Clemson vs. Virginia Tech Series
Clemson has a 17-10-1 lead in the
series with Virginia Tech, including a 6-2
advantage in games played in Blacksburg, and
a 4-1 lead in games played in Lane Stadium.
Virginia Tech's only win over Clemson in Lane
Stadium took place in 1999. That Virginia Tech
team led by Michael Vick went on to the
national championship game that year against
The Hokies have won each of the last
three games in the series, one at Clemson, one
at Virginia Tech, and one in the 2001 Gator
Bowl. Those three consecutive wins all came
under Frank Beamer in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
The 1998 victory was in Tommy West's last year
and the 1999 and 2000 wins for Virginia Tech
took place against Tommy Bowden. The two
teams have not met since the 2001 Gator Bowl
at the end of the 2000 season.
Clemson's last victory in the series
took place in 1989 at Blacksburg, as a
seventh-ranked Clemson team that had just
won at Florida State, defeated Virginia Tech 27-
7. Virginia Tech's only score came on a 90-
yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Marcus
Here are some other notes on the
•The Clemson vs. Virginia Tech series
is one of the oldest in the Clemson history
books. The two teams first met in 1900 when
the Tigers won 17-5 during John Heisman's first
year as head coach. That was Clemson's fifth
straight win in a 6-0 season in Heisman's first
year. That game was played in Charlotte, NC.
•Clemson actually had a nine-game
winning streak in the series from 1955-89,
including a 6-1 record against the Hokies in the
decade of the 1980s.
•Virginia Tech won in the last game
played in Blacksburg, a 31-11 Hokie victory in a
Thursday night game on ESPN. Clemson
trailed just 17-11 late in the game, but Virginia
Tech scored two touchdowns in the last four
minutes. Clemson held Michael Vick to 7-16
passing for 88 yards and intercepted three of
his passes, the most effective pass defense
against Vick during that season.
•The 1956 Clemson vs. Virginia Tech
game was a battle of top 15 teams at Clemson.
The Tigers won that game 21-6. Last Saturday
Clemson defeated Georgia Tech 31-7 in a battle
of top 13 teams at Clemson Memorial Stadium.
Those are the only two games in Clemson
history that Clemson has won in Death Valley
when both teams were ranked in the top 15 in
the nation entering the game.
•Virginia Tech upset Clemson in the
season opener at Clemson in 1986 by a 20-14
score. That was one of just two season opening
losses in Danny Ford's Clemson career. A
blocked punt by Virginia Tech's Mitch Dove was
a key play in the game. Clemson's punter that
day was Bill Spiers, who went on to a 10-year
major league baseball career.
•Clemson won the 1985 game at
Virginia Tech by a 20-17 score on a 36-yard
field goal by David Treadwell on the last play of
the game. That was the season opener for both
•Clemson had a three-game winning
streak in the series between 1987-89.
Clemson's defense was prominent, allowing just
24 points and two offensive touchdowns in
those three games combined.
Last Meeting with Virginia Tech
2001 Gator Bowl
Virginia Tech 41, Clemson 20
Michael Vick rebounded from an
ankle-injury to lead Virginia Tech to a 41-20 win
over Clemson victory in his final college game
at the Gator Bowl. The quarterback finished
with two touchdowns while completing 10 of 18
passes for 205 yards. The contest was a battle
of mobile quarterbacks, as Clemson's Woodrow
Dantzler gained 261 yards of total offense for
the afternoon. Both teams were ranked in the
top 20 of both polls entering the game.
The Hokies capitalized on early costly
Tiger mistakes. The uncharacteristic play began
on the first drive when snapper Henry Owen
bounced his delivery to punter Jaime Somaini,
who was tackled for an eight-yard loss by Lee
Suggs. Tech scored on its first offensive play of
the game when Vick threw to Jarrett Ferguson
on a 23-yard touchdown play.
Later in the quarter, Terry Jolly
jumped off-side to preserve an 11-play, 59-yard
drive that ended in a six-yard touchdown run for
Clemson got back into the game, but
at a heavy cost. Dantzler found Travis Zachery
for a 23-yard touchdown early in the second
quarter. However, Zachery's missed the rest of
the game due to a broken foot that occurred as
the tailback leaped into the endzone. On the
play, Zachery also snapped Lester Brown's
single-season Clemson record of 17
touchdowns in a season.
