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Tigers looking to end two-game skid

Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2005

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Clemson vs. Wake Forest game notes

Charlie Whitehurst

·Clemson owns 54 wins over Wake Forest in history, its second highest victory total over any opponent. Clemson has 62 wins over South Carolina. Forty-three of those wins against Wake Forest have taken place since the ACC was formed in 1953.
· Clemson has a 43-7-1 edge in the series since 1953. Clemson has played Wake Forest in football 51 consecutive years, as the last year the two schools did not play was 1952. The two schools are in the same division, so they will continue to play annually.
·Clemson leads the series 54-15-1 overall, including a 31-7 record in games played at Clemson and a 27-7 mark in games played in Death Valley. Clemson did not lose at home to Wake Forest between 1962-92. Wake Forest broke the streak in 1993 when Jim Caldwell's first team defeated Clemson 20-16 at Death Valley. Clemson went on to finish that season 9-3.
·Only one coach in history won as many as four games against Clemson without a loss in Death Valley and the coach was from Wake Forest. Frank Howard and Peahead Walker had a close friendship, but Peahead had a 4-0 record against Howard in Death Valley.
·Clemson has won nine out of 11 against Wake Forest dating to 1994. The Demon Deacons won back-to-back games in 1992-93, the only time Wake Forest has won consecutive contests against Clemson since 1946-47.
·Clemson has a 17-8-1 lead in the series in games played at Wake Forest, including 10-4-1 in games played at Groves Stadium. Clemson had won four in a row at Wake Forest prior to the loss in 2003. Bill Dooley defeated the Tigers 18-15 in 1992 at Winston-Salem, and that was the last Wake Forest win on its home turf before last year.
·Clemson lost at Wake Forest 45-17 the last time the Tigers went to Winston-Salem. Clemson had 29 first downs and 405 yards of total offense, but lost by 28 points.
·Clemson has a 5-1 record against Wake Forest under Tommy Bowden, but four of the five Clemson wins have been close. The Tigers won 12-3 in 1999, 21-14 in 2001, 31-23 in 2002 and 37-30 in double overtime in 2004. Clemson's only blowout against Wake Forest took place in 2000 when Clemson won by a 55-9 score.
·The two teams have played at three neutral sites in history, including Tokyo, Japan. Clemson won that game in 1982 by a 21-17 score to close out an ACC Championship season.
·Clemson defeated a Wake Forest team coached by current Virginia coach Al Groh on Halloween Day 1981 by an 82-24 score. That is the highest scoring game in ACC history involving two league teams. Clemson was 12-12 on third down in that game, a school record. The Tigers went on to win the national championship.

Last Year vs. Wake Forest
Clemson 37, Wake Forest 30 (2OT)
Clemson used a last-minute drive, a two-point conversion, and two overtimes to defeat Wake Forest 37-30 in the 2004 season opener. Charlie Whitehurst found Kyle Browning for an 11-yard touchdown pass in the second overtime and the Tiger defense held Wake Forest on four downs to win a conference game on opening day for the first time since 1969.

Clemson got off to a quick start after a Whitehurst to Airese Currie 31-yard touchdown pass combined with a Justin Miller 69-yard punt return gave the Tigers a 14-3 lead after the opening quarter. Chansi Stuckey blocked a Ryan Plackemeier punt through the endzone for a safety and Stephen Furr booted a 42-yard field goal (his first career made field goal) off the left upright for a 19-3 Clemson lead.

Wake Forest came storming back, as backup quarterback Ben Mauk found Jason Anderson for an 85-yard touchdown pass, which tied for the longest pass in the history of Death Valley by an opponent. Wake Forest scored later in the quarter when Cornelius Birgs scored from two yards out.

The Wake Forest defense forced Clemson into a three-and-out on its next possession and needed only three plays to find the endzone. Chris Barclay, who rushed for 179 yards on 29 carries, broke free from the pile on a third-and-two play and dashed 50 yards for a touchdown. After trailing 19-3, the Demon Deacons reeled off 24 unanswered points. Whitehurst hit Stuckey on each of the first two plays of the game's most important drive to move the ball into Demon Deacon territory. The Tigers would end up taking eight snaps inside the Wake Forest 10-yard line before Yusef Kelly plunged over from a yard out to cut the Demon Deacon lead to 27-25 with 1:48 remaining. On the two-point conversion play,

Whitehurst lofted a pass to Kelvin Grant in the corner of the endzone, and the sophomore receiver out-jumped the Wake Forest defender to pull down the two-pointer. Clemson won the overtime coin toss and elected to play defense first. Wake Forest could not pick up a first down, and Wisnosky booted his third field goal of the day, this time a 38-yarder. Furr connected from 23 yards out to send the game to a second overtime period, a first in Clemson history.

The Tigers got the ball first in the second overtime. After picking up a first down, Whitehurst dropped back and lofted a screen pass to Browning, and he raced untouched into the endzone. One Barclay run and three incomplete Cory Randolph passes gave Clemson its fourth overtime win in its history. Currie and Stuckey became just the third tandem in Tiger history to amass at least 100 receiving yards in the same game. Anthony Waters and Miller led the Tigers with nine tackles apiece. Miller also was named ACC Defensive Back-of-the-Week for his performance.

Two of the ACC's Best on Display Saturday
Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst and Wake Forest running back Chris Barclay are both among the ACC leaders in their respective categories of expertise. Barclay enters the Clemson game with 3261 career rushing yards, third in Wake Forest history and 19th in ACC history. If he continues his current pace of 118.7 yards per game, he will reach the 4,000 yard mark for his career. He would become just the fifth player in ACC history to reach 4,000 yards rushing.

