Maryland vs Clemson Game Notes
|Tuesday, October 31, 2006 2:02 PM-|
Clemson vs. Maryland Series
•Clemson holds a 29-23-2 advantage in the series with Maryland. The first game of the series was played in 1952, one year before both teams became charter members of the ACC. Maryland won each of the first four games in the series. •Clemson has won each of the last two games after Maryland won the first three of the Ralph Friedgen era. Clemson has won 10 of the last 13, including each of the last two with touchdowns inside the last three minutes of play. •Clemson had won eight in a row and 13 of 14 prior to Ralph Friedgen’s return to his alma mater. •Clemson held Maryland to just 12 total points in winning every game between 1993-98. Clemson recorded four shutouts, including three in a row during that time period. During Clemson’s eight-game winning streak in the series from 1993-2000, Clemson held Maryland to an average of 7.0 points per game, while scoring 26.8 points per game themselves.
•Clemson holds a 29-23-2 advantage
in the series with Maryland. The first game of
the series was played in 1952, one year before
both teams became charter members of the
ACC. Maryland won each of the first four
games in the series.
•Clemson has won each of the last
two games after Maryland won the first three of
the Ralph Friedgen era. Clemson has won 10
of the last 13, including each of the last two with
touchdowns inside the last three minutes of
•Clemson had won eight in a row and
13 of 14 prior to Ralph Friedgen’s return to his
•Clemson held Maryland to just 12
total points in winning every game between
1993-98. Clemson recorded four shutouts,
including three in a row during that time period.
During Clemson’s eight-game winning streak in
the series from 1993-2000, Clemson held
Maryland to an average of 7.0 points per game,
while scoring 26.8 points per game
•Clemson has not scored over 28
points against Maryland since the 2000 season
when the Tigers won at Clemson 35-14.
Clemson did score 28 last year in a 28-24 win,
but Clemson has averaged just 15.4 points per
game against Maryland since Ralph Friedgen
took over prior to the 2001 season.
•In 2002, Maryland defeated
Clemson in Death Valley, its first win at
Memorial Stadium since 1985. Clemson has
won nine of the last 10 between the two teams
in Death Valley. Clemson has a 16-11 lead in
the series in games played at Clemson a 12-11-
1 lead in games played in College Park.
•Saturday’s game will be a meeting of
two of the traditional powerhouses of the ACC.
Both Clemson and Maryland have been in the
ACC since its inception in the fall of 1953.
Both teams played their first ACC game against
each other on October 3, 1953 at Clemson, a
20-0 Maryland victory. Clemson has the
most ACC wins in the history of the league with
217 and Maryland is second with 190.
•Clemson and Maryland have both
won the National Championship, the Terps
during that first ACC season in 1953, and
Clemson in 1981. Clemson has the most ACC
championships with 13, while Maryland is third
•The two teams played at the end of
the season in most years between 1978-88
and the game usually decided the ACC
championship. That was certainly the case in
1978 when the Tigers won 28-24 at College
Park, clinching an undefeated season in the
league over Maryland. It was 11th ranked
Maryland’s only league loss that season.
•Clemson also clinched the ACC
championship with a November victory or tie
over Maryland in 1981, 1982, 1986, 1987 and
1988. Maryland clinched the ACC
Championship in 2001 with a 37-20 victory over
Clemson in College Park. The Terps also
clinched the title in 1985 with a victory in Death
•Clemson has a history of great return
performances against Maryland over the years.
In 2001, Derrick Hamilton had a 100-yard
kickoff return for a score in a game in College
Park. Darnell Stephens had an 89-yard punt
return for a score against the Terps in Death
Valley in 1991, one year after Doug Thomas
had a 98-yard kickoff return against Maryland in
Baltimore. The greatest return game in ACC
history was recorded by Clemson’s Don Kelley
against Maryland in 1970. he had 224 total
return yards on punt and interception returns in
Last Year vs. Maryland
Clemson 28, Maryland 24
Clemson, ranked #25 by AP, scored 14
points in the final 7:35 of the game to earn a comefrom-
behind 28-24 win at Maryland. Charlie
Whitehurst completed 18 of 22 passes for 178
yards and two touchdowns in leading Clemson to
its second straight fourth-quarter win. It was only
the fourth home loss for the Terrapins under Ralph
Friedgen, who became Maryland’s head coach
The Tigers opened the game with the
longest drive in terms of time of possession in
school history, capped by a Reggie Merriweather
one-yard touchdown run on fourth down. The
drive covered 75 yards in 17 plays and lasted 9:47.
Maryland answered with a scoring drive
of its own with the aid of a 44-yard pass from Sam
Hollenbach to tight end Vernon Davis. The Tiger
defense was able to hold the Terrapins out of the
endzone, and a 21-yard field goal by Dan Ennis
put Maryland on the board.
A snap over the head of punter Cole
Chason on Clemson’s next drive enabled the
Terrapins to start their next possession on the
Tiger two-yard line. Clemson kept Maryland out
of the endzone for three consecutive plays, but
Hollenbach dove over on a quarterback sneak
from the one-yard line on fourth down to give the
Terrapins their first lead of the day.
Clemson was forced to punt on its next
drive, and Maryland looked poised to score again
after Hollenbach hit Danny Melendez for a 41-
yard gain. However, Tiger linebacker Tramaine
Billie forced a fumble on second down and
Charles Bennett recovered the ball at the Clemson
15-yard line. Neither offense threatened for the
remainder of the half, and the two teams entered
halftime with Maryland leading 10-7.
Tye Hill recorded his first interception
since 2003 when he picked off Hollenbach three
minutes into the second half. Clemson quickly
moved down the field with the aid of two Terrapin
personal-foul penalties, and Whitehurst found a
wide-open Curtis Baham in the endzone on
second-and-goal from the six-yard line to give the
Tigers the lead.
The Terrapins came storming back, as
Hollenbach hit Davis for a 30-yard completion to
move the ball into Clemson territory. Three plays
later, Hollenbach again went to Davis, this time
for 29 yards and a touchdown, as Maryland
regained the lead 17-14.
Clemson gained a first down on its next
possession before it was forced to punt, and the
Terrapin offense again went to work. Hollenbach
was 5-for-5 on the ensuing drive, and it ended
with his three-yard touchdown pass to tight end
Joey Haynos, giving Maryland a 10-point lead.
