Temple - Clemson Game Notes

The Tigers look to improve to 4-3 on the year Saturday.

Clemson Records 200-200 Game
Most teams strive for offensive balance because an ability to rush and throw the ball with effectiveness usually translates to a victory. That has been the case in Clemson history. A look to the records shows that Clemson has never lost a game in which it has had at least 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing on offense.

That pattern continued in the victory over NC State, as the Tigers had 243 yards rushing and 246 yards passing in the 31-10 victory. It was the first time since the 2002 North Carolina game that Clemson had at least 243 yards rushing and 243 yards passing in the same game. Overall, it was the 17th time in Tommy Bowden's career that Clemson has had at least 200 yards of each, the first time since Clemson had 302 passing and 240 yards rushing in the 63-17 win over South Carolina in 2003.

The 243 rushing yards by the Tigers were the most against NC State's defense since the 2003 season when Florida State had 272 against the Pack. Clemson completed 71 percent of its passes in the game, the highest completion percentage against the Pack since the 2003 season when Virginia completed 41-55.

Clemson is now 43-0-1 when it has at least 200 yards of each category, including 36 consecutive wins dating to 1976. The only time Clemson has failed to gain victory when it had at least 200 rushing and 200 passing took place in a 24-24 tie with Georgia Tech in 1976.

Tigers and Owls Met in 1991
Clemson and Temple have met just once previously. That game took place on September 21, 1991 and it resulted in a 37-7 Tiger victory. Clemson's defense that year led nation in rushing defense, was fourth in total defense and 10th in scoring defense, and it enhanced its numbers that day when it held Temple to 89 yards rushing in 46 attempts. The Owls under Jerry Berndt gained just 104 yards in total offense in 58 plays for the day, just 1.8 yards per play.

A look to Clemson's roster that day tells the story. Clemson's point prevention unit included future first-round draft choice Wayne Simmons, 12-year NFL defensive tackle Brentson Buckner, four-time Pro Bowl player Chester McGlockton, 10-year NFL outside linebacker Levon Kirkland, and nine-year NFL linebacker Ed McDaniel. Those players combined for nine tackles for loss on the day.

Clemson was led on offense by sophomore running back Ronald Williams, who had 14 rushes for 86 yards. Quarterback DeChane Cameron completed 7-12 passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns, while the late Terry Smith had four receptions for 60 yards. Temple actually took a 7-0 lead in the first period when quarterback Trent Thompson hit tight end Bryant Garvin for a one-yard touchdown pass. Temple had 81 yards and five first downs in the first period, then had just 23 yards of total offense and just one first down over the last three periods.

Clemson tied the game at 7-7 on a trick play. Wide receiver Larry Ryans scored on a 25-yard run on an end-around with 10:28 left in the second period. Clemson scored 14 in the second period and 13 in the third to put the game away and capture its 10th straight home victory. Clemson improved its record 2-0 and moved to seventh in the AP poll after the victory.

Cody Coached at Both Schools
There aren't a lot of common denominators between Clemson and Temple, but Josh Cody is one coach who had a prominent role in the history of both institutions. Cody coached the football and basketball teams at both schools. In his first year as head football coach at Clemson (1927), he led the Tigers to a 5-3-1 record, then guided Clemson to back-to-back 8-3 seasons in 1928 and 1929, before an 8-2 mark in 1930. It marked the first time in Clemson history and the only time until 1977-79 that Clemson had three consecutive seasons of at least eight wins.

Cody considered leaving for another position after the 1928 season, but Clemson students, faculty, staff and supporters raised money to buy him a new Buick, and they presented it to him on the steps of Tillman Hall in the spring of 1929. Cody remained with the program through the 1930 season and he finished with a 29-11-1 record. That included a 4-0 record against South Carolina, still the only Clemson coach with a perfect record against the Gamecocks, given a minimum of three games as head coach.

Cody also coached the Clemson men's basketball teams during this era. His best season was 1929-30 when the Tigers were 16-9. His final year as the basketball coach was the 1930-31 season. Upon leaving Clemson, Cody returned to Vanderbilt (his alma mater) as an assistant football coach and a head basketball coach. He was the head football coach and athletic director at Florida from 1936-1939.

In 1940, Cody was a line coach at Temple and was appointed Head Basketball Coach in 1942. He held that post until he became athletic director in 1952. During his tenure as basketball coach, Cody racked up 124 victories and guided the Owls to the NCAA Tournament in 1944, the first NCAA Tournament appearance in the history of Owl basketball. That team reached the Elite Eight of the tournament. In 1955, he coached the football team at Temple after the original coach resigned on the eve of the season. He passed away in 1961 at the age of 69.

