Tiger Seniors 3-0 vs. South Carolina
Clemson's senior class is looking to post a 4-0 record against South Carolina. A victory on Saturday would make this group of seniors perfect against Clemson's state rival. The last group of seniors to post a 4-0 record against South Carolina was the class of 2000. Rod Gardner was the most prominent player in that class and twice he caught game deciding passes from Woody Dantzler against the Gamecocks.
Overall 10 Clemson senior classes have been 4-0 against South Carolina in the history of the series, including four in a row from 1937-40 when Clemson won a record seven consecutive games. The seniors of 1900, 1919, 1930, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1983, 1991 (Levon Kirkland's senior year) and 2000 have all done it. A look to the list shows that this current group of seniors can become just the fourth class since 1941 to defeat South Carolina four consecutive years.
Whitehurst Hopes to Make History
Charlie Whitehurst will be attempting to become the first quarterback in the history of the Clemson vs. South Carolina series to lead his team to victory as the starting signal caller four times. Whitehurst is 3-0 against the Gamecocks having led the Tigers to victory at Clemson in 2002 and 2004 and at South Carolina in 2003. Whitehurst has had his best overall stats against South Carolina in his career in terms of completion percentage, passing yards and efficiency on a career basis. He is 60-92 for 740 yards and four touchdowns passing. That computes to a 65 percent completion percentage and a passing efficiency of 142.8.
His top game took place in Columbia in 2003 when he led the Tigers to a 63-17 victory, the most points scored in the history of the series and Clemson's largest margin of victory in the series since 1900. Whitehurst completed 18-26 passes for 302 yards and four touchdowns. He started the game 10-10 and threw three touchdown passes in the first period. He also rushed for 43 yards in the game to finish with 345 yards of total offense. The only other Clemson quarterbacks to beat South Carolina three times are Steve Fuller and Homer Jordan. Fuller was 3-0 in three starts vs. South Carolina from 1976-78 and Jordan won three straight as the starter from 1980-82.
Whitehurst Chases Record tying Seventh Ranked Win
If Charlie Whitehurst starts the South Carolina game on Saturday and the Tigers defeat the 19th ranked Gamecocks it would give Whitehurst a record tying seven wins over top 25 teams during his career. With the win over 17th-ranked Florida State, Whitehurst now has six top 25 wins, three as a sophomore in 2003, one as a junior in 2004 and two this year. His play has certainly been a contributing factor to all of those wins. Whitehurst is 122-199 for 1495 yards and six touchdowns for those six wins combined. His average game for those six contests is 20-33 for 249 yards and a touchdown and his passing efficiency is 128.4.
Rodney Williams tops the list of Clemson quarterbacks with seven wins over ranked opponents. Williams recorded seven victories as the starter from 1985-88. Whitehurst is second with six, while Homer Jordan, Mike Eppley and DeChane Cameron all had four. Nealon Greene and Steve Fuller had three apiece.
246 is Magic Number for Whitehurst
If Charlie Whitehurst had a lucky number it would be 246. That wouldn't fit on a jersey, but it certainly fits when it comes to his statistics. Over his career Whitehurst has had some strong performances, in terms of passing yards or total offense. The number 246 seems to come up when he has a big win.
In 2003, he led the Tigers to a 27-14 win over sixth-ranked Tennessee in the Peach Bowl, the highest ranked win in a bowl game for the Tiger program since 1981. Whitehurst threw for 246 yards in that win. In 2004, in the victory at 10th ranked Miami (FL), Whitehurst had 246 yards of total offense in Clemson's 24-17 overtime win. In 2005, Whitehurst had 246 yards passing in Clemson's 31-10 Thursday night national TV victory over NC State. Then, last Saturday in the win over Florida State, Whitehurst had 246 yards of total offense to lead Clemson to a 21-point lead over the nation's 17th ranked team.
Perhaps that number will come up again this weekend. For his three wins over South Carolina, Whitehurst has thrown for 740 yards. That computes to 246.7 yards per game. So, a 244-yard passing day would make it an even 246 yard average for his career.
Bowden With Chance to Beat Spurrier and Bowden
After defeating his father, Bobby Bowden on November 12, Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden has a chance to defeat Steve Spurrier on November 19. Both Bobby Bowden and Steve Spurrier have won the national championship within the last 10 years. Only two other coaches have defeated both Bobby Bowden and Steve Spurrier in the same year. Phillip Fulmer did it for Tennessee in 1998, the year his Volunteers won the National Championship, and Butch Davis did it in 2000, his last year at Miami (FL).
Clemson Head Coach Danny Ford actually had a chance to do it in 1989 when he defeated Bobby Bowden of Florida State in the second game of the year, but he lost to Spurrier's Duke team 21-17 in Durham, NC.
