Clemson - Duke Game Notes

Clemson holds a 33-16-1 lead in the series with Duke, including a 18-4-1 lead in games played in Death Valley. But, the Tigers have just a 13-12 lead in games at Duke. That includes a 2004 Duke victory by a 16-13 score.

Matt Brooks kicked a 53-yard field goal on the last play of the game to defeat the Tigers. Clemson was coming off a 24-17 overtime win at 10th ranked Miami (FL) entering that contest.

Duke has not won at Clemson since a 34-17 victory over a Danny Ford's second Clemson team in 1980. A freshman quarterback named Ben Bennett led the Duke offense and Dennis Tabron had three interceptions for 128 return yards to lead the Blue Devil defense in that game.

Clemson has won 13 in a row over the Blue Devils in Death Valley, including the last meeting, a 49-20 Clemson victory in 2005. The two teams did not meet in 2006.

Clemson and Duke have split the last eight meetings at Duke, and three of the four wins have been by seven points or less. Clemson's only resounding win at Duke since 1981 was a 52-22 win in 2000. Seven of the last eight meetings between Clemson and Duke in Durham have been decided by seven points or less.

Overall, Clemson has won 13 of the last 16 in the series dating to a victory in 1990. One of the more memorable games in Durham took place in 1989, Danny Ford's last Clemson team. Steve Spurrier was the coach of the Blue Devils that year and Duke came away with a 21-17 victory. Clemson entered that 1989 game with a 4-0 record, a #7 AP ranking and had recently won at Florida State. Duke went on to tie for the ACC championship that year. Clemson finished that year 10-2 and ranked in the top 10 in the nation.

Some of Clemson's single game records have been set against the Blue Devils. In 1995, Raymond Priester rushed for a record 263 yards to lead the Tiger offense in a 34-17 Tiger victory. On the other side of the line of scrimmage that day, Brian Dawkins had three interceptions in the first quarter to set a school record for a quarter and a half, and tie the record for a single game.

In 2002, Charlie Whitehurst made his first career start against the Blue Devils and completed 34 of 52 passes for 420 yards and four touchdowns. The 420 passing yards set a record that still remains today. The completion total is second in Clemson history, topped only by Cullen Harper's 38 completions this year against Virginia Tech.

The top two instances of the quickest back-to-back touchdowns in Clemson history took place against Duke. In 2003, Derrick Hamilton caught scoring passes from Whitehurst just 14 seconds apart, a record for the quickest back to back touchdowns in Clemson history. In 1999 Brian Wofford scored on an 18-yard TD pass from Brandon Streeter, then Terry Jolly ran an interception back from 20 yards out, scores that took place just 21 seconds apart, the second fastest back-to-back touchdown scores in Clemson history.

From a Duke standpoint, just three players in Clemson football history have caught 13 passes in a single game against the Tigers and all three are Duke players. Henley Carter had 13 catches against Clemson in 1968, Wes Chesson had 13 against the Tigers in 1970 and Mark Militello turned the trick in 1983. Tommy Bowden was the Duke quarterbacks coach for that performance. Those all tie for the second most catches in a game against Clemson. Kelly Campbell had a record 14 against the Tigers in 2000.

There have been many noteworthy performances in the Clemson vs. Duke series:
•1957: In just the fourth meeting between the two teams, an 11th ranked Duke team defeats a 14th ranked Clemson team 7-6 in Durham. It is the fourth straight win to open the series for the Blue Devils.

•1965: Clemson kicks a field goal to defeat Duke, 3-2, the only 3-2 score in Clemson football history, and tying a school record for the fewest points in a Clemson victory.

•1971: Clemson upsets a 14th ranked Duke tam in Norfolk, VA by a 3-0 score. Eddie Seigler booted a 39-yard field goal for the Tigers.

•1976: Vince Fusco sets and ACC record with six field goals, including one from 57 yards on the last play of the game that hit the goal post and bounced over in an 18-18 Homecoming tie at Death Valley.

•1980: Duke upsets a 4-1 Clemson team in Death Valley 34-17 behind Dennis Tabron's three interceptions and Clemson opponent record 128 return yards. That was Duke's last win in Death Valley.

•1981: Clemson gained over 300 yards rushing and 200 yards passing in a dominant 38-10 victory on the way to the National Championship.

•1983: Both teams gained over 500 yards total offense, but the Tigers held on with a 38-31 victory. Tommy Bowden was Duke's quarterback coach in this game.