Two possessions later, Keith Adams
sacked Vick for 18 yards, forcing a fumble that
Terry Bryant recovered on the Hokie 13.
Clemson had to settle for an Aaron Hunt field
goal, bringing the Tigers to within 14-10. But,
that was as close as Clemson could get. Suggs
scored his first touchdown of the day on a
three-yard rush on the next possession to give
the Hokies a 21-10 lead.
Hopes of a second-half rally were
shattered when Vick found Andre Davis for a
55-yard touchdown on the first drive of the
second half. Willie Simmons relieved Dantzler
in the final quarter. On his first possession,
Simmons led the offense on an 11-play, 71-yard
drive that ended in a 23-yard touchdown pass
to Rod Gardner. With seven catches, Gardner
surpassed Terry Smith's Clemson record for
career receptions, finishing his career with 166.
Both quarterbacks were prominent in
the much-anticipated match-up between Vick
and Dantzler, although the Hokie quarterback
left with both a Gator Bowl and a MVP trophy.
Vick had the advantage in the passing game,
his numbers slightly besting Dantzler's 15-32
for 180 yards.
Tigers from Virginia
Clemson has just two players on its
roster from the state of Virginia, but both are
prominent players. Chris McDuffie is a redshirt
junior offensive guard who will make his
first college start at Virginia Tech this Thursday.
McDuffie is from Danville, VA and will be
replacing Roman Fry in the starting lineup at a
guard position. Fry suffered a torn ACL against
Georgia Tech and is lost for the season.
McDuffie will thus be making his first college
start in his home state.
McDuffie came on in the fourth play of
the Georgia Tech game and had an immediate
impact as James Davis followed his block for a
17-yard run and a first down. McDuffie played
39 plays in the Georgia Tech game and had an 82 percent grade from the Clemson coaches.
He had 10.5 knockdown blocks, the high total in
the game among Clemson linemen.
Kavell Conner is a red-shirt freshman
linebacker from Richmond, VA. He has played
in all eight games and has played 104 snaps so
far this season. He has 24 tackles to rank 10th
on the team, second among non-starters. He
had seven of those tackles in the win over
Louisiana Tech to lead the team in that
category. He had four tackles in 11 snaps in the
win over Georgia Tech.
Virginia is proving to be a good state
for athletic talent for Clemson. The starting
point guard on the Tigers basketball team is
Vernon Hamilton, a native of Richmond, who
was a member of the All-ACC defense team last
Anniversary Season at Clemson
So far the 2006 Clemson football
season has the makings of a special year. The
Tigers are 7-1 for just the second time since
1987 and are ranked in the top 10 for the first
time since 2000.
This is an anniversary season for the
Clemson program in many ways. First, this is
the 25-year anniversary of Clemson's 1981
national championship, the only national
championship in the programs history. That
team finished 12-0 under Danny Ford and
defeated Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, 22-
15.That anniversary was celebrated on
September 23 at the North Carolina game.
That team was inducted as a team into the
Clemson Ring of Honor at Memorial Stadium.
This is also the 50-year anniversary
of Clemson's 1956 team that went to the
Orange Bowl. The last two seasons Clemson
has been to the Orange Bowl have been the
1981 and 1956 teams, squads celebrating their
25th and 50th anniversaries, respectively. The
1956 team will be honored at the Maryland
game on November 4.
As far as Clemson tradition, this is
the 40-year anniversary of Howard's Rock and
its placement at the top of the hill at Clemson
Memorial Stadium. Clemson players rub
Howard's Rock before they run down the hill
prior to each game. It was first place on the
pedestal for the Virginia game in 1966.
From a campus standpoint, this is the
100th year of The Tiger student newspaper, the
40-year anniversary of the Cooper Library, and
the 200-year anniversary of the birth of Thomas
Green Clemson, the university's founder.
Clemson just had its 50th Tigerama, the
homecoming celebration prior to the
homecoming game. That homecoming contest
was October 21 against Georgia Tech.
