Game Three Notes: Clemson vs Virginia
Clemson vs. Virginia
Saturday, Sept. 22, 2001
5:45 PM (EST)
Clemson Memorial Stadium (81,474)
In the Rankings
Clemson - #19 AP, #18 USA Today/ESPN
Virginia - Unranked
Play By Play: Mark Jones * Color: Bill Curry
Sideline: Dr. Jerry Punch
Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports Network
Play By Play: Jim Phillips * Color: Mike Eppley
Sideline: Rodney Williams
Series History: Clemson leads 34-5-1
Tickets: $25, Available
Clemson Personnel Update
* Altroy Bodrick (LB) - Tore his ACL in a preseason scrimmage Aug.
18. Will Redshirt the season.
* Roscoe Crosby (WR) - Suffered sprained knee vs. Wofford,
questionable for Virginia.
* Marcus Houskin (SS) - Suffered a broken neck vs. Wofford and is out
for the remainder of the year.
* Kevin Johnson (CB) - Reinjured sprained shoulder vs. Wofford, back
* Brian Mance (CB/KR) - Suffered bruised bicep vs. Wofford, back for Virginia.
* Eric Sampson (*S) - Suffered concussion vs. Wofford, back for Virginia.
* Kevin Youngblood (WR) - Broke his leg in scrimmage on Aug. 21. Will
probably be forced to sit out the entire season. Not eligible for
red-shirt season since he redshirted as a freshman.
Clemson Holds 34-5-1 Lead in Series
Clemson holds a commanding 34-5-1 lead in the series with Virginia,
but Virginia held the lead in the series 5-4-1 in the decade of the
1990s. The Cavaliers gained their first victory in the series in1990,
by a 20-7 score in Charlottesville. Clemson had won 29 straight games
in the series dating back to 1955. Ironically, Clemson's first win in
the series in 1955 was also by a 20-7 score.
Virginia has been a team that has gotten off to a great start in
recent years and you can see that in the series with Clemson.
Virginia was 4-1 in the month of September against Clemson in the
1990s, but just 1-3-1 in October and November against Clemson in the
1990s. Overall, Clemson is 24-1-1 against Virginia in October and
November combined, but just 10-4 in September games against the Cavs.
That includes last year's victory.
Clemson has an 18-2-1 record against Virginia in Death Valley over
the years and a 16-3 record at Virginia. The only tie took place in
1991, a 20-20 score in Clemson. Clemson has won both games against
the Cavaliers under Tommy Bowden, a 33-14 win in 1999, his first win
at Clemson, and a 31-10 victory at Charlottesville, VA last year.
Some of Clemson's greatest comebacks in history have taken place
against the Cavaliers. The top comeback came during Clemson's 29-28
victory at Virginia in 1992. The Tigers were down 28-0, then scored
the last 29 points of the game to record the greatest comeback in ACC
history in a game involving two ACC teams. Clemson also overcame a
14-point deficit in the fourth quarter in the 1980 Tiger victory, and
a 17-point deficit in 1966, a 40-35 Clemson victory. For more on the
Clemson-Virginia series, see the story on pages 14-15.
Last year vs. Virginia
Facing his team's toughest test of the season, Woodrow Dantzler
responded with a performance that launched him into contention for
the Heisman Trophy in Clemson's 31-10 win at Virginia last year. The
junior rushed for 220 yards and passed for 154, leading his team
victory. The win moved Clemson to #7 in the AP poll.
Dantzler's 220 rushing yards set an ACC record for a quarterback. The
victory did not come as easily for Clemson as they had in previous
weeks. The Tigers overcame four turnovers to come away with the win.
Clemson never held a lead in the first quarter. The Cavaliers took
over after a Clemson fumble at the Tiger three-yard line. Antoine
Womack scored on a three-yard run to give Virginia a 7-0 lead. Womack
ran for 80 yards in the game.
The Tigers pushed deep into Virginia territory on the ensuing drive.
Tommy Bowden called for a fake field goal on a fourth-and-two
situation to sustain the drive. Holder Jeff Scott received the snap
and ran nine yards to the eight-yard line. Clemson settled for a
19-yard field goal by Aaron Hunt.
Virginia matched the Tigrs' effort with an impressive drive. Dan
Ellis passed to Billy McMullen for a 37-yard gain. A Clemson
off-sides penalty put the Cavaliers at the Tigers' 36-yard line.
