Hoping History Repeats
Clemson hopes history repeats when the Tigers meet Georgia Tech on Saturday in Atlanta. In 1991, Clemson defeated Temple 37-7 in the first meeting ever between the two schools. The following week Clemson defeated Georgia Tech 9-7 on the way to an ACC Championship. This past weekend, the Tigers defeated Temple by the exact same 37-7 score. The two teams had not met since 1991. Tommy Bowden's team will now play Georgia Tech in the next game, just as it did in 1991. Bowden would be satisfied with a two-point victory, just as the Tigers did in 1991.
Tigers Throw for 359 Yards
Clemson threw for 359 yards as a team in the win over Temple, the third highest single game performance in Clemson history and the most by the Tigers in the history of Clemson Memorial Stadium. Charlie Whitehurst had his Clemson record eighth career 300-yard passing game, as he accumulated 307 yards on 19-27 passing. Backup quarterback Will Proctor had his most extensive action as a passer as he completed 3-6 passes for 52 yards and his first career touchdown.
The only passing yardage totals higher in Clemson history are the 420 yards at Duke in 2002 (Charlie Whitehurst's first career start) and a 364-yard passing performance at Duke in 1963. The previous record for Clemson Memorial Stadium by a Clemson team was 350 yards against Wake Forest in 1998. Clemson has now thrown for at least 330 yards in a game 10 times, and Tommy Bowden has been the Tigers head coach for seven of those 10 games.
Freshmen Making Contributions
When it came time to decide on nominations for ACC Rookie of the Week after the Temple game, it was a difficult decision. Of the 68 Tiger players who appeared against Temple, 19 were freshmen (red-shirt or first-year). On defense, seven Clemson players were credited with five or more tackles and four of the seven were freshmen. Many made significant contributions to the victory and could have been ACC Rookie-of-the-Week nominees.
· Antonio Clay led the Tigers in tackles with nine in his team high 62 plays of action. Clay had two tackles for loss for nine yards, including a seven-yard sack and one quarterback pressure. He was the first Clemson first-year freshman to lead the Tigers in tackles since LeRoy Hill did it in 2001 against Duke.
· Dorell Scott played 31 snaps and had a career high six tackles, including his first career sack. He also had two fumble recoveries, the first Clemson player in nine years to recover two fumbles in the same game. It also tied the Clemson single game record for fumble recoveries, as he was the 15th player in Clemson history to do it.
· Aaron Kelly had seven receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown to lead the Clemson offense. His 155 receiving yards established a Clemson freshman record and it was the sixth most receiving yards by any player in a game in Clemson history.
Tigers Have 300-yard Passer, 150-yard receiver, 100-yard Rusher
Clemson had a 300-yard passer, a 150-yard receiver and a 100-yard rusher in the win over Temple, a first in Clemson history. Charlie Whitehurst threw for 307 yards, Aaron Kelly caught seven passes for 155 yards and Reggie Merriweather ran for 108 yards on 17 attempts to lead the 514-yard total offense effort. It was Clemson's first 500-yard game since the 2003 season when the Tigers had 542 yards in a 63-17 win at South Carolina.
The closest Clemson had come to that three-way accomplishment took place in 1981 in a victory over Maryland. That day, Perry Tuttle had 161 receiving yards, Cliff Austin had 101 rushing yards and Homer Jordan threw for 270 yards. Jordan threw for 214 yards in the first half of that game when Clemson took a 21-0 lead. But, Danny Ford played conservatively in the second half on offense and the Tigers won the team 21-0 to clinch the ACC Championship and continue an undefeated season that concluded in a National Championship.
Tigers Gain 7.7 Yards/Play
The yards per play statistic had not been a good indicator of success in Clemson football games for the first five games of the season. In each of Clemson's first five games the team with the higher yards per play statistic lost the game. But over the last two games Clemson has been very productive on offense and has won the yards per play stat and won the game. Over the last three games Clemson has gone from 5.7 yards per play to 6.8 to 7.7.
The 7.7 yards per play figure in the win over Temple ranked third best since Tommy Bowden has been the head coach at Clemson (80 games). The only yards per play figures better than the Temple game were the 8. 0 against Duke in 2001 and the 8.1 at South Carolina in 2003.
Clemson is now averaging 5.7 yards per play this season, much improved over the 4.4 figure in 2004. The current 5.7 yards per play average is tied for second in Clemson history. The school record for a season is 6.2 per play in 1950.
