Tigers Blast FSU

CLEMSON – Throughout the season, Clemson has had more than a lion's share of ups and downs and tight ball games. But against Florida State, the Tigers left very little to chance with what may be their best game of the season.

* Whitehurst Proves Doubters Wrong
* Box Score
* Bobby Bowden Press Conference
* Whitehurst: "A Convincing Win"
* Davis: "We Show Up in Big Games"
* Tommy Bowden Press Conference
* Hill: "This Game Sticks with You"
* Notebook: Bowden Delivers Message to Fans

Clemson physically whipped the No. 17 Seminoles 35-14 Saturday in front of 81,500 at Memorial Stadium. It marks the seventh straight win for the Tigers on Senior Day and it makes them bowl eligible for the seventh straight year.

"I'm very proud of our seniors," Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden said. "They are a great group of young men and no group of seniors at Clemson has ever beaten Florida State twice. That is something they can be very proud of."

The Tigers improve to 6-4 overall and finish 4-4 in the ACC. Florida State drops its second straight for the first time since 2002 to fall to 7-3 overall and finish 5-3 in the ACC. Even with the loss, the Seminoles are still the Atlantic Division champs and will play for the ACC championship on Dec. 3, in Jacksonville, Fla.

"They just beat the heck out of us," Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden said. "It's been a long time since we've been beaten like this."

With the exception of special teams play, it truly was a beating. The Tigers rolled up 354 yards of total offense, while holding Florida State to 226 yards.

The Clemson defense also had two interceptions and sacked quarterback Drew Weatherford six times. Weatherford was benched late in the fourth quarter when the game was well out of hand. He ended the day 12-of-27 passing for 117 yards and two interceptions.

The Seminoles were held scoreless in the second half and failed to score an offensive touchdown in the game. Their only touchdown came on a blocked punt in the second quarter.

The closest Florida State got to scoring an offensive touchdown was the 13-yard line.

"This is by far the best our defense has played all year," Clemson senior cornerback Tye Hill said. "I'm just so proud of us, but we've just got to keep it up."

Offensively, it was the Charlie Whitehurst and Chansi Stuckey Show. Whitehurst finished the day 21-of-32 passing for 269 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Stuckey had 11 catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Incredibly enough, all of his receptions came in the first three quarters.

It was Stuckey's 32-yard touchdown reception with 8:58 left in the third quarter that put the Tigers up 21-14 and for all practically purposes, was the ball game.

"All I had to do today was catch the ball. It was easy," Stuckey said. "I'm just going out and trying to make plays when they call my number."

Stuckey also scored the game's first touchdown, a 22-yard post with 10:25 remaining in the first quarter. Five minutes later, tailback James Davis' 1-yard run gave the Tigers a 14-0 lead.

Florida State answered with two field goals and with 2:03 left before halftime, Lawrence Timmons blocked Cole Chason's punt and Geno Hayes recovered it in the end zone to pull the Seminoles within two at 14-12. They went for the two-point conversion and got it to tie the game and seemingly take all the momentum.

But the third quarter eventually rolled around and it was all she wrote.

"This was a great effort by our players," Tommy Bowden said. "They had plenty of chances to give up with some of the things that happened out there today. But they hung in there, fought hard and got bowl eligible against the winningest coach in NCAA football history."

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