David Greene hit a 38-yard field goal to give the Cavaliers a 10-3
Virginia was forced to punt on its next drive. Joe Don Reames' return
would prove to be the most crucial play of the game. Reames took the
Virginia punt 69 yards for a game-tying touchdown. The play was the
first punt return for a touchdown in the Tommy Bowden era.
Later in the period, Travis Zachery got loose for a 21-yard run to
the Cavalier 32 yard line. Dantzler finished the drive with a 30-yard
touchdown pass to Jackie Robinson with 9:40 remaining in the second
period. The score remained 17-10 at halftime.
Clemson started to pull away on its first possession of the second
half. Dantzler eluded Cavalier defenders for 75-yards in a
spectacular touchdown run, tied for the longest ever by a Clemson
quarterback. Dantzer later displayed the same brilliance on another
touchdown rush. His 45-yard touchdown made the score 31-10.
The Tiger defense was effective in keeping Virginia from capitalizing
on four potentially costly Clemson turnovers. Virginia was shut out
in the second half. The only Virginia touchdown followed the Tiger
fumble on the Clemson three-yard line.
Clemson was led defensively by Keith Adams. The junior registered 13
tackles. Adams also had two tackles for a loss of 13 yards. Charles
Hafley had 12 tackles and Chad Carson added 10. Darrel Crutchfield
had his best game as a Tiger. Crutchfield, who tore his ACL against
Florida State the previous year, recorded seven tackles and four
passes broken up. He was a big reason Clemson moved up to first in
the nation in pass efficiency defense after the game.
Virginia enters today's game with a 1-1 record. It will be the
Cavaliers first game since Sept. 1 when they defeated Richmond.
Virginia was to play Penn State on Thursday, Sept. 13, but the game
was postponed, as all ACC games were, due to the tragedy that took
place in New York and Washington, DC on Sept. 11. It is the first of
two consecutive games in which the opposition will have three weeks
to prepare for the Tigers. Georgia Tech will go from Sept. 8 until
Sept. 29 without a game.
Clemson of course has not played since Sept. 8, a 38-14 win over
Wofford, so both teams are well rested heading into today's game that
will be shown on national TV by ESPN2.
Virginia is coached by Al Groh, a 1967 Virginia graduate who is one
of four ACC coaches in their first year at the school. However, this
is not Groh's first year as an ACC coach. He was the head coach at
Wake Forest from 1981-86, so he has experience coming to Death Valley.
Groh has extensive background in coaching. He began his college
coaching career in 1968 as the freshman coach at Army. He became the
freshman coach at Virginia in 1970, then became a fulltime coach in
1971. He also has assistant coaching experience at North Carolina
(1973-77), Air Force (178-79), Texas Tech (1980) and South Carolina
He also has NFL experience, serving as an assistant with the Atlanta
Falcons (1987), New York Giants (1989-91, Cleveland Browns (1992),
New England Patriots (1993-96) and New York Jets (1997-99). He was
head coach with the Jets in 2000, posting a 9-7 record.
Groh has had teams that boasted outstanding offenses over the years.
That was seen at the NFL level last year with the Jets. His offense
gained over 500 yards of total offense against the World Champion and
record-setting Baltimore Ravens late in the season, more than any
other NFL team. Groh has some outstanding offensive players on his
Cavaliers team this year.
Arlen Harris is a junior running back who is third in the ACC in
rushing with 89 yards per game. He ran for 99 yards in 24 attempts in
his first career start against Richmond. Sophomore quarterback Bryson
Spinner is fifth in the ACC in total offense and has a 129 passing
efficiency rating, very close to the 134 that Woodrow Dantzler has
recorded for the Tigers this year. His favorite target is Billy
McMullen, who just might be the best wide receiver in the league. He
is currently tied for the league lead in receptions and averages 75
receiving yards per game.
Virginia always has a top-flight defense. Groh was defensive
coordinator of the Giants and Patriots in his NFL days. Angelo
Crowell, a junior, is the top tackler on the team with 24 tackles,
including two sacks, to lead the Virginia point prevention unit. John
Duckett is second on the club with 15 tackles, while senior Darryl
Sanders has 13 in two games. Virginia has allowed just five of 28
third down conversions, the best third-down conversion defense in the
Fifteen Graduates to Play in Clemson vs. Virginia Game
Clemson has seven graduate students slated to hold starting positions
for the Virginia game. Virginia has eight active players on its
roster who already have degrees, meaning 15 players will be on the
field in Death Valley who already have earned an undergraduate degree.
