Tigers Dominate the Blue Devils, 31-7


by - Senior Writer -
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Aaron Kelly caught 10 passes for 96 yards, the last the 217th of his career, making him the career receptions leader in the ACC.

CLEMSON - Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney got his complete game and Aaron Kelly and C.J. Spiller got their records as the Tigers came away with a crucial 31-7 ACC victory over the Duke Blue Devils in front of 75,000 homecoming fans at Death Valley Saturday afternoon.

Swinney, the interim head coach who has been focusing his efforts on getting the Tigers to put together their first complete game of the season, watched Clemson put together a dominating first half performance on their way to the win.

"I am really glad to win at home, in front of our fans with a lot of former players here today," Swinney said after the game. "We have been talking the last three games, preaching every single day, about trying to play a complete game. If we could put one together, it would be something they would enjoy and get a sense of what it's like to play as one, with one heartbeat.

"I thought they did that today. It was a dominant first half. The defense set the tempo early, and won the battle up front. The same thing with the offensive line, and I am proud of both of those groups. The defensive line did not play well last week, and they responded this week, and the young guys on the offensive line just keep getting better."

Spiller caught seven passes for 108 yards, breaking the Clemson running back record for receiving yards in a game, a record he tied two weeks ago at Boston College with 105 yards. Senior receiver Aaron Kelly caught 10 passes for 96 yards, the last the 217th of his career, making him the career receptions leader in the ACC, with quarterback Cullen Harper coming back into the game to make the record-breaking toss.

"I am glad that we came out and got a win, and breaking the record in front of the home crowd was something special," Kelly said. "I knew I was pretty close after the first half, with five catches, and I had a few in the second half. Coach Swinney said he wanted me to break ii n front of the home crowd, and it felt good to go out there and be productive and help the team win."

The teams traded two first quarter points, with the Tigers able to gain a first down on each drive, but unable to sustain anything more than that. However, a 48-yard punt by Jimmy Maners on the second possession pinned the Blue Devils deep, and after forcing a Duke punt, Clemson took over on their own 42-yard line.

Six plays later, running back C.J. Spiller scampered around the right end for a 24-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Clemson lead with 2:34 remaining in the opening quarter. The key play on the drive was a 3rd-and-10 conversion, a screen pass that Tyler Grisham turned into a 19-yard gain. One play later, Spiller was in the end zone.

Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, the ACC's passing leader, went out midway through the first quarter with a mid-foot sprain and never returned.

The Tigers added a 39-yard field goal by Mark Buckholz with 4:10 remaining in the second quarter for a 10-0 lead, then closed out the scoring on a one-yard plunge by James Davis with 47 seconds left before the break. On the previous play, it appeared that Spiller had scored on a nine-yard pass, dragging defenders the last four yards, but the play was reviewed and subsequently overturned, setting up Davis for the score.

Clemson opened the second half in flashy style, after the Clemson defense stopped the Blue Devils' initial possession and forced a punt, setting up perhaps the most exciting play of the day. On second down at the Clemson 17-yard line, Harper dropped back and hit Spiller in the flat on a screen, which Spiller turned up the middle quickly and raced untouched into the end zone for a 24-0 lead.

And Spiller did all of that while watching the jumbotron on the scoreboard in front of him as a Duke defender closed in on him from behind.

"I told all of the guys on the sideline, I caught him (the defender) out of the corner of my eye, but I told them I am the master of destroying angles," a laughing Spiller said to the media after the game. "I saw him on the jumbotron, and tried to speed up a little bit. I was running and watching. I just tried to stay in front of him a few steps.

"It felt pretty good out there, and the offensive line came out and did a good job of blocking up front, and Cullen did a good job of throwing the ball around," Spiller said. "I have been having a lot of fun the past couple of weeks, and I've come back after the injury and tried to prove myself.

Michael Hamlin ended the next Blue Devil possession with his interception of the season, and four plays later Davis rambled in from the three-yard line to leave Duke on it's heels with over nine minutes still remaining the in the quarter. Duke added a late score for the final points as the Tigers played a lot of reserves.

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said the Tigers' effort came as no surprise to him.

"I knew going in that Clemson had weapons," Cutcliffe said. "I told the team Thursday night that our biggest issue was going to be to prevent big plays. They got the big plays, and I think our defense got tired. We kept them on the field a lot."