Tommy Bowden already has nine wins over four coaches who have won the National Championship in their careers since he became the head coach at Clemson in 1999. He had three of the nine wins in a four game span to end the 2003 season.
Tommy Bowden had five wins over Lou Holtz, who led Notre Dame to the title in 1988, between 1999-2004. Tommy Bowden defeated Phillip Fulmer of Tennessee in the 2003 Peach Bowl, 27-14. Fulmer led the Volunteers to the title in 1998. He has twice beaten his father, Bobby Bowden, who won the title in 1993 and 1999 with Florida State, and defeated Larry Coker of Miami, last year at the Orange Bowl, 24-17. Coker led the Hurricanes to the National Championship in 2001.
Another Bowden Faces Spurrier
Clemson will face South Carolina and Head Coach Steve Spurrier this Saturday night in Columbia, SC. This will be the first time Clemson has faced a Steve Spurrier coached team since 1989 when Spurrier's Duke team defeated a seventh-ranked Clemson team by a score of 21-17. Clemson's 1989 team, coached by Danny Ford, had beaten Florida State three games previously and entered the contest 4-0. Duke went on to tie for the ACC Championship that year, while Clemson did not win the conference, but finished with a 10-2 record and a #12 national ranking by Associated Press.
Clemson is 2-1 against Spurrier with all the games coming when Spurrier was at Duke. Clemson defeated his Blue Devils in 1987 by a 17-10 score and in 1988 by a 49-17 score. Both games were played at Clemson Memorial Stadium. The 1988 game was actually a battle of top 25 teams. Clemson was 11th entering the game and Duke was 22nd. This will not be the first time Spurrier has faced a Bowden. Spurrier was 5-8-1 against Tommy Bowden's dad, Bobby Bowden, when Spurrier was the head coach at Florida and he faced Bobby Bowden's Florida State teams between 1990-2001.
And, Spurrier faced Tommy Bowden's brother Terry Bowden when he was the head coach at Auburn. Spurrier was 4-2 against Terry Bowden when Spurrier was at Florida and Terry Bowden was the head coach at Auburn.
Tigers Lead ACC in Red zone scoring Percentage
Clemson has been the ACC's most effective team as far as scoring either field goals or touchdowns in the red-zone so far this season. Clemson has gone inside the opponent's 20 on 43 occasions and has come away with a score 39 times, a .907 percentage. Clemson is just ahead of Virginia, who has scored on 35 of 40 trips to the red zone. The Tigers have scored 24 touchdowns and 15 field goals when they reach the red zone. Clemson has scored 15 touchdowns rushing and nine passing in red zone situations.
This is the second consecutive year Clemson has been strong inside the red zone. Clemson scored on 25 of 27 trips to the red zone in 2004. Of course you can see the improvement of Clemson's offense this year by the number of red zone opportunities. Clemson has already reached the opposing team's red zone 16 more times than last year in one less game.
Adams and Bennett Stepping Up of Late
Clemson's Bookend Defenders, Gaines Adams and Charles Bennett have been coming on strong at the close of this season. They combined for six tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks in the win over Florida State. Their constant pressure was a big reason the Seminoles had just 14 points, no offensive touchdowns, 11 first downs, and 126 yards passing, the second lowest figure for this year's ACC leader in passing offense and total offense.
For the season, Adams has 44 tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss to go with 6.5 sacks. Bennett has 39 tackles to go with 8.5 quarterback pressures and 2.5 sacks. The duo has combined for 40 quarterback pressures. The entire Clemson team has just 75.
Landmark Accomplishments in Victory Over Florida State
·Clemson defeated Florida State for the second time in three years. NC State had been the only other ACC school to defeat the Seminoles twice in a four-year period.
·Gave Tommy Bowden his 50th victory at Clemson in a game that was played against his father. When Bobby Bowden defeated Clemson in Tommy's first year (1999) it gave him his 300th career coaching victory.
·Gave Florida State back to back ACC losses for the first time since they joined the league in 1992.
·Clemson's largest margin of victory (35-14) over Florida State. The previous best was 16 points in a 26-10 win in 2003.
·The 21-point victory margin was the second worst defeat against an ACC team for Florida State since they joined the ACC in 1992. North Carolina defeated Florida State 41-9 in 2001.
·The 35 points scored by Clemson were the most by the Tigers in the history of the series.
·The Clemson defense held Florida State without an offensive touchdown, the first time in the history of the series Clemson has achieved that. Florida State led the ACC in total offense entering the game with 420 per contest.
Clemson and South Carolina Record Ranked Victories
Clemson and South Carolina both enter this game coming off wins over top 25 opponents. Not only is it the first time both teams enter the rivalry game coming off a ranked victory, the November 12, 2005 dated marked the first day in history that both schools recorded wins over top 25 opponents as Clemson defeated 17th ranked Florida State 35-14 and South Carolina topped 13th ranked Florida, 30-22.