In fhe fourth quarter, Clemson started
a comeback. Whitehurst hit Chansi Stuckey for
six yards on first down, and a personal-foul penalty
and 14-yard run by Merriweather moved the ball
to midfield. After two incompletions, Whitehurst
lofted a pass to Baham over the top of the
secondary for the duo’s second touchdown
connection of the game. The 51-yard scoring play
cut the Terrapin lead to 24-21.
An eight-yard run by Mario Merrills
opened the next drive for Maryland, but the
Clemson defense stood tough, stopping the
Terrapins for no gain on each of the next two
plays. Podlesh was forced to punt again, and
Chansi Stuckey returned the kick 13 yards to
the Tiger 39-yard line.
Freshman James Davis had a 17-yard
run to move the ball into Maryland territory. A
Merriweather eight-yard run and four-yard
reception set up the play of the game. Facing
third-and-seven at the Terrapin 38, Clemson
called a running play to Merriweather, who
bounced outside and went untouched down the
sideline for a 38-yard touchdown run, which
proved to be the winning score. The junior gained
75 yards on 10 carries and scored twice.
The Terrapins had one final chance and
moved the ball as far as the Tiger 40. A holding
call moved the ball back to midfield, and on
second down, Gaines Adams recorded another
sack. A screen pass on third down was stopped
for a one-yard loss by Rashaad Jackson, and
Hollenbach’s fourth-down pass was incomplete,
as the Tigers were able to celebrate their first win
at Maryland since 1999.
Anthony Waters had a huge afternoon
for the Tiger defense, totaling 14 tackles, including
4.5 tackles for loss. Adams had eight tackles,
including his 2.5 sacks to earn ACC Defensive
Lineman-of-the-Week honors. Watkins also
garnered ACC Specialist-of-the-Week honors
thanks to his six special team tackles. The Tiger
defense had 12 tackles for loss on the day, and
yielded only 56 yards on the ground.
Whitehurst finished the day with an
81.8-percent completion mark and a pass
efficiency rating of 179.8. Davis ran for 82
yards on 20 attempts to compliment the 75-yard
day for Merriweather. Baham made the most of
his opportunities in the game, as both of his
receptions went for touchdowns.
Spence Coached at Maryland
Clemson offensive coordinator Rob
Spence served as an assistant coach at
Maryland from 1992-96 under Mark Duffner.
During that time Maryland established 70
school records for offensive production.
Spence’s first year, he helped the Maryland
offense score 53 points in a 53-23 Terps win
over Clemson. In 1994, Spence served as
Maryland’s quarterbacks coach and the Terps
ranked 10th in the nation in passing offense
behind Scott Milanovich.
Tiger Veterans vs. Maryland
•Gaines Adams (DE )—Had four
tackles, including a sack in 25 plays off the
bench in 2004. Had career high eight tackles,
including 2.5 sacks in 60 plays as a starter in
2005. Named ACC Defensive Lineman of the
Week for that performance in 2005 at Maryland.
•Nathan Bennett (OG )—Had
season high 12.5 knockdown blocks in 62 plays
at Maryland in 2005.
•Cole Chason (P )—Averaged 36.2
on six punts at Maryland in 2003. Averaged
45.0on eight punts in 2004 Clemson victory, the
second best game of his career. Averaged 36.5
on four punts at Maryland in 2005.
•Duane Coleman (CB)—Had 11-36
in 57 plays as a starting running back in 2003 at
Maryland. Had 9-27 rushing as a reserve in
2004. Had 3-55 on kickoff returns in win at
Maryland in 2005.
•James Davis (RB)—Had 20-82
rushing and 3-24 receiving at Maryland in 2005.
•Jad Dean (PK )—Had 21-yard field
goal in 10-7 Clemson win in 2004. Had 4-4
extra points in 28-24 Clemson win in 2005.
•C.J. Gaddis (CB )—Had career high
tying 11 tackles, including eight first hits, and
had 2-27 on kickoff returns at Maryland in 2005.
•Michael Hamlin (S)—Had four
tackles in 25 snaps as a reserve safety in 2005.
•Rashaad Jackson (DT)—Had four
tackles in 21 plays as a reserve in 2005. Had
first career tackle for loss.
•Aaron Kelly (WR)—Had 4-26
receiving at Maryland in 2005.
•Reggie Merriweather (RB)—Had
17-60 and game winning touchdown run with
23 seconds left in 10-7 Clemson win in 2004.
Had 10-75 and game winning 38-yard run with
2:58 left in 2005. Has three total touchdowns
against Maryland in his career.
•Will Proctor (QB)—Has never
played quarterback against Maryland.
•Chansi Stuckey (WR)—Had 1-7
receiving against Maryland in 2004. Had 2-15
receiving and 2-25 in punt returns in 2005
•Nick Watkins (LB) —Had season
high eight tackles in 2004 win against Maryland.
Had 13 tackles, second highest total of his
career, at Maryland in 2005.
Tigers in Terps a Combined 13-4
Clemson and Maryland are both in
the middle of outstanding seasons. Clemson
has a 7-2 mark and is ranked 19th in the nation
in both major polls entering Saturday’s noon
game, while the Terps have won three games in
a row and are now 6-2. All three of those
Maryland wins have been by a touchdown or
less, so Ralph Friedgen’s team has been the
master of late game heroics. In fact, four of
their six wins have been by a touchdown or
less and each of the last five games they have
played have been decided by a touchdown or
The combined 13-4 record and
combined.765 winning percentage is the best
by the two teams since the 2001 meeting when
Clemson was 5-3 and Maryland was 8-1
entering the late season game in College Park.
Those two records in 2001 combine to reach
the same 13-4 record and .765 winning
percentage. Maryland won that game and went
on to the ACC Championships.
However, this is the first time since
1983 that the teams have met at least four
games into the season with a winning
percentage of at least 75 percent by both
squads. In 1983 entering a game at Clemson,
the Tigers were 7-1-1, while Maryland was 7-2
for a 14-3-1 combined record and .805
The top game in the series in terms of
hype due to strong records and bowl and
league championship implications took place in
1978 when 8-1 Clemson traveled to 9-1
Maryland. Clemson was 12th in the nation
entering the game and Maryland was 11th . The
winner was going to be the ACC Champion and
clinch a bowl bid to the Gator Bowl. The Tigers
came out on top 28-24 behind the play of
quarterback Steve Fuller and receivers Dwight
Clark and Jerry Butler, who both caught long
touchdown passes during the game.
The top combined record for the two
teams in the series took place in 1955 when a
6-1 Clemson team faced an 8-0 Maryland team.
Maryland won that game 25-12 at Clemson.