Harper finished 20-for-26 for 292 yards and one touchdown, while backup Willy Korn saw significant action, going 7-for-12 for 34 yards. Spiller led all rushers with 10 touches for 74 yards, while James Davis posted nine carries for 43 yards and two touchdowns.

The defense, which took a step backward last week at Florida State, limited the Blue Devils to just 10 first downs and 168 yards of total offense.


Score by Quarters     1  2  3  4   Score
-----------------    -- -- -- --   -----
Duke................  0  0  0  7  -  7
Clemson.............  7 10 14  0  - 31

Scoring Summary:
1st 02:34 CU - C.J. Spiller 24 yd run (Mark Buchholz kick)
                                                    6 plays, 58 yards, TOP 2:41, DU 0 - CU 7
2nd 04:10 CU - Mark Buchholz 39 yd field goal
                                                  11 plays, 52 yards, TOP 5:13, DU 0 - CU 10
    00:47 CU - James Davis 1 yd run (Mark Buchholz kick)
                                                   8 plays, 51 yards, TOP 2:13, DU 0 - CU 17
3rd 11:19 CU - C.J. Spiller 83 yd pass from Cullen Harper (Mark Buchholz kick)
                                                   2 plays, 83 yards, TOP 0:20, DU 0 - CU 24
    09:28 CU - James Davis 3 yd run (Mark Buchholz kick)
                                                   4 plays, 47 yards, TOP 0:53, DU 0 - CU 31
4th 06:21 DU - Riley, E. 28 yd pass from Asack, Z. (Maggio, N. kick)
                                                    1 play, 28 yards, TOP 0:06, DU 7 - CU 31


Kickoff time: 12:10 PM  End of Game: 3:19 PM   Total elapsed time: 3:09
Officials: Referee: Tom Zimorski; Umpire: Jeff Akers; Linesman: Mike Pavese;
Line judge: Jack Weiland; Back judge: Gary Patterson; Field judge: Dale Shaw;
Side judge: Watts Key;
Temperature: 61        Wind: gusty     Weather: Mostly sunny

Team Statistics 

                                     DU       CU

FIRST DOWNS...................       10       24
  Rushing.....................        4        9
  Passing.....................        5       14
  Penalty.....................        1        1
NET YARDS RUSHING.............       83      140
  Rushing Attempts............       29       41
  Average Per Rush............      2.9      3.4
  Rushing Touchdowns..........        0        3
  Yards Gained Rushing........      109      168
  Yards Lost Rushing..........       26       28
NET YARDS PASSING.............       85      326
  Completions-Attempts-Int....  13-27-2  27-38-0
  Average Per Attempt.........      3.1      8.6
  Average Per Completion......      6.5     12.1
  Passing Touchdowns..........        1        1
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS...........      168      466
  Total offense plays.........       56       79
  Average Gain Per Play.......      3.0      5.9
Fumbles: Number-Lost..........      0-0      1-0
Penalties: Number-Yards.......     4-20     6-65
PUNTS-YARDS...................   10-411    6-228
  Average Yards Per Punt......     41.1     38.0
  Net Yards Per Punt..........     33.8     33.5
  Inside 20...................        3        2
  50+ Yards...................        2        0
  Touchbacks..................        1        0
  Fair catch..................        0        1
KICKOFFS-YARDS................     2-73    6-400
  Average Yards Per Kickoff...     36.5     66.7
  Net Yards Per Kickoff.......     27.5     44.7
  Touchbacks..................        0        2
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD.   2-27-0   6-53-0
  Average Per Return..........     13.5      8.8
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD   4-92-0   2-18-0
  Average Per Return..........     23.0      9.0
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD..    0-0-0    2-7-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD.    0-0-0    0-0-0
Miscellaneous Yards...........        0        0
Possession Time...............    24:24    35:36
  1st Quarter.................     6:24     8:36
  2nd Quarter.................     2:51    12:09
  3rd Quarter.................     8:03     6:57
  4th Quarter.................     7:06     7:54
Third-Down Conversions........  2 of 15  6 of 16
Fourth-Down Conversions.......   0 of 0   0 of 2
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      0-0      2-2
Sacks By: Number-Yards........     5-23     3-20
PAT Kicks.....................      1-1      4-4
Field Goals...................      0-0      1-2

