Tiger Defense Ranked in Top 25

Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst and place kicker Jad Dean both ranked in the top five of statistical categories according to the final NCAA Division I football statistics released on Thursday.

Clemson's defense under first year defensive coordinator Vic Koenning ranked in the top 25 in six different categories.

Whitehurst, who led Clemson to 25 victories over his career, second in school history, finished fifth in the nation in completion percentage with a school record 67.4 mark. Whitehurst complete229 of 340 passes for 2483 yards and 11 touchdowns in his final year leading the Tigers. The 67.4 completion percentage broke Brandon Streeter's Clemson record of 63.1 percent set in 1999 and was seventh best in ACC history.

Dean finished third in the nation in field goals per game with a 2.0 average. The junior from Greenwood, SC made 24 of 31 field goals to establish a Clemson single season record for made field goals. He broke the single season record of 23 field goals by Obed Ariri in 1980. Dean also ranked 19th in the nation in scoring with 8.83 points per game. He led the ACC in that category, as his 106 points scored were third best for a season in Clemson history, second among kickers.

From a team standpoint, Clemson ranked in the top 25 in six different defensive categories, including top 25 rankings in scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense. It marked the first time since 1990 and just the third time in school history that Clemson ranked in the top 25 in all four of the major defensive categories. Clemson was one of 10 schools in 2005 to rank in the top 25 in all four areas.

The Tigers ranked 11th in the nation in scoring defense allowing just 17.58 points per game, the highest national ranking since the Tigers were 10th in scoring defense in 1995 and the fewest allowed by a Tiger team since 1994. The Tigers ranked 20th in total defense, Clemson's best ranking in that area since a #18 figure in 1997. Clemson was 18th in pass efficiency defense and 25th in rushing defense. The Tigers were also 25th in the nation in sacks and 13th in tackles for loss per game.

Clemson's outstanding defense in the Champs Sports Bowl certainly contributed to the strong final numbers. The Tigers held Colorado to just 17 yards rushing and 124 yards of total offense. Both rank as the best defensive performances in Clemson history and as the top defensive numbers by any of the 56 teams that played in a bowl game in 2005.

Clemson was also 16th in the nation in turnover margin, sixth in fewest penalties per game, eighth in fewest penalty yards per game, fourth in fewest fumbles and eighth in fewest turnovers.

Clemson Top 25 National Rankings
Individual Rankings
*Charlie Whitehurst, 5th, completion percentage. 67.35
*Jad Dean, 3rd, field goals per game, 2.0
*Jad Dean, 19th, scoring, 8.83

Team National Rankings
*4th in fewest fumbles lost, 5
*6th in fewest penalties, 4.75
*8th in fewest penalty yaards/game, 40.50
*8th in fewest turnovers lost, 14
*11th, scoring defense, 17.58
*13th, tackles for loss, 7.92
*16th, turnover margin, +0.75
*18th, passing efficiency defense, 110.91
*20th, total defense, 316.58
*25th, rushing defense, 120.6
*25th, sacks per game, 2.75

CUTigers.com Top Stories