Clemson vs. Florida State Series
Florida State has a 15-4 advantage in
the series with Clemson dating to a 38-13
Florida State win in Tallahassee in 1970, but
the Tigers have won two of the last three. Both
wins have come at Clemson and this game will
be played in Tallahassee, where Clemson has
not won since 1989.
Clemson has four wins in the series,
two in Tallahassee (1976 and 1989) and two in
Clemson (2003 and 2005). Florida State has a
7-2 record at Clemson and an 8-2 record in
Florida State had won 11 in a row in
the series prior to Clemson's win in 2003.
Those were the first 11 games of the series
when FSU joined the ACC (1992). The
Seminoles have won seven in a row in
Tallahassee and the average score has been
43-9 (299-63 overall score). Florida State has
scored at least 41 points in each of the last four
games between the two teams in Tallahassee.
That includes 54 in a 54-7 Florida State victory
in 2000, Bowden's worst defeat as a head
Florida State has been ranked in the
top 20 in all 15 games the Seminoles have
played against the Tigers since they joined the
ACC. That includes this year as Florida State is
ninth in AP and 10th by USA Today. Florida
State has just 11 ACC losses since they joined
the league and they are now within one ACC
championship of tying Clemson's record of 13.
Clemson will attempt to become just
the second ACC school to defeat Florida State
in consecutive years. NC State is the only
school to do it, gaining victories in 2001 and
2002 behind Phillip Rivers, current starting
quarterback of the San Diego Chargers. The
only quarterback to defeat Florida State twice
on his home turf is Clemson's Charlie
Whitehurst, who is now the backup quarterback
of the San Diego Chargers.
This could have been a battle of top
25 teams had Clemson held on to defeat
Boston College last week. But the Tigers are
26th in the latest Associated Press poll and 27th
in the latest USA Today poll. Overall, there
have been six meetings in the series in which
both teams have been in the top 25 of at least
one poll. Clemson is 1-5 in those meetings
with the only win coming in 1989. Both
Clemson wins in recent years (2003 and 2005),
the Tigers have been unranked entering the
Clemson-Florida State Connections
There are many connections between
Clemson and Florida State in terms of coaching
and administrative personnel:
*Clemson Assistant Head Coach and
offensive line coach Brad Scott served as
offensive coordinator of Florida State's National
Championship team of 1993. He served as an
assistant with the Florida State program from
1983-93, including the 1990-93 era when he
was offensive coordinator. He has a master's
degree from Florida State in athletic
administration, a degree he earned in 1984. He
was on the Florida State sideline in 1988 when
the Seminoles executed the "Puntrooskie play".
*Florida State defensive coordinator
Mickey Andrews served in the same capacity
for Clemson between 1976-80 and held the
assistant head coach title under Danny Ford in
*Clemson Head Coach Tommy
Bowden was a graduate assistant at Florida
State in 1978 and 1979, then served as tight
ends coach of the Seminoles in 1981 and 1982.
*Tommy Bowden's brother Jeff Bowden is the offensive coordinator for Florida
*Hootie Ingram, now retired and living
in Alabama, was Clemson's head football coach
from 1970-72, then served as Florida State's
Athletic Director in the 1980s. It was basically
Ingram's idea to change Clemson's logo to the
Tiger paw in 1970.
Last Year vs. Florida State
Clemson 35, Florida State 14
Clemson scored 21 third-quarter
points to break open a tie game at halftime on
its way to a 35-14 win over #16 Florida State. It
was the Tigers' second straight win over the
Seminoles in Death Valley. It was Senior Day
for Clemson's senior class, including
quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, who had also
had quarterback Clemson to the win over the
Seminoles in 2003.
The Tigers took the opening kickoff and
marched 72 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown.
Whitehurst completed 6-7 passes on the drive,
with his final attempt a touchdown strike to
Chansi Stuckey from 22 yards.
Florida State picked up a first down on its
opening possession before being forced to
punt. Stuckey raced up to catch the short punt
by Chris Hall, but muffed the punt before falling
on his own fumble.
The Tiger offense went right back to work
with James Davis beginning the next drive with
an 11-yard run. After Whitehurst hit Stuckey for
a 36-yard pass, Davis scored on a one-yard
Florida State responded with a scoring
drive of its own, moving 47 yards in eight plays,
with Gary Cismesia connecting on a 31-yard
field goal to get the Seminoles on the
The Seminole defense forced Clemson
into a three-and-out on the ensuing drive, and
regained possession at its own 48. On first
down, Weatherford hit tight end Matt Henshaw
for 26 yards. Three more plays produced only
one yard, and Cismesia came on and drilled
another field goal, this time from 47 yards.
The two teams traded punts before
Clemson began its next drive at its own 33.