Whitehurst has 800 yards passing this season, giving him 7982 for his career, obviously just 18 yards short of 8,000 for his career. He is currently 12th in ACC history in career passing yardage. He is on pace to go over the 9000 yard mark sometime late this year. When he does, he will become just the sixth player in ACC history to reach 9,000 yards passing.

Veterans vs. Wake Forest
Gaines Adams (DE)--Had six tackles, including a tackle for loss, in 29 plays off the bench in Clemson's victory in 2004.
Curtis Baham (WR)--Had career high six receptions for 50 yards at Wake Forest in 2003. Played 48 snaps as a starter in the 2004 game, but did not have a reception.
Charles Bennett (DE)--Had three tackles in 57 plays as a starter against Wake Forest in 2004.
Tramaine Billie (LB)--Had three tackles in nine plays in win over Wake Forest in 2004.
Kyle Browning (RB)--Scored game winner in overtime on 11-yard touchdown pass from Charlie Whitehurst in second overtime of 2004 game. That is the only touchdown reception of Browning's career.
Cole Chason (P)--Has averaged at least 40 yards per punt in his two games against Wake Forest. Had 41.3 average on three punts at Winston-Salem in 2003, then had 40.6 average on five punts in Clemson's victory in Death Valley in 2004. Has 40.9 average for eight punts in his career against the Demon Deacons.
Jad Dean (PK)--Has played in two games against Wake Forest as the kickoff man, but has never attempted a field goal against the Demon Deacons.
Jamaal Fudge (FS)--Has 21 career tackles in three games against the Demon Deacons. Had three as a reserve in the 2002 game at Clemson, had 12 stops in 67 plays as a starter in the 2003 game at Wake Forest, and six tackles in 87 plays in the 2004 game at Clemson. Had an interception and a pass broken up in the 2004 game at Clemson.
Kelvin Grant (WR)--Had five receptions for 36 yards and his only career touchdown at Wake Forest in 2003 as a freshman. Had one reception for 14 yards in the 2004 game, but also caught a two-point conversion pass that tied the game with 1:48 remaining in regulation.
Cory Groover (DT)--Had four tackles in 29 plays, including his first career sack in 2004 victory over Wake Forest.
Tye Hill (CB)--Had three tackles in 53 snaps as starter at Wake Forest in 2003. Had four tackles and two passes broken up in 87 plays as a starter against Wake Forest in 2004.
Chansi Stuckey (WR)--Completed 9-15 passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns at Wake Forest as a quarterback in 2003. Also had 4-35 rushing in that game, giving him 106 yards of total offense in the fourth quarter of that game. In 2004 had 8-112 receiving in Clemson overtime victory. He was Clemson's Chevrolet Player of the Game according to ABC Sports for that contest.
Trey Tate (DT)--Had three tackles in 57 plays as a starter in 2004 against the Demon Deacons.
Anthony Waters (LB)--Had three tackles in 17 plays as a reserve in 2003 game at Wake Forest. Had eight tackles in 63 plays as a starter in 2004 against the Demon Deacons.
Nick Watkins (LB)--Had five tackles, including a tackle for loss in 21 snaps against Wake Forest in 2004.
Charlie Whitehurst (QB)--Played three snaps and was 1-2 passing for three yards as a freshman reserve in 2002 game at Clemson. Was 26-42 for 272 yards in 62 plays in game at Wake Forest in 2003. Connected on 20-41 for 288 yards and two touchdowns in 2004 Clemson overtime win. For his career, he is 47-85 for 563 yards and two touchdowns against the Demon Deacons. Has 551 yards of total offense in the three appearances combined.

Clemson Has Played Consecutive Overtime Games
Clemson has played consecutive overtime games, losses at home to 13th ranked Miami (FL) 36-30 in triple overtime on September 17, and 16-13 in overtime to 25th ranked (USA) Boston College. This is the first time in ACC history that a league school has played consecutive overtime games, but it has happened quite often nationally.

In fact, Clemson and TCU have a streak going, as both have gone overtime each of the last two games. No team has ever played three overtime games in succession. The overtime rule dates to the 1996 season. TCU has won consecutive overtime games, a 23-20 win over Utah on September 15 and a 51-50 win over BYU this past Saturday (September 24). Clemson and TCU are the 17th and 18th occurrences of a team playing back to back overtime games. The first school to do it was Southern Cal in 1996, as the Trojans concluded their season with a loss to Southern Cal and a win over Notre Dame (Lou Holtz's last game as Notre Dame coach).

In 2004 Texas A&M and Northwestern were the only teams to play consecutive overtime games. The last team to lose consecutive overtime games was Temple in 2003. However, the Owls had an open date in between overtime losses to Villanova and Cincinnati. Arizona State lost consecutive games in overtime on consecutive Saturdays in 2000. Both of those games were in double overtime.

Clemson won its first five overtime games between 1997-2004, but the Tigers have now lost two in a row. Entering the 2005 season there were two Division I teams with an all-time record of 5-0 in overtime, Clemson and BYU. Both lost in overtime last Saturday. BYU lost to TCU, 51-50.

Scott Family Goes overtime
Clemson Assistant Head Coach Brad Scott was on the sidelines for the Tigers in the 16-13 overtime loss to Boston College. While he was enduring that game, his son, John, was playing in a double overtime game for Harvard against Brown. Ironically, Clemson was playing Boston College and his son John was playing in Boston, for Harvard.

