Tigers Loses Heartbreaker, 13-10


by - Correspondent -
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The Tigers were unable to overcome 3<br>missed field goals.
The Tigers were unable to overcome 3
missed field goals.

CLEMSON - New coach, new offense. Clemson's still looking for a kicker, though.

Clemson lost a heartbreaker to Marshall, 13-10, in front of 80,250 at Memorial Stadium Saturday night.

"When you miss three kicks, you don't win the game," said Clemson coach Tommy Bowden after his first game. "Any loss is disappointment. You feel for the guys that miss the kicks. The snaps were good the holds were good. Wide rights run in the family."

This time is was a wide left that kept Clemson from sending the game into overtime.

Chris Campbell's first kick in his Clemson career sailed left of the goalpost with ten seconds left. Campbell came into the game after Tony Lazzara missed two field goals.

"When two good teams play it usually comes down to the kicking game," said Bowden. "Other than missing kicks we didn't make many errors. We weren't fatigued at the end of the game."

Marshall scored on a 7-yard run by Doug Chapman with 1:10 left in the game to give Marshall a 13-10 lead.

Clemson took the ball over on its own 17. Brandon Streeter quickly led Clemson back down the field.

He completed passes to Brian Wofford for 17 and 23 yards. The 23-yarder gave Clemson a first down on the Marshall 18.

Streeter spiked the ball to stop the clock before he completed two short passes to Rod Gardner. Campbell then came on to attempt a 33-yard field goal.
"I kicked the other guy out after he missed two field goals," said Bowden. "I thought he had a chance."

Until the final quarter, Clemson's kicking game wasn't the only thing that was suspect. Clemson's offense didn't do much better.

By the end of the third quarter, it appeared Marshall had enough points to win the game. After kicking two early field goals, Marshall led 6-3 and Clemson's offense wasn't threatening.

Woody Dantzler replaced Streeter for three series during the third quarter. On his first drive he completed a 45-yard pass to Rod Gardner, but Lazzara missed a 29-yard field goal

Otherwise, Clemson's offense didn't move the ball.

However, with 10:33 left in the fourth quarter, Clemson started its lone touchdown drive of the game.

It took Clemson 10 plays to cover 67 yards and take a 10-6 lead on a 3-yard run by Javis Austin with 7:13 left in the game.

Marshall, though, responded with a touchdown drive of its own, driving 76 yards in 11 plays. Marshall quarterback Chad Pennington completed eight passes on the drive, including a 25-yard completion to James Williams that took the ball to the Clemson 21. Three plays later Chapman scored the winning touchdown.

"It's a lot like last year," said Streeter. "I think we can come back from this one, though."

Clemson survived the first half. The Tigers trailed, 6-3, but it could have been worse.

Clemson gained just one first down in the first quarter while Marshall drove deep into Clemson territory three times.

Marshall drove to the Clemson seven on its first drive before settling for a 24-yard field goal Billy Maleshevich with 13:24 left in the first quarter.

Marshall's next drive ended at the Clemson 5. Maleshevich kicked a 22-yard field goal with 7:34 left in the quarter to give the Thundering Herd a quick 6-0 lead.

Whatever Clemson had planned to do on offense, it appeared Marshall had stolen the script and was running it to perfection.

"We have played three teams in South Carolina in the past three years, and we've won all three in the last second," said Marshall coach Bob Pruett. "I don't know how much heart can take coming down here."

Pennington completed five passes during the first two drives for 86 yards.
Marshall drove to the Clemson 22 on its next drive and eventually punted.

Marshall had just one other scoring opportunity the rest of the half.

Clemson's offense didn't have a first down from its first drive until early in the second quarter. Brandon Streeter's 34-yard pass to Mal Lawyer took Clemson to the Marshall 20. Clemson settled for a 42-yard field goal by Tony Lazzara with 6:15 left in the first half that cut Marshall's lead to 6-3.

Lazzara missed a 39-yard field goal on Clemson's next drive, but the offense had started to move the ball and Pennington didn't appear to be as dangerous.

"The defense settle down and played a pretty decent game and held them to field goals until right at the end," said Bowden. "Clemson played good enough for a good offense to win, but we haven't gotten our offense in gear all together yet. A good offensive team would have won the game, but we aren't that good now. I think we will be, but we aren't right now."

The kicking game might not be as easy to figure out.


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