Clemson Third in ACC in Total Offense
Clemson has made steady improvement on offense this year and now ranks third in the ACC in total offense with an average of 396.3 yards per game. This is quite an improvement over last year when Clemson was 10th in the ACC in total offense with an average of 295.6 yards per game. That is a jump of over 100 yards per game.
Clemson has shown some consistency in terms of scoring and has reached at least 25 points in six of the seven games so far this season. This is the first time since the 2000 season that Clemson has scored at least 25 points in six of the first seven games, and just the second time in the last 27 seasons it has done that.
Over the last three games Clemson has averaged 485.7 yards per game in terms of total offense, gained 6.65 yards per play, averaged 183 yards a game on the ground and 303 yards per game through the air. Clemson has completed 68 percent of its passes over the last three games and has averaged 31.7 points per game during that time.
Tigers Balanced on Defense
Clemson's defense held Temple to seven points and just 12 yards rushing. It was a balanced defensive effort as 10 different Tigers had at least one tackle for loss five different players were involved in a sack. Among the 10 were five different freshmen who recorded tackles for loss. Eleven different Tigers had at least four tackles, including six freshmen. Thirty-one different players participated in snaps on defense.
For the season, Clemson has 20 quarterback sacks, but 14 different players have been involved in those 20 sacks. Gaines Adams leads the way with five and Donnell Clark has two. Everyone else has one or 1.5.
Browning Always Productive
Over his career it seems that every time Kyle Browning gets a chance, he makes the most of it. That trend continued in the victory over Temple when the red-shirt senior caught a 41-yard scoring pass in the first quarter from quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. It was the first touchdown of the game in Clemson's 37-7 victory. Browning, the smallest player among the regular Tiger players at 5-7, had 8-23 rushing and 3-49 receiving, giving him 72 yards in 11 touches.
Browning has made a habit of making big plays throughout his career. In 2003 he scored on a "Panther Play" in the Peach Bowl victory over sixth-ranked Tennessee. It was an eight-yard run that gave Clemson a lead it would never relinquish. Then 2004 began with Browning scoring the winning touchdown in overtime against Wake Forest on an 11-yard pass from Charlie Whitehurst. He also had a 54-yard run for a touchdown against Georgia Tech in the second game of the season. For his career, Browning now has four touchdowns, two rushing and two receiving.
Browning has been productive vs. Georgia Tech in his career. As a sophomore in 2003 he started at running back and had 4-32 rushing in Clemson's 39-3 victory. In 2004 he had a career high 80 yards in just five rushes, including the aforementioned 54-yard run, the second longest run by a Clemson running back in the Bowden era.
Merriweather Records 100-yard rushing Game
Reggie Merriweather had his first 100-yard game of the season when the Tigers defeated Temple. The junior from North Augusta, SC had 17 carries for 108 yards in leading the Tiger rushing attack. His day included a 21-yard run. It was the third career 100-yard day for Merriweather who had two as a sophomore in 2004 when he was Clemson's leading rusher.
Merriweather had 20-114 and three touchdowns in the overtime victory against Miami (FL) and 28-125 in the victory over South Carolina that closed the 2004 season. For the 2005 season, Merriweather has 83 carries for 427 yards and four scores. His stats are very similar to James Davis, who has 84-433 and four scores. If Merriweather carries for six yards on his first rush against Georgia Tech, he will have the exact same stats as Davis for the season. They are even both tied in rushes of 10 yards or more at 13 apiece.
Merriweather went over the 1000-yard mark for his career in the win over NC State and now has 1153 yards for his career in 235 attempts, a 4.91 average and 15 touchdowns.
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).
Hill on Thorpe Award List
Clemson cornerback Tye Hill was a mid-season addition to the Jim Thorpe Award list. The Tiger senior was not on the preseason list because he was not a returning all-conference player, but he has reached the award's radar screen with his strong performance so far this season.
Hill is fifth on the Clemson team in tackles with 40, including 31 first hits. He has three interceptions to lead the Clemson team and rank 21st in the nation and he leads the Clemson team in takaways with four (three interceptions and one fumble recovery). In his September listing of top senior NFL Draft prospects, Mel Kiper ranked Hill 14th overall, third among defensive backs. Hill made a seven-place jump in Kiper's rankings since the season began.
Kiper ranks Southern Cal quarterback Matt Leinart first in his rankings of draft eligible players, followed by Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk. The only defensive backs ranked ahead of Hill are Virginia Tech cornerback Jimmy Williams and Tennessee defensive back Jason Allen.
