Clemson - Wake Forest Game Notes

The Tigers travel to Winston-Salem, N.C. this weekend for another ACC showdown.

Clemson vs. Wake Forest Series
·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 collegefootballnews.com. 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.

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