The Tigers could not pick up a first down, and
Cole Chason's punt was blocked by Lawrence
Timmons and recovered in the endzone for a
touchdown by Geno Hayes. Weatherford hit
De'Cody Fagg over the middle for the two-point
conversion, tying the score 14-14.
The Seminoles appeared to be on their
way to take their first lead of the day to open
the third quarter, but a nine-play drive was
ended when Michael Hamlin picked off
On third-and-eight, Whitehurst hit Stuckey
for 20 yards to the Seminole 34. Two plays
later, Whitehurst found Stuckey again for 32
yards on a screen pass for a score. It was his
fourth receiving touchdown in two games, after
going the first 71 catches of his career without
a touchdown catch.
Two penalties helped move the
Seminoles backwards on their next drive, and
Stuckey returned Hall's punt nine yards to the
The Tigers followed with an eight-play, 52-
yard drive that ended with an eight-yard touchdown run by Davis. Seven of the eight
plays on the drive gained at least six yards.
After an exchange of punts, Florida State
began its next drive at its own 20.
Weatherford's pass on first down was
intercepted by C.J. Gaddis, and he returned it
23 yards to the
On third down from the four, Whitehurst
lofted a pass to the back pylon and Aaron Kelly
made a diving grab. Initially, Kelly was ruled
out of bounds. But after a replay review, he
was ruled to have been in bounds for a
touchdown. Dean's extra point gave Clemson a
35-14 lead. The 21 third-quarter points were
the most by Clemson against the Seminoles
since they scored 21 in a quarter in 1989.
There were no more scoring threats in the
game and Clemson came away with a 35-14
victory. The Tigers allowed only 226 yards of
total offense to Florida State, who came into
the game leading the ACC in that category.
Whitehurst had a day to remember in his
final game at Death Valley, completing 21 of 32
passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns.
Stuckey caught 11 passes for 156 yards and
two scores. Stuckey became the first wideout in
Clemson history to have at least two touchdown
receptions in consecutive games. Davis added
65 yards on the ground on 17 carries to earn
ACC Rookie-of-the-Week honors.
Clemson was led defensively by Duane
Coleman's nine tackles. Charles Bennett had
three tackles for loss, and Gaines Adams added
2.5 tackles for loss. Also, Brandon Cannon had
two sacks to help give the Tigers six total sacks
and 11 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
It was the fourth win over a ranked team
for Clemson's senior class at home, as they
finished their careers with a 20-6 mark at Death
Tigers Look for First win in Tallahassee
Clemson hopes history repeats itself
when the Tigers travel to Tallahassee to play
Florida State this coming Saturday. The last
time Clemson won in Tallahassee was 1989
and the Tigers came away with the 34-23
victory thanks to the play of quarterback Chris
Morocco. Morocco was a fifth-year senior, but
was in his first year as a starter. The
September 9, 1989 contest at Doak Campbell
Stadium was just his third career start.
Clemson quarterback Will Proctor is
in his fifth year with the program, but is in his
first year as the starter. He is the first Clemson
quarterback to be a fifth year senior and in his
first year as the starting quarterback since
Morocco did it in 1989. Morocco sat behind
Rodney Williams prior to his senior year.
Williams is the winningest quarterback in
Clemson history with 32 wins. Proctor sat
behind Charlie Whitehurst, the second
winningest quarterback in Clemson history with
Morocco completed 8-9 passes for
134 yards and had seven rushes for 30 yards in
taking the Clemson offense to 389 yards of
offense that night. Clemson came away with
the 34-23 victory. Clemson has not won in
Tallahassee since that September evening.
Clemson had a 28-10 lead at
intermission in that game thanks to three Terry
Allen touchdowns. His final score of the first
half came with just 1:16 left. Trying to run the
clock out to end the half, Allen raced 73 yards for a score down the sidelines to give Clemson
the large halftime lead.
Wayne Simmons also had a 73-yard
interception return for a score in that first half.
Chris Gardocki, still playing professionally as
the punter for the Super Bowl Champion
Pittsburgh Steelers, had two field goals in the
second half and averaged 42.5 yards per punt.
Other prominent future NFL players who played
for the Tigers that night include Levon Kirkland,
Ed McDaniel and Chester McGlockton.
That would be Florida State's last loss
of the 1989 season as they finished with a 10-2
record. Clemson also finished that season with
a 10-2 mark.
This year's game is on a Saturday
night and will be televised by ESPN, just as the
1989 game was.
This is the eighth Bowden Bowl and
Bobby Bowden has a 5-2 advantage over his
son Tommy Bowden in the previous seven.
But, as stated above, Tommy has won two of
the last three. This is the only recorded series
in Division I college football history in which
father has coached against son.
Here is a short summary of each of
the first seven Bowden Bowls:
1999—The first meeting in 1999 was
a festive atmosphere at Clemson as an all-time
record crowd of 86,092 attended the game.
