Top 5 Highlights of 2005

With the season the memorable regular season over, it's now time to reflect on those certain plays that will go down as the most memorable for the Clemson football team in 2005.

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 against Maryland.
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 touchdown.
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.

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