Furman - Clemson Game Notes

Furman is Clemson's oldest football rival. The two teams played in the first game in Clemson football history back on October 31, 1896.

Clemson won that game in Greenville, SC by 14-6 score. The two teams did not meet again until 1902, a 28-0 Tiger victory. Clemson won the first seven games of the series between 1896 and 1918. Furman broke the string when the two teams tied 7-7 in 1919. Furman got its first win in 1920 in Greenville, a 14-0 Paladins win. The first game in the series at Clemson took place at Riggs Field in 1916, a 7-6 Tiger victory That was the season opener of 1916 and Clemson's first win at Riggs Field.

* Clemson has won 28 straight games against Furman dating to a 0-0 tie between the two schools at Furman in 1937. Furman's last win over Clemson took place in 1936 by a 12-0 score in a November 26 game played in the snow in Clemson. It is the only time on record that Clemson has had a home game played in the snow.

* Overall, Clemson has a 40-10-4 lead in the series, including a 22-2 lead in games played at Clemson and a 17-0 advantage in games played in Clemson Memorial Stadium. The two teams played at Clemson Memorial Stadium as far back as 1942, the first year of the facility and just the third Clemson game in history played at Death Valley.

* This will be the first meeting between the two schools since 2003 when Clemson won 28-17 in the second game of the season. Furman had scored just 21 total points in the last nine meetings with Clemson dating to 1960. The Paladins then scored 17 in that last meeting in 2003.

* Prior to the 2003 game, Clemson had not allowed a Furman touchdown since 1961 when Bill Canty scored on a three-yard run in the fourth quarter of a 35-6 Clemson victory. But that streak ended in the 2003 game when Bo Moore threw a touchdown pass to Brian Bratton in the second quarter. The Paladins had scored five field goals over the last 34 quarters against Clemson.

* Charlie Whitehurst threw for 301 yards and Kevin Youngblood had 10 catches for 100 yards to lead the Tigers to the 2003 victory. Leroy Hill, now with the Seattle Seahawks, had 10 tackles, including three tackles for loss. That is the only time a Tommy Bowden coached Clemson team has faced the Paladins. The 2003 Furman game on September 6, 2003 was the last game broadcast by Jim Phillips, Clemson's Hall of Fame broadcaster who died suddenly the following Tuesday morning (Sept. 9).

* This will be just the eighth meeting between the two schools since 1964. Clemson has outscored Furman by a 181-29 margin in those seven games, an average victory margin of 25.9 to 4.1. The closest Furman has come to defeating Clemson since that 0-0 tie in 1937 took place in 1938 when Clemson won by a 10-7 score. The closest Furman has come to beating Clemson since 1950 was the 28-17 Tiger win in 2003.

* Both teams won national championships in the 1980s. Clemson won the Division I crown in 1981 and Furman won the Division I-AA title in 1988. Furman was the second winningest program in Division I in the 1980s, while Clemson was fifth for that decade among Division I schools.

Tigers and Paladins Shared Same Uniform Pants
On October 8, 1960, Clemson and Furman shared the same uniform pants. In one of the most bizarre uniform stories in college sports history, both teams wore a special water repellant uniform that day to guard against the predicted severe weather.

Clemson wore the pants in defeating Virginia 21-7 in the afternoon, then had the pants shipped to Furman for a night game against William & Mary. Furman defeated William & Mary that night in Greenville 25-23. Furman Head Coach Bob King said after the game, "After those big Clemson boys got out of those pants, some of our guys had a hard time making them stay up. We had to tape the legs of the pants for several players."

The pants defeated two teams from the state of Virginia on the same day.

Last Meeting vs. Furman
2003 at Clemson: Clemson 28, Furman 17

Clemson and Furman last met in 2003. Both teams entered the contest under different circumstances. Furman had defeated Elon 24-7 the week before, while Clemson was still reeling from a week one shutout at the hands of Georgia.

The Tigers came out strong early in the contest. On its first possession, Clemson marched down the field on a drive directed by Charlie Whitehurst. With a mix of short passes to Kevin Youngblood and runs off tackle by Duane Coleman, the Tigers put together a 14-play, 85-yard scoring drive that took nearly six minutes. The score came when Chad Jasmin ran in from five yards out on a toss sweep around left end.

On the ensuing offensive possession for Clemson, it did not take nearly as much time to get on the scoreboard again. Whitehurst dropped back and threw a deep ball that hit Airese Currie perfectly in stride for a 72-yard touchdown. After just two possessions, Clemson had already built a 14-0 lead.

Furman got in on the act in the second quarter. Quarterback Bo Moore successfully faked both a run and end around before tossing a 20-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Brian Bratton. It was Furman's first touchdown against Clemson since 1961.

On the Paladins' next possession, Moore was not so successful. He led an option to the right side of the field, but his pitch was a little behind the tailback. After a flurry of Tiger defenders jumped on and missed the football, defensive end J.J. Howard picked it up and ran it in from 17 yards out.

The Tigers added a touchdown to its 14-point lead just before the end of the first half on the most peculiar of plays. After three pass completions, Clemson had the ball at the Furman 14 on first down. Whitehurst's pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage by Furman defender Travis Jones. However, the ball landed right in the hands of left tackle William Henry, who began to rumble toward the goal line. He then fumbled it straight to running back Duane Coleman, who ran the remaining nine yards for the score. Coleman was credited with a nine reception yards and a touchdown on the bizarre play and Clemson had a commanding 28-7 halftime advantage.