The Terps were ranked #2 in the nation
entering that game. Maryland has a 4-2 lead in
the series when the two teams combine for at
least a 70 percent winning percentage and both teams have at least a
Top Combined Records of Maryland and Clemson in Series
(Min 5 games each team and at least winning record by both teams)
Year Clem Mary Combined % CU-MD 1955 6-0 8-0 14-1 .933 12-25 1978 8-1 9-1 17-2 .895 28-24 1983 7-1-1 7-2 14-3-1 .805 52-27 2006 7-2 6-2 13-4 .765 2001 5-3 8-1 13-4 .765 20-37 1984 7-2 6-3 13-5 .722 23-41 2002 6-4 8-2 14-6 .700 12-30
Davis Seeks 1000 Yards for Season, 2000 for Career
Clemson sophomore running back James Davis has 991 yards
in 2006 and obviously needs just nine yards against Maryland to reach
1000 for the season. He has reached the 991 mark on just 151 carries,
giving him a 6.6 average for the season. He is averaging 16.8 carries for
110.1 yards per game and has scored 17 touchdowns, an average of
almost two touchdowns per game.
The ACC record for fewest rushing attempt to reach 1,000
rushing yards in a season is held by former Clemson All-American
Terrence Flagler, who reached 1000 yards in 1986 on just 140 rushing
attempts. Warrick Dunn of Florida State did in 141 attempts during the
1995 season, a year in which he averaged 7.5 yards per carry, an ACC
record for a 1000-yard season. Dais has 151 carries so far this year and
will be the third fastest to 1000 if he reaches nine yards by his third carry
against the Terps.
Clemson has had 11 1000-yard rushing seasons by nine
different players over the years. Raymond Priester (1996-97) and
Woodrow Dantzler (2000-01) are the only players to reach it twice.
Dantzler is the last Clemson player to reach 1,000 yards, as he had 1061
in his senior season of 2001. The last running back to do it is Travis
Zachery, who had 1027 rushing in 2000. However, Zachery was not
Clemson’s leading rusher that year, as Dantzler gained 1028 from the
Davis had 879 yards rushing last year and with the 991 so far
this year, stands at 1870 for his career. He needs just 130 rushing yards
against Maryland to reach the 2000-yard mark for his Clemson career.
He would become just the 16th player in Clemson history to reach 2,000
yards in a career. The last to reach it was Woody Dantzler who went
over the 2,000 yard mark in his senior year, 2001. Davis is currently 18th
in Clemson history with his 1870 yards.
Thus nine more yards by Davis will make him the 10th different
player to reach 1,000 yards in a season. His 17 rushing touchdowns
have already tied the Clemson single season mark. Lester Brown, who
has a son on the Clemson track team this year, had 17 rushing
touchdowns in 1978. One more touchdown will tie the overall
Clemson touchdown record held by Travis Zachery, who had 18 in 2000
on 13 rushing touchdowns and five receiving.
Davis is creeping up on some ACC standards. The ACC
record for rushing touchdowns in a season is 19 held by Robert Lavette
of Georgia Tech in 1982, his sophomore year, and 19 by Don McCauley
of North Carolina in 1970, his senior year. McCauley holds the total
touchdowns record with 21 in that same 1970 season (19 rushing and
Clemson 1000-yard Rushing Seasons
Rk Player Ps Year Att Avg Yards 1. Raymond Priester RB 1996 257 5.23 1345 2. Raymond Priester RB 1995 238 5.55 1322 3. Terrence Flagler RB 1986 192 6.55 1258 4. Kenny Flowers RB 1985 227 5.29 1200 5. Terry Allen RB 1988 216 5.52 1192 6. Cliff Austin RB 1982 197 5.40 1064 7. Woodrow Dantzler QB 2001 221 4.80 1061 8. Buddy Gore RB 1967 230 4.54 1045 9. Woodrow Dantzler QB 2000 190 5.41 1028 10. Travis Zachery RB 2000 206 4,99 1027 11. Lester Brown RB 1978 202 5.06 1022 12. James Davis RB 2006 151 6.56 991
Clemson Season Total Touchdown Bests
Rk Player Year Rush Rec Ret Tot 1. Travis Zachery 2000 13 5 0 18 2. Lester Brown 1978 17 0 0 17 James Davis 2006 17 0 0 17 Travis Zachery 1999 16 0 0 16 5. Fred Cone 1950 14 1 0 15 Emory Smith 1995 14 1 0 15 7. Cliff Austin 1982 14 0 0 14
Clemson Defense among Nation’s Best
Clemson’s defense has been outstanding all season. Vic
Koenning’s group leads the ACC in pass efficiency defense and
quarterback sacks, and is second in total defense, pass defense, and
scoring defense. Even with the loss at Virginia Tech, Clemson is still fifth
in the nation in total defense, allowing just 241.7 yards per game, and
12th in scoring defense, allowing 13.8 points per game. The Tigers are
also 11th pass defense and eighth in pass efficiency defense and 15th in
rushing defense. Clemson has not finished the season in the top 20 in
all four major defensive categories since 1991.
It has been an amazing accomplishment considering
Clemson’s top two tacklers from last year, Anthony Waters and Tramaine
Billie, have been lost for the season and played a combined one game.
But, many players have stepped up to fill in the void left by those players.
Nick Watkins, a junior linebacker from New Orleans, LA, is the
top tackler with 70 stops, including nine last week against Virginia Tech.
Duane Coleman has been among the top defensive backs in the ACC
and has 61 tackles and three fumble recoveries. Antonio Clay, Waters
replacement at middle linebacker, is second on the club in tackles with
67 . He has had 28 tackles in his last two games combined. He had 13
in the win over Georgia Tech and was named ACC Defensive Lineman
of the week. His 15 tackles at Virginia Tech were the most by a Clemson
player since 2003.
Of course, Gaines Adams receives the most notoriety among
the defenders as the senior leads the ACC and ranks in the top 10 in the
nation in sacks with 9.5 and he is also second in the ACC in tackles for
loss with 13.5. He has 19 quarterback pressures, six more than any
other Clemson player.
How good has this Clemson defense been this year? The unit
has given up more than 260 yards just twice all year, at Boston College
and at Virginia Tech.
Clemson’s top defense in the last 20 years would be the 1990
unit that led the nation in total defense allowing just 219 yards per game.
That team started seven players who went on to play in the NFL.
