McNeal and McKelvey Come Up Big for Tigers

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - Defensive end Bryant McNeal was at least one Clemson player with
his motor running most of Saturday afternoon.

McNeal just missed his career single-game high in sacks (three), finishing
the day with 2 1/2 against Ball State quarterback Talmadge Hill. His total
included back-to-back sacks of Hill on consecutive second-half plays for 16
yards in losses.

Still, despite his individual performance, McNeal wasn't happy with the
Tigers' overall performance in the 30-7 victory over the Cardinals.

"We're not playing at our peak right now," he said. "We are getting better
each week, and that's what counts. Having an extra week to get ready (for
Florida State) will help the team a lot. We have a bunch of guys banged up."


Senior wide receiver J.J. McKelvey had the best receiving day of his career,
hauling in 10 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown.

His 50-yard reception in double coverage set up Clemson's first score of the
day, a one-yard run by Yusef Kelly on the very next play that tied the game
7-7. And his own 9-yard scoring reception in the third quarter gave the
Tigers breathing room at 23-7.

"On the touchdown catch it was just good blocking by the (other) wide
receivers," McKelvey said. "I just made one cut and then it was wide open for
the touchdown."


Senior defensive tackle Nick Eason left the game on a cart in the fourth
quarter after suffering a knee injury.

Preliminary indications Saturday were that the injury was just a sprain,
however Eason will undergo an MRI today as a precaution.


The Tigers were well represented on the Atlantic Coast Conference's 50th
Anniversary teams for each sport, ending up with 145 honored athletes.

Saturday, 51 of those athletes were on hand for a halftime ceremony at Death
Valley. All in attendance were recognized individually on the playing field
and presented with a commemorative plaque.


- Besides McKelvey's big day, redshirt freshman quarterback Charlie
Whitehurst also had a couple of firsts Saturday.

His first pass completion went to McKelvey for four yards. Whitehurst
completed all four of his throws on Clemson's final drive, and capped it off
with his first career rushing touchdown - a one-yard dive that made it 30-7.

- Running back Yusef Kelly missed his first career 100-yard rushing day by
just one yard.

Kelly finished with 99 yards on 21 carries (4.7 yards per carry). He actually
had easily surpassed the century mark on a run inside the Ball State 10 yard
line midway through the fourth quarter, but a holding penalty wiped out the

- The Tigers had 9 penalties for a total of 100 yards.

- Saturday's announced attendance was 70,000.


Clemson is off until Thursday, Oct. 3, when it travels to Florida State for
Bowden Bowl IV. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN.

Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the Florence Morning News. He also hosts SportsTalk from 10 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.

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