Clemson working on quick Turnaround
Clemson has a quick turnaround in
playing Louisiana- Monroe on Saturday after
playing Florida State on Monday night. The last
time Clemson had to prepare on a short week,
it lost the second game at Virginia Tech. The
Tigers had defeated Georgia Tech the previous
Saturday, then lost to the Hokies in Blacksburg
on Thursday (Oct. 21-26, 2007).
Clemson last won two games in five
days last year. Clemson defeated Wake Forest
on Saturday October 7, 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
So, a win over Louisiana Monroe on
Saturday would give Clemson two wins in five
days for just the second time since 1929.
Overall, this is just the fifth time since
1933 that Clemson has played two games within
five days. The other occurrences took place in
2002, 2003 and twice in 2006. The 2002 and
2003 occurrences were ESPN Thursday night
games. Clemson played a Monday night game
at Georgia in 1982, but did not play the following
Saturday. They had 12 days to prepare for a
September 18 game with Boston College.
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 and 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.
So, since 1933, Clemson is 1-3 when
having just four days to prepare for a game.
The one win was the victory over Temple last
Clemson KOR Coverage Much Improved
One of the areas Clemson Coach
Tommy Bowden wanted to see improvement in
2007 was kickoff return coverage. The Tigers
struggled in that area last year as opponents had
a 23.9 return average and had an average start
of the 30-yard-line. Boston College returned a
kickoff for a touchdown in their overtime victory
last year in Boston. Had Clemson won that
game it would have played in the ACC Championship
When running backs coach Andre
Powell joined the staff from North Carolina in
February he brought with him a resume that
included serving as special teams coordinator.
He had been especially successful in the kickoff
return coverage area. North Carolina ranked
second in the ACC in that area in 2006.
His hard work in the area paid off in
Clemson's 24-18 win over Florida State on September
3. The Seminoles, who have a history of
returning kicks for scores against Clemson, averaged
19.8 yards per return on their five kickoff
returns. This includes the kickoff return after the
Florida State's average start after kickoffs
(not including the start after the safety) was
its own 21.4 yard line. That is obviously much
improved over the 30-yard-line for the 2006
season. That nine-yard difference was realized
even though the kickoffs were moved back to the
30 from the 35 this year.
Florida State's started at their own 21,
12, 22, 32 and 20 after Clemson kickoffs. They
had a return to the 41 after the safety and that is
factored into the official kickoff return stats.
Clemson place kicker Mark Buchholz
had a positive impact on the coverage. His kickoffs
were high and deep. He had two kickoffs
to the one and two that reached the end zone,
including one touchback. The fifth kickoff from
the 30 reached the eight.
Tigers Face Non-BCS Division I Opponent
Clemson will face Louisiana-Monroe,
a member of the Sun Belt Conference, on Saturday
afternoon at 1:00 PM. Clemson has had
success over the years against Division I teams
not in BCS conferences. The Tigers are 16-1
against non-BCS Division I schools since 1975,
including a 9-1 mark under Tommy Bowden.
Clemson's only loss to a Division I
non-BCS conference team since 1975 is a 13-10
loss to Marshall, then of the Mid-American Conference,
in 1999. That was Tommy Bowden's
first game as Clemson coach. That Marshall
team, led by current New York Jets quarterback
Chad Pennington, went on to a 13-0 season
and a #10 final national ranking in both polls.
Marshall is now a member of Conference USA.
The last Division I team not in a
BCS conference to defeat Clemson prior to the
Marshall game in 1999 was Tulane, who gained
a 17-13 win at Clemson in the 1975 season
opener. Tulane was an independent then.
Clemson will have one more game
against a non-BCS Division I school on October
20 when Central Michigan comes to Clemson.
Clemson vs. Sun Belt Teams
This will be Clemson's first game
against Louisiana Monroe, but the Tigers are 2-0
against teams from the Sun Belt Conference.
Both victories took place in the Tommy Bowden
era. Last year the Tigers defeated Florida Atlantic
54-7 an in 2003 down Middle Tennessee
Tigers Look for Start 2-0
Clemson will be looking for a 2-0 start when
the Tigers meet Louisiana-Monroe this weekend.
Clemson last opened with a 2-0 record
in 2005, the third time under Tommy Bowden
that the Tigers have started 2-0. Historically,
Clemson has struggled in the second game of
the year and when the Tigers do start 2-0 it is
usually the indicator of a strong season. Clemson
has been 2-0 just 10 times since 1971 and
the Tigers have gone on to have a 75 percent
winning percentage in those 10 years.