Here is a comparison of the numbers for the 1990 Clemson
defense and the 2006 Clemson defense:
Comparison of Clemson Defenses
Category 1990 2006 Total Defense 219.2 241.7 Yards Per Play 3.5 3.8 Rushing Yards/G 70.9 88.9 Yards/Rush Attempts 2.1 2.5 Passing Yards Allowed 148.5 152.8 Points Per Game 9.9 13.8
Adams Semifinalist for at Least three Awards
All-America candidate Gaines Adams has been named a
semifinalist for three different national awards. Last week, he was
named one of 12 semifinalists for the Lombardi Award, which is given to
the top linemen in college football, was named one of 18 semifinalists for
the Bednarik Award, which is given to the top defensive player in college
football, and was named a semifinalist for the Ted Hendricks Award,
which is given to the top defensive end in college football.
All three awards will announce three finalists some time in mid
to late November. Last year Clemson had two position award finalists in
Jad Dean (Lou Groza Award for top kicker) and Tye Hill (finalist for Jim
Thorpe Award, the top defensive back).
Adams has led the ACC in sacks all year and has9.5 in nine
games so far this season. He ranks sixth in the nation on a per game
basis with 1.06. Adams has had at least one sack in seven straight
games, breaking the existing Clemson record for consecutive games with
a sack by two games. The previous mark was five straight games with
a sack by Chester McGlockton, Keith Adams and Leroy Hill, all of whom
played or are still playing in the NFL.
Adams needs just three sacks to tie Michael Dean Perry’s
Clemson career record for sacks. Michael Dean had 28 between 1984-
87, one more than his brother William, who had 27 between 1981-84.
Michael Dean broke his brother’s record in his final regular season game
at South Carolina in 1987. Adams might do the same thing to him with
three home games left, including his senior day game against South
Carolina on November 25.
Adams hopes to enhance his sack total against Maryland,
which he has done in his career. He has 3.5 sacks in his career against
the Terps, including 2.5 last year when he had a career high eight tackles
in the win at Maryland. Adams was named ACC Defensive Lineman of
the Week for that performance last year.
Clemson Career Sack Leaders
Rk Player, Pos Years Sacks 1. Michael Dean Perry, DT 1984-87 28 2. William Perry, MG 1981-84 27 3. Gaines Adams, BAN 2003-06 25 4. Adrian Dingle, DT 1995-98 23 Keith Adams, LB 1998-00 23 6. Brentson Buckner, DT 1990-93 22 Bryant McNeal, DE 1999-02 22 8. Chester McGlockton, DT 1989-91 20.5 9. Levon Kirkland, OLB 1988-91 19 Wayne Simmons, OLB 1995-97 19
Three Tigers on Football Coaches All-America ballot
Three Clemson players are listed on the Football Coaches
Association All-America ballot. The list of candidates was released last
week. The Clemson players on the list include defensive end Gaines
Adams, running back James Davis and offensive guard, Roman Fry.
Adams is leading the ACC in sacks with 9.5 and he has 13.5
tackles for loss to rank second in the ACC. He has two recovered
fumbles, including the 66-yard return at Wake Forest that was named the
national game changing moment of the day in college football by ESPN.
Davis is second in the ACC and13th in the nation in rushing
yards per game with 110.1 yards per game. Davis gained 216 yards
rushing in Clemson’s victory over 13th ranked Georgia Tech two weeks
ago, the most yards rushing by a Clemson running back since Raymond
Priester had a record 263 yards against Duke in 1995. Davis has 17
touchdowns this year with three regular season games remaining.
Fry started each of the first eight games this year, but his
season ended on the third play of the Georgia Tech game when he
suffered a torn ACL. He had led the team in knockdown blocks through
the first seven games. Fry was a second-team All-ACC player last year
and was listed as a preseason candidate for the Outland Trophy.
Injuries Mounting for Tigers
Clemson has had 11 different players miss a total of 39 playergames
so far in 2006. Seven of the 11 who have missed time would be
considered starters, including four of the seven who are out for the year.
Thus, the 39 total player-games so far are going to increase over the last
three regular season games. This will be the most player games missed
due to injury in the Tommy Bowden era.
The run of injuries began August 18 when starting linebacker
Tramaine Billie suffered a broken ankle. He is out for the year and will
red-shirt this season. He has one more year of eligibility. Returning
leading tackler Anthony Waters suffered a torn ACL in the season opener
against Florida Atlantic and is out for the season. He had 109 tackles
last season to lead the Tigers and was a preseason candidate for the
Butkus and Bednarik Awards.
Starter Rendrick Taylor(WR) suffered a broken arm at Wake
Forest, an injury that has required season ending surgery. Starting
offensive guard Roman Fry, a preseason candidate for the Outland
Trophy and a mid-season first-team All-American by Sports Illustrated,
suffered a season ending torn ACL against Georgia Tech. He will have
surgery on Wednesday, November 1.
Starters Michael Hamlin and Chansi Stuckey have also missed
three games due to foot injuries, but have returned. Stuckey’s first game
back was at Virginia Tech.
Clemson Injury Summary for 2006
Player, Pos Injury GM *Tramaine Billie, LB Broken Ankle #9 Demerick Chancellor, RB Shoulder 1 Etta Etta-Tawo, DT Heart Abnormality #4 *Roman Fry, OG Torn ACL #1 Jamarcus Grant, OT Broken Foot 3 *Michael Hamlin, S Broken Foot 3 *Thomas Hunter, TE Shoulder 1 Reggie Merriweather, RB Sprained ankle 3 *Chansi Stuckey, WR Broken Foot 3 *Rendrick Taylor, WR Broken Arm #3 *Anthony Waters, LB Torn ACL #8 11 players 7 starters 39 GM—Games missed, *starter
Games Missed by Clemson Players under Tommy Bowden
Starters All Players
Year Players-Games Players-Games
1999 2-9 4-18
2000 6-10 10-17
2001 3-14 4-15
2002 6-38 10-45
2003 2-8 7-37
2004 3-5 4-13
2005 2-2 8-31
2006 7-28 11-39
Merriweather Has Scored Game Winner vs. Terps last Two Years
Clemson running back Reggie Merriweather holds a distinction
in Clemson football history. The senior is the only player in Clemson
history to score a game winning touchdown inside the last three minutes
against the same team twice in a career. In 2004, Merriweather scored
on a two-yard run with just 23 seconds left to give Clemson a 10-7 victory
at Death Valley.
Last year, Merriweather sped 38 yards for a touchdown with
just 2:58 left to give Clemson a 28-24 victory at Maryland. The Tigers
overcame a 10 point deficit in the fourth period to claim that victory.
