Miami vs Clemson Game Notes


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Tigers Start 2-0

When Clemson defeated Maryland in College
Park on September 10, it gave the Tigers a 2-0 start to the season, Clemson's
first 2-0 start since 2001. It marked the third time that Coach Tommy Bowden has
won his opening two games at Clemson, as he had an 8-0 start to the 2000 season
in addition to the 2-0 start in 2001. He also had an 11-0 start, and finish, at
Tulane in 1998.


Historically, Clemson has struggled in the second
game of the year, a contributing factor to Clemson achieving a 2-0 start just 10
times since 1971. The only other year Clemson has been 2-0 since 1992 was in
1997.


Starting off with a 2-0 start is an indicator of a
strong season for the Clemson program over the last 35 years. In the seasons
Clemson has started off the year by winning its first two games since 1971, the
Tigers have an 81-25-1 record, a .762 winning percentage. For those nine seasons
that is basically a 9-3 season. If Clemson can defeat Miami (FL) it would give
Clemson its first 3-0 start since the 2000 season and just its second 3-0 start
since 1992.



Clemson 2-0 Starts Since 1971



Year

Start

Final Record

1981

12-0

12-0

1984

2-0

7-4

1987

6-0

10-2

1988

2-0

10-2

1989

4-0

10-2

1991

3-0

9-2-1

1997

2-0

7-5

2000

8-0

9-3

2001

2-0

7-5

Total

 

81-25-1 (.762)




Two Top 25 Teams meet in Death Valley

Clemson and Miami (FL) are both ranked in
the top 25 of both polls this week, the first time two top 25 teams have met in
Death Valley since November 18, 2000 when 16th ranked Clemson met 25th ranked
South Carolina. The Tigers won that exciting game thanks to a late 50-yard pass
from Woodrow Dantzler to Rod Gardner, and a game-winning 25-yard field goal by
Aaron Hunt with three seconds left.


Miami (FL) did not play last week, but is still
ranked 13th in the nation in both polls. The Tigers are 20th in AP and 23rd in
the USA Today Coach's poll. It is the second straight week Clemson has been
ranked in the AP top 25, the first time this year Clemson has appeared in the
Coach's poll top 25.


This will be the 14th time in history that a top
25 Clemson team has played a top 25 opponent in Death Valley. Clemson has a 9-4
record in those previous 13 Top 25 meetings. A pair of top 25 teams met in Death
Valley just twice in the first 40 years of the stadium, but there have been 11
in the last 23 seasons.

Three of the four losses by Clemson in battles of top 25 teams in Death Valley
have been against Florida State (1988, 1992 and 1997). When Clemson defeated
Florida State in 2003, the Seminoles were third, but Clemson was unranked.


The only other team to defeat Clemson in a battle
of top 25 teams in Death Valley is Notre Dame in 1977. That year, Clemson was
15th and the Irish were fifth entering that game. Notre Dame scored two
touchdowns in the fourth quarter behind Joe Montana to take a 21-17 victory. The
Irish went on to win the National Championship.

Clemson has had success when it enters a game in Death Valley as a top 25 team.
Over the years, Clemson is 70-14-3 in games played in Clemson Memorial Stadium
when the Tigers enter the contest as a top 25 team, a .816 winning percentage.


Games Involving Two Top 25
Teams in Death Valley



Date

Opponent

Score (CU-Opp)

AP Rankings (Cu-Opp)

11-3-1956

Virginia Tech

21-6

13/15

11-12-1977

Notre Dame

17-21

15/5

11-6-1982

North Carolina

16-13

13/18

11-12-1983

Maryland

52-27

17/11

9-19-1987

Georgia

21-20

8/18

9-17-1988

Florida State

21-24

3/10

10-15-1988

Duke

49-17

11/22

11-19-1988

South Carolina

29-10

15/25

9-28-1991

Georgia Tech

9-7

7/19

10-26-1991

NC State

29-19

19/12

9-12-1992

Florida State

20-24

15/5

9-20-1997

Florida State

28-35

16/5

11-18-2000

South Carolina

16-14

16/25



Whitehurst Off to Efficient Start

Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst is
off to a strong start to his final year, leading Clemson to consecutive
victories over Texas A&M and Maryland. In the two games combined, Whitehurst has
completed 32-41 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns without an interception.
Whitehurst's passing efficiency is 168.52, 15th best in the nation and best in
the ACC given a minimum of 15 attempts per game. A year ago, Whitehurst had a
passing efficiency figure of 97.3.


