Clemson - Maryland Game Notes

Clemson holds a 29-23-2 advantage in the series with Maryland. The first game of the series was played in 1952, one year before both teams became charter members of the ACC. Maryland won each of the first four games in the series.

Clemson vs. Maryland Series
•Clemson has won each of the last two games after Maryland won the first three of the Ralph Friedgen era. Clemson has won 10 of the last 13, including each of the last two with touchdowns inside the last three minutes of play.

•Clemson had won eight in a row and 13 of 14 prior to Ralph Friedgen's return to his alma mater.

•Clemson held Maryland to just 12 total points in winning every game between 1993-98. Clemson recorded four shutouts, including three in a row during that time period. During Clemson's eight-game winning streak in the series from 1993-2000, Clemson held Maryland to an average of 7.0 points per game, while scoring 26.8 points per game themselves.

•Clemson has not scored over 28 points against Maryland since the 2000 season when the Tigers won at Clemson 35-14. Clemson did score 28 last year in a 28-24 win, but Clemson has averaged just 15.4 points per game against Maryland since Ralph Friedgen took over prior to the 2001 season.

•In 2002, Maryland defeated Clemson in Death Valley, its first win at Memorial Stadium since 1985. Clemson has won nine of the last 10 between the two teams in Death Valley. Clemson has a 16-11 lead in the series in games played at Clemson a 12-11- 1 lead in games played in College Park.

•Saturday's game will be a meeting of two of the traditional powerhouses of the ACC. Both Clemson and Maryland have been in the ACC since its inception in the fall of 1953. Both teams played their first ACC game against each other on October 3, 1953 at Clemson, a 20-0 Maryland victory. Clemson has the most ACC wins in the history of the league with 217 and Maryland is second with 190.

•Clemson and Maryland have both won the National Championship, the Terps during that first ACC season in 1953, and Clemson in 1981. Clemson has the most ACC championships with 13, while Maryland is third with nine.

•The two teams played at the end of the season in most years between 1978-88 and the game usually decided the ACC championship. That was certainly the case in 1978 when the Tigers won 28-24 at College Park, clinching an undefeated season in the league over Maryland. It was 11th ranked Maryland's only league loss that season.

•Clemson also clinched the ACC championship with a November victory or tie over Maryland in 1981, 1982, 1986, 1987 and 1988. Maryland clinched the ACC Championship in 2001 with a 37-20 victory over Clemson in College Park. The Terps also clinched the title in 1985 with a victory in Death Valley.

•Clemson has a history of great return performances against Maryland over the years. In 2001, Derrick Hamilton had a 100-yard kickoff return for a score in a game in College Park. Darnell Stephens had an 89-yard punt return for a score against the Terps in Death Valley in 1991, one year after Doug Thomas had a 98-yard kickoff return against Maryland in Baltimore. The greatest return game in ACC history was recorded by Clemson's Don Kelley against Maryland in 1970. he had 224 total return yards on punt and interception returns in that game.

Last Year vs. Maryland
Clemson 28, Maryland 24
Clemson, ranked #25 by AP, scored 14 points in the final 7:35 of the game to earn a comefrom- behind 28-24 win at Maryland. Charlie Whitehurst completed 18 of 22 passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns in leading Clemson to its second straight fourth-quarter win. It was only the fourth home loss for the Terrapins under Ralph Friedgen, who became Maryland's head coach in 2001.

The Tigers opened the game with the longest drive in terms of time of possession in school history, capped by a Reggie Merriweather one-yard touchdown run on fourth down. The drive covered 75 yards in 17 plays and lasted 9:47.

Maryland answered with a scoring drive of its own with the aid of a 44-yard pass from Sam Hollenbach to tight end Vernon Davis. The Tiger defense was able to hold the Terrapins out of the endzone, and a 21-yard field goal by Dan Ennis put Maryland on the board.