Hill had a career high 11 tackles at Wake Forest, including three tackles for loss. That was a Clemson single game record for tackles for loss by a defensive back. He followed that up with an impressive game at NC State in front of a press box that had 15 NFL scouts. He had five tackles and a 24-yard interception return in that contest. Hill now has three interceptions for 35 yards and five total passes broken up for the season. He also has a fumble recovery for a team best four takeaways, and has a caused fumble to be involved in another turnover.
Hill will have his hands full this weekend as he will be a part of a Clemson secondary that faces Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech, one of the top receivers in the nation.
Hill Preseason Honors for 2005
*Writers All-America Watch List
*Honorable mention All-American by collegefootballnews.com
*First-team All-ACC by Street & Smith
*First-team All-ACC by collegefootballnews.com
*First-team Preseason All-ACC by ACC Sportswriters Association
*Second-team All-ACC by Athlon
*Second-team All-ACC by Lindy's
*Second-team All-ACC by Phil Steele
*#5 NFL prospect at cornerback by collegefootballnews.com
*#6 Best Cornerback in nation by collegefootballnews.com
*#7 Cornerback in the nation by Lindy's
* #16 Cornerback in the nation by Phil Steele
*#17 Best Player in the ACC by collegefootballnews.com
*Clemson's "Star of the team" by collegefootballnews.com
Kelly Sets Freshman Record
Wide receiver Aaron Kelly set a Clemson single game freshman record against Temple when he had seven receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown. The yardage total broke the Clemson freshman record of 139 yards (on six catches) by Roscoe Crosby against Duke in 2001 and was the sixth most by any player in Clemson history. Kelly's seven receptions were two off the single game record for a freshman. Derrick Hamilton had receptions for 90 yards against Virginia in 2001 and Terry Smith had nine for 84 against Maryland in 1990.
Kelly, a native of Georgia, has 31 receptions for 401 yards so far this season. He still has a ways to go to catch Hamilton's freshman records in both areas. In 2001, Hamilton had 53 receptions for 684 yards. Kelly has had at least two receptions in every game this year and at least four in six of the seven contests. He and Chansi Stuckey are the only Tigers to have at least one reception in every game this year.
Tigers last Division I Team without a Lost Fumble
A look to the Clemson stats shows that the Tigers are yet to lose a fumble this year. That is quite an accomplishment considering there have been 599 possible touches by Clemson players on offensive plays, punt, kickoff and interception runbacks, punts and holds on placements. Clemson is the only school in the nation without a lost fumble. UCLA, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and Louisiana Tech all have lost one. Clemson has seven fumbles so far, but has retained possession in each situation.
Clemson has just five turnovers for the season, all interceptions. The Tigers are third in the nation in that category. Only UCLA and Central Michigan with four apiece, have fewer turnovers than Clemson so far this season. The Clemson record for fewest turnovers in a season is eight, set in 1940. That is actually tied for the national record in that category. Clemson's 1940 team, Miami (OH)'s 1966 team and Notre Dame's 2000 team all had just eight turnovers for a season. Notre Dame's 2000 team is the only squad to do it in an 11-game schedule.
No team in NCAA history has gone an entire season without losing a fumble. Three teams, all from the Mid American Conference, had just one lost fumble; Bowling Green in 1996, Miami (OH) in 1998 and Northern Illinois in 2004.
Book Ends Post Top Game
Senior defensive end Charles Bennett and junior bandit linebacker Gaines Adams had their most productive game of the season against Temple. The Clemson "Bookends" combined for five tackles for loss and three sacks in the victory, a big reason the Owls had just 12 yards rushing in the game. For the first time this year, the Bookends met at the quarterback to combine on a sack.
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) on September 17. 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. He has now started every game over the last two years with the exception of the Texas A&M game in 2004. For the year, Bennett has 30 tackles on 19 first hits and 11 assists. He has 4.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks to go with eight quarterback pressures.
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. He was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week for that performance.
Adams continued his fine play in the win over Temple with another 2.5 sacks. He is currently in the top five in the ACC in sacks with his five for 30 yards. He also leads the team in quarterback pressures with 14. He has 32 tackles overall to rank first among Clemson's front four players.
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.
