Clemson - Carolina Notebook

CLEMSON – The long-awaited start of the WestZone Project officially got underway prior to Clemson's game against South Carolina Saturday. <br><br>

What was dubbed as the "World's Largest-Attended Ground Breaking Ceremony," took place with school president Jim Barker, university board of trustees chairman Bill Hendrix, IPTAY president Jim Sanders, director of athletics Terry Don Phillips, NCAA faculty representative Cecil Huey, chairman of WestZone initiative capital campaign Phil Prince and vice-chairman of the WestZone initiative capital campaign Joe Turner.

Following Saturday's game, work will begin almost immediately on the WestZone club seats, the game-day operations and the new concourse, and will also include additional restrooms, concession areas and other amenities.

A portion of the game-day facilities will open for next season, but construction will continue and will include expanded game-day facilities, recruiting facilities, football administrative space and the WestZone club seats.

In 2006, WestZone club seats will be completed, along with the recruiting, team and segments of the administrative facilities.

Clemson defensive end Mo Fountain has never missed a game in his Tigers career and has now played in 49 in a row, including 19 consecutive starts.

With the Tigers now going to a bowl game, Fountain can join Greg Walker as the only players in school history to play in 50 games.

Tigers linebacker Leroy Hill continued his impressive ways on defense by recording yet another sack.

The senior, who had his streak of five consecutive games with at least one sack broken at Miami, recorded one against South Carolina.

He tied a Clemson record for consecutive games with a sack against N.C. State. He also has at least one tackle for a loss in every game this season and 13 straight dating back to last year.

When Clemson did its usual tradition of running down the hill prior to the game, three members of the Gamecocks were standing at the bottom of the hill and to the Tigers' right.

When the first group of Clemson players reached the bottom of the hill, they ran toward the three Gamecocks and surrounded them instead of running to their sideline.

This brought the rest of the Gamecocks to their aid.

While no punches were thrown, the teams got face-to-is and started taunting one another. This led to the officials trying to separate the teams and eventually unsportsmanlike conduct against each team.

When Clemson tailback Reggie Merriweather darted across the goal line just 52 seconds into the game, it was the fastest the Tigers had scored a touchdown since Sept. 28, 1996, when Nealon Greene connected with Joe Woods on an 80-yard pass against Wake Forest. … Tigers center Tommy Sharpe was forced to leave the field in the first quarter because of nausea. He immediately went to the sidelines, where he got sick. …

Clemson offensive guards Roman Fry and Chip Myrick switched positions with Fry going to left guard and Myrick moving to the right side. … Cornerback Tye Hill set a new school record when he recorded his 18th pass breakup of the season. Top Stories