5) Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst rambles for 65 yards to set up the team's first touchdown against Miami.
The Tigers were trailing 3-0 at the end of the first
quarter against the mighty Hurricanes. Facing a
first-and-10 from the Clemson 27, Tigers offensive
coordinator Rob Spence called for play that gave
Whitehurst the option to either run or throw. The
senior quarterback, who would have to be considered an average runner at best, saw an
open spot and bolted down the left side for a gain of
65 yards to spot the ball at the Miami 8. After a
timeout to give Whitehurst a chance to catch his
breath, he hooked up with tight end Cole Downer for an
8-yard touchdown pass to give Clemson the 7-3 lead
with 14:20 left until halftime. It was the longest run
from scrimmage for the Tigers this season.
4) Reggie Merriweather breaks lose down the right
sideline for a 37-yard touchdown for winning score
With Maryland leading 24-21 late in the game at
College Park, Clemson was faced with a third-and-7 at
the Maryland 37. Spence catches most everyone off
guard, including many of the Tigers, by calling for a
running play to Merriweather. The junior tailback takes
the handoff, skirts to the outside and dashes 37 yards for
the touchdown to give Clemson the lead with 2:58 left
to play. The touchdown gave the Tigers their second
straight win to start the season.
3) Clemson defensive end Charles Bennett sacks
Miami quarterback Kyle Wright to help set up
game-tying field goal in the closing seconds. The sack
caused a roar that many believe was the loudest at
Memorial Stadium since Danny Ford was coaching.
As seemed to be the norm the first half of the season,
Clemson found itself trailing late. This time Miami
had the ball and was leading 20-17 with less than two
minutes to play. Facing a third-and-six, Wright
dropped back to pass and was promptly sacked by
Bennett at the 15. It is believed that the sack caused
the loudest cheer at Death Valley in over 15 years.
Miami had to punt and Clemson took over marched 46
yards to set up Jad Dean's game-tying field goal with
0:15 left to send the game into overtime.
2) Clemson escapes a first-and-35 situation late
against South Carolina to set up the game-winning
With South Carolina leading 9-6 midway through the
fourth quarter in one of the ugliest games of the
year, the Tigers are faced with a first-and-35 at
their own 22. Spence knows it's best to try and get a
little at a time rather than go for the yardage in one
big chunk. One first down, Whitehurst connects with
tailback James Davis on a nine-yard pass to set up
second-and-26 at the Clemson 31. Whitehurst then finds
Chansi Stuckey for a gain of 14 to move it to the 45
and set up a third-and-12. Cool as can be, Whitehurst
hits Curtis Baham for a gain of 28 yards to move it to
the South Carolina 27 and get the improbable first
down. Three plays later, Davis crosses the goal line
with 5:58 left to play to put the Tigers up for good.
And the No. 1 play from 2005 is ... Jad Dean's
42-yard field goal with two seconds left to lift
Clemson to the win over a then-17th-ranked Texas A&M in the season opener.
To this point, Clemson had yet to score an offensive
touchdown. But the Tigers were still in the game
thanks to five Dean field goals and a punt return for
a touchdown. Nonetheless, Clemson still trailed in the
closing seconds against the Aggies on national
television. With Whitehurst sidelined with a slight
concussion, backup quarterback Will Proctor hands the
ball off to Davis, who is playing in his first-ever
game, eight straight times to eventually get the ball
to the Texas A&M 25. The 42-yard attempt isn't a
gimme, but Dean calmly splits the uprights with two
seconds left to give Clemson the 25-24 win over A&M.
Top 5 Highlights of 2005
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