Florida State vs Clemson Game Notes
Bowden Bowl VII
Father will meet son for the seventh time in NCAA Division I college football
history on Saturday afternoon at noon. All seven have been matchups between
Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden and Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden.
Father Bowden has a 5-1 advantage in the previous Bowden Bowl matchups, but
Tommy won the last meeting held at Clemson in 2003. That was a landmark victory
for Tommy and the Clemson program. The Tigers defeated a third-ranked Florida
State team that entered the game with an 8-1 record by a 26-10 margin. It was
Clemson's first win over the Seminoles since Florida State joined the ACC in
1992 and it was also the highest ranked team Clemson has defeated in its
The setting is different as far as the mindset of the two teams entering
today's game. In 2003, Clemson was coming off a 28-point defeat at Wake Forest,
a team that had a losing record entering that game. Florida State was coming off
a 38-0 win at Notre Dame. This year, Clemson comes in off a 29-point win over
Duke and Florida State is coming off a home loss to an NC State team that had a
losing record entering the game.
This will be the fourth Bowden Bowl held at Death Valley. Florida State has a
2-1 advantage in the previous three at Clemson, but all three games have been
close. Clemson won in 2003 and FSU had the aforementioned three-point win in
1999. Florida State won 41-27 in a high scoring game in 2001. The combined
scores of the three Bowden Bowls at Clemson have been FSU 68 and Clemson 67.
Bowden Bowl Game Summaries
1999--The first meeting in 1999 was a festive atmosphere at
Clemson as a record 86,092 fans attended, a Death Valley record that still
stands today. In addition to the hype concerning a father coaching against a son
for the first time, Bobby Bowden was going for career victory number-300. He got
it, but it was a struggle, as the Tigers fought the Seminoles to the wire before
#1 ranked Florida State came away with a 17-14 victory. It was the closest
victory for the Seminoles on the way to the 1999 National Championship. Clemson
had two offensive touchdowns to Florida State's one and Florida State's 17
points were the fewest scored by the Seminoles that year. Clemson drove to the
FSU 25 with two minutes left, but a 41-yard field goal attempt by Tony Lazzara
was tipped at the line of scrimmage. FSU rank out the clock from there.
2000--Florida State won the second meeting in 2000 in
Tallahassee by a 54-7 count. Clemson entered the game with an 8-1 record and #10
national ranking, while Florida State was ranked fourth in the nation. It was
just the third meeting of top 10 ACC teams in league history. Clemson was coming
off a heart-breaking 31-28 loss to Georgia Tech the previous week, a game that
Georgia Tech had won with a touchdown pass with just seven seconds left. Florida
State gained 771 yards of total offense, most ever against a Clemson team,
including 521 passing, also a high against a Clemson team.
2001-- In a game at Death Valley, Clemson gained 463 yards of
total offense against Florida State, its high total ever against the Seminoles,
but still lost 41-27. The Tigers could not stop freshman quarterback Chris Rix
and the Florida State passing game as the Seminoles threw for 369 yards and
gained 557 overall. Woody Dantzler had 336 yards of total offense, but it was
not enough as the Seminoles won for the sixth straight time in Death Valley.
2002--Florida State came away with a 48-31 victory in the
highest scoring Bowden Bowl. It was the most points scored by Clemson in
Tallahassee since its last victory in 1989. Clemson won the total offense war
441-386, as Willie Simmons had a career high 343 yards rushing and passing, the
most total offense in history by a Clemson player against the Seminoles. J.J.
McKelvey had five catches for 117 yards to key the Clemson offense. But, Florida
State scored on a 97-yard kickoff return by Leon Washington and Greg Jones
rushed for 165 yards and three scores to give Florida State its victory. Clemson
did successfully execute an on-side kick, still the only successful on-side kick
by the Tigers since 1979.
2003--Clemson finally defeated Bobby Bowden in Death Valley
with a convincing 26-10 victory. It was just the second of what would be three
losses for the Seminole in the 2003 season. Florida State was ranked third in
the nation entering the game and it was the highest ranked team Clemson has
beaten in history. Charlie Whitehurst threw for 272 yards to lead Clemson as
Bobby Bowden suffered a loss on his birthday for the first time ever. It was the
first loss for Bobby Bowden in Death Valley after six straight wins, the longest
winning streak for any opposing coach in the facility.
2004-Justin Miller set an NCAA record for kickoff return yards
with 282, but the eighth ranked Seminoles downed the Tigers 41-22. Clemson had
five turnovers on offense and gained just 173 yards of total offense. The
Seminoles had 33 more plays than Clemson. It was 24-22 with four minutes left in
the third when FSU scored the last 17 points of the game. Leon Washington scored
on a 35-yard run in the third to put FSU back up by nine points.
The Clemson vs. Florida State games the last six
years are not the only times Bowdens have been on opposite sides of the field.
In 1991, Auburn, with assistant coach Tommy Bowden, faced Southern Mississippi,
with assistant coach Jeff Bowden. Southern Mississippi upset Auburn that day.
Jeff Bowden will also be at the scene this year also as he is Florida State's
Past Bowden Bowl Stats
|Year||Site||Score CU-FS||Total Offense CU-FS||CU-FSU||CU-FSU||CU-FSU|
· Tommy Bowden has coached 104 games as a Division I head coach and he has won
67 times. Through 104 games as a Division I head coach at West Virginia and
Florida State, Bobby Bowden had the exact same 67-37 record.
· Florida State's record the two years prior to Bobby Bowden's arrival was 4-18.
Tulane's record the two years prior to Tommy Bowden's arrival was 4-18.
·Bobby Bowden had Florida State in a bowl games and a top 15 final national
ranking in his second year with the program. Tommy Bowden had Tulane and Clemson
in a bowl game and a top 15 national ranking in his second year with each
· This is Bobby Bowden's 53rd season in coaching, his 30th as a head coach. This
is Tommy Bowden's 28th year in coaching (graduate assistant, full time assistant
or head coach) and his ninth as a head coach.
