This will be the first time Clemson has played a regular season game on a Monday night since 1982 when the Tigers opened the season at Georgia in a nationally televised game on ABC.
"This will bring tremendous exposure
to our program," said Head Coach Tommy
Bowden. "The Clemson-Florida State game is
always one of the most watched college games
of the year and now it will be in a time slot on
a holiday evening with no other college game
broadcast at the same time.
"As we saw last year when ESPN's
College GameDay came to Clemson for the
Georgia Tech game, this Labor Day evening
game will be a great opportunity to showcase
Clemson University," said Clemson Athletic
Director Dr. Terry Don Phillips. "It will bring
great exposure for the University as we strive
to become a Top 20 national public university."
Clemson was recently ranked 27th in the nation
among Public Institutions by US News & World
This is the first time Clemson has
played on Labor Day in 25 years. The opening
game of the 1982 season matched Clemson, the
1981 National Champion, against Georgia, the
1980 National Champion. The game was played
in Athens and was shown on ABC in prime time.
The Bulldogs won the game, 13-7 and went on
to an 11-1 season, losing the national championship
game against Penn State in the Sugar
Bowl. The quarterback for Penn State that year
and in that game was Todd Blackledge, who will
broadcast Monday night's game for ESPN.
Clemson went on to a 9-1-1 record
and number-eight final ranking by AP in 1982.
That opening game was the only contest Georgia
lost that year. It is the only season since
1898 that Clemson has lost its opening game,
then never lost the rest of the year.
Clemson vs. Florida State Series
Florida State has a 15-5 advantage
in the series with Clemson, but the Tigers have
won three of the last four meetings. Clemson
became the first ACC school to defeat the
Seminoles three of four years with the 27-20 win
in Tallahassee last year. The Tigers won that
game in dramatic fashion on a one-yard touchdown
run by James Davis with eight seconds
Clemson won the last meeting
between the two teams in Clemson by a 35-14
score in Charlie Whitehurst's final home game
as a Tiger quarterback. It was his second career
win over the Seminoles as he also gained victory
by a 26-10 score in 2003.
Clemson's other two wins in the series
took place at Florida State, in 1976 and in 1989.
The 1989 victory came in Danny Ford's last year
as Clemson coach, a 34-23 victory. The Tigers
used a 73-yard scoring run by Terry Allen and a
73-yard interception return by Wayne Simmons,
to jump to a 28-10 halftime lead. (Allen will dot
the I in Tigers during the pre-game ceremonies
Monday evening.) That was Florida State's last
loss that year and the Seminoles went on to a
10-2 record and number-three final ranking in
the AP poll. Clemson also concluded the season
10-2 and ranked 12th in the final AP poll.
Florida State won 11 consecutive
games in the series prior to Clemson's victory
in 2003. All the wins were recorded by Bobby
Bowden, who has a 14-5 all-time record against
Clemson. Bobby Bowden has lost his last two
appearances at Clemson's Death Valley, but his
6-2 record is still the most victories by an opposing
head coach in the facility. Vince Dooley
(Georgia) is second with five.
This will be the ninth Bowden Bowl.
Bobby has the 5-3 lead, but Tommy is coming
on strong with three wins in the last four. The
first Bowden Bowl came in 1999, a 17-14 victory
for Florida State. That FSU team went on to win
the national championship and the 17 points and
three-point victory margin were the smallest for
Florida State in that championship season.
Florida State Game Review 2006
James Davis' one-yard touchdown run
with eight seconds left propelled Clemson to a
27-20 victory at #9 Florida State in Bowden Bowl
VIII on September 16. It was the Tigers' first win
in Tallahassee since 1989, ending Clemson's
seven-game losing streak at Doak S. Campbell
The Tiger senior class became the first
in ACC history to defeat the Seminoles three times.
The loss also was only Florida State's third loss in
its first 57 ACC home games.
Clemson had three touchdown-scoring
drives of 80 yards or more, totaling 345 yards (5.9
yards per play), while the Seminoles amassed only
Davis, who only had 20 yards rushing on
13 carries until Clemson's final drive, ran six times
for 67 yards on the last drive. He rushed for 87
yards in all. Aaron Kelly was the leading receiver
with five catches for 51 yards.
Will Proctor stood tall against a stingy
Seminole defense. The Winter Park, FL native was
16-30 for 194 yards and a touchdown. He was a
big reason the Tigers did not commit a turnover.
His offensive line did not allow a sack as well.
In the first quarter, Jacoby Ford took a
reverse 38 yards to the eight, and Davis rushed into
the endzone on the next play to give the Tigers a
6-0 lead. However, Lawrence Timmons blocked
the extra-point attempt, and Tony Carter picked up
the ball and went the distance for two points.
After a 55-yard punt (60-yard net), the
Tigers took over at their own 20 in the second quarter.
Rendrick Taylor pulled down a 32-yard catch
to move the ball into Seminole territory. Clemson
moved the ball to the 15, but the drive stalled.
Dean came on the field to attempt a
32-yard field goal. But Patrick Robinson blocked
another field-goal attempt, and Carter once again
was in the right place. He scooped the ball up and
sprinted 69 yards for the touchdown.
Clemson came right back and regained
the lead just before halftime. The Tigers drove 80
yards in 10 plays, capped by Chansi Stuckey's 19-
yard touchdown catch with only 23 seconds left in
the first half. Proctor found Stuckey again in the
back of the endzone for two points.
