Clemson - N.C. State Notes

Clemson has had some success against ranked NC State teams in the past. Clemson is 5-4 against top 25 NC State teams, including winning four of the last five meetings when the Pack has been ranked in the top 25. Three times Clemson has upset an NC State team ranked 12th or better, all games that took place at Clemson.

Clemson Has Had Success vs. Ranked NC State Teams
Clemson has had some success against ranked NC State teams in the past. Clemson is 5-4 against top 25 NC State teams, including winning four of the last five meetings when the Pack has been ranked in the top 25. Three times Clemson has upset an NC State team ranked 12th or better, all games that took place at Clemson. NC State is ranked ninth in the USA Today Coaches poll this week, 12th by Associated Press.

In 1967 a Wolfpack team came to Clemson with an 8-1 record. Current NC State Coach Chuck Amato was a starting defensive player on the 10th ranked NC State team that started the year 8-0 before losing to Penn State the week prior to playing Clemson.

Buddy Gore, who has a son on the Clemson roster by the same name, had 96 yards rushing and 28 receiving to lead the Tigers. He scored Clemson's first touchdown on a 28-yard reception from Jimmy Addison. It was the only touchdown reception of Gore's career and his first catch of the 1967 season (ninth game of the year). He had just seven catches his entire Clemson career, so you could call it a trick play of sorts by Frank Howard. Clemson held the Pack to 152 yards of total offense in gaining the 14-6 victory.

NC State was known for its "White Shoes" defense that year. Howard decided to answer with his own uniform ploy. He had his managers buy up all the orange paint in Clemson and painted his players' shoes orange for that game.

Clemson also defeated ranked NC State teams in consecutive games in Death Valley. In 1989 NC State entered the game ranked 12th in the UPI Coaches poll and 13th by AP and the Tigers won 30-10. Two years later the Pack was ranked 10th by the coaches and 12th by Associated Press, but Clemson won 29-19. NC State was 6-0 heading into both games.

Danny Ford's last Clemson team ironically ended the season ranked 12th in the final poll with a 10-2 record, and the 1989 victory over NC State had a lot to do with that. Clemson jumped out 14-0 in the first period and was never threatened. Joe Henderson led the way with 84 yards rushing on offense, while Dexter Davis had 10 tackles and an interception to lead the defense. Clemson's defense held the Pack to 67 yards rushing and intercepted quarterback Shane Montgomery three times.

Two years later, Ken Hatfield's second Clemson team pulled off the upset with a 29-19 victory. Nelson Welch booted five field goals to set a Clemson record. The Tigers warmed up in orange jerseys, then appeared at the top of the hill in purple. The Tigers jumped out to a 23-7 lead at halftime behind 297 yards of total offense. A touchdown on a fake field goal by Rudy Harris gave Clemson momentum early.

Clemson also gained victory over ranked NC State teams in 1993, a 20-14 victory at Clemson, and a 19-17 win in Raleigh in 1997. NC State was ranked 25th in the USA Today poll entering that game. The Tigers won on a 20-yard field goal by Matt Padgett with 19 seconds left.

Clemson's Highest Ranked Wins
A win for Clemson over ninth-ranked NC State would be the 11th win over a top 10 team in Clemson history, but just the fourth in Death Valley. Clemson defeated fourth-ranked Georgia, 13-3 in 1981 and 10th ranked NC State in 1967 and 10th ranked (Coach's poll) NC State in 1991 for its other home wins over top 10 teams.

Clemson does have 10 top 10 wins in its history, but seven have taken place on the opponent's home field or in a bowl game. Clemson had three of the nine during its 1981 National Championship season.

Clemson has had 21 wins over top 25 teams since 1986 and has had at least one ranked win in 14 of the last 16 seasons. Tommy Bowden has defeated at least one ranked team each of his first three years at Clemson. The Tigers defeated Virginia, 33-14, in 1999 when the Cavs were ranked 19th (USA Today), then downed a 25th ranked South Carolina team in 2000. The Tigers defeated 9th ranked Georgia Tech in Atlanta last year. Clemson is 0-2 against top 20 teams this year, a loss at Georgia and a loss at Florida State. In both games Clemson out-gained the opposition, but lost.

Clemson Has Ended Undefeated NC State Seasons
Four times since 1989 Clemson has ended an undefeated NC State season. Granted, one of the years we are counting is 1997 when NC State was just 2-0, but in three other recent seasons Clemson has stopped Wolfpack perfect starts that have been 4-0 or better.

