Tigers to Face Texas Tech in Tangerine Bowl


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Clemson, SC-Clemson (7-5) will meet Texas Tech (8-5) for the first
time in history when the two teams face off in the Mazda Tangerine
Bowl on December 23. Kickoff is slated for 5:30 PM and the game
will be televised by ESPN.


Tickets are available for the game through the Clemson Ticket
office at $45 apiece. Tickets may be ordered over the phone with
Mastercard or Visa by calling 1-800-CLEMSON, (864) 656-2118 or (864)
656-2115. Orders are also taken in person at the ticket office at
Memorial Stadium.


The Clemson vs Texas Tech game will feature an interesting
matchup of Clemson's pass defense against Texas Tech's passing
office. Texas Tech averages 383 passing yards per game, second in
the nation. Clemson ranks 17th in he nation in pass defense,
allowing just 175 yards per game.


Individually, Texas Tech is led by quarterback Kliff
Kingsbury, the Big 12 Player of the Year according to the Associated
Pres. Also the Verizon Academic All-American of the Year of college
football, Kingsbury led Texas Tech to 37.1 points per game this year,
the seventh best scoring offense in the nation. He completed 447 of
669 passes for 4,642 yards and 42 touchdowns. His 447 completions
set an all-time NCAA record. He has 1199 career completions, also an
NCAA record. He ranked 13 the nation in passing efficiency and
second in total offense this season.


He will be throwing against a Clemson secondary that features
two of the top 15 players in the nation in terms of interceptions.
Clemson freshman Justin Miller ranks seventh in the nation in that
category with seven, while senior Brian Mance is 15th with six.
Clemson was the only school in the nation who had two different
cornerbacks intercept at least six passes this season. The Tigers
intercepted 20 passes this season, among the top 15 figures in the
nation. Texas Tech threw just 14 interceptions among their 718 pass
attempts.


Texas Tech has four different players who rank in the top 100
in the nation in receptions, while Clemson has three players in the
top 100. Taurean Henderson leads Texas Tech with 90 catches for
577 yards and five scores, while Wes Walker has 83 catches for 1034
yards and six scores. Mickey Peters finished with 57 receptions for
663 yards and seven scores, while Anton Paige has 48 catches for 565
yards and seven scores. Nehemia Glover ranks fifth on the team in
receptions with 44-552, but has a team best nine touchdown receptions.


Clemson has three players who have combined for 150 catches
this year in Kevin Youngblood, J.J. McKelvey and Derrick Hamilton.
Youngblood has 52 catches and ranks 73rd in the nation, while
McKelvey has 50 receptions and ranks 81st. McKelvey leads the
Tigers in reception yards with 752. Hamilton leads the ACC in
all-purpose running with 137 yards per game and also has 48
receptions for 530 yards.


The Red Raiders have played many high scoring games this
year, including a 51-48 overtime loss to NC State, the only common
opponent for the two schools. Texas Tech ranks 93rd in total
defense and scoring defense. The average score of their 13 games
this year has been a 37-33 victory. Laurence Flugence, a senior
linebacker, is among the national leaders in tackles with 187 in 13
games. Ryan Aycock is second on the club with 143 stops and has 12
passes broken up. Aaron Hunt (yes both teams have an Aaron Hunt) is
the top defensive lineman with 98 tackles, including a team best
seven sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss.


Junior linebacker John Leake is the top tackler on the
Clemson team with 153, while senior linebacker Rodney Thomas has 152
and seven tackles for loss. Nick Eason keys the defensive line with
62 tackles, including seven sacks. He was Clemson's only first-team
All-ACC performer this year. Bryant McNeal has eight sacks and 64
tackles as a defensive end. He has 21 career sacks, sixth in Clemson
history.


Clemson has a 5-7 record in games against teams currently in
the Big 12 conference. Clemson's last game against a Big 12
Conference foe took place in 2000 when Clemson defeated Missouri in a
game at Death Valley, 62-9


This will be Clemson's sixth bowl game against a Big 12 team,
the first since the 1988 season when Clemson defeated Oklahoma 13-6
at the Citrus Bowl. Clemson is 3-2 against Big 12 teams in bowl
games, including the 22-15 win over Nebraska in the 1982 Orange Bowl,
a victory that gave Clemson its only national championship in
football.


This will be Clemson's first appearance in the Mazda
Tangerine Bowl, but not its first appearance in Florida Citrus Bowl
Stadium. Clemson had a 2-1 record in that facility during its
competition in the Citrus Bowl. Clemson defeated Penn State and
Oklahoma in consecutive Citrus bowls at the end of the 1987 and 1988
seasons, respectively. The Tigers lost to California in the Citrus
Bowl at the end of the 1991 season.


Overall, Clemson has a 13-12 record in bowl games. The 25
bowl appearances and 13 victories rank among the top 20 totals in
college football history. This will be Clemson's 16th appearance in
a bowl game played in Florida, its first since 2000 when Clemson
played Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl. Clemson has a 9-6 record in
its previous 15 bowl games played in Florida.


Clemson enters this game with a 7-5 record, but the Tigers
have won three of their last four games. In fact, Clemson and Texas
Tech have both won three of their last four entering this game.
Clemson concluded the season with a 27-20 win over South Carolina on
November 23 behind an offense that gained 434 yards, highest figure
against South Carolina all season. Freshman quarterback Charlie
Whitehurst completed 27-38 passes for 287 yards in that victory.


Clemson is 3-1 since it made Whitehurst the starting
quarterback. He has completed 103-166 for the season for 1291 yards
and nine scores. He set a school record for completions (34) and
passing yards (420) in a win over Duke in his first college start.
Clemson's top rusher is sophomore Yusef Kelly, who has 505 yards on
the ground and has scored eight touchdowns. Senior Bernard Rambert
has started eight games and has 485 yards and six scores.

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