That record will probably stand for many years
due to existing fire codes at Clemson Memorial
Stadium. In addition to the hype concerning the
first coaching match-up of father vs. son,
Bobby Bowden was going for his 300th career
victory. He got the win with a struggle, 17-14.
It was the closest the Seminoles came to losing
in their 1999 National Championship season.
Clemson had two offensive touchdowns to
Florida State's one and the Florida State 17
points were the fewest scored by the Seminoles
in 1999. Clemson drove to the FSU 25 with two
minutes left, but a 41-yard field goal attempt by
Tony Lazzara was tipped at the line of
scrimmage and FSU ran out the clock from
2000-Florida State won the second
meeting in Tallahassee by a 54-7 score.
Clemson entered the game with an 8-1 record
and #10 national ranking, while FSU was fourth
in the nation. It was just the third meeting of top
10 teams in ACC history. Clemson was coming
off a 31-28 last second loss to Georgia Tech
that had broken an eight-game winning streak,
the longest for the Tigers under Tommy
Bowden. Florida State gained 771 yards of
total offense, most ever against the Tigers,
including an opponent record 521 through the
air. Florida State running back Davy Ford, the
brother of current Clemson receiver Jacoby
Ford, had an 82 yard run in the game, longest
against a Tommy Bowden coached Clemson
2001—In a game at Death Valley,
Clemson gained 463 yards of total offense, its
high total ever against Florida State, but still
lost 41-27. The Tigers could not stop freshman
quarterback Chris Rix, who threw for 369 yards,
leading FSU to 557 yards of total offense.
Woody Dantzler kept it interesting with 336
yards of total offense, but it was not enough as
FSU won for the sixth straight time under Bobby
Bowden in Death Valley. His six wins are the
most by a Clemson opponent in the facility that
dates to 1942. Clemson ran a fake punt for a
touchdown, but the play was called back because Clemson only had 10 men on the field (not enough on the line of
2002—Florida State came away with a 48-31 victory in a game
that was televised on a Thursday night in Tallahassee by ESPN.
Clemson's 31 points were the most for the Tigers in Tallahassee since
1989. Clemson won the total offense battle, 441-386, as Willie Simmons
had a career high 343 yards of offense. Simmons will be making the trip
to the 2006 game as a video graduate assistant on the Clemson staff.
J.J. McKelvey had five catches for 117 yards to help the offense. Florida
State got a 97-yard kickoff return from Leon Washington and Greg Jones
had 165 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Clemson did successfully
execute an on-side kick, still the only on-side kick for the Tigers since
2003-Clemson finally defeated Bobby Bowden in Death
Valley with a 26-10 victory. He had been 6-0 at Clemson prior to this
game. It was the second of what would be just three losses for Florida
State in 2003. They were coming off a 38-0 win at Notre Dame, and
Clemson was coming off a 45-17 loss at Wake Forest. Florida State was
ranked third in the nation entering the game and that is still the highest
ranked team Clemson has defeated in its history. Charlie Whitehurst
threw for 272 yards to lead Clemson as Bobby Bowden suffered the lost
on his birthday.
2004—Justin Miller set an NCAA record with 282 kickoff return
yards, but the eighth ranked Seminoles defeated Clemson 41-22 in
Tallahassee. Clemson had five turnovers on offense and gained just 173
yards. The Seminoles had 33 more plays that Clemson. However, it was
still a 24-22 game with four minutes left in the third period. But, FSU
scored the last 17 points of the game. Leon Washington's 35-yard
touchdown run in the third period was the key.
2005—Clemson won for the second time in three years with a
35-14 victory at Death Valley. Clemson scored 21 points in the third
period to blow the game open. Charlie Whitehurst threw for 269 yards on
his senior day and Chansi Stuckey caught 11 passes for 156 yards and
two touchdowns. Clemson did not allow a touchdown by the 16th ranked
Seminoles. The victory was the 50th for Tommy Bowden in his Clemson
Ford Hopes to Duplicate Brother's Long Run
Clemson freshman Jacoby Ford hopes to become the second
person from his family to have a long run in a Bowden Bowl. Ford's older
brother, Davy Ford, had an 82-yard touchdown run against the Tigers in
2000 and that is still the longest run by any opponent against a Tommy
Bowden coached team.
Jacoby has the ability to make a game breaking play as well.
In the season opener he dashed 92 yards for a touchdown on a punt
return against Florida Atlantic. Ford broke one of the oldest records in the
Clemson media guide. The previous record for the longest punt return
was 90 yards. Shad Bryant had a 90-yard punt return against VMI in a
game at Charlotte in 1938 and Bobby Gage ran the same distance
against NC State in a 6-0 Clemson victory in 1948.