John had the upper hand on the day as the Crimson beat Brown 38-35. It was the 12th straight victory for Harvard, as the Crimson went 10-0 last year. That is the longest winning streak among Division I-AA teams. John Scott is a reserve defensive back and special teams player for Tim Murphy's team.

Wake Forest Productive vs. Clemson under Grobe
Clemson has a 5-1 record against Wake Forest under Tommy Bowden and a 3-1 record against the Demon Deacons since Jim Grobe has been the head coach. But, the Demon Deacons have been productive against the Tigers. In the four games Jim Grobe has coached against Clemson the Tigers his Demon Deacons have gained 1161 yards rushing, an average of 290 yards per game. They have picked up 420.8 yards of total offense per contest. Clemson has not held Wake Forest under 221 yards rushing in the four games Grobe has coached against the Tigers. Wake Forest has averaged 28 points per game against Clemson the last four years.

The leader for Wake Forest on offense through much of the Grobe era has been Chris Barclay. The senior running back has 67 rushes for 431 career yards against Clemson, a 6.4 per carry figure and an average of 143.7 yards per game. He had 29-179 against Clemson last year and 24-163 and two touchdowns in Wake Forest's victory in 2003. He had 89 off the bench as a freshman in 2002.

These Games are Good
Clemson has played four games this season and all four have been decided by a touchdown or less within the last three minutes of the game. Three of the four have come down to the last play, including the last two that have been decided in overtime.

It has been thrill-a-minute for Clemson players, coaches and fans, and that has been the opinion of the editors of The internet site devoted exclusively to college football selects its top 10 games of college football each week. In each of the first four weeks, Clemson's game has been ranked among the top seven games in college football that weekend.

In the first week of college football, Clemson's 25-24 victory over Texas A&M ranked as the top game of the week. Jad Dean's field goal with two seconds left was the game winner. Clemson's game with Maryland in week II ranked seventh best, as the Tigers overcame a 10-point fourth quarter deficit and scored the game winner on a 38-yard run by Reggie Merriweather with 2:58 remaining. Clemson's 36-30 triple overtime loss to Miami (FL) was the second best game of Week III, trailing only Michigan State's overtime victory at Notre Dame. The Clemson vs. Boston College game, another overtime affair that ended in the Eagles victory column by a 16-13 score, ranked seventh.

Clemson is the only team in the country to have played a "Top10 game" each of the first four weeks of the season according to the site. The internet site also ranks the best game each week by conference. Each of the first four weeks Clemson's game has been ranked as the best game in the ACC.

Bowden Coaches 100th Game on Saturday
Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden will coach his 100th game as a Division I head coach this weekend when the Tigers travel to Wake Forest. Bowden has a record of 64-35 for his first 99 games as a head coach, 22 at Tulane and 77 at Clemson. He was 18-4 in two seasons with the Green Wave and 46-31 so far in his seven seasons at Clemson.

Bowden is the 24th head coach in Clemson history and he is already third in school history in coaching victories with 46. Bowden trails only Frank Howard (165) and Danny Ford (96) on the Clemson list. When Bowden defeated South Carolina in the final game of the 2004 season, he moved ahead of Hall of Fame coach Jess Neely, who had 43 wins for the Tigers in his nine seasons (1931-39). That was also the 600th win in Clemson history.

Bowden is also moving up the Clemson coaching ranks in other areas. He now has eight wins over top 25 teams at Clemson, also third among Tiger head coaches. Danny Ford had 20 top 25 wins in his career between 1978-89, still the Clemson record, while Frank Howard had 11 top 25 wins in his career between 1940-69. Howard might have had more top 25 wins than he is credited for because the AP polls only ranked a top 10 from 1961-68 and poll point totals for teams 11-25 don't exist. Bowden went ahead of Ken Hatfield with the win over Texas A&M. Hatfield had seven wins over top 25 teams during his tenure from 1990-93.

Bowden is also third in conference wins with 29 and fourth in wins by seven points or less. He has 13 of those close victories, one less than third place Jess Neely who had 14 between 1931-39. Frank Howard had 49 and Danny Ford had 26 wins by seven points or less.

Tigers Have Faced Difficult Schedule
Clemson has played three top 25 teams (USA/Coaches poll) within its first four games, the only school in the nation who has done that. It is also the first time in Clemson history the Tigers have had to play three top 25 teams within the first four games of the season. The only year that is close is the 1966 Tiger team that played three top 10s within the first five games.

In many ways this is the most challenging home schedule in Clemson history. Four of the six opponents (Texas A&M, Miami (FL), Boston College and Florida State) were ranked in the preseason top 25 of the AP poll. That is a first in Clemson history. There is a strong chance all four will be ranked when they come to Clemson. Miami (FL) was 13th entering its game at Clemson and Boston College is 25th in the USA Today poll. Florida State is a consensus top 10 team at the moment. They will come to Clemson on November 12.

Clemson has never had four top 25 teams come to Clemson in the same season. In fact, only the 2003 and 1988 seasons have seen as many as three top 25 teams play against Clemson in Death Valley. In 1988, Clemson lost to a 10th ranked Florida State team at home, but beat top 25 teams from Duke and South Carolina later in the season. In 2003, Clemson lost the opener at home to a top 10 Georgia team, then beat 25th ranked Virginia in overtime, and defeated third ranked Florida State.