The last time NC State came to Clemson the Pack were 4-0 under first-year head coach Chuck Amato. Clemson came away with a 34-27 victory, giving Clemson a 7-0 mark at the time. In 1991 and 1989 NC State came to Clemson with a 6-0 record and left with a loss each time. The Pack is 8-0 heading into Thursday night's game, its best start since 1967.

Both Teams Coming off Close Home Victories
Clemson and NC State both enter this game coming off home victories by eight points or less. The Tigers defeated Wake Forest last Saturday, 31-23, while NC State downed Duke in Raleigh, 24-22.

Clemson trailed 23-14 in the third period and still faced a 23-21 deficit heading into the fourth period. But the Tigers scored 10 points in the final period and held the Demon Deacons scoreless. Wake Forest trailed by eight and drove to the Clemson 18 with under two minutes left, but on a third-and-two play, Brian Mance stripped a Wake Forest running back inside the 10-yard-line. The ball rolled into the endzone and was eventually batted through the end line by Altroy Bodrick. Clemson ran out the final 1:15 to preserve the victory.

Clemson gave up 523 yards to Wake Forest, the most yards ever by a Tiger opponent in a Clemson victory. But, the Tigers forced five second-half turnovers, three interceptions and two fumbles. Justin Miller, Mance and Bodrick had interceptions, while Travis Pugh had the fumble recovery. Mance does not get credit for a takeaway because he did not recover the fumble, but it was certainly a huge play.

The victory was in direct contrast to Clemson's previous two games, which both ended in defeat. Clemson out-gained Florida State and Virginia by nearly 200 yards combined, but lost both of those games. Wake Forest had 243 more yards than Clemson, but the Tigers came away with the triumph.

NC State struggled with a Duke team that lost its 21st straight conference game. Duke scored a touchdown with 16 seconds left, and then recovered an on-side kick. Duke ran off three more plays, but they were all incomplete passes. A 65-yard field goal fell short and NC State had its eighth straight victory this season, its ninth in a row over Duke.

Philip Rivers, the nation's leader in passing efficiency this week, threw for a season high 364 yards and two touchdowns to lead the way for NC State. He had a pair of 100-yard receivers in Jerricho Cotchery and Sterling Hicks. Cotchery had 174 yards on six catches and had a touchdown score.

Clemson vs. NC State Series Notes
The 22nd Annual Textile Bowl
Clemson and N.C. State will do battle in the 22nd annual Textile Bowl when the two teams meet in in Clemson on October 24. Clemson has a 15-6 advantage in the series since the game took on the Textile Bowl title in 1981, the year Clemson won the National Championship. The Textile Industry has a very important effect on the economy of North Carolina and South Carolina and the two schools competing in Thursday's game.

Overall, Clemson has a 44-25-1 lead in the series, including an 18-10 record in games played at Clemson. The Tigers are 15-10 against NC State in games played in Death Valley and the Tigers have scored 499 points in those 25 games. Clemson is 11-1-1 against NC State in neutral site games and 15-14 in games at Raleigh over the years, including last year's 45-37 victory.

Many of the Textile Bowl contests have been close, including each of the last five, which have all been decided eight points or less. Five years ago in Raleigh, Matt Padgett booted a 20-yard field goal with just 19 seconds left to give Clemson a 19-17 victory. The Tigers drove 78 yards in 14 plays to set up the winning score. Nealon Greene hit 20-32 passes for 250 yards and Tony Horne caught eight passes for 112 to key the Clemson offense.

In 1998 at Clemson, Torry Holt completed an incredible day with a nine-yard scoring pass from Jamie Barnette with just 37 seconds left. It was his fourth touchdown reception of the day. He had 225 yards receiving in that game. In 1999, NC State, behind Head Coach Mike O'Cain, defeated Clemson 35-31 in an exciting contest in Raleigh that featured 35 first-quarter points between the two teams combined, most combined points ever in the first period of a Clemson game. Clemson had five possessions in the fourth period with a chance to take the lead, but could not drive for a winning touchdown.

The 2000 game was a thriller that came down to the last possession before the Tigers came away with a 34-27 victory. Woody Dantzler completed 18-30 passes for 220 yards and also rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Rod Gardner had 10 catches for 137 yards, while Travis Zachery added 31-147 and two scores.

Last year was the Woody Dantzler show as he gained 517 yards of total offense, an all-time Clemson record. He had a career best 23-27 passes for 333 yards and four scores, and also rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns. Still, it was a 45-37 outcome, as Rivers had another outstanding passing game for NC State.