In the victory at Maryland, Whitehurst completed
18-22 passes and the 81.8 completion percentage was fourth best in Clemson
history given a minimum of 15 attempts, the second best of Whitehurst's career.


The graduate student from Duluth, Georgia has had
nine games in his career in which he has had an efficiency ratio of 150 or
better and two of the top seven have come in the first two games with Rob Spence
as his coordinator. Whitehurst had a 155.47 efficiency rating in the win over
Texas A&M, the seventh best figure of his career, then had a 179.78 against
Maryland, the fourth most efficient game of his career.



Charlie Whitehurst's Best passing Efficiency Games



Year

Opponent

Com-Att-Yds-TD-Int

Efficiency

2002

North Carolina

12-20-274-4-0

241.08

2003

Middle Tennessee

23-28-298-4-0

219.18

2003

South Carolina

18-26-302-4-1

209.88

2005

Maryland

18-22-178-2-0

179.78

2003

Furman

23-31-301-2-1

170.59

2002

Duke

34-52-420-4-0

157.67

2005

Texas A&M

14-19-185-0-0

155.47

2003

Florida State

17-27-272-1-1

152.39

2003

Duke

27-40-331-3-2

151-76



Whitehurst Becomes 20-Game Winner

Now Second in Top 25 Wins

Charlie Whitehurst became the sixth
20-game winner in Clemson history when the Tigers defeated Maryland 28-24 on
September 10. He is the first Clemson quarterback to reach 20 wins in a career
since Nealon Greene recorded 24 wins as a starter from 1994-97. Greene is still
active in the game as the starting quarterback for Saskatchewan in the CFL.


Rodney Williams is the career leader with 32
victories, a total that is among the top 25 victories totals in NCAA history at
the Division I level. Williams, a member of the Clemson Hall of Fame, guided the
Tigers to three consecutive seasons of two losses from 1986-88 and won three
bowl games as a starting quarterback.

While Whitehurst can't catch Williams on the career wins list, he can reach
second ranked Greene with just four more wins. Other Clemson 20-game winners are
Homer Jordan, Steve Fuller and Mike Eppley. Whitehurst is currently sixth on the
victories list with DeChane Cameron and Woodrow Dantzler.


With the win over 17th ranked Texas A&M,
Whitehurst now has five top 25 wins under his belt. He moved ahead of Homer
Jordan, Mike Eppley and Nealon Greene in career wins over top 25 teams with that
Texas A&M win. He trails only Williams, who had seven top 25 wins between the
1986-88 seasons. Whitehurst is 5-4 against ranked teams in his career (including
5-2 in his last seven), while Williams was 7-4. Whitehurst will have another
opportunity when the Tigers face Miami (FL), who is 13th in both polls entering
the game on Saturday.



Clemson's Winningest Quarterbacks



Rk

Player

Years

Record

1.

Rodney Williams

1985-88

32-10-2

2.

Nealon Greene

1994-97

24-16

3.

Homer Jordan

1979-82

22-6-1

4.

Steve Fuller

1975-78

21-11-3

 

Mike Eppley

1980-84

21-5-1

6.

Charlie Whitehurst

2002-05

20-11

7.

DeChane Cameron

1988-91

19-4-1

 

Woodrow Dantzler

1998-01

19-11

9.

Harvey White

1957-59

18-7



Another Last Second Tiger Victory

Eight of the last 13 Clemson games have
been decided by seven points or less, and all on plays within the last three
minutes of the game or in overtime. Clemson has won six of those eight close
games with either pivotal offensive or defensive plays. The 42-yard field goal
by Jad Dean that gave Clemson a 25-24 victory over Texas A&M came with just two
seconds left and was the latest game-winning field goal by a Tiger player since
David Treadwell's 21-yard field goal with two seconds left best Georgia in 1987.


The Tigers followed that with the win at Maryland on a 38-yard run by Reggie
Merriweather with just 2:58 left. The Clemson defense then forced Maryland to
relinquish the ball with 47 seconds remaining, thanks to a sack by Gaines Adams.


Clemson has had many a close victory under Tommy
Bowden. Since he became the head coach in 1999, Clemson has registered 10
victories in which it has overcome a deficit or a tie game to score the winning
points in the fourth quarter. Eight of the 10 have come with offensive plays
inside the last 23 seconds or in overtime.