•1988: Clemson defeats a 22nd ranked and 5-0 Duke team by a 49-17 margin. It is the last time both teams were ranked in the top 25 entering the game.

•1989: Duke upset a 4-0 and seventh ranked Clemson team 21-17 in Durham. Clemson had upset Florida State in Tallahassee earlier in the season. Duke went on to win seven straight games and the ACC Championship.

•1995: Raymond Priester set Clemson single game rushing record with 263 yards in 34-17 victory. Brian Dawkins had three interceptions in one quarter for the Tigers.

•1997: Clemson wins first overtime game in ACC history with 29-20 victory over Duke at Clemson. Rahim Abdullah returned interception 63 yards for a touchdown.

•2001: Woody Dantzler became first 2000/1000 quarterback in NCAA history in 59-31 Clemson win. •2002: Charlie Whitehurst threw for school record 420 yards on 34 completions and Aaron Hunt kicked the game winning field goal with eight seconds left in 34-31 Clemson win.

•2003--Charlie Whitehurst threw for 333 yards on 27-40 passes and three touchdowns in 40-7 Clemson victory. Two of the scores came just 14 seconds apart, both to Derrick Hamilton.

Bowden Coached at Duke
Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden was the quarterbacks coach at Duke from 1983-86. He was named offensive coordinator in 1985. Among the players Bowden tutored was Anthony Dilweg, a Duke quarterback who went on to play in the NFL. He also coached Ben Bennett in his senior year, 1983.

During those four years, Clemson was 4-0 against the Blue Devils, but the two games in Durham were close. In 1983, Bowden's first year at Duke, a 9-1-1 Clemson team that finished the year ranked in the top 15 of the AP poll, defeated the Blue Devils, 38-31. Duke had the ball on the Clemson nine for a fourth-down play on its last drive, but Clemson lineman James Robinson batted down Ben Bennett's final pass. Bennett was 34-53 for 367 yards and four touchdowns that day under Bowden's direction. Roof and Bowden Worked on Same Staff Duke coach Ted Roof began his coaching career in 1987 as a graduate assistant at Alabama under Bill Curry. One of the assistant coaches on that Alabama staff was Tommy Bowden. They were on the same staff under Curry in 1987 and 1988. Bowden remained another year before moving on to Kentucky for the 1990 season as offensive coordinator.

Roof has also served as an assistant coach at Massachusetts, Western Carolina and his alma mater, Georgia Tech. During his time with the Yellow Jackets he was a nominee for the Frank Broyles Award, which is presented to the top assistant coach in the nation.

A four-year letter winner with the Yellow Jackets as a player, Roof was a starter for the 1983-84-85 seasons. He was one of the leaders of Georgia Tech's "Black Watch Defense" of 1985, helping Bill Curry's Tech team to a 9-2-1 season that included a bowl victory over Michigan State. A first-team All-ACC player, he still ranks in the top 10 in Georgia Tech history with 417 career tackles. A member of the Georgia Tech Athletic Hall of Fame, Roof was the top tackler for Georgia Tech in its 14-3 win at Clemson in 1985.

Roof took over as Duke's head coach in October of 2003 and he coached his fourth career game at Clemson in November of that year. He then defeated the Tigers in Durham in 2004. He is 1-2 against Clemson as a head coach.

Duke Assistant Coach Played for Clemson
One member of the Duke staff has a direct link to the Clemson football program. Duke tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Danny Pearman is a 1987 Clemson graduate. He earned three varsity letters at Clemson and was a member of two Clemson ACC Championship teams (1986, 1987). He stayed on the staff as a graduate assistant for the 1988 and 1989 teams. Clemson won the ACC again in 1988 and won bowl games over Oklahoma and West Virginia, respectively in the 1988 and 1989 seasons.

Pearman has had an extensive coaching career, highlighted by the 1992 season when he was a member of Alabama's National Championship staff. He was at Virginia Tech from 1998-05 and at North Carolina in 2006. He has coached in 16 bowl games in his career.

Last Meeting
Clemson 49, Duke 20
2005 at Clemson

For the first time in 38 games, Charlie Whitehurst did not start at quarterback for Clemson when the Tigers faced Duke in 2005. Instead, junior Will Proctor completed 13 of 21 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns in helping lead the Tigers to a 49-20 Homecoming victory over Duke.