Whitehurst was extremely efficient in the first half, as he completed 16 of his 18 pass attempts for 219 yards and the two touchdowns. The Paladins had just 89 yards of total offense at halftime.

The second half proved to be a different story for both squads. Neither Clemson nor Furman scored in the third quarter. Tiger senior place kicker Aaron Hunt was wide left on a 38-yard field goal attempt on the opening possession of the second half. The Tigers drove into Furman territory on their next possession, but Whitehurst was intercepted by Mike Killian.

Furman put together a 12-play, 66-yard scoring drive in the early fourth quarter. Bratton, who led the Paladins with 41 yards rushing, scored on a three-yard touchdown run for the Paladins, his second of the afternoon. The crucial play of that drive was a third-and-13 pass that was broken up by cornerback Justin Miller. But, free safety Travis Pugh was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play and the drive continued.

Furman added a field goal on its next possession, bringing the final score to 28-17 in favor of Clemson. The Tigers were shut out in the second half and were plagued by a plethora of ill-timed mistakes. Clemson was penalized 11 times for 111 yards, with four of the penalties coming on punt returns alone.

Whitehurst finished with 301 yards passing, while Kevin Youngblood tied a career-high with 10 catches for 100 yards. Leroy Hill paced the defense for the second straight game. He had 13 tackles, including three for loss and a sack.

Clemson and Furman Connections
Clemson has two members of its coaching staff who are Furman graduates. Clemson tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Billy Napier was a start quarterback at Furman. Clemson graduate assistant coach Mike Dooley also played for the Paladins in the 1990s.

Napier was a two-year starter for the Paladins between 1999-02. He led the Paladins to the championship game of the Division I-AA (Now known as the Football Championship Sub-division) playoffs in 2001, then completed 68.5 percent of his passes in 2002 when he again took the Paladins to the playoffs, an all- time Southern Conference record. He was a second-team All-Southern Conference selection both years. His completion percentage was a Southern Conference record and his passing efficiency of 157.14 in 2002 was second best in the nation among Division I-AA players. He completed 65 percent of his passes in his 37- game career.

Dooley played at Furman from 1993- 95. He had a sack as a defensive end against Clemson in 1994 at Death Valley.

On the other side, Furman cornerbacks coach and co-special team coordinator Tom Evangelista was a graduate assistant coach at Clemson in 2002 and 2003. He is in his first year at Furman.

Clemson vs. Southern Conference
Clemson has not lost to a Southern Conference school since the Tigers left the Southern Conference to help form the ACC in 1953. Clemson has won 37 games in a row over Southern Conference teams and 47 in a row over teams currently in the Southern Conference. Clemson last lost to a team in the Southern Conference in 1952 when South Carolina defeated the Tigers 6-0.

Both Clemson and South Carolina were in the Southern Conference in those days. The last time Clemson lost to a team currently in the Southern Conference was 1936 when Furman defeated the Tigers 12-0. Twelve of Clemson's last 17 victories over Southern Conference teams have been by shutout. Clemson last played a Southern Conference school in 2003 when the Tigers faced Furman.

Furman Update
Furman enters Saturday's game with Clemson with a 1-1 record. Bobby Lamb's team defeated Presbyterian 40-16 in the opener at Greenville, SC, but dropped a 32-17 decision at Hofstra in their second game of the season.

Furman is averaging 424 yards per game, including 286 yards per game in the air. They have completed 50-69 passes for a 72.5 percent completion mark. Turnovers have hurt the Paladins as they have already lost two fumbles and thrown five interceptions. Clemson has just one turnover on offense in two games.

Furman has used two quarterbacks in its two games and both have been very efficient. Renaldo Gray has completed 34-48 passes for 422 yards and a .708 completion percentage. Jordan Sorrells is 16-21 for 150 yards and has a 76.2 completion percentage. Sorrells played high school football with current Tigers Corey Lambert and Alex Pearson at Greenville High School.

Jerome Felton is the top running back for the Paladins. He scored his 55th career touchdown in the Paladins loss at Hofstra. He is already the school's career leader in touchdowns and scoring (340). Felton is the team's top rusher so far this year with 84 yards on 22 attempts. Patrick Sprague is the top receiver for Furman with 14-175 yards and a touchdown. R.J. Webb has added 11 catches for 174 yards and a score. Chris Truss has two touchdowns among his five catches.

Furman has a history of being an outstanding defensive team. Thomas Twitty has 19 tackles to lead the way, including two sacks for loss. Andrew Jones, has 14 tackles, while Justin Brown, a defensive tackle, had 13, including a team best four tackles for loss. Furman has an aggressive defensive as shown by their 19 tackles for loss and six sacks for the fir two games.

Tigers Looking for 3-0 Start
Clemson has jumped out to a 2-0 start. It is the second time in the last three years that Clemson has opened 2-0, but just the 11th time since 1971. A victory over Furman would move the Tigers to 3-0, a start Clemson has not realized since the 2000 season when the Tigers started 8-0. A win against Furman would make Clemson 3-0 for just the second time under Tommy Bowden.

Clemson has been 3-0 a total of 20 times in its history, but just five times since 1960 and just once since 1991.

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