Clemson Heart Stoppers the last Two Seasons (6-2)



Year

Opponent

Cu-Opp

Winning Play

Time

2004

Wake Forest

37-30

Whitehurst-Browning 11 pass

2nd OT

 

Georgia Tech

24-28

Johnson 11 pass from Ball

:11

 

Maryland

10-7

R. Merriweather 2 run

:23

 

NC State

26-20

C. Bennett interception

:00

 

Miami (FL)

24-17

R. Merriweather 2 run

OT

 

Duke

13-16

Brooks 53 FG

:00

2005

Texas A&M

25-24

Jad Dean 42 FG

:02

 

at Maryland

28-24

R. Merriweather 38 yard run

2:58



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 the last seven games.


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 last Saturday,
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).


First time Winners at Death Valley

Miami (FL) will attempt to become just the
second first-time visitor in the last 28 years to win at Death Valley. The two
schools have met six times previously, but never at Clemson. The only opponent
since 1978 to win in its first visit to Clemson has been Marshall, a 13-10
winner in the season opener of the 1999 season, Tommy Bowden's first game as
head coach. Prior to that, the last first-appearance winner at Clemson was Notre
Dame in 1977.


Miami (FL) is the 46th different team to come to
Clemson Memorial Stadium and the previous 45 have a record of 11-33-1 in their
first game at Clemson. Three of the 11 first-time winners (Alabama, Kentucky,
Marshall) have beaten the Tigers by the exact same score, 13-10.


A look to Clemson's home record over the years
shows why the Tigers enjoy playing in Death Valley. Clemson has a record of
301-114-15 at home over the years, a .717 winning percentage. Clemson is
246-255-25 away from home, a .490 winning percentage for those 526 games on an
opponent's home field. Clemson is 55-44-5 in neutral site games. You might
notice that Clemson now has 602 all-time victories, 301 at home and 301 away
from home.


Clemson has a 228-88-7 record in Death Valley
(since 1942), a .717 winning percentage for 323 games. Tommy Bowden has followed
the lead of his predecessors when it comes to playing at home. He is 29-10 so
far in his 39 home games, a .744 winning percentage. Clemson has won five in a
row at home and 12 of the last 13. The only loss in that 13-game span was to
Georgia Tech in the second game of the 2004 season.



First-time Winners at Death Valley



Year

Opponent

Score

1942

George Washington

7-0

1943

Wake Forest

41-12

1946

NC State

14-7

1952

Villanova

14-7

1953

Maryland

20-0

1967

Alabama

13-10

1971

Kentucky

13-10

1973

Texas A&M

30-15

1975

Florida State

43-7

1977

Notre Dame

21-17

1999

Marshall

13-10



Tigers Perfect in Turnover Column

One of the reasons for Clemson's 2-0 start
is the turnover margin statistic. The Tigers ranked 100th in the nation out of
117 teams in turnover margin last year, including a dead last ranking after the
first five games (1-4) when Clemson lost 14 turnovers on offense and gained just
two on defense.


Clemson has forced just four turnovers so far this
season on defense, but has yet to commit a turnover on offense. This is the
first time since the 1994 season that Clemson has gone consecutive games without
a turnover. Clemson did not have a turnover against North Carolina and Georgia
Tech in consecutive games in November that year.

Most coaches will tell you that winning the turnover statistic, or limiting
turnovers on offense will usually lead to victory. That has been the case with
Clemson. The Tigers have now won 11 consecutive games dating to 2002 when it
wins the turnover margin stat (forces more turnovers than it commits). Clemson
is 28-7 under Bowden when the Tigers win the turnover margin stat. Clemson has
had 11 games under Tommy Bowden when it has not committed a turnover on offense
and the Tigers are 10-1 in those games.


Clemson New Orleans Duo Leads Way at
Maryland


Two starting members of the Clemson
football team from New Orleans, LA played at a high level in the victory over
Maryland. Both had to be playing with distractions, as their families have been
displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Starting wide receiver Curtis Baham and starting
linebacker Nick Watkins have accounted for all of their relatives, but their
family homes and cherished belongings are probably gone for ever.


Both put the distractions behind them at Maryland
and had career games. Baham caught a pair of touchdown passes, a first in his
career, and the first Clemson player to do that since 2003 (Derrick Hamilton vs.
Duke). His day included TD catches of six and 51 yards. The 51-yarder brought
Clemson to within three points in the fourth quarter and it was the longest
catch of his career by 27 yards.


