Texas Tech Raids Tigers for 55
John Leake and Tigers stop Kingsbury on 4th and goal from the 1 yard line.
ORLANDO - As the stands began to empty early in the fourth quarter, a
disgruntled female Clemson fan threw her hands above her head in
yelled across the field toward the bench:
"What are you guys doing out there?!"
Frankly, at times it looked as if they had no idea.
The expected shootout at Monday night's Mazda Tangerine Bowl never
because only one team brought a loaded weapon. Led by senior
Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech ran up and down the field at will on
bedraggled defense, bolting to a 32-point halftime lead and rolling
Tigers, 55-15, at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando.
"The score is pretty embarrassing," Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden
don't know what else to say. You lose one in the last second, or lose
when you're fighting hard in the fourth quarter, those are easier to
"It will ruin Christmas."
Things got so bad for Clemson (7-6) that even when it temporarily
Kingsbury out of the game early in the third quarter with a sprained
Tech backup quarterback B.J. Symons led the Red Raiders downfield and
completed the 79-yard scoring drive with a 2-yard touchdown pass to
That score made it 41-9 with 6:12 left in the quarter, and when Clemson
quarterback Charlie Whitehurst threw an interception deep in Tech (9-5)
territory on the next possession, the game was over - figuratively, if
"We felt like we played with a good tempo and everybody fed off one
said Tech head coach Mike Leech. "That allowed a whole bunch of things
our way. Clemson's a tough football team, but today just happened to be
Whitehurst finished the night with four interceptions and a bad
The Red Raiders' defense - billed as a passive, bend-but-don't break
coming into the game - manhandled the Tigers' offensive line and beat
Whitehurst all night long.
When he wasn't being sacked (four times), the redshirt freshman was
chased around his own backfield and pounded to the ground. More than
Whitehurst was slow getting up, but to his credit never left the field
he was knocked out of the game by a vicious hit from Tech linebacker
Woods with 2:10 remaining in the game.
Whitehurst suffered a concussion on the play, according to Sports
Director Tim Bourret.
It was then - and only then - that junior Willie Simmons made his first
appearance in almost five full games, despite the fact that the Tigers
trailed by 40 points at the time.
"(Whitehurst) took a beating," said Bowden. "It was hard to say if it
their scheme or our protection, but a lot of times we had a hat on them
they ran through us."
The running attack wasn't any better. Senior Bernard Rambert (groin)
sophomore Yusef Kelly (leg) both left the game with injuries, but had
combined for just 19 yards before doing so.
Redshirt freshman Tye Hill and fullback Chad Jasmin played the rest of
way and accumulated 20 yards, also on nine carries.
"I hate that for Bernard. I wish he could have played and I wish Kelly
have played," Bowden said. "But that didn't have anything to do with
loss. Our defense couldn't slow them down and offensively we didn't
Meanwhile, Clemson's defense had no answer for Kingsbury and his wide
The senior quarterback completed passes to nine different receivers,
consistently finding them running free in the middle of Clemson's
He finished the night 32-of-43 for 375 yards and three touchdown
was named the game's Most Valuable Player.
As if that wasn't enough, his final completion of the game - a
Mickey Peters with just over 6:00 left in the game, gave him 5,017
the season. Kingsbury became just the third quarterback in NCAA history
reach the 5,000 plateau in a season, joining Houston's David Klingler
Brigham Young's Ty Detmer.
"Five thousand is a big number," Kingsbury said. "That just shows how
our offense played this year. A lot of guys will be back next year, so
should be good again."
Two of Kingsbury's three scoring passes came in the first half,
Nehemiah Glover and 19-yards to Peters. A Taurean Henderson 10-yard
58-yard punt return by Wes Welker and two Robert Treece field goals
put the Red Raiders ahead 34-2 at the half.
Clemson's only points of the half came on a safety caused when Tye Hill
blocked a Tech punt through the back of the end zone.
Kingsbury's final touchdown pass - a 9-yarder to Welker - and the
Symons' scoring strikes (27-yards to Henderson) closed out the Tech
Clemson got second half scores on Whitehurst's 10-yard scoring pass to
Hall and a two-yard run by Jasmin.