Another close game took place in 1993. Clemson held a 20-0 lead after three quarters thanks to an offense that gained 250 yards rushing, but had to hang on in the last minute to gain the victory. Tim Jones broke up each of the Wolfpack's last two pass plays of the game at the Clemson goal line over the last 12 seconds of the contest to preserve the Tiger victory.

Last Four Meetings Have Featured Offense The last four meetings between Clemson and NC State have featured high powered offensive shows. In fact, the average score between the two teams in the last four meetings is Clemson 37 and NC State 36. Clemson has outscored the Pack 149-145 in the last four meetings combined.

Over the last four meetings, Clemson has averaged 25 first downs, 175.5 yards rushing, 291.2 yards a game passing, 467 yards of total offense and 37.3 points per game. The Pack has averaged 17.5 first downs, 52.2 yards a game rushing, 322.5 passing and 374.8 yards of total offense per game against the Tigers in the last four meetings.

Last year's game featured 333 yards passing by Clemson and 331 by NC State, the only game in Clemson history in which both teams threw for at least 330 yards in the same game. Last year the Tigers gained 567 yards of total offense in Raleigh, Clemson's highest total-offense figure in history on an opponent's home field.

In 1998, Clemson scored 39 points and lost, at the time the most points Clemson had ever scored in a loss. Brandon Streeter completed 27-38 passes for 329 yards in that game. Clemson has scored at least 31 points in four straight games against NC State.

The two teams are 2-2 in these four games. NC State won in 1998 and 1999 and Clemson won in 2000 and 2001.

Last Year's Game
Woodrow Dantzler's 517-yard performance against North Carolina State not only set numerous Clemson records, but also propelled the Tigers into the thick of the ACC championship race. Dantzler completed 23 of his 27 passes for 333 yards and also threw four touchdown passes, tying his backup Willie Simmons for the school record. In addition, Dantzler tallied 184 rushing yards to go along with two touchdown runs. Dantzler became the first quarterback in ACC history to pass for 4,000 yards and rush for 2,000 yards in a regular season career.

Dantzler's 517 total yards left him 38 yards short of the ACC record for an individual game and it was the fifth highest total in league history. The graduate student set Clemson records for touchdowns (6), touchdown passes (4) and passing efficiency (237.6).

Dantzler got the Tigers going on just the third play from scrimmage. Dodging would-be tacklers in the middle of the field and breaking out to the left sideline, he sprinted 55 yards down the field to the Wolfpack end zone, giving the Tigers a 7-0 lead less than 90 seconds into the game.

North Carolina State would counter following Clemson's next possession; Wolfpack quarterback Philip Rivers took advantage of a Tiger miscue on special teams by hitting Jerricho Cotchery in the corner of the end zone for an eight-yard touchdown reception, tying the score 7-7. Rivers and Cotchery connected again on a 19-yard scoring effort seven minutes later to give the Wolfpack a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Dantzler completed all five of his passes on a nine-play, 71-yard drive that he capped off with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Hamilton, tying the score at 14. Racking up 27 rushing yards and completing his sixth and seventh consecutive passes of the game, Dantzler drove the Tigers downfield just before halftime. Tight end Ben Hall's 7-yard touchdown reception with 56 seconds remaining gave Clemson its second lead of the game. An NC State 20-yard field goal made the halftime score 21-17.

The Tiger defense came out strong in the second half, holding N.C. State to -24 yards on seven plays on its first two drives. Taking advantage right away, Dantzler's 10th consecutive completion of the game went to Travis Zachery on a rollout pattern, and Zachery coasted 22 yards for the score on the Tigers' fourth play from scrimmage in the second half. Dantzler finished off the next Tiger drive with an eight-yard touchdown run, giving Clemson a 35-17 lead with 7:53 left in the third quarter.

Cotchery's third touchdown reception of the game, this time from Bryan Peterson went for 21 yards, rallying Wolfpack fans and cutting the Tiger lead to 12. After the extra point failed, Dantzler and the Tiger offense retaliated once again, delivering a crushing blow to the Wolfpack victory hopes.

Beginning at the eight-yard line, Dantzler led the Tiger offense down the field with the same success he'd experienced the entire game. He carried the ball four times for 54 yards, including a 41-yard tackle breaking scamper worthy of the Sportscenter highlights; he also completed three out of four passes for 21 yards, including a four-yard toss to fullback Chad Jasmin that gave Clemson its biggest lead of the game at 19 points, a lead which would prove to be insurmountable.