· Both Bowden's had perfect seasons as head coaches in the 1990s. Bobby had an
11-0 season at Florida State in 1999 after Tommy had a perfect 11-0 regular
season as head coach at Tulane.
Clemson-Florida State Series
Florida State holds a 15-3 advantage in the series with Clemson dating to a
38-13 Florida State win in Tallahassee in 1970. Clemson has three wins in the
series, but two took place in Tallahassee, in 1976 by a 15-12 score and in 1989
by a 34-23 score. Clemson's only win in Death Valley took place in 2003, a 26-10
Florida State is 7-1 at Clemson and 8-2 at Florida State against the Tigers.
Florida State had won 11 in a row prior to 2003 and all 11 had taken place since
Florida State joined the ACC in 1992. Florida State has been ranked in the top
20 in the nation heading into all 14 games in the series since the Seminoles
joined the ACC (including this year) . Clemson, Virginia (twice), NC State (four
times), Miami (FL), Maryland and North Carolina are the only league schools to
beat Florida State since they joined the league for the 1992 season, a total of
Clemson's 2005 Senior Class will attempt to be the first ACC class to beat
Florida State twice on the school's home turf since the Seminoles joined the
league. NC State beat them in consecutive years, once at Florida State and once
NC State (2001-02).
In four straight meetings between 1988 and 1993 both Clemson and Florida
State were ranked in the top 25. Both teams have been ranked in the top 25 of at
least one poll in seven of the last 14 meetings, including 2001 when Clemson
entered the game 24th in USA Today and Florida Sate was 14th in both polls. In
2000, in the game played in Tallahassee both were ranked in the top 10 of the
AP, as Clemson was 10th and Florida State was fourth. That marked just the third
time in ACC history that two league teams were ranked in the top 10 heading into
The three meetings between the two teams played between 1988 and 1992, were
classics. In 1988, Florida State won at Clemson 24-21, thanks in part to the
famous "puntrooskie play", a 78-yard run on a fake punt by Leroy Butler, and a
76-yard punt return by Deion Sanders, the only time a Chris Gardocki punt was
returned for a touchdown in his Clemson career.
In 1989, Clemson defeated a Florida State team that ended the season ranked
third in the final AP poll by a 34-23 score. That was the only loss by Florida
State at home against a non-Florida team in a 17-year period. A pair of 73-yard
plays were pivotal for Clemson in that game. The late Wayne Simmons ran 73 yards
with an interception and Terry Allen ran 73 yards from scrimmage in the second
period to give Clemson a 28-7 lead. Clemson was trying to run out the clock on
Allen's run. Florida State scored in the last minute to close the gap to 11
In 1992, before over 84,000 fans and a nationally televised audience at
Clemson, fifth-ranked Florida State defeated 15th-ranked Clemson 24-20 in Death
Valley. Florida State scored the winning TD in the final two minutes of the
contest behind the passing of Charlie Ward. Clemson did pick off four passes in
the game, including one that James Trapp returned for a touchdown. Trapp went on
to play 10 years in the NFL and that play certainly made the NFL scouts take
The 1997 game featured one of the greatest individual duals in the history of
Death Valley. Tony Horne gained 267 all-purpose yards in the game, while Florida
State's Peter Warrick had 372 for the Seminoles, including a 90-yard punt return
and an 80-yard pass reception. Horne's all-purpose running total is the second
highest in Clemson history, while Warrick's total is the most ever against
The 1999 game was certainly a series highlight as it was the first father-son
coaching matchup in NCAA history. Florida State claimed a 17-14 victory behind
the passing of Chris Weinke and went on to win the national championship. It was
the closest game the Seminoles had all season.
Last Year vs. Florida State
Florida State 41, Clemson 22
At Tallahassee, FL
Justin Miller's NCAA record 282 kickoff return yards were not enough to lift
Clemson to a win in Bowden Bowl VI, as #8 Florida State beat the Tigers 41-22 in
Tallahassee. Miller also tied an NCAA record by returning two kickoffs for
touchdowns. After Xavier Beitia kicked a 29-yard field goal to give Florida
State a 3-0 lead, Miller took the ensuing kickoff at his own three-yard line and
raced untouched 97 yards for a touchdown.
After forcing a Florida State punt, the Tigers got the ball back and drove 61
yards to the Seminole 23-yard line. On a second-down play, Charlie Whitehurst
was unable to handle the snap and Florida State recovered the fumble at its own
22-yard line. It was the first of five turnovers, while Florida State did not
commit a turnover.
Whitehurst was sacked and then fumbled the ball deep inside Clemson
territory. Florida State began the next drive at the Clemson nine, and on third
down, B.J. Dean scored on a two-yard run. At this point, starting quarterback
Chris Rix left the game with a leg injury, bringing Wyatt Sexton into the game.
It did not take the Seminoles long to strike again, as Whitehurst was picked off
by Leroy Smith on the next Tiger offensive snap. He returned it 41 yards for a
touchdown. The quick turn of events gave Florida State 14 points in just 18
The Tigers answered the Seminole scores on their next drive, as Whitehurst
opened the series with a 23-yard run to the Florida State 27. On a third down
play from the 12, Whitehurst found Curtis Baham wide open for a touchdown.
Florida State took the second-half kickoff and scored on a Sexton to Chauncey
Stovall 47-yard touchdown pass.The Clemson defense forced Florida State to a
three-and-out, and C.J. Gaddis blocked Chris Hall's punt out of the endzone for
On the following free kick, Miller caught the ball on his own 14-yard line
and again raced 86 yards untouched for his second kickoff return for a touchdown
of the day. Whitehurst was stopped just shy of the endzone on the two-point
conversion attempt, and the Seminoles held on to a 24-22 lead.