Clemson-Tech Series Has Been Thrilling
·Georgia Tech has a 44-23-2 lead in the series with Clemson dating to a 23-0 Tiger win in Augusta, GA in 1898, just the 11th game in Clemson football history. In fact, Clemson won the first four games of the series, including games in 1902 and 1903 when John Heisman was at the helm. Clemson defeated Georgia Tech in Atlanta 73-0 in 1903 with Heisman as head coach.
·The series was incredibly close in the 1990s and that trend has continued in the 21st century. Eight of the last nine games have been decided by five points or less. That includes a streak of six straight games decided by exactly three points from 1996-2001. That might be a first in college football history. We aren't talking by three points or less, but exactly three points.
·Tech won last year 28-24 by scoring two touchdowns in the last 1:50 of the game. Clemson had taken a 24-14 lead with 3:18 left on a 54-yard run by Kyle Browning. The teams combined for 35 points in the fourth quarter after scoring a combined 17 points in the first three periods.
·Clemson won three in a row from 2001-03, including the 2003 game in Atlanta by a 39-3 score. That was Clemson's largest margin of victory in the series since a 73-0 Tiger win in Atlanta in 1903 when Heisman was the Clemson coach. Clemson was victorious in 2002 by a 24-19 score and by a 47-44 score in overtime in Atlanta in 2001.
·Clemson has won each of the last two games played in Atlanta between the two schools and has scored 86 points in the two games combined. Clemson has actually won three straight in the city of Atlanta. In addition to the wins over Tech in 2001 and 2003, Clemson won at the end of the 2003 season over sixth ranked Tennessee in the Peach Bowl.
·The Tigers have an 8-4 advantage in games at Clemson, but Georgia Tech leads 39-12-2 in games played in Atlanta. Every game between the two teams in the 1907-74 era was held in Atlanta. Clemson's only wins in those 36 meetings came in 1907, 1936, 1945 and 1969. The 1969 victory was Frank Howard's final season as head coach.
·The first time Georgia Tech played in Clemson's stadium was 1974, a 21-17 Clemson victory. Clemson won that game on a three yard touchdown pass from former Clemson offensive coordinator Mike O'Cain to All-America tight end Bennie Cunningham with 8:26 left.
·Clemson has a 12-10 advantage in the series, regardless of site, since Tech joined the ACC in 1983. Tech actually joined for the 1979-80 academic year, but did not compete for the football championships until 1983.
· Since Tommy Bowden has been the head coach, the Clemson vs. Georgia Tech games have been high scoring as the average score is 34-28.3 in Clemson's favor. The two teams have split the six games, but Clemson has a 204-180 lead in points score.
·Woodrow Dantzler had one of the best all-around games of his career with 164 yards rushing and 254 yards passing in the victory in 2001. He threw for two scores and ran for two, including a 38-yard "Hail Mary Run" on the last play of the first half to cut Tech's lead to 19-14 at intermission. His 63-yard scoring pass to J.J. McKelvey with 1:58 left put Clemson ahead by three, but Tech tied the count with a 20-yard field goal with just six seconds left. Dantzler's "walk-off" six-yard touchdown in overtime gave Clemson the win.
·Clemson has had just two games in its history in which both teams scored in the 40s. They have both taken place at Georgia Tech under Bowden. Tech won 45-42 in 1999 and Clemson won 47-44 in overtime in 2001 in Atlanta.
Clemson Veterans vs. Georgia Tech
Gained Adams (BAN)--Had four tackles in 37 snaps as a reserve in 2004. Also had a five-yard sack in that game.
Curtis Baham (WR)--Had three receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown against Tech in 2004. It was his second career touchdown.
Kyle Browning (RB)--Started the 2003 game in Atlanta and had 4-32 rushing in 36-point Clemson win. Had career high 80 yards in five attempts against Tech in 2004, including a 54-yard run, second longest run by a Clemson running back in the Bowden era.
Cole Chason (P)--Had 44.3 average on six punts against Georgia Tech in 2003. It was his high punting average of the season and he was named Clemson's special teams player of the game by the Tiger coaches. Had 41.2 average on six punts against Tech last year.
Duane Coleman (CB)--Had 13-86 rushing off the bench in Atlanta in 2003. DNP in 2004 game due to injury.
Jad Dean (PL)--Did not attempt a field goal or placement. Only handled kickoffs in that game in 2004.
Marion Dukes (OT)--Had career high 13 knockdown blocks in 75 plays against Tech in 2004.
Jamaal Fudge (ROV)--Had five tackles in 55 plays as a starter in 2003 against Tech. Had nine tacklesi n 80 plays as astarter in 2004.