Overall, Clemson is 22-26-1 against top 25 teams in Death Valley over the years. Coach Bowden is 5-6 against top 25 teams at home in his seven years, including the 26-10 win over third ranked Florida State in 2003, the highest ranked team Clemson has beaten in history at home.

The number of games against top 25 teams at home shows how the ACC has gotten stronger over the years. Clemson played just four games against top 25 teams at home between 1942-66. That is four games in 25 years. In the last 25 years Clemson has played 34 games against top 25 teams at home.

Clemson Schedule Ranked Eighth
As stated above, Clemson's schedule is among the toughest in school history and is the toughest in school history for the first four games of the year. The schedule is ranked eighth toughest in the nation according to the Sagarin computer ranking this week. Clemson as a team is ranked 25th, the highest ranked team in the country with two losses.

Clemson Limiting Mistakes
One hallmark of Clemson's offense under offensive coordinator Rob Spence has been efficiency and a lack of mistakes. Clemson did not commit a turnover for its first 213 offensive snaps of the season, or until Charlie Whitehurst threw an interception on the last play of the third overtime against Miami. Clemson then went the entire game against Boston College without committing a turnover. Thus, the Tigers have just one turnover in four games, non in regulation. That is one turnover in 271 plays so far this year. Clemson is ranked 18th in the nation in turnover margin so far this year, a marked improvement over the #99 ranking last year.

This is the first time Clemson has gone four games and committed just one turnover since the 1994 season when Clemson led the nation in fewest turnovers committed. Most coaches will tell you that winning the turnover statistic, or limiting turnovers on offense will usually lead to victory. That has been the case with Clemson. However a streak was stopped on Saturday when Clemson lost to Boston College. The Tigers had won 11 consecutive games dating to 2002 when it won the turnover margin stat (forces more turnovers than it commits). Clemson forced two turnovers (interceptions by Tye Hill and Jamaal Fudge) against Boston College. Clemson is 28-8 under Bowden when the Tigers win the turnover margin stat.

Clemson has now had 12 games under Tommy Bowden when it has not committed a turnover and the Tigers are now 10-2 in those games. Another area that shows the discipline of this Clemson team is penalty differential. Clemson leads the ACC in fewest penalties committed with just 13 for 118 yards in the first four games. The opposition has had 42 for 361 penalty yards, which is the most by any team's opponent. That is 29 more penalties for 243 more penalty yards for the opposition so far this year.

Clemson is ranked third in the nation in fewest penalties committed per game, trailing only Stanford and Iowa. The Tigers are tied for second in the nation in fewest turnovers committed with just one. UCLA has not committed a turnover this year, while Clemson Fresno State, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and Texas Tech are tied for second with just one.
Stanford has just three penalties in two games and is thus first in the nation in fewest penalties per game. Iowa is second with 11 in four games. Clemson and Kentucky are tied for third with 13 in four games for a 3.25 average.

Clemson's 13 penalties in a four-game stretch rank as the fewest in any four-game period in Clemson history.

Clemson Efficient in Red zone
Through four games Clemson is a perfect 14-14 in terms of scoring in the red zone. The Tigers have scored six touchdowns and added eight field goals in their 14 trips inside the opponent 20 so far this year. Of course, the efficient kicking of Jad Dean has a lot to do with that success rate.

Clemson is the only ACC school to bat 1.000 in that area so far and one of seven teams to have a perfect record in that area given a minimum of 10 attempts inside the red zone so far this year. Texas Tech is an incredible 29-29 inside the red zone, including 28 touchdowns through four games.

Waters Top Tackler
One of the top Clemson players of the 1960s was Charlie Waters, who went on to fame with the Dallas Cowboys of the 1970s. Now another player named Waters (no relation) is making a name for himself at Clemson. Anthony Waters is Clemson's top tackler so far this year with 44 stops and ranks fourth in the ACC in that category. That is saying something because the ACC might be the best conference in the nation when it comes to defense.

Waters has taken over the middle linebacker position left vacant by Leroy Hill, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and a third-team AP All-American. Last year, Hill had 106 tackles for 11 games and contributed 19 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Waters level of production is not far behind so far this year. Through four games Waters has 44 stops and 6.4 tackles for loss to lead the Tigers in each category.

On a per game basis, Waters is averaging 11 tackles per game, above the 9.6 per game by Hill. Hill averaged 1.72 tackles for loss last year, among the top 20 in the nation, and Waters stands at 1.63 per game. Waters has led Clemson in tackles in each of the last three games. He had 14 at Maryland when he was in a matchup with D'Quell Jackson, the ACC's top tackler. He then posted 11 stops in the triple overtime game with Miami (FL). Last Saturday he led the Tigers again with 14 stops, tying his career high for the second time in three games.

The native of Lake View, SC is averaging a tackle every 4.6 plays, better than the tackle for every 6.4 plays by Hill in 2004.

Whitehurst on Clemson Career Lists
Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst is Clemson's career leader in five passing categories. He is the school leader in passing yardage, pass attempts, completions, touchdown passes and completion percentage. He is second in total offense and touchdown responsibility.

Whitehurst ranks third among active Division I quarterbacks in completions with 670 and he is second in passing yards with 7982. He is just two yards short of the total accumulated by Northwestern quarterback Brett Basanez, and just 76 yards ahead of Southern Cal quarterback Matt Leinart.