Late in the third quarter, Leon Washington broke through the Tiger defense
and raced down the sideline for a 35-yard touchdown run. The Clemson offense
could never get on track in the second half, and after another Chason punt, the
Seminoles took over at their own 49. Florida State needed only one passing play
on a scoring drive that covered 51 yards on 10 plays and chewed 4:42 off the
clock. The drive culminated in a James Coleman one-yard run on fourth and goal.
Miller had 282 yards on his six kickoff returns, 34 more than any other
player in NCAA history. Leroy Hill led the defense with 13 tackles and three
tackles for loss.
Florida State's Last Trip to Clemson
Clemson 26, Florida State 10
November 8, 2003
Clemson ended 14 years of frustration by defeating #3 Florida State 26-10 in
front of 79,826 fans in Death Valley. The win over the third-ranked Seminoles
was the highest-ranked victory in Clemson history. It also marked the first time
since 1989 that Clemson defeated Florida State. The victory came just one week
after Clemson had suffered a 45-17 loss at Wake Forest.
Several landmarks occurred in the 16-point victory for Clemson. For coach Tommy
Bowden, it was his first win in five tries against father Bobby.
Aaron Hunt became Clemson's all-time scoring leader with 302 points, breaking
Nelson Welch's previous record of 301. Derrick Hamilton became the school's
all-time all-purpose yardage leader with 4,412, breaking Travis Zachery's
record. Charlie Whitehurst broke Woodrow Dantzler's single-season record for
passing yards (2,682) with two regular season games remaining.
Clemson set the tone in the game's opening moments. On its first offensive
possession, the Tigers moved 65 yards in 11 plays before Aaron Hunt connected on
a 23-yard field goal.
On Florida State's ensuing possession, Tye Hill notched his second interception
of the season when he stepped in front of a long Chris Rix pass. The Tigers
tacked on Hunt's second field goal minutes later, giving Clemson a 6-0 lead.
Clemson got the ball back with less than three minutes to go in the first
half. Whitehurst drove the Tigers from their own 35-yard line. The big play was
a 51-yard hookup with Youngblood on third-and-10. Three plays later, Whitehurst
rolled to the right and then scrambled back to the left for a one-yard touchdown
run. His effort gave Clemson a 13-0 lead at halftime.
Florida State missed a field goal on its opening possession of the second
half. Clemson took advantage by marching 63 yards in 11 plays. Hunt kicked his
third field goal of the game from 32 yards away, giving Clemson a 16-0 cushion.
The drive was set up by Whitehurst, who zipped a pass between three defenders as
he was getting hit and found Curtis Baham for a 23-yard gain on third down.
The Seminoles responded with three points, as Xavier Beitia made a 46-yard
field goal. However, Clemson put the game away on the next two drives. First,
Whitehurst executed a pump-fake to the right before throwing left to a streaking
Hamilton. His 58-yard touchdown catch gave Clemson a commanding 23-3 lead.
Clemson kept the intensity up, as Leroy Hill intercepted a Rix pass four plays
On the next Seminole drive, David Dunham sacked Rix 10 yards behind the line
of scrimmage and forced a fumble. It was recovered by DeJuan Polk of Clemson.
Hunt came on to nail his fourth field goal of the night, giving Clemson the 26-3
lead. Florida State finally scored a touchdown in the final three minutes of the
contest. Chauncey Stovall was able to get behind the Tiger secondary for a
71-yard touchdown, but it mattered little at that point of the game.
Whitehurst was outstanding in his first career start against Florida State.
He finished 17-27 for 272 yards and one touchdown pass and he also rushed for 39
yards and a touchdown. His favorite target was Hamilton, who grabbed six balls
for 123 yards and a touchdown.
Hunt came into the game needing 14 points to set the school scoring record,
and he did just that. He was 4-4 on field goals and 2-2 on extra points.
Defensively, the Tigers held Florida State to 11 rushing yards the entire
game, the fewest total by Florida State in the Bobby Bowden era. Leroy Hill had
10 tackles and was named ACC Lineman-of-the-Week. Clemson also blitzed more than
normal, and the result was 15 quarterback hurries in the contest. Tye Hill
played well for Clemson, as he grabbed his second career interception and also
had another pass breakup in earning ACC Defensive Back-of-the-Week honors.
Travis Pugh tied for the team lead in tackles with 10 from his free safety
Game's Winningest Coach Comes to Death Valley
College football's winningest coach is also the winningest opposing coach in the
history of Death Valley. That is saying something since the facility dates to
the 1942 season. Bobby Bowden has a 6-1 record in Clemson Memorial Stadium and
the six wins are one more than Vince Dooley (5-4-1) had as the head coach at
Georgia between 1964-89. Peahead Walker, Shug Jordan, Bill Dooley and Jerry
Claiborne all had four wins over Clemson in the stadium.
This will be Bobby Bowden's eighth game against Clemson in Memorial Stadium.
That is the fifth most games against the Tigers in Memorial Stadium. Bill Dooley
and Lonnie McMillan coached against Clemson here 12 times apiece. Bill Dooley
was 4-8 in his 12 games coached with three teams, as he brought North Carolina,
Virginia Tech and Wake Forest to challenge the Tigers. McMillan coached all 12
of his games while leading Presbyterian.
It was McMillan who actually gave Clemson Memorial Stadium the name "Death
Valley." He called it that because he told the media he was going up to Clemson
to open the season at "Death Valley", and he said his team was probably going to
get killed. Coach Frank Howard started calling it that in the late 1940s and the
name stuck. McMillan was 1-11 in his 12 games at Clemson.
Bobby Bowden has recorded two of his many landmark victories in Clemson
Memorial Stadium. In 1997, in a game against a Tommy West coached Clemson team,
Bowden won his 200th victory as Florida State head coach in a 35-28 Florida
State win. Two years later he won his 300th game as a college coach with a 17-14
win at Clemson. Now, his son will be attempting a landmark win in his career
against him. Tommy will be going for his 50th win at Clemson when the Seminoles
come to Death Valley on Saturday.