Owls Update
Temple enters this game with a 0-7 record after a 34-3 loss to Miami (FL) last week. It was an active week for the Owls, who learned their head coach Bobby Wallace would be leaving the Temple program at then end of the season. Wallace has been the head coach of the Owl program since 1998 when the program was still in the Big East. (Temple is independent this year and in 2006 and will join the MAC in 2007).

The Owls will hope to duplicate an accomplishment of that 1998 season when they come to Death Valley on Saturday. That year an 0-6 Temple team pulled off one of the great upsets in school history with a 28-24 victory at Virginia Tech. Wallace is a respected coach who led North Alabama to three Division II National Championships during 10 seasons as the head coach from 1988-97.

Umar Ferguson is one of the top offensive players for the Owls. The leading rusher has 489 yards in six games, more than any other Clemson running back. He has scored three touchdowns and has a 3.6 average. The Owl quarterback is Mike McGann, who has completed 60-142 passes for 741 yards and one touchdown. The top receiver is Bruce Gordon, who has 22-316 yards.

The top defender for Temple is Manuel Tapia, who has 62 tackles. Chuck Dunbar has 44 tackles, including 8.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. Mike Mendenhall has 40 tackles, including a team best nine tackles for loss, 4.5 of which are sacks. The sack total is also a team best. Temples defense has forced 15 turnovers, has 43 tackles for loss and 12 forced fumbles.

Tigers Hold Pack to 10 Points
Clemson enters Saturday's game against Temple after recording a 31-10 victory over NC State on October 13. It was a dominating victory for Tommy Bowden's Tigers in many ways. Overall, the 21-point victory margin was the best for Clemson in the series with the Pack since 1996 when Clemson won by 23 points in a 40-17 victory at Death Valley. The 21-point victory margin was the largest for the Tigers in any ACC game since a 40-7 win over Duke at Clemson in 2003. It was the largest margin of victory in an ACC road game since a 39-3 win at Georgia Tech in 2003.

The Tigers were outstanding on offense and defense. The 489 yards of total offense were the most by a Clemson team in any game since the Tigers recorded 542 yards of offense at South Carolina in 2003. Clemson held the Pack to 267 yards of offense and just 92 yards rushing in scoring 10 points. It was the fewest points scored by NC State against Clemson since a 30-10 Tiger victory at Clemson in 1989. It was the fewest points scored by NC State against the Tigers in Raleigh since 1988.

The 267 yards of total defense ranked as the best by the Clemson defense this year, as was the 4.2 yards per play allowed and the 88.1 passing efficiency defense, and the one touchdown allowed.

Clemson Offensive Line Young and Balanced
When someone asks Head Coach Tommy Bowden to rate his top offensive linemen he usually has to pause and think about. Over the first six games, five different offensive linemen have had the highest film grade awarded by Assistant Head Coach Brad Scott. Center Dustin Fry led the way against Texas A&M, senior offensive guard Chip Myrick was the leader against Maryland, junior tackle Marion Dukes had the high grade against Miami (FL), guard Brandon Pilgrim was the best against Boston College, and junior Roman Fry was the leader against Wake Forest and NC State.

Clemson's offensive line had its best performance against NC State, leading the Tigers to a two-year best 489 yards of total offense, including 243 on the ground. Clemson did not allow a sack even though the Tigers were going against an NC State defensive line that ranks among the best in the nation. Three of the four starting down linemen for the Pack are slated to be drafted in the first two rounds of the 2006 NFL draft.

Clemson has allowed just seven sacks all year, third best in the ACC.

Barry Richardson was Clemson's nominee for ACC Lineman of the week for the NC State game after recording an 82 percent grade. That was quite an accomplishment considering he was going head-to-head with NC State's Manny Lawson, one of the top defensive ends in the nation. Richardson had five knockdown blocks, including a key block on James Davis's first touchdown run.

Not listed above is Nathan Bennett, who might be the most consistent of Bowden's offensive linemen. Bennett actually leads the team in knockdown blocks with 45.5, followed by Roman Fry with 37.5. Roman Fry's total included 11.5 against Wake Forest and 10.5 against the Wolfpack, the top figure by a Tiger in both games.

What is encouraging for Bowden is the youth of the offensive line. Chip Myrick is the only senior among the 10 offensive linemen who have played in a game this year, meaning just about everyone will be back for the Tigers up front on offense in 2006.