Clemson had just four punt returns for a score in the 28
seasons prior to Tommy Bowden's arrival (1971-98), but now has six in
the Bowden era (eight years). Clemson went 17 years without a punt
return for a score between 1970-87.
Ford is a receiver by trade and is yet to be the intended
receiver. But, he is the major reason Clemson leads the ACC in punt
returns with a 29.2 average through two games. Ford has 2-94 so far
this year and would be leading the league if he had enough attempts to
qualify. He also has three kickoff returns for 60 yards.
Tiger Veterans vs. Florida State
*Gained Adams (DE)—Had four tackles, including two for loss
and a sack in Clemson's 2003 win over Florida State. Had two tackles in
29 plays in 2004 game in Tallahassee. Had four tackles, including 25.
tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in 2005 Clemson victory.
*Nathan Bennett (OG) Started the 2003 game as a freshman
and had season high 12 knockdown blocks to tie for team best. Had
team best 79 percent coaches film grade in 2004 game in Tallahassee as
a starter. Came off the bench in last year's Tiger victory and had 9.5
knockdown blocks and graded 80 percent.
*Brandon Cannon (DE)—Had three tackles, including the only
two sacks of his career in 2005 Clemson victory over Florida State.
*Cole Chason (P)—Has been starting punter three times vs.
Florida State. Had 33.8 average in 2003 game, but three of his five
punts were inside the 20. Had 7 punts for 39.6 average at Tallahassee in
2004. Had seven punts for 36 yard average in 2005.
*Duane Coleman (CB)—Clemson's leading tackler in 2005
victory with nine tackles. That was his first career start at cornerback.
Had a career high five receptions as a running back in 2003 Clemson
*James Davis (RB)—Had 17 rushes for 65 yards and one
reception for 44 yards in win over Florida State in 2005.
*Jad Dean (PK)—Made 5-5 extra points and missed a 56-yard
field goal attempt in Clemson victory in 2005.
*Marion Dukes (OT)—Had career high 10.5 knockdown blocks
in Clemson victory in 2005. Led the team in knockdown blocks with
seven against Florida State in 2004.
*Dustin Fry (C)—Had 8.5 knockdowns and graded 81 percent
against Florida State in 2005.
*Roman Fry (OG)—Had career high 18 knockdown blocks,
high for a Clemson player in any game last year, in Tigers win over
Florida State in 2005.
*C.J. Gaddis (C B)—Had 23-yard interception return in 2005
victory at Clemson. Had blocked punt that resulted in a safety in 2004
game in Tallahassee.
*Rashaad Jackson (DT)—Had five tackles, including half a
sack in 2005 game at Clemson.
*Aaron Kelly (WR)—Had 2-13 receiving, including a nine-yard
touchdown reception in 2005 game as a freshman.
*Reggie Merriweather (RB)—Had 5-19 rushing vs. Florida
State in 2004. Had 17-35 against the Seminoles in 2005.
*Barry Richardson (OT)—Had 88 percent grade and 11.5
knockdown blocks as a starter in 2005 Clemson victory. Made his first
career start at Florida State in 2004.
*Chansi Stuckey (WR)—Had 11 receptions for career high
156 yards and scored two touchdowns in 2005 victory. The 11 receptions
tied a Clemson single game record for an ACC game.
*Nick Watkins (LB)—Had seven tackles in 32 snaps in 2004
game in Tallahassee. He had just learned of his brother's death the day
of departure for that game. Had six tackles, including a sack in 49 plays
as a starter in 2005 game.
Clemson vs. FSU is Battle of Strengths
It is very early in the season, but this Clemson vs. Florida State
game could be a showdown of the ACC's top offense against the ACC's
top defense. A look to the early season stats shows that Clemson leads
the ACC in scoring with a 43.5 average, is first in total offense with 431
yards per game, is first in third down conversion at 55 percent, is second
in first downs with 44, is second in rushing offense with 173 yards per
game, is second in passing efficiency and is second in passing offense
with a 258.0 figure. Clemson is eighth in the nation in scoring and 22nd
in total offense entering the Florida State game.
Florida State on the other hand is first in the ACC in rushing
defense, allowing just 13 years per game and is second in total defense
allowing just 214.5 yards per game. In fact the Seminoles are first in the
nation in rushing defense and 11th in total defense.
Individually, Clemson has the ACC's top rusher in James Davis
(93.5 yards per game), the top receiver in the ACC in Chansi Stuckey
(8.0 receptions per game), and the ACC leader in total offense in Will
Proctor (260 yards per game). Proctor also leads the ACC in touchdown
passes and ranks second in passing efficiency with a 158.8 figure.
Clemson has another threat in freshman C.J. Spiller who is third in the
ACC in all-purpose running.
Clemson - FSU Game Notes
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