Clemson-Florida State Connections
There are many connections between Clemson and Florida State in terms of
coaching and administrative personnel:
* Clemson Assistant Head Coach and offensive line coach Brad Scott served as
offensive coordinator of Florida State's National Championship team of 1993. He
served as an assistant with the Florida State program from 1983-93, including
the 1990-93 era when he was offensive coordinator. He has a master's degree from
Florida State in athletic administration, a degree he earned in 1984. He was on
the Florida State sideline in 1988 when the Seminoles executed the "Puntrooskie
* Florida State defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews served in the same capacity
for Clemson between 1976-80 and held the assistant head coach title under Danny
Ford in 1980.
* Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden was a graduate assistant at Florida State in
1978 and 1979, then served as tight ends coach of the Seminoles in 1981 and
* Clemson defensive backs coach Jack Hines was a graduate assistant at Florida
State in 1985-86. He is married to Robyn Bowden, one of Bobby Bowden's
daughters. Hines played for Bowden at West Virginia.
* Tommy Bowden's brother Jeff Bowden is the offensive coordinator for Florida
* Hootie Ingram, now retired and living in Alabama, was Clemson's head football
coach from 1970-72, then served as Florida State's Athletic Director in the
Florida State Update
Florida State has already clinched a berth in the ACC Championship game on
December 3 in Jacksonville. The Seminoles have two ACC losses, but have clinched
the tie breakers no matter who has a chance to finish in a tie with them.
Florida State has led the ACC in passing most of the year and they average 309
yards per game , 60 more yards per game than second place Boston College. Drew
Weatherford, a red-shirt freshman, leads the ACC in total offense with 258 yards
per game, 25 more per game than second place Charlie Whitehurst of the Tigers.
Weatherford also leads the ACC in passing yards per game with 258.1 and he has
thrown for 15 touchdowns.
His favorite target is freshman Greg Carr, a 6-6 wide receiver who has 22
receptions for 470 yards and nine touchdowns. He has an ACC best 21.4 yards per
reception and he will be a challenge for Clemson cornerback Tye Hill. Hill and
the Clemson defense did an outstanding job on Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson two
weeks ago, limiting Tech to 126 yards passing, including a season low 46 yards
to Johnson. Chris Davis is also an outstanding pass catcher with 38 receptions
for 525 yards.
Florida State has a strong defense, allowing 290 yards per game, third best
in the ACC. They allow just 171 yards per game in the air, fourth best in the
conference. The top tackler is A.J. Nicholson, a semifinalist for the Butkus
Award, who has a team best 74 tackles in nine games. He had 13 stops, including
three tackles for loss against NC State. Pat Wakins is a senior defender who has
52 tackles, while Erie Sims has added 48 stops. Kamerion Wimbley is third in the
ACC in sacks with 7.5 and has 10.5 tackles for loss overall to rank seventh in
One of the reserves on the Florida State offensive line is Dumaka Atkins, a
freshman from Sarasota, FL. He will be the second member of his family to play
against Clemson in Death Valley this year. His brother, Baraka Atkins, is a
starting defensive lineman for the University of Miami. Baraka was credited with
four tackles in Miami's triple overtime win at Clemson this year.
Clemson Offense Up Almost 100 Yards Per Game
Clemson has made a strong improvement in terms of offense this year. The Tigers
have gone from 295.6 yards per game in 2004 to 394.3 yards per game so far in
2005. That is an improvement of 98.7 yards per game over last season, the eighth
best total offense improvement in the nation, and the top improvement in the ACC
. It might surprise some that Southern Cal is the most improved team in the
nation in terms of total offense so far this year. The Trojans were obviously
good in 2004 with a 449.1 average, but they have trumped that with an average of
593.6 yards per game so far this year.
Clemson has improved by 64 places in the national rankings in total offense
over last year. Clemson is currently 46th after ranking 110th at the end of the
2004 season. A check to Clemson history shows that a 98.7- yard improvement
would be the second biggest gain from one year to another on record. Clemson
improved by 107.3 yards per game from 1994 to 1995 under offensive coordinator
Clyde Christensen. Like Rob Spence, Christensen was in his first year at Clemson
in 1995. He is now a quarterbacks coach in the NFL. Christensen and Spence
coached together at Maryland in 1992 and 1993.
A look to the ACC stats for this year shows that Clemson is second in the
league in total offense at 394.3 yards per game, fourth in rushing at 157.3
yards per game, and fourth in passing at 237.0 yards per game. The Tigers are
the only ACC team to rank in the top four in the conference in rushing offense
and passing offense. Passing efficiency has also made a dramatic improvement
this year under offensive coordinator Rob Spence. Clemson has a 135.8 team
efficiency rating so far this year, second best in the ACC. Clemson's team
efficiency last year was just 96.0.
Most Improved Teams in Total Offense
Most Improved Total Offense
Teams in Clemson History
|Rk||First Year (Figure)||Second year (Figure)||Impr|
|1.||1994 (272.4)||1995 (379.7)||+107.3|
|2.||2004 (295.6)||2005 (394.3)||+98.7|
|3.||1972 (266.2)||1973 (364.5)||+98.3|
|4.||1998 (304.9)||1999 (402.6)||+97.7|
|5.||1977 (339.6)||1978 (427.8)||+88.2|
|6.||1956 (251.2)||1957 (327.7)||+76.5|
|7.||1949 (312.4)||1950 (388.1)||+75.7|
|8.||1940 (265.7)||1941 (330.8)||+65.1|
Clemson on Senior Day
This will be the final home game for Clemson's 20 seniors. Clemson has won seven
straight Senior Day games tying for the longest streak of wins on this special
day in Clemson history. Clemson's last loss on Senior Day was in 1997 to a 10th
ranked North Carolina team by a 17-10 score.