Whitehurst Sets Clemson Career TD Pass Record
Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst became Clemson's career leader in touchdown passes when he completed a five-yard scoring pass to Curtis Baham on fourth down in the first overtime of Clemson's 36-30 triple overtime loss to Miami. It was his second TD pass of the day and fourth of the season. It gave him 42 touchdown passes for his career, one ahead of former teammate Woodrow Dantzler, who had 41 between 1998-01.

Whitehurst also tied the Clemson record for pass attempts in that game with 55. Patrick Sapp had 55 in a loss at Maryland in 1992. Whitehurst's 31 completions in the Miami game were the second most in Clemson history, trailing only the 34 he had at Duke in 2002, his first career start.

Clemson gained 378 yards of total offense against Miami (FL) and Whitehurst had 346 of them on his stat line, 288 passing and a career high 58 rushing. It marked the first time Whitehurst had led the Tigers in rushing in a game. The 346 yards rank as his second best single game figure of his four year career and the ninth highest total for any quarterback in Clemson history. Whitehurst's career high in terms of total offense is 414 for that Duke game in 2002.

Whitehurst is a 20-game Winner
Charlie Whitehurst became the sixth 20-game winner in Clemson history when the Tigers defeated Maryland 28-24 on September 10. He is the first Clemson quarterback to reach 20 wins in a career since Nealon Greene recorded 24 wins as a starter from 1994-97. Greene is still active in the game as the starting quarterback for Saskatchewan in the CFL.
Rodney Williams is the career leader with 32 victories, a total that is among the top 25 victories totals in NCAA history at the Division I level. Williams, a member of the Clemson Hall of Fame, guided the Tigers to three consecutive seasons of two losses from 1986-88 and won three bowl games as a starting quarterback.

While Whitehurst can't catch Williams on the career wins list, he can reach second ranked Greene with just four more wins. Other Clemson 20-game winners are Homer Jordan, Steve Fuller and Mike Eppley. Whitehurst is currently sixth on the victories list with DeChane Cameron and Woodrow Dantzler.

With the win over 17th ranked Texas A&M, Whitehurst now has five top 25 wins under his belt. He moved ahead of Homer Jordan, Mike Eppley and Nealon Greene in career wins over top 25 teams with that Texas A&M win. He trails only Williams, who had seven top 25 wins between the 1986-88 seasons. Whitehurst is 5-6 against ranked teams in his career, while Williams was 7-4.

Clemson Defense Solid vs. Miami
The NCAA overtime rule can play havoc with the evaluation of various statistics. That is the case with Clemson's defensive performance against Miami (FL) in the most recent game, a 36-30 Miami triple overtime win. Miami scored 16 of its 36 points in the three overtime periods, which will hurt Clemson's scoring defense stats all year. The same goes for total offense and yards per game, as Miami gained 73 yards in the overtime.

Through the 60 minutes of regulation, the Hurricanes gained just 264 yards of total offense, 49 yards less than they gained against Florida State's famed defensive unit. The Hurricanes threw for just 109 yards on 23 pass attempts during regulation as Vic Koenning's defensive unit allowed less than five yards per pass attempt. Clemson allowed just 5-14 third-down conversions in regulation and allowed just 15 first downs. Miami gained just 4.0 yards per play during regulation.

Anthony Waters led Clemson in tackles for the second consecutive game in the Miami loss with 11. C.J. Gaddis had his second consecutive double figure tackle game with 10, while Sergio Gilliam had a career high nine stops, including one behind the line of scrimmage.

Bennett Posts Top Game
Senior defensive end Charles Bennett had his best game of the young 2005 season and the second best tackle game of his career when he had eight tackles against Miami (FL). The native of Camden, SC had five first hits and three assists for his eight tackles. Two of the eight were behind the line of scrimmage, including an eight-yard sack on Miami's last possession of regulation, a stop that gave Clemson the ball back with a chance to tie the game. He also had three quarterback pressures in the Miami game.

Bennett's career high for tackles in a game is 10, recorded at Florida State last year, a game in which he also had two tackles for loss. The sack against Miami (FL) was the seventh of his career and the first this season. The Miami game was his 13th career start, he has now started every game over the last two years with the exception of the Texas A&M game in 2004.

Downer Likely Out for Remainder of the Season
Clemson tight end Cole Downer had surgery Saturday night to have his spleen removed after suffering an injury while making a reception in the fourth quarter of Clemson's triple overtime loss to Miami (FL) at Death Valley. He will likely miss the remainder of the season.Downer made a six-yard reception early in the fourth period, but was injured on the play and was helped to the sideline. After increasing stomach discomfort, he was taken to Oconee Hospital in Seneca, SC, where he underwent surgery to remove his spleen. The surgery was successful.

The senior from Chantilly, VA had scored his first career touchdown for the Tigers in the first half of the game on an eight-yard reception from Charlie Whitehurst. He had two receptions for 14 yards in the contest and 5-38 for the season. He lettered in 2004 as a reserve tight end and offensive tackle. He first attended Clemson in 2003 as a transfer from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.

"We are really going to miss Cole Downer," said Head Coach Tommy Bowden. "He has good hands, is an outstanding blocker and really fits what we are doing with this offense. He has been working very hard. This is a blow to our team."
Clemson coaches voted Downer as the Offensive Player of the Week for the Miami (FL) game.