Merriweather has been limited by a sprained ankle so far this
year, but has a 5.8 yards per carry and has gained 144 yards rushing so
far this year. He is over 1500 career rushing yards and ranks in the top
25 in Clemson history in career rushing.
Tigers Still With Chance for Atlantic Division Crown
Clemson saw its six-game winning streak end a week ago last
Thursday when the Tigers lost at Virginia Tech by a 24-7 score. The
Tigers are now 4-2 in the ACC and 7-2 overall. The ACC schedule is out
of balance when it comes to games played throughout the season
because teams play four non-conference games. As a result, Clemson
has played six conference games, while others in the same division
have played just four. Clemson will finish its conference season on
November 11. There will still be nine conference games to played after
the Tigers are finished that day.
If Clemson concludes the season in a tie with Boston College,
the Eagles will represent the Atlantic Division in the December 2 ACC
Championship game in Jacksonville. However, if there is a three-way tie
between Clemson, Boston College and either Wake Forest or Maryland,
there will be a series of tie breakers to review. Obviously Saturday’s
game between Wake Forest and Boston College will be a huge game for
the winner of the Clemson vs. Maryland game.
In a three-way tie, the records of the teams involved in a tie will
be reviewed head to head. If three teams are all 1-1 against each other,
then the next tie breaker is record within the division. That is why you
hear coaches tell the media that games within the division are so
Tigers Don’t Leave Campus in November
Clemson will not leave campus the remainder of the regular
season. Clemson and Florida State are the only two teams out of 119
Division I programs that will not play a game away from their home
stadium the remainder of the regular season. The Tigers finish with
home conference games against Maryland and NC State before the
annual rivalry game with South Carolina at Clemson on November 25.
Clemson has played well at home this year, winning all four
contests by an average score of 47-5. The Tigers have out-gained the
opposition in the four home games by an average of 457-219.
The home field advantage has been important in the Tommy
Bowden era. Clemson is 36-12 at home under Bowden, a 75 percent
winning percentage. That includes a 20-10 record in home ACC games.
The Tigers have a 71.4 winning percentage (235-90-7) at Clemson
Memorial Stadium over the years. This year marks the first time since
1998 that the Tigers play their last three games of the regular season at
home. The October 26 date for the final road game is the earliest
conclusion to the road schedule since 1998 when Clemson played its last
road game on October 24.
Proctor First on Clemson Career Efficiency List
Clemson quarterback Will Proctor was just 11-28 at Virginia
Tech, but he is still Clemson’s career leader in passing efficiency with a
136.8 career passing efficiency. He is ahead of Woodrow Dantzler, who
had a 132.5 career passing efficiency. For the season, Proctor has
completed 114-195 passes for 1493 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has
For his career, Proctor is 132-229 for 1774 yards and 14
touchdowns against just seven interceptions. That computes to the
136.8 passing efficiency. His margin ahead of Dantzler is equal to the
distance between Dantzler and fourth ranked Chris Morocco. The list
below takes into account quarterbacks with at least 100 career attempts.
Proctor has a 57.64 career completion percentage, which is
third in school history behind Charlie Whitehurst and Woody Dantzler.
Proctor’s 7.75 yards per attempt ranks fifth best in school history and his
3.05 interception percentage is fourth best.
So far this season, Proctor is second in the ACC in passing
efficiency with a 134.2 figure. Only Drew Weatherford is higher with a
135.2 figure. Proctor’s 134.2 efficiency would be sixth best in Clemson
history given a minimum of 100 attempts, if the season ended today.
Clemson Career Passing Efficiency Leaders
Rk Name Years Com Att Yds TD-Int Eff
1. Will Proctor 2003-06 132 229 1774 14-7 136.8
2. Woodrow Dantzler 1998-01 460 796 6037 41-24 132.5
3. Mark Fellers 1972-74 58 124 943 12-7 131.3
4. Chris Morocco 1986-89 89 157 1238 6-4 130.4
5. Mike Eppley 1980-84 252 449 3354 28-26 127.9
6. Bobby Gage 1945-48 123 278 2448 24-27 127.3
7. Nealon Greene 1994-97 458 805 5719 35-26 124.5
8. Charlie Whitehurst 2002-05 817 1368 9665 49-46 124.2
Clemson Single Season Passing Efficiency Bests
Rk Name Year Com Att Yds TD-Int Eff 1. Mike Eppley 1983 99 166 1410 13-9 146.0 2. Chris Morocco 1989 79 134 1131 6-2 141.7 3. Woody Dantzler 2001 203 334 2578 21-11 139.8 4. Nealon Greene 1997 180 290 2212 16-9 138.1 5. Charlie Whitehurst 2003 288 465 3561 21-13 135.6 6. Will Proctor 2006 114 195 1493 11-7 134.2 7. Charlie Whitehurst 2005 229 340 2483 11-10 133.5 8. Homer Jordan 1981 107 196 1630 9-9 130.5 Min. 100 attempts
Clay Coming on Strong
It hasn’t taken Antonio Clay long to become a prominent player
on Clemson’s fifth-ranked (total) defense. Clay, a sophomore from
Jeffersonville, GA, moved into the starting lineup at weakside linebacker
when Tramaine Billie suffered a broken ankle during the preseason.
When Anthony Waters suffered a torn ACL in the first game of the year,
he moved again this time to Waters middle linebacker position.
Despite the moving around, Clay is now second on the
Clemson team in tackles with 67, including 28 over the last two games.
He had 13 in the win over Georgia Tech on October 21 and was named
the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week. He followed that up with 15
stops at Virginia Tech, the high tackle game by a Clemson player since
Leroy Hill had 15 tackles in the 63-17 Clemson win at South Carolina in
Clay has had three double figure tackle games this year, the
two listed previously and 12 stops in the second game of the year at
Boston College. Clay is not too far behind the pace set by Waters last
year. Waters averaged 9.9 tackles per game a year ago and had 13.5
tackles for loss. Clay has 8.5 tackles for loss and 7.7 tackles per game
through nine contests. Over the last two games he has 28 tackles in 111
total plays, a tackle every 3.96 plays.
Watkins Top Tackler
Nick Watkins is Clemson’s leading tackler this year with 70
tackles, including six tackles for loss. He has been one of the more
consistent players on the team with at least five tackles in every game
and a season high 11 in the win at Florida State. He also had 10 n the
win at Wake Forest.