Tigers Look for Second Straight top 20 Win
Clemson will be looking for a second consecutive win over a ranked team when the Tigers face South Carolina. The Gamecocks are ranked 19th by AP and 21st by the Coach's poll. Clemson has not beaten ranked teams in consecutive games since 1988 when the Tigers defeated 25th ranked South Carolina in the regular season finale (29-10) and then defeated ninth ranked Oklahoma in the Citrus Bowl. Clemson has not defeated top 25 teams on consecutive Saturdays since 1983 when the Tigers defeated 10th-ranked North Carolina in Chapel Hill on November 5, then downed 11th-ranked Maryland on November 12th at Clemson.
Clemson has beaten top 20 teams on consecutive Saturdays just twice previously in history. Clemson defeated top 20 teams from North Carolina and Maryland in 1982 and in the aforementioned instance in 1983. This will also be an opportunity to add a tombstone to the entrance way to Clemson's practice field. Clemson documents top 25 road with a tombstone at the entrance to its practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center. Clemson last had an addition to the area last year when it won at 10th ranked Miami (FL) 24-17 in overtime. Tommy Bowden also defeated a ninth ranked Georgia Tech team on the road in 2001.
Clemson has never beaten a top 25 South Carolina team in Columbia. Clemson is 0-3 vs. top 25 South Carolina teams in Columbia. Clemson has faced a ranked South Carolina team in Columbia in 1979 (19th), 1987 (12th) and 2001 (22nd).
Hill, Dean Semifinalists for National Awards
Two Clemson players are semifinalists for national position awards this season. Cornerback Tye Hill is one of 12 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, while kicker Jad Dean is one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award. This is the first time Clemson has had two national award semifinalists in the same year since the 2001 season when Woody Dantzler was one of 12 semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien Award and Kyle Young was one of five finalists for the Dave Rimington Award.
Hill is sixth on the team in tackles with 49, as he has 37 first hits and 12 assists. He also has six passes broken up and three interceptions for nine total passes defensed, first on the team. He now has 39 career passes defensed to rank in a tie for seventh in Clemson history.
Dean leads the ACC in scoring with 9.2 points per game. He is third in the nation in field goals per game with 20 in 10 games and has made 20-26 attempts for the season. He made six field goals in the season opener against Texas A&M and was named National Player of the Week by USA Today.com. He has 25 touchbacks on 58 kickoffs so far this season and 14 other kickoff returns that have not gone past the 20.
Clemson Grad wins $1 Million
Chris Bostic won $1 millions in a BiLo Healthy Choice Pigskin Challenge on November 12. He won the money with a 25-yard toss through a 20-inch hole in a promotion contest that was held in between the first and second quarters of the Clemson vs. Florida State game at Clemson Memorial Stadium.
The successful toss was made before a crowd of 80,500 people at Death Valley. Bostic was a $10 an hour landscaper prior to Saturday's successful throw. He served a year in Afghanistan with the 25th Infantry before coming home last March. He is a second cousin of former Clemson football stars Joe Bostic and Jeff Bostic. Jeff Bostic played 14 years with the Washington Redskins, including three Super Bowl championships. Joe played nine years in the Cardinals organization.
Chris Bostic made the rounds on the morning television shows in New York on November 14, including the Today Show where he threw the football in the street outside the studio with Matt Lauer and Katie Couric.
Stuckey Established Clemson First
Chansi Stuckey had to answer questions from media, fans and teammates early in this season about his inability to get into the end zone via a pass reception. Stuckey already had thrown a touchdown pass (2 vs. Wake Forest in 2003) and rushed for one (at South Carolina in 2003). Then he returned a punt 47 yards for a score in the win over Texas A&M in the 2005 season opener, Clemson's only touchdown in a 25-24 victory.
Stuckey did not catch a touchdown pass in 2003 or 2004 and entered the season with 27 receptions. He then went the first 44 catches this year without a touchdown catch. Against Duke on November 5, he broke the streak with an 11-yard scoring pass from Will Proctor with just seven seconds left in the half. Then he had a 40-yard touchdown catch from Proctor on Clemson's first pass of the second half.
Against Florida State, Stuckey had a second consecutive double touchdown reception game, both receptions from Charlie Whitehurst. That means Stuckey went 71 consecutive catches without a touchdown catch, then had four in his next 14.
Further research showed that Stuckey is the first Clemson receiver in history to have consecutive games with multiple touchdown receptions. Rod Gardner, Dwight Clark, Jerry Butler, Perry Tuttle....none of them did what Stuckey has done in terms of getting in the end zone the last two weeks.