A snap over the head of punter Cole Chason on Clemson's next drive enabled the Terrapins to start their next possession on the Tiger two-yard line. Clemson kept Maryland out of the endzone for three consecutive plays, but Hollenbach dove over on a quarterback sneak from the one-yard line on fourth down to give the Terrapins their first lead of the day.

Clemson was forced to punt on its next drive, and Maryland looked poised to score again after Hollenbach hit Danny Melendez for a 41- yard gain. However, Tiger linebacker Tramaine Billie forced a fumble on second down and Charles Bennett recovered the ball at the Clemson 15-yard line. Neither offense threatened for the remainder of the half, and the two teams entered halftime with Maryland leading 10-7.

Tye Hill recorded his first interception since 2003 when he picked off Hollenbach three minutes into the second half. Clemson quickly moved down the field with the aid of two Terrapin personal-foul penalties, and Whitehurst found a wide-open Curtis Baham in the endzone on second-and-goal from the six-yard line to give the Tigers the lead.

The Terrapins came storming back, as Hollenbach hit Davis for a 30-yard completion to move the ball into Clemson territory. Three plays later, Hollenbach again went to Davis, this time for 29 yards and a touchdown, as Maryland regained the lead 17-14.

Clemson gained a first down on its next possession before it was forced to punt, and the Terrapin offense again went to work. Hollenbach was 5-for-5 on the ensuing drive, and it ended with his three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Joey Haynos, giving Maryland a 10-point lead. In fhe fourth quarter, Clemson started a comeback. Whitehurst hit Chansi Stuckey for six yards on first down, and a personal-foul penalty and 14-yard run by Merriweather moved the ball to midfield. After two incompletions, Whitehurst lofted a pass to Baham over the top of the secondary for the duo's second touchdown connection of the game. The 51-yard scoring play cut the Terrapin lead to 24-21.

An eight-yard run by Mario Merrills opened the next drive for Maryland, but the Terrapins for no gain on each of the next two plays. Podlesh was forced to punt again, and Chansi Stuckey returned the kick 13 yards to the Tiger 39-yard line.

Freshman James Davis had a 17-yard run to move the ball into Maryland territory. A Merriweather eight-yard run and four-yard reception set up the play of the game. Facing third-and-seven at the Terrapin 38, Clemson called a running play to Merriweather, who bounced outside and went untouched down the sideline for a 38-yard touchdown run, which proved to be the winning score. The junior gained 75 yards on 10 carries and scored twice. The Terrapins had one final chance and moved the ball as far as the Tiger 40. A holding call moved the ball back to midfield, and on second down, Gaines Adams recorded another sack. A screen pass on third down was stopped for a one-yard loss by Rashaad Jackson, and Hollenbach's fourth-down pass was incomplete, as the Tigers were able to celebrate their first win at Maryland since 1999.

Anthony Waters had a huge afternoon for the Tiger defense, totaling 14 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss. Adams had eight tackles, including his 2.5 sacks to earn ACC Defensive Lineman-of-the-Week honors. Watkins also garnered ACC Specialist-of-the-Week honors thanks to his six special team tackles. The Tiger defense had 12 tackles for loss on the day, and yielded only 56 yards on the ground. Whitehurst finished the day with an 81.8-percent completion mark and a pass efficiency rating of 179.8. Davis ran for 82 yards on 20 attempts to compliment the 75-yard day for Merriweather. Baham made the most of his opportunities in the game, as both of his receptions went for touchdowns.

Spence Coached at Maryland
Clemson offensive coordinator Rob Spence served as an assistant coach at Maryland from 1992-96 under Mark Duffner. During that time Maryland established 70 school records for offensive production. Spence's first year, he helped the Maryland offense score 53 points in a 53-23 Terps win over Clemson. In 1994, Spence served as Maryland's quarterbacks coach and the Terps ranked 10th in the nation in passing offense behind Scott Milanovich.

Tiger Veterans vs. Maryland
•Gaines Adams (DE )—Had four tackles, including a sack in 25 plays off the bench in 2004. Had career high eight tackles, including 2.5 sacks in 60 plays as a starter in 2005. Named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week for that performance in 2005 at Maryland.