Watkins was suppose to be one of three returning starters on
Clemson’s second line of defense this year, but he is now the only one
standing from last year. Tramaine Billie and Anthony Waters are both
out for the year with injuries. Watkins has played 411 snaps this season,
second on the team to Chris Clemons. Six of Watkins tackles have come
on special teams, tied for second on the team.
The native of New Orleans has gone of the 200 mark in terms
of career tackles. He has 222 for his career, including 18 tackles for loss.
Another strong season in 2007 will move him among the top 20 tacklers
in Clemson history.
Watkins is a big reason Clemson is fifth in the nation in total
defense and 12th in scoring defense.
Coleman Having Strong Senior Year
Clemson ranks eighth in the nation in pass efficiency defense
and 11th in pass defense (yardage allowed) this season. Senior Duane
Coleman has been a big reason for those strong stats. The senior from
Naples, FL ranks third on the team in tackles with 61 and also has three
fumble recoveries to tie Gaines Adams for the team lead.
Coleman has had an interesting career against Maryland. He
started against the Terps in College Park in 2003 and had 11 carries for
36 yards in 57 plays. In 2004 he had 9-27 rushing as a reserve. In
2005, he did not play in the game as a running back. On the trip back,
he started meeting with Clemson coaches about switching positions.
That initial conversation after that game let to Coleman’s position as a
starting cornerback today.
Coleman now has 96 career tackles and 50 career receptions.
He is the only player in Clemson history with at least 50 receptions and
50 tackles in defense in a career.
Two Clemson Starters Products of 8-Man Football
Clemson has been noted for its outstanding recruiting in recent
years, but sometimes outstanding players appear from unusual sources.
Two of Clemson’s starting players, tight end Thomas Hunter, and
defensive end Gaines Adams, played eight-man football in high school in
South Carolina. In fact they played against each other at the eight-man
Adams played at Cambridge Academy in Greenwood, SC for
Steve Tanneyhill, the former South Carolina quarterback. Adams was a
three-year starter and led his team to the 2000 state championship of
eight-man football. He had 158 career receptions for 4,394 yards and 65
touchdowns during his eight-man football career. Adams then went to
Fork Union Military where he played defensive end for the entire 2001
Adams leads the ACC in sacks this year with 9.5 and is sixth in
the nation. He needs three sacks to tie the Clemson career record held
by Michael Dean Perry.
Hunter played his eight-man football at Pee Dee Academy in
Marion, SC. He caught 61 passes for 960 yards as a senior. The
biological sciences major came to Clemson as a walk-on and leads
Clemson tight ends in receptions so far this year with 8-176, a healthy
22.0 average. A veteran of 41 career games, he is still looking for his
first career touchdown reception.
Bowden Candidate for George Munger Award
Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden is one of 15 semifinalist
for the George Munger National Coach of the Year award presented by
the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia. The award will be announced
in December and will be presented at the Maxwell Football Club’s Awards
dinner in Atlantic City, NJ on March 2, 2007.
Bowden is the only ACC coach on the list of semifinalists and is
joined by Mack Brown (Texas), Lloyd Carr (Michigan), Pete Carroll
(Southern Cal), Phillip Fulmer (Tennessee), Urban Meyer (Florida), Chris
Peterson (Boise State), Bobby Petrino (Louisville), Rich Rodriquez (West
Virginia), Greg Schiano (Rutgers), Jeff Tedford (California), Jim Tressel
(Ohio State), Tommy Tuberville (Auburn), Dave Wannstedt (Pittsburgh)
and Charlie Weis (Notre Dame).
Here are some of Bowden’s accomplishments so far this
season and for his career:
•Led Clemson to a 7-1 start and #10 national ranking through
eight games, Clemson’s best start in six years.
•Two of the seven wins have been against top 13 teams.
Tigers defeated #9 Florida State in Tallahassee on a one-yard touchdown
run by James Davis with eight seconds left, the second latest gamewinning
touchdown in Clemson history. Other top 13 win was a 31-7
victory over 13th ranked Georgia Tech on October 21.
•Bowden has moved into second place in Clemson history in
career victories over top 25 teams, he now has 12, one more than Frank
Howard. His 59 victories are now third best in Clemson history, trailing
only Howard (165) and Danny Ford (96).
•Clemson ranks in the 15 in the nation in fewest sacks allowed
(first), rushing offense (fourth),total defense (fifth), scoring offense (sixth),
pass efficiency defense (eighth), kickoff returns (seventh), total offense
(13th ), rushing defense (15th ), pass defense (11th ), tackles for loss (eighth)
sacks (12th ), and scoring defense (12th ).
•Bowden already defeated two coaches this year who are past
national championship coaches and has 12 wins over National
championship coaches as Clemson head coach, more than any coach in
•Clemson’s #10 national ranking on October 22 was the top
ranking among ACC schools, the fourth straight week Clemson has been
the top ranked ACC team. It was Clemson’s highest ranking in six years.
•Led the Tigers from a 14-point deficit to gain a 27-17 victory at
Wake Forest on October 12.
•Has seven different players listed as preseason candidates for
various national position awards.
•Had the Tigers bowl eligible on October 12, second earliest
Clemson has been eligible in school history in terms of calendar date.
•Has achieved all of this in 2006 despite having 11 different
players, including seven different starters miss a total of 39 player
games. That includes the loss of senior leaders Anthony Waters, Roman
Fry and Tramaine Billie for the rest of the season.
•For his Clemson career he is 59-35 with six bowl
•Has already established Clemson record for consecutive
winning seasons, he has active streak of seven in a row, including this
Dean Outstanding at Home Over Career
Clemson placekicker Jad Dean got off to a difficult start this
year. He had a pair of kicks blocked at Florida State, one a field goal and
one an extra point, and both blocks were returned for scores, giving the
Seminoles nine of their 20 points in the Tigers 27-20 win.
Since then, Dean has been successful, making 5-6 field goals
and 30-31 extra points. He is 9-13 for the year on field goals, 9-11 inside
the 50. Dean has scored 67 points to rank second on the Clemson team
and fourth in the ACC overall.
Clemson will play its last three games at home and that should
bring a smile to Dean’s face. He has been outstanding in his career at
Death Valley over the last four years. His performance included a perfect
6-6 field goal game against Texas A&M in the season opener of 2004.
He scored a kick scoring record 19 of Clemson’s 25 points in that game,
including a 42-yard field goal with two seconds left to win the game.
In 14 career games as the kicker in Death Valley, Dean has
made 27-32 field goals and 53-56 extra points for 134 total points. He
has averaged 9.6 points per game in the 14 games in Death Valley, has
made 84.4 percent of his field goals and 95 percent of his extra points.