Stuckey had 11-156 against Florida State in the receiving department, had eight yards rushing and 24 in punt returns for 188 all-purpose yards, his career high. Stuckey now leads the ACC in receptions with 58 and he is third in yards per game. He has 735 receiving yards for the season. The 11 receptions rank second in Clemson history behind Airese Currie's 12 against Middle Tennessee State in 2003. His 156 receiving yards rank tied for fifth best for a single game, the second highest total in the 65-year history of Clemson Memorial Stadium.
It marked the second time this year Clemson had a 150-yard receiver in a game. Aaron Kelly had 155 receiving yards against Temple. This marks the first time in history Clemson has had two different receivers record a 150-yard receiving game in the same season.
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. Chansi Stuckey has now exceed the total by one yard.
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 38 receptions for 471 yards and two touchdowns 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. He and Chansi Stuckey are the only Tigers to have at least one reception in every game this year.
He had his first career kickoff return at Georgia Tech, an 81-yard run that set up a Clemson score. It was the third longest non-scoring kickoff return in Clemson history and first play for over 80 yards this season.
Coleman Leads Tigers in First Start
Duane Coleman was Clemson's top tackler in the win over Florida State, one of the highlights of the Florida native's career. It was Coleman's first career start, and he recorded nine tackles on six first hits and three assists. Coleman played running back for the first two games of the 2005 season, then made the move to the secondary starting with the Miami (FL) game.
Coleman had 14 tackles over the first nine games of the season, then nine in his 10th game. He also had a pass deflection and was a contributing factor to Clemson holding the ACC's top total offense to just 226 yards overall, just 122 passing.
Coleman has had success as a running back in the Clemson program. He has 920 career rushing yards, second among active Tigers, and has 50 career receptions, also second among active Clemson players and one of the top 10 running back totals in Clemson history. He is one of two Clemson running backs in history to have 600 yards rushing and 300 yards receiving in the same season (2003).
Waters Continues to Lead Tiger Tacklers
Anthony Waters continues to lead the Clemson team in tackles and needs just five to reach the century mark for the season. Waters averages over 10 tackles per game and is third in the ACC in that category. The junior from Lake View, SC is one of the most improved defensive players in the ACC. He had 70 tackles all of last year in 11 games.
Waters leads the Clemson team in tackles for loss with 12.5 and is among the team leaders in passes broken up with six, an indication of his abilities as a pass defender. Waters has led Clemson in tackles in five of the 10 games so far this year, including 14 in the win over Maryland in College Park, MD. He also had 14 at Georgia Tech and 11 at NC State, so he obviously comes to play in games on the road. For his career, Waters now has an even 200 tackles and 21.5 tackles for loss.
Hamlin Making Impact as Freshman
Michael Hamlin's insertion into the starting lineup has paralleled Clemson's improvement in the won-loss column. Hamlin, a freshman from Timmonsville, SC became a starter at the NC State game on October 13. Clemson has won four of the five games he has started so far this year.
A starting CAT safety, Hamlin had his second interception of the year in the win over Florida State and now leads the team in interception return yards with 42. He also had an interception against Georgia Tech when he met the challenge and took the ball away from Tech's Calvin Johnson. For the season, Hamlin is seventh on the team in tackles with 47. He has one pass deflection to go with the two interceptions.
Clemson in Top 20 in Turnover Margin
Clemson ranks 18th in the nation in turnover margin, much improved over the 2004 season when Clemson was 100th in the nation. The Tigers have forced 20 turnovers so far this year and committed just 10. Clemson has lost just three fumbles, fewest in the nation, and all three took place in one half against Georgia Tech. Clemson ranks first in the nation in fewest fumbles lost this year.
Clemson has forced at least one turnover in every game this year, joining Virginia Tech as the only teams in the ACC to force at least one turnover in every game. It is a contributing factor to Clemson's 55-10 advantage in points off turnovers so far this season.
Clemson Closing Fast Again
Clemson has won four of its last five and is making its annual strong finish under Tommy Bowden. Each of the last two seasons Clemson has won five of its last six games and this 2005 team can make it five out of six to close the regular season with a win over South Carolina. Clemson is now 10-3 in the month of November since November of 2002 (or when Charlie Whitehurst became the starting quarterback).
Finishing fast is nothing new for the Clemson program. The Tigers won five of the last six games 22 times in history, including 19 times since 1948. Danny Ford won at least five of his last six during six different seasons, including 1981-82-83 when Clemson had a combined 30-2-2 overall record.
Cannon Records Two Sacks
One of the more shocking performances in Clemson's win over Florida State was the stat line for junior defensive end Brandon Cannon. The native of Lithonia, GA had played just 11 games and 68 snaps on defensive over his three years on the varsity. Then, on Saturday against a top 20 Florida State team, Cannon had two sacks and three total tackles in just eight plays. Those were his second, third and fourth career tackles.