Whitehurst Closing in on Dantzler's Record
Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst needs just 140 yards of total offense to become Clemson's career leader in that category. Woodrow Dantzler holds the mark with 8,798 yards, 139 more than Whitehurst's 8,659. Few observers felt Dantzler's record would ever be broken because of his ability as a runner and passer. But, Whitehurst has already trumped Dantzler's passing numbers and should break the total offense mark on Saturday. Whitehurst will appear in his 40th Clemson game when the Tigers play Temple, his school record 36th consecutive start at quarterback.

Whitehurst ranks 11th in ACC history in career total offense and will move into the top 10 when he passes Dantzler. Whitehurst has at least five games remaining and should reach third place in ACC history before he hangs up his Clemson jersey. He doesn't have a realistic shot to reach Phillip Rivers of NC State or Joe Hamilton of Georgia Tech. But, he should reach the 9.630-yard total of former NC State quarterback Jamie Barnette.

Whitehurst already holds 39 Clemson records, including 13 career marks. He is already the Clemson career record holder for passing yards, completions, completion percentage and touchdown passes. His 21 career victories are tied for fourth in school history with Steve Fuller and Mike Eppley. That career record is an unattainable 32 wins by Rodney Williams (1985-8), but Whitehurst certainly hopes to reach Nealon Greene's 24 wins between 1994-97.

So far this season, Whitehurst has completed 67 percent of his passes, ahead of the single season mark of 63 percent by Brandon Streeter in 1999. He is coming off one of his best games of the year, a 22-31 for 246 yards performance at NC State on October 13.

Stuckey Attempting to Join Exclusive Club
Clemson Chansi Stuckey is on the verge of joining an exclusive club in Clemson football history. The junior receiver has accounted for a touchdown three different ways in his a career. He threw two touchdown passes as a freshman quarterback at Wake Forest in 2003. He ran for a touchdown as a reserve quarterback at South Carolina in 2003. He scored a touchdown on a punt return against Texas A&M in 2005.

Now he just needs to score a touchdown on a reception to become the third player in Clemson history to account for a touchdown by four different means. The other two Tigers to account for touchdowns four different ways are Bobby Gage and Ray Mathews. Both did it four different ways in the same season. Gage scored on a run, pass, reception and kickoff return in 1947, while Mathews scored on a run, pass, reception and punt return in 1948.

Stuckey has 29 receptions to lead the Tigers in that category this year and rank in a tie for second in the ACC with 4.8 catches per game. But, he is yet to get that elusive touchdown reception. He has 56 career receptions to rank first among active Tigers in that category.

The junior receiver is coming off one of his most productive games as a Tiger. In the win at NC State, he had eight receptions for 103 yards, the second 100-yard receiving game of his career. His total included a 39-yard reception, the longest catch of his career. He also had 22 yards rushing on two attempts, including a 21-yard run, the longest run of his career.

Davis Leads ACC Freshman Rushers
Freshman running back James Davis gain 143 yards in 12 attempts and score a pair of touchdowns in Clemson's 31-10 win over NC State. He was named the Player of the Game by ESPN for his performance. Davis consistently made big plays, as he had six different runs of at least 10 yards. For the season, Davis now has 433 yards in 84 attempts, 5.2 yards per attempt. It was the second 100-yard game of the year for the first-year freshman and the 143 yards ranked fifth best among freshmen for a single game in school history.

Davis was on his way to a 200-yard game, but he suffered a fractured left wrist on his first carry of the third period and could not return. He will be lost for at least 3-4 weeks. Davis is ranked fifth in the ACC in rushing yards per game entering this week's play, first among freshmen.

Davis's rushing total was the most by any Clemson player since October 13, 2001 when Woodrow Dantzler gained 184 yards in 23 attempts at NC State (four years ago to the day on the same field). It is interesting to point out that Dantzler also wore number-one and the Tigers were dressed in white jerseys and purple pants that day.

Davis's performance was the best by a Clemson running back since Travis Zachery had 151 yards in 29 attempts against Maryland in 2000.

Davis to Miss 3-4 Weeks
Freshman running back James Davis had surgery on his broken left wrist on Octobeer 14, one day after he gained 143 yards rushing at NC State.. Davis is expected to miss at least three-four weeks. Davis suffered the injury early in the third period of Clemson's 31-10 victory at NC State on Thursday evening. He attempted to break his fall with his left hand while being tackled. The native of Atlanta had 12 rushes for 143 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Clemson ground unit that finished the game with a season high 243 yards on the ground. Davis's rushing total was the fifth highest in Clemson history for a freshman. He now has 433 yards in 84 attempts this year, 5.15 average. His four touchdowns are tied for the team lead with wide receiver Curtis Baham.