Tommy Bowden is 6-0 on Senior Day games as Clemson's head coach and is 7-1 in
his career as a head coach. His only Senior Day loss was to Mississippi during
his first year at Tulane.
Last year's Clemson victory on Senior Day tied the record of seven set between
1957-63. South Carolina ended that streak with a victory in 1964 at Clemson.
Overall, Clemson is 68-33-3 on Senior Day over the years. Five seasons Clemson
has not had a home game and thus didn't have a Senior Day.
Here are some of the highlights for this 2005 Senior Class:
· Has already recorded five wins over top 25 teams, including a season opening
win over 17th ranked Texas A&M. Florida State is also ranked 17th entering this
game so it would put symmetry to the senior's final year with bookend wins over
17th ranked teams.
· A sixth win over a top 25 team would give this senior group the most wins over
ranked teams as a class since the 1994 seniors had seven top 25 wins.
· Has three wins over top 10 teams in a 2003 win over #3 Florida State, 2004
Peach Bowl over #6 Tennessee and a 2004 win at 10th ranked Miami (FL). The
seniors of 2004 are the only other class with three wins over top 10 teams since
the seniors of 1984.
· Has been bowl eligible each of their first three seasons and will have two
chances to reach that accomplishment in the remaining games. Clemson has an
overall record of 27-19 with this class and has been at least .500 in the ACC in
each season. Clemson needs to defeat Florida State to be .500 in the ACC again
· Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst has led the Tigers to 22 victories in the last
four years, tied for third best in Clemson history with all-time great Homer
Jordan. He has established 40 records during his Clemson career, including
career marks for passing yardage, total offense, touchdown passes and
· Has a 3-0 record against South Carolina so far in their careers and will
strive to be the first Clemson senior class to have a 4-0 record against
Clemson's state rival since the seniors of 2000.
· Has finished each of the last two years by winning five of its last six games.
They have a chance to do it for the third consecutive year.
Clemson Seniors in 2005
|Curtis Baham||WR||New Orleans, LA|
|Charles Bennett||DE||Camden, SC|
|Kyle Browning||RB||Union, SC|
|Cole Downer||TE||Chantilly, VA|
|David Dunham||LB||Lake City, FL|
|Matt Forbush||S||Kingsport, TN|
|Jamaal Fudge||S||Jacksonville, FL|
|Stephen Furr||PK||Lakeland, FL|
|Cory Groover||DT||Johnsonville, SC|
|Cliff Harrell||FB||Tallahassee, FL|
|Tye Hill||CB||Saint George, SC|
|Steven Jackson||FB||Columbia, SC|
|Rush Lowther||QB||Darlington, SC|
|Duncan McLaurin||WR||Dillon, SC|
|Chip Myrick||OG||Atlanta, GA|
|Lionel Richardson||LB||Huger, SC|
|David Schlink||DT||Katy, TX|
|Trey Tate||DT||Gaffney, SC|
|Charlie Whitehurst||QB||Duluth, GA|
|Bobby Williamson||TE||Tarpon Springs, FL|
Using Proctor No Gamble
Will Proctor made his first career start in the win over Duke last Saturday. The
native of Orlando was in for Charlie Whitehurst, who has battled a sore shoulder
the second half of the season. It was the first game Whitehurst has missed since
the 2002 season, the first start he has missed since the 2002 NC State game.
Whitehurst had started a Clemson record 37 consecutive games at quarterback
prior to the Duke game. Ironically, his streak started at Duke in 2002 as a
Proctor had a strong opening start. The junior connected on 13 of 21 passes
for 201 yards and two touchdowns. He connected on touchdown passes of 40 and 11
yards to Chansi Stuckey, the first two touchdown receptions of Stuckey's career.
Proctor had thrown just 13 career passes prior to the Duke game. He is now 18-31
for 281 yards and three touchdowns without an interception for this season. That
computes to a 166.1 passing efficiency rating.
Proctor came off the bench to help Clemson to a 25-24 win over Texas A&M to
start the season. Whitehurst had some dizziness after a hit in the fourth
quarter and it was Proctor who came on and quarterbacked the Tigers on the final
drive to the game winning field goal. He has appeared in three games at
quarterback this year, all victories.
Clemson Records Another 200-200 Game
Most teams strive for offensive balance because an ability to rush and throw the
ball with effectiveness usually translates to a victory. That has been the case
in Clemson history. A look to the records shows that Clemson has never lost a
game in which it has had at least 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing on
That pattern continued in the victory over Duke as Clemson rushed for 234
yards and passed for 216, giving Clemson 450 total. It was the second time this
year Clemson has had at least 200 of each. In the win at NC State, the Tigers
had 243 yards rushing and 246 yards passing in the 31-10 victory.
Overall, Clemson has now had 18 games in which it has had at least 200 yards
rushing and 200 yards passing under Tommy Bowden. Clemson is now 44-0-1 when it
has at least 200 yards of each category, including 37 consecutive wins dating to
1976. The only time Clemson has failed to gain victory when it had at least 200
rushing and 200 passing took place in a 24-24 tie with Georgia Tech in 1976.
A 200-yard rushing game by itself is usually a good indicator of victory for
Clemson. The Tigers are 2-0 this year and 22-1 under Tommy Bowden when they rush
for at least 200 yards. The lone loss took place in 1999, his first season, when
Clemson rushed for 231 yards at Georgia Tech, but lost 45-42. Clemson has won 19
consecutive games over six years when it rushes for at least 200 yards.
Merriweather, Davis a Strong Combo
Reggie Merriweather and James Davis are developing into a strong one-two punch.
Both are ranked in the top seven in the ACC in rushing, as Merriweather is fifth
with 73.2 yards per game and Davis is seventh at 64.9 yards per game. Clemson is
the only team in the ACC with two of the top seven rushers in the league.