•Nathan Bennett (OG )—Had season high 12.5 knockdown blocks in 62 plays at Maryland in 2005.

•Cole Chason (P )—Averaged 36.2 on six punts at Maryland in 2003. Averaged 45.0on eight punts in 2004 Clemson victory, the second best game of his career. Averaged 36.5 on four punts at Maryland in 2005.

•Duane Coleman (CB)—Had 11-36 in 57 plays as a starting running back in 2003 at Maryland. Had 9-27 rushing as a reserve in 2004. Had 3-55 on kickoff returns in win at Maryland in 2005.

•James Davis (RB)—Had 20-82 rushing and 3-24 receiving at Maryland in 2005.

•Jad Dean (PK )—Had 21-yard field goal in 10-7 Clemson win in 2004. Had 4-4 extra points in 28-24 Clemson win in 2005.

•C.J. Gaddis (CB )—Had career high tying 11 tackles, including eight first hits, and had 2-27 on kickoff returns at Maryland in 2005.

•Michael Hamlin (S)—Had four tackles in 25 snaps as a reserve safety in 2005.

•Rashaad Jackson (DT)—Had four tackles in 21 plays as a reserve in 2005. Had first career tackle for loss.

•Aaron Kelly (WR)—Had 4-26 receiving at Maryland in 2005.

•Reggie Merriweather (RB)—Had 17-60 and game winning touchdown run with 23 seconds left in 10-7 Clemson win in 2004. Had 10-75 and game winning 38-yard run with 2:58 left in 2005. Has three total touchdowns against Maryland in his career.

•Will Proctor (QB)—Has never played quarterback against Maryland.

•Chansi Stuckey (WR)—Had 1-7 receiving against Maryland in 2004. Had 2-15 receiving and 2-25 in punt returns in 2005 game.

•Nick Watkins (LB) —Had season high eight tackles in 2004 win against Maryland. Had 13 tackles, second highest total of his career, at Maryland in 2005.

Tigers in Terps a Combined 13-4
Clemson and Maryland are both in the middle of outstanding seasons. Clemson has a 7-2 mark and is ranked 19th in the nation in both major polls entering Saturday's noon game, while the Terps have won three games in a row and are now 6-2. All three of those Maryland wins have been by a touchdown or less, so Ralph Friedgen's team has been the master of late game heroics. In fact, four of their six wins have been by a touchdown or less and each of the last five games they have played have been decided by a touchdown or less.

The combined 13-4 record and combined.765 winning percentage is the best by the two teams since the 2001 meeting when Clemson was 5-3 and Maryland was 8-1 entering the late season game in College Park. Those two records in 2001 combine to reach the same 13-4 record and .765 winning percentage. Maryland won that game and went on to the ACC Championships.

However, this is the first time since 1983 that the teams have met at least four games into the season with a winning percentage of at least 75 percent by both squads. In 1983 entering a game at Clemson, the Tigers were 7-1-1, while Maryland was 7-2 for a 14-3-1 combined record and .805 percentage.

The top game in the series in terms of hype due to strong records and bowl and league championship implications took place in 1978 when 8-1 Clemson traveled to 9-1 Maryland. Clemson was 12th in the nation entering the game and Maryland was 11th. The winner was going to be the ACC Champion and clinch a bowl bid to the Gator Bowl. The Tigers came out on top 28-24 behind the play of quarterback Steve Fuller and receivers Dwight Clark and Jerry Butler, who both caught long touchdown passes during the game.

The top combined record for the two teams in the series took place in 1955 when a 6-1 Clemson team faced an 8-0 Maryland team. Maryland won that game 25-12 at Clemson. The Terps were ranked #2 in the nation entering that game. Maryland has a 4-2 lead in the series when the two teams combine for at least a 70 percent winning percentage and both teams have at least a winning record.