Another Last Second Thriller
Eight of the last nine and 10 of the last 15 Clemson games, including all four this year, have been decided by seven points or less, and all on plays within the last three minutes of the game or in overtime. Clemson has won six of those 10 close games over the last two years with either pivotal offensive or defensive plays. The 42-yard field goal by Jad Dean that gave Clemson a 25-24 victory over Texas A&M came with just two seconds left and was the latest game-winning field goal by a Tiger player since David Treadwell's 21-yard field goal with two seconds left best Georgia in 1987.

The Tigers followed that with the win at Maryland on a 38-yard run by Reggie Merriweather with just 2:58 left. The Clemson defense then forced Maryland to relinquish the ball with 47 seconds remaining, thanks to a sack by Gaines Adams. Miami then defeated Clemson in three overtimes and Boston College stopped the Tigers in one overtime.

Clemson has had many a close victory under Tommy Bowden. Since he became the head coach in 1999, Clemson has registered 10 victories in which it has overcome a deficit or a tie game to score the winning points in the fourth quarter. Eight of the 10 have come with offensive plays inside the last 23 seconds or in overtime. Clemson has overcome a 10 point deficit to win or tie the game each of the last three weeks. In all four games this year Clemson has led and trailed in the fourth quarter or overtime.

Dean 23-27 on Field Goals in Career
Clemson kicker Jad Dean had the greatest field goal kicking day in Clemson history when the Tigers defeated Texas A&M 25-24. The junior was a perfect 6-6 on field goals, including a 42-yarder with two seconds left to give the Tigers the one-point win. Dean was successful on attempts from 21, 21, 25, 18, 44 and 42 yards in breaking the single game record of five field goals set by Nelson Welch three times. Welch had five against NC State in 1991, Maryland in 1992 and North Carolina in 1994.

In addition to setting the Clemson record for field goals in a game, Dean also established a Clemson record for kick scoring points in a game with 19. He had one extra point in addition to the six field goals, breaking the record of 17 kick scoring points set by Welch in the game against Maryland in 1992.

Dean tied the ACC record for field goals with the performance. Josh McGee of North Carolina was 6-6 on field goals against Duke in 1999 and Vince Fusco of Duke was 6-7 on field goals against Clemson in 1976. His last field goal was from 57 yards, hit the cross bar and bounced over to tie the game at 18-18 at the final horn. Thus, two of the three ACC games in which a player has booted six field goals have come in games played at Death Valley.

Dean was the first Division I player to kick six field goals in a game since September 27, 2003 when Jonathan Nichols of Mississippi booted six against Texas Tech. Dean was just the third player to have six field goals in game in the 21st century and just the 18th to accomplish the feat in NCAA history dating to 1965 when Charley Gogolak of Princeton booted six against Rutgers.

Dean was just one field goal off the national record. Dale Klein of Nebraska had seven against Missouri on October 19, 1985 and Mike Prindle of Western Michigan had seven against Marshall on September 29, 1984.

The junior added three field goals against Miami (FL) and two more against Boston College and is now 11-12 for the year and 23 for 27 in his career. He has just four misses and all four have come against Miami (FL). He saw his consecutive made field goals streak stopped at 12 in the Miami (FL) game, but has made 17 straight in his career inside 40 yards.

Dean is second among active Division I kickers in field goal percentage given a minimum of 20 field goals made. It is interesting to note that four of the top eight are from the ACC. He is second in the nation this week in field goals made per game. He leads the ACC in field goals made per game, scoring and kick scoring. Dean also handles kickoffs for the Tigers. So far this year he has had seven touchbacks in 21 attempts and has 59 touchbacks in 145 career kickoffs, .407.

Merriweather Sets Clemson Record
Clemson running back Reggie Merriweather scored the game winning touchdown for the Tigers in the 28-24 win at Maryland on September 10. His 38-yard jaunt around right end on a third-and-seven play with 2:58 left marked the second straight year and third time in his career that he had scored a game winning touchdown with three minutes or less left in game. In fact, it was the third time he had done it in a seven-game period.

Merriweather scored from two yards out with 23 seconds left to give Clemson a 10-7 win over Maryland in 2004, then scored from a yard out in overtime against Miami just a couple of weeks later. Clemson kept the Hurricanes out of the endzone and Clemson had the victory.

When Merriweather scored his game winner at Maryland he became the first player in Clemson history to score three fourth-quarter game winning touchdowns in a career. Prior to the Maryland game, Merriweather was joined in the Tiger record books in that category by Fred Cone, Doug Cline, George Usry, Lowndes Shingler and Jerry Butler. Merriweather is now one game-winning play behind David Treadwell. Treadwell booted a fourth-quarter game winning field goal for Clemson four times in his career, including consecutive years within the last 10 seconds against Georgia (1986-87).

Merriweather is second on the Tiger team in rushing with 180 yards in 37 attempts, a 4.9 average. He led the Tigers in rushing against Boston College with 15 attempts for 75 yards. He now has 906 yards rushing for his career, just 94 yards short of reach the 1000-yard mark.

Clemson New Orleans Duo Led Way at Maryland
Two starting members of the Clemson football team from New Orleans, LA played at a high level in the victory over Maryland. Both had to be playing with distractions, as their families have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Starting wide receiver Curtis Baham and starting linebacker Nick Watkins have accounted for all of their relatives, but their family homes and cherished belongings are probably gone for ever.

Both put the distractions behind them at Maryland and had career games. Baham caught a pair of touchdown passes, a first in his career, and the first Clemson player to do that since 2003 (Derrick Hamilton vs. Duke). His day included TD catches of six and 51 yards. The 51-yarder brought Clemson to within three points in the fourth quarter and it was the longest catch of his career by 27 yards.