Tye Hill (CB)--Had two tackles, including his first career tackle for loss, in the win at Tech in 2003. had six tackles, including two tackles for loss and three passes broken up against Tech in 2004.
Reggie Merriweather (RB)--Had 8-90 rushing and scored his first career touchdown in loss to Tech in 2004. Had a 62-yard run for a touchdown, longest by a Clemson running back in the Bowden era.
Chansi Stuckey (WR)--Had one catch for 23 yards against Tech in 2004.
Trey Tate (DT)--Had career high five tackles in 53 snaps as a starter in 2004.
Anthony Waters (LB)--Had season high six tackles in 20 plays at Tech in 2003. Had 10 tackles for his first career double digit game in 2004.
Bobby Williamson (TE)--Scored first career touchdown on pass reception from Willie Simmons in 2002. Had a sack against Tech as a defensive player in 2004. Had four tackles.
Charlie Whitehurst (QB)--Hit on 23-38 passes for 298 yards and three touchdowns in Clemson's 39-3 victory at Georgia Tech in 2003. Completed 20-42 for 275 yards and one touchdown in 2004. thus, he is 1-1 as a starter against Tech and is 43-80 for 573 yards and four touchdowns in two games vs. Tech.
Clemson vs. Georgia Tech
2004 at Clemson, SC
Georgia Tech 28, Clemson 24
Clemson scored on touchdown runs of 62 and 54 yards in the fourth quarter to take a 10-point lead, but could not hold on, as Georgia Tech struck twice in the final 1:50 to gain a wild 28-24 victory over Clemson in Death Valley. It was the eighth time in the last nine meetings between the two schools that the game was decided by five points or less.
Reggie Ball hit freshman receiver Calvin Johnson with an 11-yard touchdown pass with 11 seconds left to give the Yellow Jackets their first lead since the second quarter. Airese Currie returned the ensuing kickoff back to the Georgia Tech 31-yard line, giving the Tigers one last desperation heave into the endzone. Charlie Whitehurst's pass intended for Kelvin Grant was incomplete, which brought an end to the Tigers' seven-game home winning streak.
Georgia Tech struck first when Ball connected with a diving Johnson in the corner of the endzone from 37 yards out late in the first quarter. Clemson went on a nine-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in a Whitehurst 22-yard touchdown pass to Curtis Baham. The teams went to the locker rooms deadlocked in a 7-7 tie.
Georgia Tech opened the second half with a 13-play drive that ended when Clemson stopped P.J. Daniels short of the endzone on fourth-and-goal. The drive chewed up 5:48 off the clock.
In the fourth quarter, Reggie Merriweather found a hole off right tackle and dashed 62 yards untouched for his first career rushing touchdown.
The two teams again exchanged punts before the Yellow Jackets went on a five-play, 49-yard drive that ended with a Ball to Levon Thomas 19-yard touchdown pass to cut the Tiger lead to 17-14.
Clemson again answered with a long run on its third play of the ensuing drive. This time Kyle Browning ran up the middle for 54 yards, and the Tigers led by 10 with 3:18 remaining.
Georgia Tech moved the ball quickly down field and scored with 1:50 remaining, as Ball again hit Johnson on an eight-yard "jump ball." The Yellow Jackets' onside kick attempt was unsuccessful, and Clemson took over on its own 33-yard line.
Whitehurst ran for nine yards on first down, but the next two rushing attempts did not result in a first down. On fourth down with less than 25 seconds remaining, Geoff Rigsby snapped the ball low to Cole Chason. Rigsby had made 136 straight punt snaps without error. The Tiger punter could not scoop the ball, and when he fell on the ball at his own 11-yard line, Georgia Tech gained possession on downs with 16 seconds remaining. On the next play, Ball found Johnson again in the endzone, giving Georgia Tech a comeback victory.
The Tigers were led defensively by LeRoy Hill, who had 14 tackles, including three tackles for loss and two sacks. Hill was also named ACC Defensive Lineman-of-the-Week for his efforts.
Clemson 39, Georgia Tech 3
Last Trip to Atlanta
2003 Meeting at Atlanta, GA
Clemson ended a series of close games with Georgia Tech by defeating the Yellow Jackets 39-3 in Atlanta in 2003. The seven previous games between the two schools had been decided by just 23 points, including six consecutive three-point decisions from 1996-01. The Tigers' 36-point margin of victory was the most against Georgia Tech by Clemson since John Heisman was roaming the Clemson sidelines in 1903. The 36-point win was the best for Clemson in an ACC road game since a 55-0 win at Virginia in 1984.
