Notebook: Dean Sets Record

ORLANDO – Clemson senior defensive tackle Cory Groover was not surprisingly suspended for Tuesday night's game for violating team rules. Sources said it was due to a fight he was involved in back in Clemson.

Groover hasn't practiced all week in Orlando, standing on the sidelines and watching in street clothes.

Groover, a senior, finishes the season with 25 tackles, five of which were for a loss, and one sack. They are very similar to his numbers last season, when he finished with 25 tackles, six of which were for a lost, and one sack.

His final season at Clemson was a troubled one.

It started in May when Groover was shot on an early Sunday morning at a Clemson Waffle House restaurant and was taken to a hospital in Anderson.

He recovered with no physical problems, however, but was quickly dropped to third string after poor performance in preseason practice. He did manage to start five games this season, but he was widely considered to be a disappointment.

KICKING RECORD: Tigers placekicker Jad Dean set a new school record by kicking his 24th field goal this season, which came in the second quarter against Colorado.

Dean's mark surpasses Obed Ariri's record of 23, which was set in 1980.

KEEPING WITH TRADITION: Even though Tuesday's game was played on the other side of the country, Colorado's living buffalo mascot Ralphie IV made the long trip to lead the team onto the field, for one of the best entrances in all of sports.

Ralphie IV, which weighs 1,300 pounds and is nine years old, left Boulder, Co., on Dec. 21, in a trailer driven by two student handlers and arrived in Orlando on Dec. 24. All told, the 1,863 miles took 36 hours to drive.

Ralphie IV arrived at the university when she was just a month old after being saved from the jaws of a coyote. Officials there nursed the animal back to health and tried to release her back into the wild, however her former herd rejected her, thus causing the school to take her back.

And she's been bringing the football team into stadiums ever since.

SEASON CAPTAINS: Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, safety Jamaal Fudge, defensive end Charles Bennett and fullback Steven Jackson were named as the permanent season captains prior to the game.

The four players all wore a "C" on their jersey for the game.

QUICK HITS: Bennett had three tackles for loss in the first quarter. … Colorado punter John Torp set three records in the first quarter with his punts, which went for 63, 52 and 67 yards respectively. The 63-yard punt set a new Champs Sports Bowl record, which was broken later with the 67-yarder. That last punt also set a new Buffaloes record for a bowl game. Conversely, Clemson punter Cole Chason sustained his fifth blocked punt of the season in the opening quarter. …

Tigers wide receiver Chansi Stuckey went out late in the first quarter and missed the rest of the first half with a possible concussion. … Stephen Furr replaced Dean on kickoffs for Clemson and sent the first one deep into the end zone for a touchback. He later kicked one out of bounds to give the Buffaloes the ball at the 35. …

A plane carrying a banner before the game said, "FDNY Salutes Our Heroes Gary Barnett and the CU Buffaoles" Only problem is Barnett hasn't been the coach since Dec. 8. ... The two sacks by Gaines Adams tied a bowl record. …

Tailback James Davis rushed for at least 100 yards for the fourth time this season, which ties the school record 100-yard games by a freshman. Davis ties Ronald Williams, who did it four times in 1990.

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