Tiger Defense Stepping Up vs. Good Teams
When Clemson defeated Florida State, it held the Seminoles to 226 yards of total offense, 11 first downs and did not allowed Bobby Bowden's team to score an offensive touchdown. Florida State entered the game leading the ACC in total offense with 420 yards per game. Getting pressure on the quarterback had a lot to do with that. Florida State had allowed just 1.9 sacks per game this year, but Clemson recorded six in the 35-14 victory.
Earlier in the year, Clemson held Miami (FL) to 264 yards of total offense during regulation before the Hurricanes won 36-30 in triple overtime. That is the fewest yards of total offense for the Hurricanes through regulation in a game this year.
Clemson Veterans versus South Carolina
Gaines Adams (DE) -- Has played two games against South Carolina and has had exactly four tackles in each game.
Curtis Baham (WR) -- Caught one pass for 17 yards in the 2003 game. Had 2-15 as a starter receiving in the 2004 game.
Charles Bennett (DE) -- Made four tackles in only eight snaps in 2003 and five tackles in 30 snaps as a starter in 2004.
Tramaine Billie (LB)--Had nine tackles, including two tackles for loss, one a sack, in 2004.
Cole Chason (P) -- Has had the two highest net punting figures in his career against South Carolina. Had 41.0 net and a 42.0 gross in the 2003 game on five punts, and had a 41.5 net and a 40.3 gross on four punts in 2004.
Duane Coleman (TB) -- Ran eight times for 54 yards and caught four passes for 37 yards and a touchdown in 2003. Had 13-43 rushing and had 3-34 receiving in 2004 Clemson win at Clemson.
Jad Dean (PK)--Made three field goals in three attempts and had his only career missed PAT. Scored 11 of Clemson's 29 points.
David Dunham (LB) -- Had three tackles including a tackle for loss in only 10 snaps in 2003. He had three tackles against South Carolina in 2004, including a caused fumble on the opening kickoff.
Jamaal Fudge (ROV) -- Posted four tackles as a freshman in 2002. Had five tackles including two tackles for loss and two interceptions in 2003 game. Had six tackles in 50 snaps as a starter in 2004.
Tye Hill (CB) -- Had three tackles and a pass break up in 2003. Contributed three tackles and game best four passes broken up in 2004.
Reggie Merriweather (RB) --Had 28-125 rushing and three touchdowns in Clemson victory in 2004.
Chansi Stuckey (WR) -- Had career highs in both carries (six) and yards (77) and a rushing touchdown in 2003 game in Columbia. Had seven receptions for 74 yards in 2004 game at Clemson.
Anthony Waters (LB) -- Had four tackles in only 20 snaps in 2003 game. Had three tackles in 43 snaps in 2004 game.
Charlie Whitehurst (QB) -- Has a 3-0 career record against the Gamecocks completing 60 of 92 passes for 740 yards and four touchdowns against South Carolina. Had 18-26 for 302 and four touchdowns in his only previous game in Williams Brice Stadium. Completed 27 passes against Gamecocks in 2002, most completions ever by a Clemson quarterback against the Gamecocks. The 302 yards passing in the 2003 game is also a Clemson record for a quarterback against the Gamecocks.
Bobby Williamson (TE) -- Caught two passes for 22 yards in 2002. Had one tackle as a defensive end in 2004.
Last year vs. South Carolina
Clemson 29, South Carolina 7
Clemson scored 14 early points and only allowed South Carolina to snap the ball in Tiger territory four times, as Clemson beat the Gamecocks for the seventh time in eight years by the score of 29-7. The game got off to an exciting start for the Tigers when David Dunham hit Cory Boyd on the opening kickoff, jarring the ball loose from the Gamecock return man. Steven Jackson recovered for Clemson on the nine.
After a Charlie Whitehurst pass to Cliff Harrell, Reggie Merriweather scored his first of three touchdowns on the day from three yards out, and Clemson had a 7-0 lead 52 seconds into the contest. It was the earliest Clemson had scored in a game since September 28, 1996, when Joe Woods caught a Nealon Greene pass and raced 80 yards on the game's first play from scrimmage in a 21-10 victory over Wake Forest.
The Tigers moved the ball 58 yards in nine plays, with the drive culminating in a seven-yard Merriweather scoring run. Seven of the nine plays on the drive gained five yards or more.
Neither team could sustain a drive for the remainder of the first quarter, and the Gamecocks finally struck seven minutes into the second quarter. On a third-and-14 play, South Carolina quarterback Syvelle Newton scrambled and threw deep to Boyd. The Gamecock receiver made a diving catch and skidded across the goal line to cut the Clemson lead in half at 14-7.
Clemson went on one of its most impressive drives of the season to open the second half when it covered 80 yards in 14 plays and burned 7:14 off the clock. Merriweather carried seven times on the drive for 48 yards and scored his third touchdown of the day from 12 yards out.