Individual Statistics 

Duke

Rushing              No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
-------------------------------------------------
Asack, Z.            10   46   14   32  0 11  3.2
Jackson, T.           6   30    2   28  0 12  4.7
Hollingsworth         5   15    2   13  0  9  2.6
Harris, C.            4    6    0    6  0  4  1.5
Lewis, T.             3   12    6    6  0 11  2.0
TEAM                  1    0    2   -2  0  0 -2.0
Totals...            29  109   26   83  0 12  2.9

Passing              Att-Cmp-Int Yds TD Long Sack
-------------------------------------------------
Asack, Z.              22-10-2    61  1   28    2
Lewis, T.               5-3-0     24  0   16    1
Totals...              27-13-2    85  1   28    3

Receiving             No.  Yds   TD Long
----------------------------------------
Riley, E.               3   51    1   28
Hollingsworth           3    9    0    8
Harris, C.              2    7    0    6
Jackson, T.             1    7    0    7
Robinson, T.            1    4    0    4
Chestnut, R.            1    4    0    4
Williams, J.            1    3    0    3
Varner, D.              1    0    0    0
Totals...              13   85    1   28

Punting               No.  Yds   Avg Long In20   TB
---------------------------------------------------
Jones, K.              10  411  41.1   52    3    1
Totals...              10  411  41.1   52    3    1

                       Punts   Kickoffs  Intercept
All Returns          No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg
--------------------------------------------------
Hollingsworth         0   0  0  1  18 18  0   0  0
Butler, L.            2  27 18  0   0  0  0   0  0
Marshall, J.          0   0  0  3  74 36  0   0  0
Totals...             2  27 18  4  92 36  0   0  0

Field goal attempts
----------------------------------------

Kickoffs         No.  Yds  TB  OB   Avg
---------------------------------------
Surgan, J.         2   73   0   0  36.5


Clemson

Rushing              No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
-------------------------------------------------
C.J. Spiller         10   74    3   71  1 24  7.1
James Davis           9   43    0   43  2  9  4.8
Jamie Harper          9   34    2   32  0 11  3.6
Paul Macko            2    5    0    5  0  5  2.5
Marquan Jones         1    2    0    2  0  2  2.0
Jacoby Ford           1    1    0    1  0  1  1.0
Kyle Davisson         1    0    0    0  0  0  0.0
Willy Korn            4    5   11   -6  0  5 -1.5
Cullen Harper         4    4   12   -8  0  4 -2.0
Totals...            41  168   28  140  3 24  3.4

Passing              Att-Cmp-Int Yds TD Long Sack
-------------------------------------------------
Cullen Harper          26-20-0   292  1   83    3
Willy Korn             12-7-0     34  0   15    2
Totals...              38-27-0   326  1   83    5

Receiving             No.  Yds   TD Long
----------------------------------------
Aaron Kelly            10   96    0   21
C.J. Spiller            7  108    1   83
Jacoby Ford             4   49    0   19
Tyler Grisham           2   23    0   19
James Davis             1   26    0   26
Michael Palmer          1   23    0   23
Marquan Jones           1    2    0    2
Akeem Robinson          1   -1    0    0
Totals...              27  326    1   83

Punting               No.  Yds   Avg Long In20   TB
---------------------------------------------------
Jimmy Maners            6  228  38.0   48    2    0
Totals...               6  228  38.0   48    2    0

                       Punts   Kickoffs  Intercept
All Returns          No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg
--------------------------------------------------
C.J. Spiller          2  22 18  0   0  0  0   0  0
Jacoby Ford           2   2  2  1  18 18  0   0  0
Marcus Gilchrist      1  17 17  0   0  0  0   0  0
Coty Sensabaugh       0   0  0  0   0  0  1   0  0
Crezdon Butler        1  12 12  0   0  0  0   0  0
Chris Clemons         0   0  0  1   0  0  0   0  0
Michael Hamlin        0   0  0  0   0  0  1   7  7
Totals...             6  53 18  2  18 18  2   7  7

Field goal attempts
----------------------------------------
Mark Buchholz        2nd 10:17  53 yds - Missed
Mark Buchholz        2nd 04:10  39 yds - Good

Kickoffs         No.  Yds  TB  OB   Avg
---------------------------------------
Buchholz, M        6  400   2   0  66.7

FUMBLES: Duke-None. Clemson-Willy Korn 1-0.

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