In 88 total kick attempts at home, he has missed just eight combined field
goals and extra points.
Tigers have Been Strong Finishers under Bowden
Clemson heads into the final month of the 2006 regular season
on Saturday for a noon tilt with Maryland. Clemson has finished strong
since the current seniors were freshmen in 2003. The 2003 Tigers won
each of their last four games, including a victory over third ranked Florida
State and a win over sixth ranked Tennessee in the Peach Bowl.
The 2004 season ended with five wins in the last six outings to
finish the season 6-5. Last year the Tigers won six of their last seven for
the first time since the 1991 season. Clemson’s list of wins at the end of
2005 included wins over top 25 teams from Florida State and South
Carolina and a bowl victory over Colorado in the Champs Sports Bowl.
Clemson has won at least five of its last six games in each of
the last three years, or a 15-3 combined record over the last five games
each year. Clemson has three regular season games left and all three
are at home, games against Maryland, NC State and South Carolina.
Anniversary Season at Clemson
So far the 2006 Clemson football season has the makings of a
special year. The Tigers are 7-2 for the first time since 2000 and are still
in the hunt for an ACC title.
This is an anniversary season for the Clemson program in
many ways. First, this is the 25-year anniversary of Clemson’s 1981
national championship, the only national championship in the programs
history. That team finished 12-0 under Danny Ford and defeated
Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, 22-15.That anniversary was celebrated on
September 23 at the North Carolina game. That team was inducted as a
team into the Clemson Ring of Honor at Memorial Stadium.
This is also the 50-year anniversary of Clemson’s 1956 team
that went to the Orange Bowl. The last two seasons Clemson has been
to the Orange Bowl have been the 1981 and 1956 teams, squads
celebrating their 25th and 50th anniversaries, respectively. The 1956 team
will be honored at the Maryland game on November 4.
As far as Clemson tradition, this is the 40-year anniversary of
Howard’s Rock and its placement at the top of the hill at Clemson
Memorial Stadium. Clemson players rub Howard’s Rock before they run
down the hill prior to each game. It was first place on the pedestal for the
Virginia game in 1966.
From a campus standpoint, this is the 100th year of The Tiger
student newspaper, the 40-year anniversary of the Cooper Library, and
the 200-year anniversary of the birth of Thomas Green Clemson, the
university’s founder. Clemson just had its 50th Tigerama, the
homecoming celebration prior to the homecoming game. That
homecoming contest was October 21 against Georgia Tech.
Davis Named National Player of the Week by Walter Camp
Clemson running back James Davis was named the national
offensive player of the week by the Walter Camp Foundation for his 216-
yard rushing game against Georgia Tech. Each week the foundation
names and offensive and defensive player of the week. The defensive
player of the week was Ameer Ismail of Western Michigan.
Davis rushed for a career-best 216 yards and two touchdowns
as 12th-ranked Clemson defeated 13th-ranked Georgia Tech, 31-7 on
Saturday evening at Death Valley. Davis scored on runs of two and five
yards and had a pair of runs over 50 yards in gaining the most yards
rushing by a Clemson running back since Raymond Priester gained a
school record 263 yards against Duke in 1995.
Thunder and Lightning
Clemson running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller have
both gone over 100 yards rushing in a game twice this year. The first
game was in the win over Louisiana Tech when Clemson actually had
three 100-yard rushers. Spiller and Davis combined for 270 yards in that
That combined 270 yards by Davis and Spiller was trumped in
the win over Georgia Tech when they combined for 332 on 37 carries and
scored a combined four touchdowns. Davis had 216 yards in the
contest, his career high, and had a pair of runs over 50 yards. Spiller
added 116 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown run and added a 50-
yard touchdown reception off a shot pass in the flat from quarterback Will
Proctor. It marked the first time in Clemson history that the Tigers had
had a 200-yard rusher and 100-yard rusher in the same game. The
closest occurrence came in 1974 when Ken Callicutt had 197 and Mark
Fellers had 106 in a victory over South Carolina at Death Valley.
A The combined 332 yards rushing ranks by Spiller and Davis
against Georgia Tech ranks second in Clemson history for two Clemson
players in the same game, the most since Raymond Priester and Nealon
Greene had a combined 358 against Duke in 1995. It was quite an
accomplishment considering Georgia Tech was seventh in the nation in
rushing defense entering the game, allowing just 72 yards per game.
During the ESPN broadcast of the Georgia Tech game, color
commentator Todd Blackledge referred to Davis and Spiller as “Thunder
and Lightning” because of their respective running styles. Davis has
more of the power game and Spiller has lightning quick speed. The
players were interviewed on the ESPN Gameday set at Death Valley
immediately after the game.
So far this year, Davis and Spiller have combined for 1555
yards in nine games, an average of 172.8 yards per game. The duo has
those 1555 yards on just 238 attempts, for a per carry average of 6.53
yards per rush. They also have a combined 24 rushing touchdowns.
They are ahead of the Clemson record pace for combined yards rushing
per game by a duo over the course of a season. They are just two
touchdowns short of the rushing touchdown record for two backs
combined. Woody Dantzler and Travis Zachery combined for 26
touchdowns in 2000.
Top Single Game Combined Rushing Yards, Clemson History
Year Opponent Site Players (total) Yards 1995 Duke H Priester (263), Greene (95) 358 2006 Georgia Tech H Davis (216), Spiller 116) 332 1982 Duke H Austin (260), McSwain (58) 318 1990 Appalachian St. H Williams (183), Witherspoon (123) 306 1974 South Carolina H Callicutt (197), Fellers (106) 303 1987 Virginia H Allen (183), McFadden (119) 302
Top Running Back Duos in Clemson History
(Yards/Game Basis) Year Players GP Att Yds Avg TD Yds/G 2006 Davis-Spiller 9 238 1555 6.53 24 172.8 1995 Priester-Smith 12 383 2069 5.40 20 172.4 2000 Dantzler-Zachery 12 396 2055 5.19 26 171.3 1985 Flowers-Driver 12 408 2031 4.98 15 169.3 1982 Austin-McSwain 11 328 1705 5.20 21 155.0 1986 Flagler-Flowers 12 315 1853 5.88 15 154.4 1967 Gore-J. Jackson 10 331 1495 4.52 12 149.5 1983 Mack-Driver 11 297 1636 5.51 13 148.7 1987 Allen-McFadden 12 320 1760 5.50 14 146.2
Davis and Spiller Both over 6.5 yards per carry
Clemson running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller are both
averaging over 6.5 yards per carry so far this year. If the season ended
today, those yards per carry figures would both be among the top five in
Clemson history, given a minimum of 400 yards rushing. The record is
held by Billy Hair in 1950, one of the oldest records in the Clemson book.