On the next Gamecock possession, Gaines Adams tipped a Mike Rathe pass and Cory Groover intercepted the ball for the Tigers. It was the fourth interception of the season by a Clemson defensive lineman. After a seven-yard return, Clemson had the ball deep in Gamecock territory at the 12. After forcing another punt, the Tiger offense went on its final scoring drive of 2004. Merriweather carried five times, and Whitehurst hit Curtis Baham for 23 yards for a key third-down conversion on a drive that ended with Dean converting his third field goal of the day, this time from 20 yards out.
Merriweather led the ground attack by carrying 28 times for 125 yards. Whitehurst completed 15 of 28 passes for 151 yards, and Chansi Stuckey caught seven passes for 74 yards. Tramaine Billie led the Tiger defense with nine tackles and a sack, while Tye Hill had four pass breakups.
Last Meeting in Columbia
Clemson 63, South Carolina 17
At Columbia, SC 2003
Clemson ended the 2003 regular season on a three-game winning streak in decisive fashion, as the Tigers defeated South Carolina 63-17 in Columbia. The 63 points were the most in the history of the series by either team. It also marked the most points scored by Clemson against any team since Clemson defeated Wake Forest 82-24 in the 1981 National Championship season. The 46-point victory margin was the highest in the series since Clemson won 51-0 in 1900.
Clemson came out firing in the first quarter and never looked back. On the first play of the game, Leroy Hill and Khaleed Vaughn sacked Dondrial Pinkins. Clemson got the ball after a three-and-out to open the game, and responded with the first touchdown. Derrick Hamilton caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Charlie Whitehurst. For Hamilton, it marked the fifth consecutive game in which he caught at least one touchdown, setting a school record.
Following another three-and-out, Clemson again went to the air. This time, Whitehurst connected with Columbia native Airese Currie for a 28-yard touchdown. It was Currie's first touchdown catch since the Georgia Tech game on September 20 and second of his career in his hometown.
The Tigers extended their lead to 21-0 on their third offensive possession after Whitehurst again threw a touchdown pass. After an audible at the line, he found Ben Hall wide open over the middle for a 39-yard score, his first of the season. In the first quarter alone, Whitehurst was 7-7 for 149 yards and three touchdowns.
The Gamecocks responded with 10 points in the second quarter, but Clemson put the game out of reach in the final five minutes of the quarter. Chad Jasmin scored on a one-yard run to extend the lead to 28-10. He then added his second touchdown minutes later from the same distance. The Tigers' 35 points at halftime were the most scored by Clemson against South Carolina in one half.
On South Carolina's first possession of the second half, Pinkins had a pass tipped and then intercepted by Leroy Hill. It was his third interception of the season. Jasmin scored again from one yard out to put the Tigers ahead, 42-10.
Clemson pushed the lead to 56-17 late in the third after Jasmin scored his fourth touchdown run of the game. He became the first Tiger since Boo Armstrong in 1918 to score four touchdowns against the Gamecocks. The play was set up by Jamaal Fudge's second interception of the game. Fudge appeared to be well on his way to score before tripping inside the five-yard line.
The Tigers added a touchdown when Chansi Stuckey gave everyone a glimpse of his potential. He scored on a 33-yard quarterback draw in which he drug defenders into the endzone.
Whitehurst ended the game 18-26 for 302 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 43 yards. He tied the Clemson single-season record with 21 touchdowns, first established in 2001 by Woodrow Dantzler.
Offensively, the Tigers gained 542 total yards, a season high for 2003. Clemson had 240 rushing yards, also a season high. The Tigers averaged 8.1 yards per play over the course of the game. Defensively, the Gamecocks were held below their season average with only 153 rushing yards. Part of the reason was the play of several Tiger defenders. Hill had four tackles for loss, the second time he had four in a game.
Fudge had two interceptions for Clemson on the night. It was the first time all season a Tiger defender had multiple thefts in a game. Travis Pugh, the other starting safety for Clemson, had six tackles, a pass breakup, and a blocked field goal.
Top 10 Unusual Facts about the Clemson vs. South Carolina Series
10. One of the two coaches to win a bowl game will be on the sidelines for Saturday's game, but he will be in a Clemson coaching uniform. Brad Scott was the first South Carolina head coach to win a bowl game when he took the Gamecocks to victory in the 1994 Carquest Bowl over West Virginia.
9. The visiting team won seven consecutive years in games played between 1991-97.
8. Josh Cody had a 4-0 record for Clemson against South Carolina between 1927-30. He is the only coach in the series to have a perfect record, given a minimum of three games coached.
7. Paul Williams is the last player to letter for both schools. He lettered for Clemson in 1978 and for South Carolina in 1980.