There are many similarities between
this Clemson team and the 2006 Tigers. First,
Clemson is starting a fifth-year senior
quarterback in his first year as the starter. Will
Proctor was a backup to Charlie Whitehurst
before finally getting his shot this year.
Whitehurst won 25 games as the Clemson
starting signal caller, the second most wins in
Clemson history. In 1989, Chris Morocco was a
fifth-year senior in his first year as the starter
after serving behind Rodney Williams for four
years. Williams is Clemson's winningest
quarterback with 32 career victories.
This season Clemson won in
Tallahassee by a 27-20 score on a one-yard
touchdown run by James Davis with eight seconds left. The last time Clemson had won
in Tallahassee was in 1989, a 34-23 victory
engineered by Chris Morocco.
Thursday night Clemson will travel to
Blacksburg, VA to take on Virginia Tech. The
last time Clemson defeated the Hokies was in
1989 in Blacksburg, a 27-7 Clemson victory. In
that game Clemson used a strong running back
tandem to gain the victory. Wesley McFadden
had 20 rushes for 93 yards and Terry Allen
added 17-74 and a touchdown to key the
victory. Allen had a key play in the game when
he completed a 66-yard halfback option pass to
Gary Cooper to give Clemson a 20-0 lead. Of
course, the 2006 Clemson team features a
dynamic pair at running back in James Davis
and C.J. Spiller.
Clemson held Virginia Tech to 243
yards of total offense behind top tackler Levon
Kirkland, who also had a 47-yard interception
return for a touchdown.
Clemson working on quick Turnaround
Clemson has a quick turnaround in
playing at Virginia Tech on Thursday night. The
Tigers defeated Georgia Tech this past
Saturday and will attempt to sweep the ACC
Tech's within a five-day period. Clemson also
defeated Louisiana Tech earlier this year.
This is the second time this year
Clemson has had a quick turnaround. Clemson
defeated Wake Forest on October 7, a
Saturday, then defeated Temple on Thursday
night October 12 in Charlotte. That marked the
first time since 1929 that Clemson has won two
games in five days. That year Clemson
defeated The Citadel at Clemson by a 13-0
score on November 23, then defeated Furman
five days later (Nov. 28) by a 7-6 score at
Overall, this is just the fifth time since
1933 that Clemson has played two games
within five days. The other occurrences took
place in 1982, 2002, 2003. The 2002 and 2003
occurrences were ESPN Thursday night games,
while the 1982 schedule was a Monday night
game at Georgia followed by a home game
against Western Carolina.
Playing games in short periods of
time were commonplace in the early days of
football. Clemson played three games in seven
days twice, once in 1907 an again in 1911. In
1907 Clemson lost to Auburn on Nov. 4, to
Georgia on Nov. 7 and to Davidson on Nov. 9.
In 1911, the Tigers defeated South Carolina on
Nov. 2, defeated The Citadel on Nov. 4 and lost
to Georgia on Nov. 9.
Clemson on ESPN Thursday Night
This will be Clemson's eighth
appearance on ESPN's Thursday Night College
Football Package. Clemson is 1-6 in its
previous appearances, including a 1-5 under
Tommy Bowden. That one win, however, took
place in Clemson's last appearance, a 31-10
win last season at NC State.
Clemson lost to Georgia Tech in the
1998 season under Tommy West, then lost at
Virginia Tech and Michael Vick on a Thursday
night in 1999, Tommy Bowden's first year. The
Tigers lost a pair of Thursday night games in
2002, at Florida State and at home against NC
State. In 2003 Clemson lost at NC State, 17-
15, in a battle of current San Diego Charger
quarterbacks (Phillip Rivers and Charlie
Whitehurst). The Tigers dropped a 30-10
decision to a #12 Virginia team in 2004.
While Clemson has a 1-6 mark on Thursday night, it should be
noted that five of the six losses have been to top 25 teams and four of
the six have been on the road. Clemson played at home on a Thursday
night in the ESPN package against Georgia Tech in 1998 and against NC
State in 2002. Georgia Tech entered that 1998 game ranked 22nd in the
nation, but finished the season 10-2 and ranked ninth in the nation. The
1999 Virginia Tech team finished 11-1 and ranked second in the country.
The 2002 NC State team finished with a school record 11 wins and a top
Playing on Thursday is not new for Clemson historically.