The duo combined for 189 yards in 26 attempts against Duke, a 7.3 average. It
was the second highest single game performance for them as a duo, as they had
190 yards in the win at NC State. One or the other has rushed for at least 100
yards in each of the last four games. Merriweather had 104 yards in 18 attempts
and scored three touchdowns in the win over Duke, while Davis added 85 yards in
eight attempts and a touchdown against the Blue Devils.
Merriweather now leads the team in touchdowns with seven and has now scored
17 touchdowns in his last 15 games. The performance against Duke marked the
third time in the last 15 games he has scored three in a game. He also did it
against Miami (FL) and South Carolina last year.
Merriweather has 659 yards so far this year and a 5.3 average to go with
seven touchdowns. The native of North Augusta, SC needs just 11 yards rushing to
reach his total of last year when he led the Tigers with 670 yards. He has had
at least 100 yards rushing in each of the last three games, the first Clemson
running back to have at least three consecutive 100-yard games since 1996 when
Raymond Priester had at least 100 yards in each of the last four games that
Davis has 519 rushing yards, the most by a Clemson freshman since Travis
Zachery had 635 in 1998. Zachery was a red-shirt freshman that year. Davis's
total is the most by a first-year freshman since Ronald Williams had 941 in
Both players are over 500 yards for the season already. This is the first
time two different Clemson players have rushed for at least 500 yards in the
same season since 2003 when Duane Coleman had 615 and Chad Jasmin had 523.
Clemson has not had a pair of 600-yard running backs since 1989 when Joe
Henderson had 848 and Terry Allen had 613. It should be noted that Woody
Dantzler and Travis Zachery both rushed for over 1000 yards in 2000, but
Dantzler was a quarterback.
For the season, Merriweather and Davis have combined for 1178 yards on 217
attempts, a 5.4 average, and 12 rushing touchdowns. The have 21 pass receptions
between them for an additional 122 yards.
Merriweather Sets Clemson Record
Clemson running back Reggie Merriweather scored the game winning touchdown for
the Tigers in the 28-24 win at Maryland on September 10. His 38-yard jaunt
around right end on a third-and-seven play with 2:58 left marked the second
straight year and third time in his career that he had scored a game winning
touchdown with three minutes or less left in game. In fact, it was the third
time he had done it in a seven-game period.
Merriweather scored from two yards out with 23 seconds left to give Clemson a
10-7 win over Maryland in 2004, then scored from a yard out in overtime against
Miami just a couple of weeks later. Clemson kept the Hurricanes out of the
endzone and Clemson had the victory.
When Merriweather scored his game winner at Maryland he became the first
player in Clemson history to score three fourth-quarter game winning touchdowns
in a career. Prior to the Maryland game, Merriweather was joined in the Tiger
record books in that category by Fred Cone, Doug Cline, George Usry, Lowndes
Shingler and Jerry Butler. Merriweather is now one game-winning play behind
David Treadwell. Treadwell booted a fourth-quarter game winning field goal for
Clemson four times in his career, including consecutive years within the last 10
seconds against Georgia (1986-87).
Tigers From Florida
Clemson has 17 players on its roster from the state of Florida. That list
includes starters Jamaal Fudge and Bobby Williamson, and Will Proctor, who
started the Duke game at quarterback. This will obviously be a special day for
seniors David Dunham, Jamaal Fudge, Stephen Furr, Cliff Harrell and Bobby
Williamson who are all seniors from the state of Florida. This will be their
final home game in a Clemson uniform. Clemson has had victories over schools
from the state of Florida each of the last two years. Clemson defeated Florida
State in 2003 and won at Miami (FL) in 2004.
Clemson Players From Florida
|Brandon Croley||CB||*Fr.||Jacksonville||First Coast|
|Andrew Diomonde||WR||*Fr.||Miami||Christopher Columbus|
|David Dunham||LB||Sr.||Lake City||Columbia|
|Cliff Harrell||FB||Sr.||Tallahassee||N. Florida Chris. Acad.|
|Bobby Hutchinson||C||Sr.||Greenville||Madison County|
|Paul Muse||TE||Fr.||Jacksonville||First Coast|
|Will Proctor||QB||Jr.||Winter Park||Trinity Prep|
|Akeem Robinson||OT||*Fr.||Miami||Carol City|
|Taylor Tremel||OL||*Fr.||Lake Mary||Lake Mary|
|#Bobby Williamson||DE||Sr.||Tarpon Springs||East Lake|
Stuckey Leads ACC in Receptions
Chansi Stuckey had another strong game against Duke and continues to lead the
ACC in receptions per game with 5.22 per contest. He has a slim lead over Calvin
Johnson of Georgia Tech. Stuckey had a breakout game against the Blue Devils
with five receptions for 112 yards and two touchdowns. That's right two
touchdowns! Those were the first two touchdown receptions of Stuckey's career
and they came on consecutive Clemson pass plays over the second and third
periods. He scored on an 11-yard catch from Will Proctor with seven seconds left
in the first half, then scored on a 40-yard reception on Clemson's first drive
of the second half.
Stuckey had 71 receptions to open his career without a touchdown catch, then
had scoring receptions on catches 72 and 73. Stuckey enters the Florida State
game with 47 receptions for 579 yards. He is first in the ACC in receptions per
game and fourth in reception yards per game with a 64.3 average. He is
attempting to give Clemson consecutive ACC reception leaders. Airese Currie, now
with the Chicago Bears, led the ACC in receptions last year when he had 61 in 11
Stuckey has been more than just a pass catcher for the Tigers. He is the
team's leader in punt returns and ranks seventh in the ACC in that category with
8.2 yards per return. His 47-yard punt return for a score against Texas A&M was
Clemson's only touchdown in that Tiger victory. He is Clemson's leader in
all-purpose running with an average of 93 yards per game, eighth in the ACC. He
had a 159-yard performance against Duke has he had yardage in rushing,
receiving, punt returns and kickoff returns.