Watkins was the second leading tackler on the
Clemson defense with a career high 13 tackles, including a team best 10 first
hits. His afternoon included six special teams tackles, including five solo
stops on punts and kickoffs. That was the second highest single game special
teams tackle total in school history, trailing only the seven special teams
tackles recorded by Chad Speck against Georgia Tech in 1999.


Waters Records Season High

Anthony Waters had a team best 14 tackles
in the win over Maryland. The junior from Lake View, SC had nine first hits and
five assists in the four-point Clemson victory. That was Waters career high in
the tackle column by four, as his previous high came last year against Georgia
Tech. That was also the second game of the season and a game that was decided by
a 28-24 score. The good news was that Clemson won by that score this time
instead of suffering a difficult loss.


The 14 tackles at Maryland rank by Waters rank as
just the second double figure tackle game of his career. His day also included a
career high four tackles for loss. Waters had nine tackles for loss all of last
year, including three apiece against NC State and Miami (FL). Waters has 12
career tackles for loss, but 10 of them have taken place in his last six games.


Adams Pressuring Quarterback

Gaines Adams was moved to the "Bandit" end
position last spring, as defensive coordinator Vic Koenning sought to take
advantage of the 6-5, 260-pounder's athletic ability. Adams showed that athletic
ability in the win over Maryland recording a career high eight tackles,
including four tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.


Adams, who played eight-man football at Cambridge
Academy in Greenwood, SC for former South Carolina quarterback Steve Tanneyhill,
made a key sack on Maryland's final drive. With the Terps on the Clemson 40 with
a second-and-10 and just 1:45 left, Adams sacked Terps quarterback Sam
Hollenbach. Clemson then held Maryland on third and fourth down, clinching the
Tiger victory.


Clemson vs. Miami (FL) Series

·This will be the seventh meeting between
Clemson and Miami (FL) on the gridiron. Miami (FL) has a 4-2 edge in the series
that dates to 1945. This will be just the seventh meeting, but the third time
both teams have entered the game ranked in the top 20. The other occasions were
in 1950 and 1956.

·This will be Miami's first ever trip to Clemson. The two teams met last year
and Clemson came away with a 24-17 win in overtime. The two teams will not meet
in the regular season again until the 2009-10 time period.

· Miami won that 1956 meeting, 21-0 in the Orange Bowl. Clemson went on to
finish with a 7-2-2 record in 1956, and was ranked 19th in the final AP poll,
while the Hurricanes finished 8-1-1 and were ranked sixth. The Tigers also
played in the Orange Bowl that year against Colorado and lost 27-21. Thus, both
of Clemson's losses in 1956 came in the same Stadium, the Orange Bowl.

· Clemson's first victory in the series took place in the Orange Bowl game at
the end of the 1950 season. Frank Howard and the Tigers won that game, 15-14,
when Clemson middle guard Sterling Smith tackled Miami running back Frank Smith
in the end zone for a safety with under two minutes left. It is one of just two
times Miami (FL) has lost an Orange Bowl game since 1950. The only other time
Miami (FL) has lost an Orange Bowl postseason game was in 1995 (end of the 1994
season) when Nebraska defeated the Hurricanes, 24-17.

· The two teams also met in the 1951 Gator Bowl and the Hurricanes came away
with a 14-0 victory. That was also a battle of top 20 teams. Jim Dooley had four
interceptions to lead the Miami (FL) defense, an NCAA record for interceptions
in a bowl game.

· Clemson had scored just 28 points against Miami in the first five games of the
series prior to last year when Clemson scored 24 in an overtime victory. The
first five games of the series were played between 1945-56 and Frank Howard was
Clemson's coach in all five meetings.

· Clemson's greatest victory in its history took place in Miami's home stadium.
The Tigers didn't beat Miami to record the victory, however. Clemson won the
1981 National Championship with a 22-15 victory over Nebraska in the Orange
Bowl, Miami's home facility.



Clemson vs. Miami (FL) Series (2-4)



Year

CU

Miami

Rank (CU/M)

Site

W-L

CU

Mia

1945

3-1-1

4-1

 

A

L

6

7

1950

8-0-1

9-0-1

10/15

A1

W

15

14

1951

7-2

7-3

19/--

N2

L

0

14

1953

1-1-1

1-1

 

A

L

7

39

1956

5-0-2

4-1-1

12/8

A

L

0

21

2004

4-4

6-1

NR/11

A

W

#24

17

2005

2-0

0-1

20/13

H

 

 

 





A1--Orange Bowl game at end of 1950 season, N2 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, FL

#Denotes Overtime


Last Year in Review

Clemson 24, Miami (FL) 17 (OT)

At the Orange Bowl

November 6, 2004

Clemson scored 21 unanswered points and held Miami (FL) scoreless in the second
half to upset the #10 Hurricanes 24-17 in overtime at the Orange Bowl. The win
was Clemson's third triumph over a top-10 team in the past 13 games. The Tigers
also improved to 5-0 all time in overtime games.