Clemson and South Carolina used to play on "Big Thursday" every year
between 1909 and 1959. The game was played in Columbia in
conjunction with the State Fair.
Clemson did not win a Thursday game between 1964 and
2004. The Tigers played on Thanksgiving Day in 1963 due to the death
of President Kennedy. Overall, Clemson has played 124 games on
Thursdays in its history and the Tigers are 54-60-10 in those games.
Clemson has won two in a row on Thursday, including this year's 63-9
win over Temple in Charlotte on October 12.
Thunder and Lightning
Clemson running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller both
went over 100 yards rushing in Clemson's win over Louisiana Tech, two
of three running backs to go over 100 in that 51-0 Clemson win.
(Demerick Chancellor was the third). Davis had 11-143 and two
touchdowns, while Spiller gained 127 in 15 carries and scored once.
That marked the first time since 1982 that three backs went over 100
yards in a game for the Tigers, the first time since 2002 that two went
over 100 yards in the same game.
That combined 270 yards by Davis and Spiller was trumped in
the win over Georgia Tech when they combined for 332 on 37 carries and
scored a combined four touchdowns. Davis had 216 yards in the
contest, his career high, and had a pair of runs over 50 yards. Spiller
added 116 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown run and added a 50-
yard touchdown reception off a shot pass in the flat from quarterback Will
Proctor. It marked the first time in Clemson history that the Tigers had
had a 200-yard rusher and 100-yard rusher in the same game. The
closest occurrence came in 1974 when Ken Callicutt had 197 and Mark
Fellers had 106 in a victory over South Carolina at Death Valley.
The combined 332 yards rushing ranks by Spiller and Davis
against Georgia Tech ranks second in Clemson history for two Clemson
players in the same game, the most since Raymond Priester and Nealon
Greene had a combined 358 against Duke in 1995. It was quite an
accomplishment considering Georgia Tech was seventh in the nation in
rushing defense entering the game, allowing just 72 yards per game.
During the ESPN broadcast of the Georgia Tech game, color
commentator Todd Blackledge referred to Davis and Spiller as "Thunder
and Lightning" because of their respective running styles. Davis has
more of the power game and Spiller has lightning quick speed. The
players were interviewed on the ESPN Gameday set at Death Valley
immediately after the game.
So far this year, Davis and Spiller have combined for 1484
yards in eight games, an average of 185.5 yards per game. The duo has
those 1484 yards on just 216 attempts, for a per carry average of 6.87
yards per rush. They also have a combined 23 rushing touchdowns.
They are ahead of the Clemson record pace for combined yards rushing
per game by a duo over the course of a season. They are just three
touchdowns short of the rushing touchdown record for two backs
Clemson - Virginia Tech Game Notes
CUTigers.com Top Stories
Updated Scout 300 Trend Meter For 2017The updated Scout 300 Trend Meter for the 2017 class takes a look at which schools are trending for each uncommitted member in the Scout 300.
Scout Football5:40 AM
RECRUITING RADARIn our weekly Recruiting Radar, CUTigers Recruiting Analyst Gary McDaniel updates you on the latest news and intel on the Clemson recruiting front!
CUTigers.comYesterday at 3:20 PM
MONDAY WEST ZONE INTERVIEWSWatch Deshaun Watson, Wayne Gallman and Tony Elliott discuss the upcoming showdown with Florida State!
CUTigers.comYesterday at 2:56 PM
TIGERS REMAIN #3 IN BOTH POLLSWith Ohio State losing and Michigan jumping to #2, idle Clemson sits at #3 in both of Sunday's polls.
CUTigers.comSunday at 10:59 AM
GRADES AND ANALYSIS: NC State#3 Clemson committed 4 turnovers, including 3 in the red zone and a pick-six, in its 24-17 overtime win over NC State in Death Valley.
CUTigers.comThursday at 2:52 PM