Whitehurst missed practice time during the week leading up to the game due to a sore shoulder, meaning the Tigers would turn to another starting signal caller for the first time since 2002.

Clemson got on the board early after taking the opening kickoff and moving 72 yards in 12 plays for a score. Reggie Merriweather gained 20 yards on four carries, and the big play was a 36-yard pass from Proctor to Chansi Stuckey down to the one-yard line on third down. Proctor scored on a quarterback sneak on the following play.

The ensuing drive for the Tigers resulted in another touchdown, with the score being registered by James Davis on an 18-yard run. The drive went 58 yards in seven plays.

Duke then went on a scoring drive of its own, as freshman quarterback Zack Asack completed four consecutive passes to begin the drive, and Joe Surgan nailed a 34-yard field goal to get the Blue Devils on the scoreboard.

Clemson was forced to punt on its next possession, and then Duke also went three-and-out. The next Clemson scoring drive began at its own 36-yard line, and the Tigers used eight plays to cover the 64 yards in 3:29. Reggie Merriweather scampered in from 19 yards out for the score.

Duke moved the ball into Clemson territory again on its next drive, as Asack hit Eron Riley for a 25-yard gain down the right sideline. The Tigers held the Blue Devils out of the endzone, and Tramaine Billie blocked Surgan's 38-yard field-goal attempt, and Cory Groover recovered at the Duke 48-yard line.

Following a personal foul after the field-goal block, Clemson moved 33 yards in four plays in only 25 seconds. Proctor hit Chansi Stuckey for an 11-yard touchdown pass with only seven seconds remaining, giving the Tigers a 28-3 halftime lead. It was the first touchdown reception of Stuckey's career.

To open the second half, Duke chewed up 7:19 off the clock on a 15-play, 77 yard drive. Asack hit Ben Patrick for a 20-yard gain to move the ball to the Tiger 20. Four plays later, Justin Boyle scored on a one-yard touchdown run.

Clemson answered with a touchdown drive of its own. Stuckey returned the kickoff to the Tiger 49, and three plays later, Proctor found a wide-open Stuckey behind the Blue Devil defense for a 40-yard touchdown strike.

The teams then traded punts, and it did not take Duke long to score on its next possession. Asack hit Riley deep over the middle for 66 yards and a touchdown to cut Clemson's lead to 35-17.

Duke was forced to punt, and a 23-yard run by Davis was the key play on a 49-yard, four-play drive that ended with a Merriweather eight-yard run, extending Clemson's lead to 42-17.

The Blue Devil next scoring drive went only four yards and lasted only four plays, but Surgan was good on a 49-yard field goal attempt with plenty to spare with 2:56 remaining.

Cullen Harper making his first career appearance, hit Rendrick Taylor for 15 yards on first down, and then Merriweather registered his third-straight 100-yard rushing day on the next play with a 12-yard touchdown run with 0:39 left, providing for the final margin of 49-20.

Merriweather ended with 105 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns, and Davis added 85 yards on eight carries. Stuckey caught five passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns, and Aaron Kelly added 50 yards receiving on three catches.

Anthony Waters led the Tigers in tackles with 14, including a tackle for loss. Five other Tigers registered tackles for loss, and Clemson held the Blue Devils to only 79 rushing yards.

More Duke Notes
• Saturday marks the fourth annual National College Football Day. On the first Saturday in November in 1869, Rutgers and Princeton played college football's first game.

• QB Thaddeus Lewis' 17 touchdown passes this season already match the fifth-best single-season performance in Duke history. Anthony Dilweg holds the school standard with 24 TDs in 1988.

• WR Eron Riley leads the ACC in touchdown catches (7; tied with Clemson's Aaron Kelly) while ranking third in receiving yards per game (78.8).

• In 29 career games, Riley has 73 catches for 1,520 yards — good for an average of 20.8 yards. • Lewis and Riley have hooked up for a touchdown through the air seven times this season and 10 times in their careers. The Ben Bennett-to-Chris Castor combination holds the school's single season and career standards with 12 during the 1982 campaign and 16 for their careers.

• WR Jomar Wright is coming off a sevenreception, 141-yard performance at Florida State.

• Over one-half (four-of-seven) of TE Brandon King's pass receptions this season have gone for touchdowns.

• Duke's last win over a nationally-ranked team came in 1994 when the 23rd-ranked Blue Devils knocked off 13th-ranked Virginia, 28-25, in Durham. Top Stories