6. A Clemson captain actually played for South Carolina. Cary Cox lettered for the Gamecocks in 1943. After the war, he enrolled at Clemson and served as captain for the Tigers in 1947.
5. O.K. Pressley had four tackles for loss on four consecutive plays in Clemson's 32-0 win over South Carolina in Columbia in 1928. Pressley went on to become Clemson's first All-American at season's end.
4. In 1948 and 1981 a blocked punt returned for a touchdown proved to be the pivotal play in a Clemson victory, victories that allowed Clemson to go on to an undefeated season. In both instances, the original line of scrimmage was the South Carolina 28-yard-line.
3. Willie Underwood had two interceptions to lead Clemson to victory over South Carolina in 1980. A starter for four years, the strong safety never had recorded an interception in any of his first 46 games as a Tiger, then had two against the Gamecocks in his 47th and final game.
2. In a placekicking career that spanned five years, Bob Paulling made 107 of 109 extra points. Both of his misses were at South Carolina, one in 1981 and one in 1983. He had a streak of 70 consecutive made extra points (second longest in Clemson history) in between the two miscues. Current Clemson kicker Jad Dean has had just one miss on a PAT in his career and it was against South Carolina last year.
1. In the 30 games that Frank Howard coached at Clemson against South Carolina, Clemson scored 411 points and South Carolina scored 411 points.
The 103rd Meeting Between Clemson and South Carolina
This will be meeting 103 between Clemson and South Carolina. The series dates to 1896 and the first year of football at Clemson, the fourth season for South Carolina. Clemson holds the advantage 62-36-4 since that first meeting in Columbia. Clemson has more wins over South Carolina than any other school and those victories represent over 10 percent of Clemson's all-time victory total (606).
Clemson won last year's game at Clemson 29-7. It was the 600th victory in Clemson football history. It was Clemson's third win in a row in the series, the seventh in the last eight and 13th in the last 17. Clemson has won all but one game played in Columbia since 1989, a 7-1 record at Williams-Brice Stadium since 1989.
Clemson has won seven of the last eight in the series. A look to "rivalry games" entering this year over the last eight seasons shows that Clemson's 7-1 lead in the series during this time period is tied for the best in college football. Kansas State has beaten Kansas seven of the last eight and Purdue has beaten Indiana seven of the last eight years. The following schools have a 6-2 advantage over their rivals the last eight years: Navy over Army, Southern Cal over UCLA, Ohio State over Michigan, Michigan over Michigan State, Wisconsin over Minnesota, and Washington over Washington State.
Clemson won the 100th meeting at Clemson by a 27-20 score in 2002. Clemson won by a 63-17 margin the last time the game was played in Columbia. The point total was Clemson's highest ever against the Gamecocks and it was the largest victory margin in the series for Clemson since a 51-0 victory in 1900. The Gamecocks last won in 2001 in Columbia by a 20-15 score. That South Carolina victory ended a four-game winning streak for the Tigers. South Carolina has not beaten Clemson in consecutive years since the 1968-70 era.
Tommy Bowden is 5-1 against South Carolina in his previous six games in this rivalry. The 5-1 start is the best among Clemson coaches who have coached the Tigers for at least six years. Josh Cody (1927-30) had a perfect 4-0 record against South Carolina, the only Clemson coach with a perfect record in the rivalry game. The Clemson vs. South Carolina series ranks in a tie for 14th in college football history in terms of most played rivalries. The most played rivalry is the Minnesota vs. Wisconsin series, which had been played 114 times entering tis year.
This will be the 97th consecutive year that Clemson and South Carolina have met on the gridiron, every year since 1909. It will move into third place all time for longest uninterrupted series in college football history this year. It moves past the Kansas vs. Oklahoma series. The only active rivalries that are longer are the Kansas vs. Nebraska rivalry (active since 1906) and the Minnesota vs. Wisconsin rivalry (active since 1907). The Kansas vs. Oklahoma rivalry ran 96 consecutive games before it was interrupted after the 1997 game.
Throw out the Record Books?
We always here the phrase, "You can throw out he record books when these two teams get together." While there have been some upsets in this series, usually the team with the better record comes away with the victory. The team entering the game with the better overall record has a 17-3-1 record in the series since 1981. That computes to 83.3 percent over a 24-year period. Three times during that era both teams had the same record.
The norm was broken last year, however, as South Carolina had the better record entering the game at 6-4 compared to Clemson's 5-5, but the Tigers won the game, 29-7. This year South Carolina has the upper hand with a 7-3 mark compared to the 6-4 for Clemson.
The team with the better record entering this game won every year between 1997-2003. In 1996 the team with the worse record won. Current Clemson offensive coordinator and assistant head coach Brad Scott was the head coach for South Carolina in that game.