Stuckey had eight catches for 89 yards at Georgia Tech (including 49 yards
after the catch), so he has had consecutive outstanding games. Earlier he had
103-yard receiving game against NC State on eight receptions. Over two years he
has at least one catch in 18 straight games that he has played. He missed two
games last year due to injury. Stuckey's 5.22 receptions per game would be fifth
best in Clemson history if the season ended today. The record is 6.75 catches
per game by Rod Gardner in 1999, a year in which he had a school record 80
Stuckey Joins Exclusive Club
Clemson Chansi Stuckey became just the third player in Clemson history to
account for a touchdown through four different means when he caught a pair in
the win over duke. He threw two touchdown passes as a freshman quarterback at
Wake Forest in 2003, then ran for a touchdown as a reserve quarterback at South
Carolina in 2003. He scored a touchdown on a punt return against Texas A&M in
The other two Tigers to account for touchdowns four different ways are Bobby
Gage and Ray Mathews. Both did it four different ways in the same season. Gage
scored on a run, pass, reception and kickoff return in 1947, while Mathews
scored on a run, pass, reception and punt return in 1948.
Clemson Has Played Six Nail Biters
Clemson's season of close games this year continued at Georgia Tech on October
29. The Yellow Jackets won by a 10-9 score. Clemson had the ball in Georgia Tech
territory with under three minutes left, but could not convert a fourth-and
Over the last 15 games, Clemson has a 10-5 record. All five of the losses
have been by six points or less. Clemson has lost four games this year by a
total of 14 points. That list includes two overtime games, so the point
difference in regulation in those four losses this year is just five points.
This is the longest stretch without a loss by more than six points since the
1986-87 era when Clemson went 15 consecutive games without a loss by at least
seven points. That streak started with a 28-20 win at Wake Forest on November 1,
1986 and ended when South Carolina defeated the Tigers 20-7 in Columbia on
November 21, 1987. Over the last 15 games the only blemishes on Clemson's record
have been a 16-13 loss at Duke, a 36-30 triple overtime loss to Miami (FL), a
16-13 overtime loss to Boston College, a 31-27 loss to Wake Forest, and the 10-9
loss to Georgia Tech. Four of those five losses the winning opponent points were
scored within the last 33 seconds of the game.
Clemson's first five games of the 2005 season were decided with offensive or
defensive plays within the last minute of play. That includes four of the five
that were decided within the last two seconds, four on the last play of the
game. Clemson and Navy were the only schools in the nation to have each of their
first five games decided by seven points or less.
As far as Clemson history is concerned, this was the first time since 1906
that Clemson played five consecutive games in the same season that were decided
by seven points or less. That year Clemson had three scoreless ties (Virginia
Tech, NC State and Davidson), had a 6-0 win over Georgia and a 6-4 win over
Auburn, to start the season. The streak was broken at NC State when Clemson came
away with a 31-10 victory.
Tigers Have Just Nine Turnovers and 46 Penalties
Clemson lost four turnovers and committed eight penalties in the 10-9 loss to
Georgia Tech on October 29. Those mistakes contributed to the loss, but
certainly were the exception for this 2005 Clemson team. The Tigers lost three
fumbles in the first half after going 499 consecutive offensive plays without a
fumble. Clemson was the last team in the nation to lose a fumble after going the
first seven games without losing. Reggie Merriweather broke string with a lost
fumble on a play that was first called down, but later changed to a lost fumble
by instant replay. It was Merriweather's first lost fumble as a Tiger on his
238th career carry.
While Clemson made mistakes against Tech, the Tigers are still ranked high
nationally in terms of not committing turnovers or penalties. Clemson has lost
nine turnovers for the season (none in the 49-20 win over Duke) on three lost
fumbles and six interceptions, tied for the fourth fewest turnovers in the
nation. Only Central Michigan (6), UCLA (7) and UAB (8) have fewer turnovers on
offense thatn Clmeosn this year.
With three lost fumbles, Clemson is tied for third in the nation in fewest
fumbles lost. Rutgers and UAB have both lost two fumbles so far this year.
Clemson is one of six teams with three lost fumbles. The Tigers are also 12th in
the nation in fewest penalties committed with 46 in nine games.
Whitehurst Needs 163 Yards for Third 2000-yard Season
Charlie Whitehurst needs just 163 yards passing to reach the 2000-yard passing
mark for the third time in his career. When he does he will own three of the top
five 2000-yard passing seasons in Clemson history. Whitehurst owns the Clemson
record with 3561 yards during Clemson's 13-game schedule in 2003. He had 2067
last year, which is the fourth most passing yards in a season. Woody Dantzler
and Nealon Greene are the only other Clemson quarterbacks with a 2000-yard
Whitehurst ranks sixth in ACC history in passing yards, but will move into
the top five with his next completion. Spence Fisher, ironically a Duke
quarterback (1992-95) is just two yards ahead of Whitehurst.
ACC Career Passing Yardage Leaders
|1.||Philip Rivers||NC State||2000-03||13,484|
|2.||Chris Weinke||Florida State||1997-00||9,839|
|4.||Jamie Barnette||NC State||1996-99||9,461|
|7.||Joe Hamilton||Georgia Tech||1996-99||8,882|
|8.||Darian Durant||North Carolina||2001-04||8,755|
|9.||Shawn Jones||Georgia Tech||1989-92||8,441|
|10.||Chris Rix||Florida State||2001-04||8,390|
Clemson Single Season Passing Yards Bests
Whitehurst Breaks Total Offense Record
Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst became Clemson's career total offense
record holder in the win over Temple. The graduate had an even 300-yard game and
now has 9,122 yards for his career. Woodrow Dantzler held the Clemson mark with
8,798 yards. Whitehurst is now eighth on the ACC list. He needs just 174 yards
to move ahead of Chris Rix and Shawn Jones into sixth place in ACC history.