"James had an outstanding game on Thursday night," said Head Coach Tommy Bowden. "He was on pace to have a 200-yard game. We will miss him, there is no doubt and are optimistic he will be back in three to four weeks.

"But we have outstanding, experienced running backs in Reggie Merriweather and Kyle Browning. We will have to get a third tailback ready. We will have a personnel meeting over the weekend to determine what we will do in that regard until James returns."

Waters Seventh in Nation in Tackles for Loss
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 65 stops and ranks third in the ACC and 25th in the nation in that category on a per game basis. That is saying something because the ACC might be the best conference in the nation when it comes to defense.

Waters is coming off a victory at NC State where he led the Tigers in tackles with 11, including four tackles for loss. He now has 10.5 tackles for loss for the season to rank second in the ACC and seventh in the nation in that category. He has 15 more tackles than any other Clemson player and 6.5 more tackles for loss than any other Tiger defender.

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 six games Waters has 65 stops and 10.5 tackles for loss to lead the Tigers in each category.

On a per game basis, Waters is averaging nearly 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 1.75 per game. Waters has led Clemson in tackles in four of the first six 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). Against Boston College, 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 4.83 plays, better than the tackle for every 6.4 plays by Hill in 2004.

Hamlin Has Outstanding Opening Game
Michael Hamlin made his first start at the CAT safety position at NC State and the red-shirt freshman responded with a career high eight tackles. He was Clemson's second leading tackler and a big reason the Tigers held NC State quarterback Jay Davis to just 133 yards passing in 31 attempts. Davis had passed for at least 200 yards in 10 of the last 11 games and was leading the ACC in passing yards per game entering the contest.

Hamlin's success was not a surprise, as he had contributed 19 tackles in the first five games of the season as a reserve safety. He now has 27 tackles for the season on 17 first hits and 10 assists in 184 plays on defense.

A native of Timmonsville, SC, Hamlin attended Lamar High School, the same school that sent for Clemson All-American and Pittsburgh Steeler All-Pro linebacker Levon Kirkland to Clemson. Hamlin was the leading tackler in the 2005 Spring game with 11 tackles. He was a finalist for Mr. Football in South Carolina his senior year. He had 23 career interceptions at the high school level.

Fudge Records 10th Career Takeaway
Clemson senior free safety Jamaal Fudge has shown an instinct for the football since he first appeared in a game for the Tigers in 2002. Now one of the senior leaders of the Clemson defense, Fudge recorded his 10th career takeaway in the victory over NC State on October 13. With Clemson leading the Pack 14-0 in the second quarter, Fudge stripped the ball from NC State running back Toney Baker and recovered the ball while lying on the ground. Clemson took possession and immediately drove 63 yards for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead.

Fudge now has eight career interceptions and two fumble recoveries for 10 career takeaways, most among current Clemson players. He also has three career caused fumbles, so he has been prominent when it comes to forcing turnovers. In 2003 he had a caused fumble near the goal line against North Carolina on the last Tar Heel play that saved a Clemson victory.

Fudge has one interception this year and is trying to become the first player in Clemson history to lead the Tigers in interceptions three consecutive years. He has his hands full if he wants to accomplish that feat because teammate Tye Hill already has three interceptions, 16th best total in the nation.

Fudge has 33 tackles this year to rank sixth on the team. That gives him 242 for his career, most among active Clemson players.

Tigers Offense Improved from 2004
Clemson's offense has shown improvement over last season in a number of categories. The Tigers have increased their total offense from 295.6 per game to 376.7, an increase of 27 percent in yards per game. That breaks down to 40 yards per game more on the ground and 41 yards per game improvement in the air.

Clemson is also improved in turnovers and that can lead directly to point prevention. Clemson has just four turnovers in five games, an average of 0.67 per game. The 2004 team had 24 turnovers in 11 games, an average of 2.18 per game. Clemson is currently tied for second in the nation in fewest turnovers (4) and tied for first in fewest lost fumbles (0).

The improvement is also apparent in the play of quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, who has improved his completion percentage for 50.7 to 67, his passing efficiency from 97.3 to 130.6. He has also cut his interceptions drastically. He threw 17 last year and has just four in 197 passes so far in 2005. And three of the four were tipped passes by his receivers.

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