Clemson got on the board in the late portion of the first quarter after Aaron Hunt connected on a 23-yard field goal. The score was set up by a holding penalty by Georgia Tech on a punt, thus giving the ball back to the Tigers. Clemson tacked on to its lead in the second after John Leake intercepted his first career pass. His effort set up Tony Elliott from nine yards out on a touchdown reception from Charlie Whitehurst. It was Elliott's second touchdown in as many years against the Yellow Jackets.
The Tigers struck again on the ensuing possession. Kevin Youngblood grabbed a jump-ball pass from Whitehurst for a 44-yard gain to get into Tech territory. Youngblood was rewarded moments later when he caught a pass, then spun away and dove for the endzone on a 12-yard touchdown play.
Georgia Tech got on the board late in the second quarter with a Dan Burnett field goal, but the Tigers responded quickly. Derrick Hamilton returned the ensuing kickoff 39 yards to Clemson's 45-yard line. From there, Youngblood caught a 22-yard pass, then Whitehurst hooked up with Airese Currie for a 33-yard touchdown strike just before halftime. Whitehurst's third touchdown pass gave the Tigers a 23-3 lead at the break.
Clemson's defense was the story of the second half. On the Yellow Jackets' second possession, freshman quarterback Reggie Ball was pressured inside his own 10-yard line. He ran back to avoid the rush but could not get away from Maurice Fountain and Vontrell Jamison, who threw the freshman down for a safety and a 25-3 lead.
The running game stepped up in the fourth quarter for Clemson. On its second possession of the quarter, the Tigers took to the ground. Kyle Browning rushed three times for 33 yards before Duane Coleman took a handoff straight up the middle for a 25-yard touchdown. It was the longest run from scrimmage for the Tigers in the young season.
Clemson added a touchdown to its final margin when Whitehurst scored on a quarterback sneak. The Tigers got the ball back after fullback Steven Jackson recovered a fumble on the kickoff. The Tiger defense kept Tech out of the endzone in the waning moments of the game, preserving the 36-point victory.
Whitehurst led the Tigers again offensively. He was 23-38 for 298 yards and accounted for four scores. Currie led a trio of Tiger receivers, with six catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. Youngblood caught five balls for 101 yards and a touchdown. Hamilton had five catches for 79 yards to go along with 59 return yards and 14 rushing yards. Clemson rushed for 138 yards on 30 carries in the game, more rushing yards gained than both Auburn and Florida State had against the Georgia Tech defense in the previous two weeks.
Georgia Tech entered the game having upset a top-15 Auburn team the previous week. Defensively, the Tigers totaled 11 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and harassed Ball and the Tech offense the entire night. Leading the way was Leake, who had 14 tackles and three for loss. LeRoy Hill continued his fine play with 11 tackles, including two for loss and his fourth sack of the year. Additional sacks were recorded by Fountain, Tye Hill, Eric Sampson, and Donnell Washington.
Tigers from Georgia
Clemson has 18 players on its roster from the state of Georgia, including seven players who would be considered starters so far this season. That list includes quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, who is from Duluth, GA and attended Chattahoochee High School. Whitehurst will be returning to the scene of one of his best performances as a Tiger. In 2003, he led Clemson to a 39-3 win at Georgia Tech by completing 23-38 passes for 298 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed nine times for 41 yards, giving him 37 plays for 339 yards of total offense. The touchdown pass total tied his career high and a Clemson record.
Other starters on Clemson's team from the state of Georgia include running back James Davis, offensive guard Nathan Bennett, defensive tackle Donnell Clark, wide receivers Aaron Kelly and Chansi Stuckey, and punter Cole Chason. Clark and Davis are injured and are not expected to play at Georgia Tech.
The list of 18 players below includes Ray Ray McElrathbey, and Etta Etta-Tawo, who are both being red-shirted this season. Antonio Clay and James Davis are two first-year freshmen who have been very productive. Clay led Clemson in tackles in the win over Temple with nine. Davis is Clemson's leading rusher with 433 yards.
As you can see by the list, four Clemson players call Atlanta their hometown. Davis, offensive tackle Tim DeBeer, McElrathbey and offensive tackle Chip Myrick all list Atlanta as their home.
Clemson - Ga Tech Game Notes
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