The Tigers received the opening kickoff
of the second half and marched 80 yards in five
plays to up their lead to 20-9. Proctor lofted a
touch pass to Davis out of the backfield, and the
sophomore ran 54 yards before being tackled at
the Seminole 26. Three plays later, Proctor faked
a handoff, rolled left, and ran 20 yards into the
endzone untouched for six points. The two-point
conversion attempt was unsuccessful, leaving the
Tigers ahead by 11 points.
Momentum shifted Florida State's way.
The Seminoles cut the Tiger lead to one possession
with 3:19 left in the third quarter when Cismesia
made a 25-yard field goal.
On their next drive, the Seminoles drove 53 yards in 12 plays to tie the score. A 26-yard
pass from Drew Weatherford to Chris Davis on
third-and-nine helped set up Joe Surratt's one-yard
touchdown plunge. Weatherford connected with
Davis again for a successful two-point conversion.
Proctor was unable to handle a snap
deep in Tiger territory, and the officials ruled that
the Seminoles came up with the fumble. But after
a replay review, Clemson was awarded possession
due to dual-possession. The Tigers were forced
to punt, but Florida State never penetrated inside
the Tiger 40 again.
After four straight three-and-outs by the
Tiger offense, Clemson began its final drive at its
own 15 with 2:22 left. Davis' 14-yard rush gave
Clemson breathing room, then Proctor hit Kelly
on a slant pass for 18 yards. After the play, the
Seminole defense was still in the process of lining
up, and Proctor caught Florida State off-guard with
a quick snap. Davis found a hole and raced 47
yards to the four.
Two rushes netted three yards to the
one yard line, and the Tigers called timeout with
11 seconds left. Davis found paydirt off left guard
with eight seconds remaining.
This is the ninth Bowden Bowl and
Bobby Bowden has a 5-3 advantage over his
son Tommy Bowden in the previous eight. This
is the only recorded series in Division I college
football history in which father has coached
Here is a short summary of each of the
first eight 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 there.
* 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 team.
* 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 scrimmage)
* 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. 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 1979.
* 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 a lost on his birthday for
the only time in his career.
* 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 than 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 career.
* 2006—James Davis scored on a one-yard run with just eight
seconds left to lead Clemson to a 27-20 victory at Florida State. It was
the closest score in a Bowden Bowl since the first Bowden Bowl in 1999.
Florida State was ranked ninth in the nation entering the contest and the
Tigers were unranked after losing the previous week to Boston College in
overtime. Clemson held Florida State to 204 yards of total offense, and it
was just the third home ACC loss for Florida State in 57 home ACC games.
Gaines Adams had seven tackles, including 2.5 sacks to key the Clemson
Amato Returns to Death Valley
Former NC State head coach Chuck Amato is now associate
head coach and linebackers coach at Florida State. He was an assistant
coach with the Seminoles from 1983-99, then served the Wolfpack as
head coach from 2000-06. He coached NC State in Death Valley last year,
a close competitive game the Tigers won 20-14.
The Tigers also defeated the Wolfpack in 2004 (26-20) at Clemson
in another game decided on the last play, an interception by Charles
Bennett, and in 2005 (31-10) at NC State, a game that featured the
running of then freshman James Davis. Overall, Amato was 2-5 against
Clemson in his seven seasons at NC State.
In his previous term as assistant coach at Florida State, he was
on the sidelines for 10 games and came away a winner nine times. The
only time Florida State lost to Clemson with Amato on the sidelines took
place in 1989 when Clemson won in Tallahassee, 34-23.
Fisher vs. Koenning
Clemson and Florida State both have well known coordinators
on each side of the football. Rob Spence took Clemson to the ACC
statistical championship rushing, scoring and total offense last year, the
first time since 1991 that Clemson won all three titles. Mickey Andrews
many years of defensive accomplishments have been well documented at
The matchup between Florida State's offensive coordinator Jimbo
Fisher and Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning is an intriguing
one. Fisher is in his first year at Florida State after seven successful seasons
at LSU in the same capacity. Last year LSU was 11th in the nation in
total offense and ninth in scoring, thanks in part to the play of number-one
NFL draft choice Jamarcus Russell, who was third in the nation in passing
efficiency last year.
Koenning has taken Clemson to a top 25 national ranking in all
four major defensive statistical categories in each of the last two years, the
first time Clemson has done that since 1990-91. Last year Clemson was
13th in the nation in total defense and 16th in scoring defense.
This won't be the first time Koenning and Fisher have competed
against each other. In 2004, when Koenning was defensive coordinator
at Troy, his Trojans went to LSU and faced Fisher's LSU offense. The
result was a 24-20 LSU win in front of a Tigers homecoming crowd of over
89,000. LSU had to score a fourth quarter touchdown to gain the victory,
an important win for the defending National Champions on the way to a 9-3
season in 2004.
LSU gained just 57 yards rushing that night, the fewest by
Fisher's offense all year. They would end the year 20th in the nation in
rushing with an average of 193 per game. Troy would end that year eighth
in the nation in rushing defense.
Fisher also has considerable ties to Clemson head coach
Tommy Bowden. Bowden and Fisher coached together at Auburn on
Terry Bowden's staff from 1993-96. Fisher was the quarterbacks coach
and Tommy Bowden was the offensive coordinator and wide receivers
coach. In the four years they were on the staff together, Auburn had a 36-9-1 record, including an 11-0 season in 1993.
Florida State - Clemson Game Notes
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