The game did not start out well for the Tigers, as
Frank Gore scored on a 23-yard touchdown run on the game's opening drive. It
took the Hurricanes only five plays to move 68 yards in 2:04. The Tigers were
forced to punt on their first drive of the night, and again the Hurricanes
wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. John Peattie connected on a
35-yard field goal.


The Clemson offense got on track on its next
possession, moving 43 yards in eight plays. The 20,000th point in Clemson
history was recorded by Jad Dean when he made a 48-yard field goal. Miami got
the ball back after a Clemson punt with 1:47 left in the first half, and Gore
scored again on a 14-yard run to give the Hurricanes a 17-3 lead with just 19
seconds left before halftime.


Each team was forced to punt on their first drive
of the second half. On Clemson's second possession, Charlie Whitehurst hit
Airese Currie for 37 yards on a third-and-long. Reggie Merriweather busted
through the line on the next play for 27 yards and a touchdown.

The Tigers moved the ball to the Hurricane nine yard-line and faced a
fourth-and-two on the next possession. Tommy Bowden reached into his bag of
tricks, as Dean took an over-the-shoulder pitch from holder Cole Chason on a
fake field goal and ran to the Miami three-yard line. Merriweather barreled into
the endzone on the next play to tie the score at 17-17.


Neither team scored during the remainder of
regulation, and the game moved into overtime. Miami won the toss and elected to
play defense first. After a pass interference penalty in the endzone moved the
ball to the Hurricane 11 yard-line, Whitehurst found Currie at the Miami two,
just shy of a first down. Merriweather scored his third touchdown of the night
on the next play.


Brock Berlin hit Roscoe Parrish for 20 yards down
to the Clemson 10 on Miami's possession. Tyrone Moss ran for five yards, and two
incomplete Berlin passes brought up a fourth down. Berlin's last gasp throw into
the endzone sailed wide of Lance Leggett.

The Tiger defense had 17 tackles for loss on the night, tied for second-most in
a game in Tiger history. Eric Coleman contributed two of the team's four sacks
and was named the ACC Co-Defensive Lineman-of-the-Week.


Clemson had not played in the Orange Bowl since
winning its only national title on January 1, 1982 by beating Nebraska 22-15. It
was Miami's first loss at home against a league opponent since 1998. It was also
only Miami's third loss in their last 177 games when leading after three
quarters.


Three of Top 10 NFL Cornerback Prospects
on Display


According to collegefootballnews.com,
three of the top seven NFL cornerback prospects will be in action when Clemson
plays host to Miami (FL) on Saturday afternoon. The internet site ranks Clemson
cornerback Tye Hill as the fifth best NFL prospect at cornerback in the nation.
It also lists Miami;s Kelly Jennings sixth and Miami's Devin Hester as the
seventh best.


Hill is off to a solid start with two takeaways in
the first two games. He had a fumble recovery in the win over Texas A&M and an
interception in the win over Maryland. That interception brought a smile to
Hill's face because he never had an interception last year. He did have a
Clemson record 21 passes broken up and ranked third in the nation in passes
defensed. His interception last Saturday at Maryland was the third of his career
and his first since the 2003 Florida State game.


One thing Hill has been doing all fall is working
on his catching. During early stages of practice and even in pregame warm-ups,
Hill will go through drills with the wide receivers to improve his pass catching
abilities.


It is interesting to note by the list below that
the ACC is the cradle of cornerbacks. No less than five of the top seven
cornerbacks listed are from the Atlantic Coast Conference. Will Blackman of
Boston College is ranked fourth and will be coming to Clemson on September 24.



Top NFL Prospects at Cornerback


(Collegefootballnews.com)

























































Rk


Player


School


1.


Jimmy Williams


Virginia Tech


2.


Alan Zemaitis


Penn State


3.


Ashton Youboty


Ohio State


4.


Will Blackman


Boston College


5.


Tye Hill


Clemson


6.


Kelly Jennings


Miami (FL)


7.


Devin Hester


Miami (FL)


8.


Charles Gordon


Kansas


9.


Anwar Phillips


Penn State


10.


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