For the history of the series, Clemson has a 39-14-3 record when it enters the contest with the better record, a 72.3 winning percentage. Clemson has had the better record in 56 of the 102 previous meetings. The teams have had the same winning percentage entering the game nine times and Clemson has a 7-2 record in those situations. Thus, Clemson is 46-16-3 (.731) against South Carolina over the years when the Tigers enter the game with at least the same record as South Carolina.
Clemson has a 62-36-4 advantage in the series overall, so the Gamecocks have a 20-16-1 record in the series when they enter the game with the better record.
Memorable Clemson Plays in the Series with South Carolina
1948 --Phil Prince blocked punt and Oscar Thompson returned the ball for a touchdown that gave Clemson 13-7 win in Columbia and allowed Clemson to keep an undefeated season. Play took place with 4:15 left in the game.
1959--Harvey White connected with future Super Bowl Champion Bill Mathis for a 26-yard touchdown pass in the third period to put Clemson up 19-0 in the final Big Thursday game in Columbia. White completed 9-10 passes on the day and led the Tigers to the 27-0 victory.
1962--Don Chuy and Billy Weaver combined to sack Dan Reeves for a 13-yard loss with just 33 seconds left, preserving Clemson's 20-17 victory. South Carolina had driven to the Clemson 25 for that last play.
1966--Harry Olszewski, an All-America offensive guard, picked off a fumbled snap in mid-air and ran 12-yards for a touchdown. The 35-10 victory allowed Clemson to win the ACC title. No Clemson offensive lineman has scored a touchdown since.
1967--Buddy Gore's 43-yard run in the third period that led to a Tiger touchdown was a momentum swaying play in Clemson's victory over the Gamecocks, a win that allowed Clemson to clinch a tie for the ACC championship. That was the key run on this day that saw Gore become the first Clemson back in history to go over 1000 yards in a season and break Brian Piccolo's ACC single season rushing record.
1971--Eddie Seigler kicked a 52-yard field goal to lead Clemson to a 17-7 win over the Gamecocks. It was the first field goal of at least 50 yards in Clemson history.
1972--With Clemson leading 7-6 in the fourth period, Jimmy Williamson batted down a Dobby Grossman two-point conversion pass to preserve the victory for the Tigers.
1977--Jerry Butler made a 20-yard catch of a Steve Fuller pass with 49 seconds left to give Clemson 31-27 win in Columbia. It clinched Gator Bowl bid for the Tigers, Clemson's first bowl bid in 18 years. It was a backwards diving reception.
1980--Willie Underwood had a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown that clinched Clemson's upset of South Carolina in 1980. Underwood was named Sports Illustrated Player of the Week for his performance in that game.
1981--Just as it had happed 33 years previously, a blocked punt played a big part in a Clemson victory over South Carolina that allowed the Tigers to have an undefeated season. Rod McSwain blocked a South Carolina punt and Johnny Rembert recovered in the endzone for the touchdown. Just as it had been 33 years previous, the line of scrimmage was the South Carolina 28.
1990--Chris Gardocki made his final punt in Death Valley memorable when he had a 78-yard boot in the fourth quarter to give South Carolina bad field position and clinch Clemson's 24-15 victory over the Gamecocks. It remains the second longest punt in Clemson history.
1995--Emory Smith carried South Carolina tacklers 20 yards on the way to a 54-yard run that led to the game clinching touchdown in Columbia. Smith ended the game with 101 yards rushing.
1999--Rod Gardner's 29-yard scoring catch on a fourth-down play from Woody Dantzler clinched Clemson's 31-20 victory in Columbia.
2000--Rod Gardner's 50-yard reception from Dantzler with 10 seconds left led to Aaron Hunt's game winning field goal with three seconds left.
Stockstill Coaching Against Clemson
South Carolina assistant coach Rick Stockstill will coach against Clemson on Saturday. Stockstill coached at Clemson for 14 years serving the positions of wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach at recruiting coordinator over the course of that time. He recruited and coached some of Clemson's greatest players ever, including Rod Gardner, a first-round draft choice, All-American and graduate during the 2000 season.
Stockstill was an assistant coach at Clemson between 1989 and 2002. He coached in 11 bowl games in his 14 years at Clemson. No Clemson coach, assistant or head, has been on the sidelines for more Clemson bowl games. He served under four head coaches, Danny Ford, Ken Hatfield, Tommy West and Tommy Bowden. On top of all that, Stockstill played his college football for Tommy Bowden's father, Bobby Bowden, from 1978-81.
Stockstill is the ninth coach to serve on the staffs at both Clemson and South Carolina since 1989. The list includes current Clemson assistant head coach and offensive line coach Brad Scott, who served as South Carolina's head coach from 1994-98. Former Clemson head coach Tommy West (1994-98), also served on the staff at South Carolina (1991-92).
Clemson - South Carolina Game Notes
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