Few observers felt Dantzler's record would ever be broken because of his
ability as a runner and passer. But, Whitehurst has already trumped Dantzler's
passing numbers and should break the total offense mark on Saturday. Whitehurst
has appeared in 41 games for the Tigers, including 37 in a row as the starting
Whitehurst holds 40 Clemson records, including 14 career marks. He is already
the Clemson career record holder for passing yards, completions, completion
percentage and touchdown passes. His 22 career victories fourth in school
history. He moved ahead of Steve Fuller and Mike Eppley with the win over
Temple. That career record is an unattainable 32 wins by Rodney Williams
(1985-8), but Whitehurst certainly hopes to reach Nealon Greene's 24 wins
So far this season, Whitehurst has completed 67.2 percent of his passes,
ahead of the single season mark of 63 percent by Brandon Streeter in 1999.
ACC Career Leaders in Total
|1.||Philip Rivers||NC State||2000-03||13,582|
|2.||Joe Hamilton||Georgia Tech||1996-99||10,640|
|3.||Jamie Barnette||NC State||1996-99||9,638|
|4.||Darian Durant||North Carolina||2001-04||9,630|
|5.||Chris Weinke||Florida State||1997-00||9,473|
|6.||Shawn Jones||Georgia Tech||1989-92||9,296|
|7.||Chris Rix||Florida State||2001-04||9,213|
Fudge Has Nine Career Interceptions
Fudge has two interceptions this year and nine for his career. He is attempting
to lead Clemson in interceptions for a third consecutive season, something no
Tiger has ever done. Currently, Tye Hill is ahead of him with three
interceptions. Fudge has a fumble recovery this year and two caused fumbles,
including one last week at Georgia Tech. He has four caused fumbles in his
career. He has two career fumble recoveries to go with the nine interceptions,
giving him 11 career takeaways.
The native of Jacksonville, FL is following in the footsteps of Jacksonville
native Brian Dawkins, now an All-Pro with the Philadelphia Eagles, when it comes
to tackling. Fudge is known for his fierce tackling from the secondary and the
53 tackles for the season to rank fourth on the Clemson team. He now has262 for
his career, more than any other active Tiger. Fudge has now started 33
consecutive games and has played in 46 in a row. Fudge has never missed a
Tigers Hold Pack to 10 Points
Clemson had a strong defensive performance in the win over NC State. Overall,
the 21-point victory margin was the best for Clemson in the series with the Pack
since 1996 when Clemson won by 23 points in a 40-17 victory at Death Valley. The
21-point victory margin was the largest for the Tigers in any ACC game since a
40-7 win over Duke at Clemson in 2003. It was the largest margin of victory in
an ACC road game since a 39-3 win at Georgia Tech in 2003.
The Tigers were outstanding on offense and defense. The 489 yards of total
offense were the most by a Clemson team in any game since the Tigers recorded
542 yards of offense at South Carolina in 2003. Clemson held the Pack to 267
yards of offense and just 92 yards rushing in scoring 10 points. It was the
fewest points scored by NC State against Clemson since a 30-10 Tiger victory at
Clemson in 1989. It was the fewest points scored by NC State against the Tigers
in Raleigh since 1988.
The 267 yards of total defense ranked as the best by the Clemson defense this
year, as was the 4.2 yards per play allowed and the 88.1 passing efficiency
defense, and the one touchdown allowed.
Clemson Defense Solid vs. Miami
The NCAA overtime rule can play havoc with the evaluation of various statistics.
That is the case with Clemson's defensive performance against Miami (FL) in the
most recent game, a 36-30 Miami triple overtime win. Miami scored 16 of its 36
points in the three overtime periods, which will hurt Clemson's scoring defense
stats all year. The same goes for total offense and yards per game, as Miami
gained 73 yards in the overtime.
Through the 60 minutes of regulation, the Hurricanes gained just 264 yards of
total offense, 49 yards less than they gained against Florida State's famed
defensive unit. The Hurricanes threw for just 109 yards on 23 pass attempts
during regulation as Vic Koenning's defensive unit allowed less than five yards
per pass attempt. Clemson allowed just 5-14 third-down conversions in regulation
and allowed just 15 first downs. Miami gained just 4.0 yards per play during
Anthony Waters led Clemson in tackles for the second consecutive game in the
Miami loss with 11. C.J. Gaddis had his second consecutive double figure tackle
game with 10, while Sergio Gilliam had a career high nine stops, including one
behind the line of scrimmage.
Hill on Thorpe Award List
Clemson cornerback Tye Hill was a mid-season addition to the Jim Thorpe Award
list. The Tiger senior was not on the preseason list because he was not a
returning all-conference player, but he has reached the award's radar screen
with his strong performance so far this season. Hill is fifth on the Clemson
team in tackles with 47, including 36 first hits. He has three interceptions to
lead the Clemson team and leads the Clemson team in takaways with four (three
interceptions and one fumble recovery). He has eight passes defensed and now has
38 for his career, tied for eighth in Clemson history.
In his September listing of top senior NFL Draft prospects, Mel Kiper ranked
Hill 14th overall, third among defensive backs. Hill made a seven-place jump in
Kiper's rankings since the season began. Kiper ranks Southern Cal quarterback
Matt Leinart first in his rankings of draft eligible players, followed by Ohio
State linebacker A.J. Hawk. The only defensive backs ranked ahead of Hill are
Virginia Tech cornerback Jimmy Williams and Tennessee defensive back Jason
Hill had a career high 11 tackles at Wake Forest, including three tackles for
loss. That was a Clemson single game record for tackles for loss by a defensive
back. He followed that up with an impressive game at NC State in front of a
press box that had 15 NFL scouts. He had five tackles and a 24-yard interception
return in that contest.
Hill was part of a Clemson secondary that held Georgia Tech star receiver
Calvin Johnson to four receptions for 46 yards, his low reception yardage total
of the season. He had just 25 receiving yards when Hill was on the field. Most
importantly, Johnson did not score a touchdown and the Yellow Jacket offense
scored just 10 points for the entire game.
Mel Kiper's Top Senior Prospects