Clemson Played Seven First-Year Freshmen in Opener
Clemson's 2007 freshman class was
regarded as among the best at Clemson in many
years and among the best in the nation according
to many services. Seven first-year freshmen
played in the opener against Florida State.
The list of first-year freshmen who
played against Florida State included tight
end Brian Linthicum, who caught an 11-yard
touchdown pass for Clemson's first score of the
season. He became the first Clemson first-year
freshman to score in his first game since Bernard
Rambert scored two touchdowns against Maryland
in 1999 in his first game.
DeAndre McDaniel had six tackles and
two pass deflections in the secondary in his first
game, while Jarvis Jenkins contributed a sack
on his first career series. Scotty Cooper, Chad
Diehl, Xavier Dye and Marcus Gilchrist were
the other first year freshmen to see action in the
opener against the Seminoles.
In the last 26 years (including 2007),
Clemson has played 147 first-year freshmen,
an average of 5.6 per season. Sixty-two of the
first-year freshmen who have played have been
offensive players, while 81 have been defensive
players and four have been kickers.
Since Tommy Bowden came to Clemson
in 1999, the Tigers have played 49 first-year
freshmen, 18 on offense, 29 on defense and
two special teams. That is an average of 5.44
first-year freshman per year, so Bowden is a bit
below the Clemson average for the last 26 years.
The record for first-year freshmen
played in one season is 11 in 1985. That year
Danny Ford played six first-year freshmen on offense
and five on defense. The 1994 Clemson
team under Tommy West played 10 first-year
freshmen, including a record nine on offense.
The most wins for a Clemson team that
has played at least eight first year freshmen is
10, set in 1989, a Clemson team that played
eight first-year freshmen in a 10-2 season.
The most first-year freshmen Clemson
has played in the Bowden era is nine, in 2001.
That year Bowden played three on offense and
six on defense on the way to a 7-5 season.
Clemson has played at least one first-
year freshman for all 25 years of the rule. The
fewest was the one used in 2002 (Justin Miller).
Clemson Has Five Straight Wins over Top 25
Clemson's 24-18 win over 19th ranked
Florida State on Labor Day night was the fifth
straight victory for the Tigers against a top 25
team. This is the first time since the 1988-89 era
that Clemson has had five straight wins over top
25 teams and it is just the second time in history.
The next time Clemson faces a top 25 team it
will have a chance to establish a new school
record for consecutive top 25 wins.
Clemson's streak of top 25 wins dates
to November 12, 2005 when Clemson defeated
a 16th ranked (USA Today) Florida State team
at home. The next week the Tigers won at 19th
ranked South Carolina. The Tigers then had two
top 25 wins last year, a 27-20 win at ninth-ranked
Florida State and a 31-7 win over 13th ranked
After a 3-14 record against top 25 teams to start his Clemson career, Bowden has now won 10 of his last 14
since 2003. Two of the losses against ranked teams since 2003 are in
overtime. Clemson's win over Florida State was its 58th top 25 win in history,
its 26th in Death Valley.
Bowden to Coach 100th Game at Clemson on Saturday
Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden will coach his 100th
game with the school on Saturday when the Tigers play host to Louisiana-
Monroe. Bowden has a 61-38 record for his first 99 games. His winning
percentage is second best in Clemson history among coaches who have
coached at least five years at the school. Only Danny Ford's .760 figure is
better among coaches who have been at Clemson at least five years.
Bowden is now third in games coached with 99. Frank Howard
coached 295 between 1940-69 and Danny Ford coached 129 between
1978-89. Bowden is also third in total wins, trailing only Howard (165) and
Ford (129). Bowden is second in top 25 wins with 13, trailing only Ford's
20, and is tied for second in bowl wins with three.
Davis and Dawson Good Running Back Match-up
Fans will witness a good matchup of running backs in Saturday's
game between Clemson and Louisiana Monroe. Clemson features a duo
of runners with James Davis and C.J. Spiller, while Calvin Dawson will be
the leader of Louisiana Monroe offense.
Davis and Dawson have very similar stats as you can see by
the chart below. Both had 100-yard rushing games to open the season,
Davis with 102 against Florida State and Dawson with 150 against Tulsa.
Dawson has six straight 100-yard rushing games, the third longest streak
in the nation behind Tashard Choice of Georgia Tech (8) and Ian Johnson
of Boise State (7). Dawson has 10 overall 100-yard games to eight for
Dawson, a senior, is already fourth in LM history in career rushing,
while Davis is 14th in Clemson history, but needs just 89 yards to reach
Louisiana-Monroe Game Notes
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