a third-and-three inside their own 20, forcing the punt. The Tigers then turned to Davis, the true freshman from Atlanta, who carried the ball eight straight times to get Clemson into field goal position.



The final carry was simply to set the ball in the center of the field at the 25-yard line, giving Dean the best look possible. Chason dug out the low snap and got it set in plenty of time for the junior kicker, who split the uprights from 42 yards away.



Dean was 6-of-6 on the night with field goals of 21, 21, 25, 18 and 44 yards before his game winner.



The kicks broke the Clemson mark of five set three times by former all-Atlantic Coast Conference kicker Nelson Welch in 1991 against North Carolina State, 1992 against Maryland and 1994 against North Carolina.
The comeback offset another strong performance by Aggie quarterback Reggie McNeal, who had over 200 yards of total offense on the day and let Texas A&M on two second-half touchdown drives.



Clemson led 16-10 at the half thanks to the first three of Dean's field goals and a 47-yard punt return for a score by Chansi Stuckey.



Dean's fourth field goal in the third quarter capped a 95-yard drive and gave the Tigers the 19-10 lead.



                        A&M     Clemson

Total Net Yards 	353 	394
Total Plays 	        54 	84
Average Gain 	        6.5 	4.7
Net Yards Rushing 	241 	193
Rushes 	                33 	50
Avg. Per Rush 	        7.3 	3.9
Net Yards Passing 	112 	201
Comp.-Att. 	        7-17 	16-24
Yards Per Pass 	        6.6 	8.0
Sacked-Yards Lost 	0-0 	1-5
Had Intercepted 	1 	0
Touchdowns 	        3 	1
Rushing 	        2 	0
Passing 	        1 	0
Other 	                0 	1
Extra Points 	        3-3 	1-1
Field Goals 	        1-1 	6-6
Safeties 	        0 	0
 

PLAYER STATISTICS

Aggies (0-1)

Passing

  	        CP/AT 	YDS 	TD 	INT
R McNeal 	8/16 	112 	1 	1
J Carter 	0/1 	0 	0 	0

Rushing
          	ATT 	YDS 	TD 	LG
R McNeal 	9 	99 	0 	49
C Lewis 	17 	78 	2 	34
C Alexander 	3 	43 	0 	35
J Carter 	4 	25 	0 	19

Receiving
  	        REC 	YDS 	TD 	LG
C Schroeder 	1 	31 	1 	31
D Mobley 	1 	28 	0 	28
C Lewis 	2 	26 	0 	23
J Carter 	3 	24 	0 	15
E Taylor 	1 	0 	0 	0

Kicking
  	        FG 	LG 	XP 	PTS
T Pegram 	1/1 	35 	3/3 	6

Punting
  	        NO 	AVG 	I20 	LG

Kickoff Returns
  	        NO 	AVG 	TD 	LG
J Carter 	3 	31.3 	0 	49
B Leone 	1 	0.0 	0 	0
K Smith 	1 	0.0 	0 	0

Punt Returns
  	        NO 	AVG 	TD 	LG

Defense
  	        SCK 	INT 	FF
C Harrington 	1.0 	0 	0




Tigers (1-0)


Passing


  	        CP/AT 	YDS 	TD 	INT
C Whitehurst 	14/20 	187 	0 	0
W Proctor 	2/4 	27 	0 	0

Rushing

          	ATT 	YDS 	TD 	LG
J Davis 	19 	101 	0 	33
D Coleman 	10 	21 	0 	7
R Merriweather 	9 	21 	0 	6
K Browning 	7 	19 	0 	5
W Proctor 	3 	18 	0 	7
C Stuckey 	1 	2 	0 	12
C Whitehurst 	2 	-1 	0 	3

Receiving

  	        REC 	YDS 	TD 	LG
C Stuckey 	3 	51 	0 	23
C Baham 	3 	50 	0 	21
A Kelly 	4 	47 	0 	22
K Browning 	1 	33 	0 	33
C Downer 	3 	24 	0 	12
J Davis 	1 	6 	0 	7
D Coleman 	1 	5 	0 	5

Kicking

  	        FG 	LG 	XP 	PTS
J Dean 	        6/6 	44 	1/1 	19

Punting

  	        NO 	AVG 	I20 	LG
C Chason 	3 	25.3 	1 	31

Kickoff Returns

  	        NO 	AVG 	TD 	LG
D Coleman 	3 	21.3 	0 	26

Punt Returns

  	        NO 	AVG 	TD 	LG
C Stuckey 	2 	26.5 	1 	47

Defense

  	        SCK 	INT 	FF
S Gilliam 	0.0 	1 	0



SCORING SUMMARY



1st Quarter

FG Todd Pegram 35 Yd, 11:40. Drive: 10 plays, 10 yards in 03:20.

2nd Quarter

FG Jad Dean 21 Yd, 14:57.

TD Chansi Stuckey, 47 Yd punt return (Jad Dean kick is good), 12:44.

TD Courtney Lewis, 3 Yd run (Todd Pegram kick is good), 9:44. Drive: 8 plays, 86 yards in 03:00.

FG Jad Dean 21 Yd, 4:58. Drive: 10 plays, 15 yards in 04:46.

FG Jad Dean 25 Yd, 0:03. Drive: 8 plays, 22 yards in 03:39.

3rd Quarter

FG Jad Dean 18 Yd, 3:00. Drive: 13 plays, 37 yards in 07:59.

TD Courtney Lewis, 1 Yd run (Todd Pegram kick is good), 15:00. Drive: 8 plays, 51 yards in 12:00.

4th Quarter

FG Jad Dean 44 Yd, 10:37. Drive: 10 plays, 10 yards in 04:23.

TD Chad Schroeder, 31 Yd pass from Reggie McNeal (Todd Pegram kick is good), 9:22. Drive: 3 plays, 80 yards in 01:15.

FG Jad Dean 42 Yd, 0:02. Drive: 8 plays, 7 yards in 03:58.

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