Baham continued his fine play against Miami and had five catches for 87 yards. That was a career high in yardage for Baham, who caught a five-yard scoring pass in the first overtime on a fourth-down play. He is now averaging a team best 20.3 yards per catch and is eighth in the ACC in receptions per game.

Watkins was the second leading tackler on the Clemson defense with a career high 13 tackles against Maryland including a team best 10 first hits. His afternoon included six special teams tackles, including five solo stops on punts and kickoffs. That was the second highest single game special teams tackle total in school history, trailing only the seven special teams tackles recorded by Chad Speck against Georgia Tech in 1999. For the season Watkins is fourth on the team in tackles with 33.

Adams Pressuring Quarterback
Gaines Adams was moved to the "Bandit" end position last spring, as defensive coordinator Vic Koenning sought to take advantage of the 6-5, 260-pounder's athletic ability. Adams showed that athletic ability in the win over Maryland recording a career high eight tackles, including four tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.

Adams, who played eight-man football at Cambridge Academy in Greenwood, SC for former South Carolina quarterback Steve Tanneyhill, made a key sack on Maryland's final drive. With the Terps on the Clemson 40 with a second-and-10 and just 1:45 left, Adams sacked Terps quarterback Sam Hollenbach. Clemson then held Maryland on third and fourth down, clinching the Tiger victory.

Adams had three passes broken up and three quarterback pressures against Boston College. He leads the Clemson team in passes broken up with four and leads the team in pressures with eight. He has 17 tackles overall.

Hill Among Top Corners
According to, two of the top 10 cornerback prospects for the 2005 NFL draft will be on display when Clemson faces Boston College. The internet site ranks Clemson cornerback Tye Hill as the fifth best NFL prospect at cornerback in the nation. It also lists Will Blackman of Boston College fourth.

Hill is off to a solid start with two takeaways and a caused fumble in the first three games. He had a fumble recovery in the win over Texas A&M and an interception in the win over Maryland. That interception brought a smile to Hill's face because he never had an interception last year. He did have a Clemson record 21 passes broken up and ranked third in the nation in passes defensed. His interception at Maryland was the third of his career and his first since the 2003 Florida State game. He had five tackles, a caused fumble and a pass broken up against Miami (FL) and was a big reason Clemson allowed just five yards per pass attempt against the Hurricanes.

One thing Hill has been doing all fall is working on his catching. During early stages of practice and even in pregame warm-ups, Hill will go through drills with the wide receivers to improve his pass catching abilities.

Fudge Another Defensive Leader
Clemson free safety has been a leader on the Clemson defense for three seasons. The native of Jacksonville, FL has 25 tackles so far this year to rank fifth on the Clemson team. He also has four passes defensed to rank in a tie for first. He had his first interception of the season against Boston College in the endzone to thwart a BC drive. That was the eighth interception of Fudge's career, tops among active Clemson players. He has led Clemson in interceptions each of the last two years and is trying to become the first Clemson player in history to lead the team in interceptions three straight years.

Fudge has been a model of durability. He has played in 41 consecutive games (never missed a game) and has started each of the last 28. Only Charlie Whitehurst (33) has a longer streak of consecutive starts on the Clemson team. The 25 tackles this year give Fudge 234 for his career, more than any other active Tiger.

Four of Six Home Games Already Sold Out
Clemson plays six home games this season and at least four will be sellouts. The opener with Texas A&M was a pregame sellout and over 80,000 people attended the contest. The Miami (FL) and Boston College games were also a pregame sellout, as is the Florida State game on November 12. Tickets still remain for the Temple game on October 22 and the Duke game on November 5.

Clemson averaged 78,823 fans last year and ranked 17th in the nation in average attendance. Clemson has averaged at least 76,000 fans in each of the six seasons of the Tommy Bowden era and it is obvious that this year will make it number seven. Interest in Clemson football has been strong for many years. Clemson has ranked in the top 20 in the nation in average home attendance ever seasons since 1981. Clemson's highest national ranking in attendance was fifth in 1988 when the school drew a season record 81,750 fans per game.

Overcoming Double Digit Deficits
Clemson had a remarkable comeback victory at Maryland on September 10. It marked just the third time in school history that Clemson overcame a double digit deficit in the fourth quarter to win the game. The Tigers trailed Maryland 24-14 with under eight minutes left in the game. But Curtis Baham caught a 51-yard scoring pass from Charlie Whitehurst with 7:35 left and Reggie Merriweather scored from 38 yards out with 2:58 remaining to give Clemson the 28-24 lead and victory. Clemson overcame a 10-point deficit against Miami (FL), but did not win the game. The Tigers sent the game into overtime with a 27-yard field goal by Jad Dean with 15 seconds left.

The only other occasions Clemson overcame a double digit fourth quarter deficit to gain victory took place in 2002 at Duke and 1980 at Virginia. Thus two of the three double digit fourth quarter comebacks in Clemson history have taken place under Tommy Bowden.

As far as a double digit deficit at any point in a game, Clemson has now achieved that comeback 22 times. Bowden has five of the 22 double digit comeback victories. It is interesting to note that 16 of the 22 have taken place on the road.

Whitehurst Has Seven Fourth-Quarter Comebacks
When Charlie Whitehurst led Clemson to a 28-24 victory at Maryland it marked the seventh time in his career that he has taken Clemson to victory after the Tigers had trailed at some point in the fourth quarter. Clemson has overcome a fourth quarter double digit deficit just three times in history and Whitehurst has been the quarterback for two of those three. In addition to the Maryland game on September 10, he led Clemson to victory at Duke in 2002 as a freshman after Clemson trailed 24-10 in the fourth quarter. Four of the comebacks have taken place at Clemson and three on the road.