Hair had 525 yards rushing on just 71 attempts in 1950 for a 7.39
Ronald Williams had a 7.13 average in 1991 before he suffered
a torn ACL on October 26, 1991 during pre-game warm-ups for the
Clemson vs. NC State game. Thursday night is the exact 15-year
anniversary of that game.
Davis and Spiller rank three/five on the list at the moment
since both have already reached the 500-yard qualifier. As you can see
by the list below two teams in Clemson history have had a pair of running
backs average at least 6.0 yards per carry, the 1939 team that was 9-1
and won the Cotton Bowl over Boston College, and the 1950 team that
was 9-0-1 and ranked ninth in the final AP poll.
Top Season Yards/Carry Figures in Clemson History
Rk Name Year Att-Yds Avg 1. Billy Hair 1950 71-525 7.39 2. Ronald Williams 1991 82-585 7.13 3. James Davis 2006 151-991 6.56 4. Terrence Flagler 1986 192-1258 6.55 5. C.J. Spiller 2006 87-564 6.48 6. Jackie Calvert 1950 105-663 6.31 7. Ray Mathews 1949 118-728 6.17 8. Hal Davis 1964 87-533 6.13 9. Shad Bryant 1939 84-508 6.05 10. Banks McFadden 1939 78-468 6.01
Clemson Running Back Depth
Clemson ranks fourth in the nation in rushing offense with
nearly 240 yards per game. A strong senior led offensive line has a lot
to do with it, but so does the depth at running back for the Tigers. Much
has been written about the accomplishments of James Davis, who is
13th in the nation in rushing with 110.11 yards per game, close to the
record of 112 yards per game by Raymond Priester in 1996. C.J. Spiller
has 564 yards and a 6.5 yards per carry figure and has had three 100-
yard games in his last five contests.
But, Clemson’s third leading rusher, Demerick Chancellor has
been effective also. Chancellor has 276 yards on 45 attempts for a 6.1
average and has a pair of 100-yard rushing games so far this season.
Reggie Merriweather has been injured with an ankle problem,
originally suffered against Louisiana Tech. Merriweather has not carried
the ball in the last four games, but he has a 5.8 average on 25 attempts
and has two scores so far this year. Merriweather has 144 yards this
year and 1585 career rushing yards to rank 23rd in Clemson history. He
has had five career 100-yard rushing performances.
And, there is a fifth player on the Clemson roster who has had
a 100-yard rushing game in his career. Duane Coleman, now starting
cornerback and second leading tackler on the team, played running back
in 2003 and 2004. He had 13-111 against North Carolina in 2003.
This is the first Clemson team in history to have five different
running backs on the roster who have had a 100-yard rushing game.
Spiller Three Time ACC Rookie of the Week
Clemson running back C.J. Spiller certainly must be considered
one of the favorites for ACC Rookie of the Year honors. The native of
Florida has 564 yards rushing and 191 yards receiving and has scored
nine touchdowns. He had a 72-yard run against Wake Forest that
proved to be the winning touchdown. He had an 82-yard pass reception
at Boston College that is the longest reception in Clemson history by a
freshman and by a running back regardless of class. He had a pair of
50-yard touchdowns, one rushing and one receiving, in the win over
The Georgia Tech performance marked the third time this year
that Spiller has been named ACC Rookie of the Week. He is attempting
to duplicate the accomplishment of James Davis, who was named ACC
Rookie of the Year last year.
Spiller has already tied Davis’s freshman touchdown record.
Davis had nine last year, all rushing, and Spiller has nine in nine games
this year, seven rushing and two receiving.
Clemson has Won 11 of last 13
Clemson has won seven of nine games this year with the road
losses coming at Boston College and at Virginia Tech. The Tigers won
their last four games of 2005, meaning Tommy Bowden’s team has won
11 of its last 13. The Boston College game was a double overtime affair.
Prior to the 24-7 loss at Virginia Tech, Clemson had gone 26
consecutive games without a loss by seven points or more. Clemson
was 20-6 in those 26 games. Only Southern Cal had a longer streak
with 54 straight games, a streak that is now 55 in a row for the Trojans.
It is an odd record, but the 26-game streak without suffering a
loss by more than six points was the longest for the Clemson program
since a 33-game streak between 1899 and 1904. Much of the streak
took place during John Heisman’s 23-game tenure as head coach.
Heisman’s had a 19-3-2 record as Clemson head coach and his largest
defeat was by six points on two occasions.
When Clemson won 11 of 12 it marked the first time Clemson
had done that since the 1990-91 era. The Tigers won 12 of 13 games
between September 15, 1990 and September 28, 1991.
Chason Having Career Year
Clemson punter Cole Chason is coming off the finest game of
his Clemson career. The Clemson graduate had a 48-yard average on
five punts in the win over Georgia Tech, the ACC school closest to his
hometown of Roswell, GA. His net punting average of 42.2 was also a
career best given a minimum of three punts.
Not only was Chason’s 48.0 average a personal best it was
actually the third best single game performance in the post Chris
Gardocki era. Gardocki punted for the Tigers between 1988-90 and is
Clemson’s career leader with a 44.2 average. He is in his 16th year in the
Since the 1991 season, or the first year after he left for the
NFL, only Chris McInally and Jamie Somaini have averaged at least 48
yards a punt given a minimum of three punts. McInally averaged 49.3 on
six punts against Syracuse in the 1996 Gator Bowl and Somaini
averaged 50.3 on three punts against Virginia in 2000.
Chason has improved his punting average from 36.4 last year
to 41.3 this season, an improvement of 4.9 yards per punt. If the season
ended today, that would be the best one season improvement in
Clemson history for someone who served as the starting punter in
consecutive seasons. The existing record is held by Kevin Laird, who
made a 5.6 yard improvement between 1996 and 1997.
Clemson’s Most Improved Punters
First year Second Year Name Year Avg Year Avg. Imp Kevin Laird 1996 37.2 1997 42.8 +5.6 Cole Chason 2005 36.4 2006 41.3 +4.9 Butch Butler 1942 36.7 1943 41.1 +4.4 Eddie Werntz 1960 36.2 1961 40.2 +4.0