Out of ACC Race, Clemson Focuses on Bowl Game

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON --- Clemson’s dreams of an ACC Championship ended Saturday when Maryland kicker Dan Ennis drilled a 31-yard field goal as time expired in the Terrapins 13-12 victory in front of an announced crowd of 79,000 at Clemson’s Death Valley.

But Ennis’ kick, however, did not end the Tigers desire to finish the season strong.

“I’m pretty sure it (the ACC championship) is out the window, unless some crazy things happen,” Clemson center Dustin Fry said. “Right now we have two regular season games left. Win them and we can get nine wins and win the bowl can get us ten.

“That’s what we are playing for right now. If we can get a ten-win season, it will not be the season I have talked about with you guys before, but that’s what is left on the table right now and hopefully we can win three straight.”

Even with the loss Saturday, it is still possible for Clemson to receive a bid to the Gator Bowl. The Tigers need to win against N.C. State next week to improve to 5-3 in the ACC, which would qualify them for a chance to receive a Gator Bowl bid. With West Virginia’s loss to Louisville Thursday night --- a Clemson vs. West Virginia matchup in Jacksonville is possible.

There is interest there because of Clemson coach Tommy Bowden’s relationship with West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez, who was Bowden’s offensive coordinator at Tulane and the first two years at Clemson.

The Tigers (7-3, 4-3 ACC) are also be considered for the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla. and the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn.

Even with the ACC championship dreams gone, Bowden said it is his job to regroup his team and get them focused on what is still on the table. If Clemson should win its final two games and win its bowl game, they would finish in the top 25 in back-to-back years for the first time since 1991, plus finish the year with a 10-win season for the first time since 1990.

“There are still some things out there for this team to accomplish,” he said. “You have to cross a couple of things off that you wanted to accomplish and now you have to go back and maximize what you can.”

Davis gets his 1,000. Clemson running back James Davis had 90 yards on 20 carries Saturday, giving him 1,081 for the season, the 10th Clemson running back to ever go over a 1,000 yards in a season.

Dean moves up the charts. Clemson kicker Jad Dean’s four field goals allowed the senior to move into sixth place on Clemson’s all-time scoring list with 238 points. He surpassed Clemson great David Treadwell, who accounted for 233 points in his career from 1985-87. Dean also passed Treadwell in career field goals with 48. He is fifth on that list.

Sack artist. Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams recorded his 26th career sack and needs just one to tie William Perry for second place all-time. Michael Dean Perry heads up the list with 28 career sacks.

By recording a sack, he also moved within one game of setting the national record for consecutive games with at least one sack. He already owns the Clemson record with eight

Courtesy of Daily Journal

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