It should be noted that Clemson actually has eight fourth quarter comebacks during this time period (2002-present). Clemson overcame a 24-22 deficit in the fourth quarter against Texas A&M in the 2005 season opener, but Will Proctor engineered that game winning drive when Whitehurst was injured.

Preliminary research indicates that Whitehurst and Joel Klatt of Colorado are the only active quarterbacks with seven fourth quarter comeback victories over their careers.

Georgia Renews Series with Clemson in 2013-14;
Clemson and Georgia will renew their college football rivalry in 2013 and 2014 with a home-and-home series. Both schools made the announcement Thursday afternoon.
The Clemson vs. Georgia rivalry dates to the 1897 season and the fourth game in Clemson football history. The series took on a national scope in the 1980s when Georgia won the National Championship in 1980 and Clemson won the title in 1981. The two teams split 11 games (5-5-1) between 1978-90. Between 1979-87 the teams played nine games and eight were decided by a touchdown or less. The two teams last played a two-game series in 2002-03 and Georgia won both contests, including a 31-28 victory in Athens in the opener of the 2002 season.

The two-game series calls for Georgia to come to Clemson in 2013 and the Tigers will travel to Athens in 2014. Last week Clemson announced that it had added Vanderbilt to its scheduled for 2012 and 2013. Combined with the annual game with South Carolina, it means Clemson will play three SEC schools out of its four non-conference games in 2013. The Vanderbilt and Georgia games will be at Clemson that year and the Tigers will travel to South Carolina.

"We have been working with Georgia since the NCAA announced Division I teams could add a 12th game," said Clemson Senior Associate AD Dwight Rainey. "Both schools attempted to work out playing dates earlier than this, but previous commitments prevented it. There is certainly great history between the two programs and it is a very attractive series from a national standpoint."

Clemson also announced Clemson will meet Pittsburgh in 2010 and 2011. The 2010 game will be at Pittsburgh, and the 2011 contest will be at Clemson. The series was earlier announced as being played in 2009 and 2011.

Clemson Announces 2006 Football Opponents
Clemson will play road games in major markets Boston and Philadelphia in addition to having ACC road trips to Florida State, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest according to the list of opponents the Tigers will play in 2006. Clemson only announced the list of opponents and game sites it will play in 2006. The dates of all games will be determined and released in January, 2006.

Clemson and the other 118 Division I teams will play 12 regular season games in 2006. The Tigers non-conference foes include South Carolina, Louisiana Tech, Temple and Florida Atlantic. All but the Temple game will be played in Clemson Memorial Stadium. The Tigers will play ACC home games against Georgia Tech, Maryland, NC State and North Carolina in 2006, while league road games will be at Boston College, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
Florida Atlantic, who finished with a 9-3 record under Howard Schnellenberger, in 2004, will come to Clemson for the first time ever. Schnellenberger coached Miami (FL) to the 1983 National Championship. Louisiana Tech will travel to Clemson for the second time. Clemson has a 2-0 lifetime record against Louisiana Tech, a 49-24 victory in the Humanitarian Bowl to close the 2001 season, then a 33-13 win at Clemson in the second game of the 2002 season.

Clemson and Temple begin a three-year series in 2005 when the Owls come to Clemson on October 22. The two teams will meet in Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field, the home of the Philadelphia Eagles, in 2006.

North Carolina returns to Clemson's schedule for the first time since 2003 when the Tigers won a thrilling 36-28 game in Death Valley. It will be the only game between Clemson and North Carolina between 2004 and 2009.

The Tigers travel to Wake Forest in 2006, the second consecutive year Clemson will play in Winston-Salem. Clemson plays at Wake Forest this year on October 1. When Clemson plays at Boston College in 2006 it will be Clemson's first trip to Boston since the 1983 season when the Tigers suffered their only loss of the year to a Doug Flutie led Eagles team.

Clemson will not play ACC teams Virginia, Duke or Miami (FL) in 2006.

Clemson Opponents in 2006
Home--Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Tech, South Carolina, North Carolina, NC State, Maryland, Georgia Tech
Away--Boston College, Florida State, Virginia Tech, Temple, Wake Forest

West Endzone Notes
Clemson is in the middle of a new West Endzone building project. The project began last March and will cause some inconveniences for fans this season. But, the project will have a positive effect on the Tiger program for years to come. Below are some facts concerning the project:

·Construction began in March on the West Zone.
· The area sat 5800 last year, but around 4600 this year.
· Total project estimated at $56 million.
· First stage ready for use today includes new locker rooms for Clemson and visiting teams, new video scoreboard in the East Endzone and two Pro-Ad Display Screens located on the fascia of the North and South Decks.
· The new video board in the east end is 64 feet wide. The Pro ad Display Screens are 150 feet wide.
· New Clemson locker room is 6876 square feet, more than double the old locker room.
· Clemson seating area will be concluded for the opening of the 2006 season. It will hold 914 West End Zone Club seats.
· Clemson coaching offices also will be in the West End zone in 2007.
· The entire project when completed will be 142,301 square feet. It will be four levels.
· Clemson's new capacity for this year will be about 80,000, down about 1500 from previous years, and will go to over 82,000 when project is completed.

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