The total for Clemson is a school record for a single 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 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 of 2000, just a few days prior to the
Tigers Seek 3-0 Start
As we noted in the Wofford program, 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 Virginia 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 Virginia 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 1,801 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 in the top
35 in the nation.
Dantzler is coming close to an ACC record. As listed above, he has
1,712 career rushing yards in regular season play, just 228 away from
Mike Dunn's ACC record for career rushing yards by a quarterback.
Dunn, a senior in 1978, had 1,939 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 regular season. Dantzler
currently leads the Tigers in both areas. He led the Tigers in both
areas including bowl games last year.
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, a record pace, 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 (21)
* 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 consecutive games throwing a touchdown pass-6 (2000)
* Most consecutive games with 200 yards total offense-7 (2000)
* 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 was
ranked fourth in the nation in kickoff returns with a 35.2-yard
average on five returns, and 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 off to quite a start overall. He was the ACC Defensive Back
of the Week in the first game of the season when he had 10 tackles
and a pass broken up against Central Florida. He was then chosen ACC
Specialist of the Week for his performance against Wofford.
Mance is a prime reason Clemson ranked fifth in the nation in kickoff
returns as a team and 10th in punt returns through games of Sept. 8.
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). His net punting average is over 40 yards a boot,
something no Clemson player has done since 1984 (Dale Hatcher).
Clemson has also been perfect on placekicking, 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 that contest. 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
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. He was the first defensive lineman to
have four tackles for loss in a game since Adrian Dingle had four
against Furman in the 1998 season opener.
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 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
For Carson the 18 tackles against Wofford tied for his second highest
single game total as a Tiger. The only performance 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 position. 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 impressive company.
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 Tennesse-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. 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 3.98 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 selection.
Merritt Leads Offensive Line vs. Wofford
Clemson gained 200 yards rushing and 286 passing in the win over
Wofford on Sept. 8. 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. He was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week for the
second time in his career. 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
84 blocking grade 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 pre-season 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, 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
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 in Top 20 for 22 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 have
been ranked in the top 20 in all five polls so far this year and for
22 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.
Six First-Year Freshmen Have Seen Action
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 freshman. 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.
Herring Suffers Torn Achilles
The same day that Altroy Bodrick suffered a torn ACL, defensive
coordinator Reggie Herring suffered a torn Achilles tendon. Herring
suffered the injury while exhorting his defense after a good play
during the Aug. 18 scrimmage.
Herring, who never missed a game due to injury during his playing
career at Florida State, will not miss a game this year. He will
coach the Tigers defense from the press box until he is able to walk
without crutches. He could return to the sideline for today's game
Herring showed some intestinal fortitude on Aug. 22 when he had the
surgery to repair the torn Achilles at 6:30 AM, then returned to
practice that afternoon at 3:30 PM. He coached from the sidelines
while sitting in a golf cart. He was helped during that day by pain
killers, causing Tommy Bowden to comment, "That is the first time I
had an assistant coach on morphine during practice."
Zachery Tops 2,500
For the second straight year, Travis Zachery opened the regular
season having to prove himself after suffering a painful injury in a
bowl game. The Doak Walker Award candidate suffered a broken ankle on
a 23-yard scoring reception from Woodrow Dantzler in the Gator Bowl
against Virginia Tech and that kept him out of the rest of the game
and Spring practice.
He proved that he is back to full strength, leading Clemson in
rushing with 48 yards and in receptions with five for 41 in the
season opener against Central Florida. He scored a touchdown on a
pass reception from Woodrow Dantzler, his 40th career touchdown and
his seventh receiving. He now has 35 touchdowns in his last 26 games.
Zachery enters the Virginia game with 2,583 career rushing yards,
fifth best in school history. The greatest receiving running back in
Clemson history, he has a record 69 career catches for 723 yards. He
has 3,582 all-purpose running yards in his career, second best in
Zachery probably won't catch Raymond Priester when it comes to the
career rushing record (he needs nearly 1,400 yards), but he will have
a good chance to catch Priester in all-purpose yards. Priester had
4,282 all-purpose yards (rushing, receiving and kick returns
combined), just 700 yards ahead of Zachery's current total.