Davis Seeks 1000 Yards for Season, 2000 for Career
Clemson sophomore running back James Davis has 991 yards in 2006 and obviously needs just nine yards against Maryland to reach 1000 for the season. He has reached the 991 mark on just 151 carries, giving him a 6.6 average for the season. He is averaging 16.8 carries for 110.1 yards per game and has scored 17 touchdowns, an average of almost two touchdowns per game.

The ACC record for fewest rushing attempt to reach 1,000 rushing yards in a season is held by former Clemson All-American Terrence Flagler, who reached 1000 yards in 1986 on just 140 rushing attempts. Warrick Dunn of Florida State did in 141 attempts during the 1995 season, a year in which he averaged 7.5 yards per carry, an ACC record for a 1000-yard season. Dais has 151 carries so far this year and will be the third fastest to 1000 if he reaches nine yards by his third carry against the Terps.

Clemson has had 11 1000-yard rushing seasons by nine different players over the years. Raymond Priester (1996-97) and Woodrow Dantzler (2000-01) are the only players to reach it twice. Dantzler is the last Clemson player to reach 1,000 yards, as he had 1061 in his senior season of 2001. The last running back to do it is Travis Zachery, who had 1027 rushing in 2000. However, Zachery was not Clemson's leading rusher that year, as Dantzler gained 1028 from the quarterback position.

Davis had 879 yards rushing last year and with the 991 so far this year, stands at 1870 for his career. He needs just 130 rushing yards against Maryland to reach the 2000-yard mark for his Clemson career. He would become just the 16th player in Clemson history to reach 2,000 yards in a career. The last to reach it was Woody Dantzler who went over the 2,000 yard mark in his senior year, 2001. Davis is currently 18th in Clemson history with his 1870 yards.

Thus nine more yards by Davis will make him the 10th different player to reach 1,000 yards in a season. His 17 rushing touchdowns have already tied the Clemson single season mark. Lester Brown, who has a son on the Clemson track team this year, had 17 rushing touchdowns in 1978. One more touchdown will tie the overall Clemson touchdown record held by Travis Zachery, who had 18 in 2000 on 13 rushing touchdowns and five receiving.

Davis is creeping up on some ACC standards. The ACC record for rushing touchdowns in a season is 19 held by Robert Lavette of Georgia Tech in 1982, his sophomore year, and 19 by Don McCauley of North Carolina in 1970, his senior year. McCauley holds the total touchdowns record with 21 in that same 1970 season (19 rushing and two receiving).

Clemson Defense among Nation's Best
Clemson's defense has been outstanding all season. Vic Koenning's group leads the ACC in pass efficiency defense and quarterback sacks, and is second in total defense, pass defense, and scoring defense. Even with the loss at Virginia Tech, Clemson is still fifth in the nation in total defense, allowing just 241.7 yards per game, and 12th in scoring defense, allowing 13.8 points per game. The Tigers are also 11th pass defense and eighth in pass efficiency defense and 15th in rushing defense. Clemson has not finished the season in the top 20 in all four major defensive categories since 1991.

It has been an amazing accomplishment considering Clemson's top two tacklers from last year, Anthony Waters and Tramaine Billie, have been lost for the season and played a combined one game. But, many players have stepped up to fill in the void left by those players.

Nick Watkins, a junior linebacker from New Orleans, LA, is the top tackler with 70 stops, including nine last week against Virginia Tech.

Duane Coleman has been among the top defensive backs in the ACC and has 61 tackles and three fumble recoveries.

Antonio Clay, Waters replacement at middle linebacker, is second on the club in tackles with 67 . He has had 28 tackles in his last two games combined. He had 13 in the win over Georgia Tech and was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the week. His 15 tackles at Virginia Tech were the most by a Clemson player since 2003. Of course, Gaines Adams receives the most notoriety among the defenders as the senior leads the ACC and ranks in the top 10 in the nation in sacks with 9.5 and he is also second in the ACC in tackles for loss with 13.5. He has 19 quarterback pressures, six more than any other Clemson player.

How good has this Clemson defense been this year? The unit has given up more than 260 yards just twice all year, at Boston College and at Virginia Tech. Top Stories