Rivers and the Wolfpack offense staged a furious comeback in the fourth quarter. Rivers' 12-yard touchdown pass to W. Wright with 2:57 remaining in regulation narrowed Clemson's lead to eight; but after recovering the ensuing onside kick, Dantzler foiled the Wolfpack defense once more. Scampering 14 yards and achieving a critical first down with two minutes to play, Dantzler proceeded to run out the clock and preserve the Tiger victory.

Interesting Matchup in Passing Game
The top matchup of the Clemson vs. NC State game on Thursday night might be the NC State passing offense against the Clemson pass defense. NC State is ranked first in the ACC in passing efficiency offense with a 159.8 figure, while Clemson is second in the league in pass efficiency defense, giving up a 107.9 rating points.

NC State averages 263 yards per game through the air, while Clemson gives up just 164.1 yards per game best in the league. The Tigers are tied for the ACC lead in interceptions with 11, while NC State has thrown just six interceptions in eight games. Individually there is a matchup of sorts. Philip Rivers leads the nation in passing efficiency, while Clemson's Brian Mance is 15th in the nation in interceptions, first in the ACC.

Clemson has won each of the last two meetings against the Pack, but not due to Rivers. The junior quarterback has thrown for 680 yards in two games against the Tigers.

Both Teams Have Just Four Days to Prepare
Both teams enter this game after having played a game on Saturday, October 19. It is a quick turnaround for both teams. This is just the second time since 1933 that Clemson has played two games within five days.

The last time Clemson played two games within a five-day period was 1982. That year Clemson opened the season on a Monday night on ABC with a loss at Georgia (13-7), then played at home against Boston College and Doug Flutie the following Saturday, a game that ended in a 17-17 tie. That was quite a challenge as both teams ended the year in bowl games and were a combined 19-4-2. Clemson ran the table after that tie with Boston College and ended the season 9-1-1.

This is Clemson's fourth game on the ESPN Thursday night package, but the first time the Tigers have had a quick turnaround. Clemson had previously always had the previous Saturday open. Clemson is 0-3 in its previous Thursday night appearances, including a loss at Florida State this year. Clemson has not won a game on Thursday since 1963 when it defeated South Carolina on Thanksgiving Day, a contest that was moved to that day due to the death of President John Kenendy.

Prior to 1982 you have to go all the way back to 1933 to find the last time Clemson played two games in five days. That year Clemson defeated The Citadel on November 25th, then lost to Furman five days later on November 30, 6-0.

The last time Clemson won a game on just four days rest was in 1929. Clemson defeated The Citadel 13-0 on November 23, then defeated Furman on November 28, 7-6.

Playing games in short time periods was commonplace in the early days of college football. In fact, Clemson played three games in seven days twice, once in 1907 and once in 1911. Clemson lost to Auburn on November 4, lost to Georgia on November 7 and to Davidson on November 9 in 1907. The Tigers defeated South Carolina on November 2, defeated The Citadel on November 4 and lost to Georgia on November 9 in 1911.

Overall, Clemson has a 10-12-4 record in its history with five days or fewer in between games.

O'Cain Faces Former Team
Current Clemson quarterbacks coach Mike O'Cain will face a past employer this week. O'Cain, a 1977 Clemson graduate, served as head coach of NC State from 1993-99. He replaced Dick Sheridan at NC State in 1993 and took the Pack to an 8-4 record, including a Peach Bowl invitation. The next year he had the Wolfpack at 9-3 in the regular season, including a victory over Clemson in Death Valley, the first Clemson graduate to defeat the Tigers.

His 1998 season featured a win at Texas and a triumph over Florida State, just the second loss for Florida State in its ACC history dating to 1992. He took the Pack to another bowl game in 1998, his third as head coach of the Pack.

Last year he coached the Tiger quarterback in the 45-37 victory over NC State. Clemson had 567 yards total offense in that game, most ever in a road game, including a school record 517 yards from Woody Dantzler.

Ironically, one of O'Cain's top games as a player at Clemson came against NC State. In 1976, he rushed for 140 yards against NC State, the Clemson quarterback rushing record for a game until 1994. As a Tiger he still ranks 14th in school history in passing efficiency.

Bowden and Amato Were on Same FSU Staff
Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden and NC State Head Coach Chuck Amato were both on Bobby Bowden's Florida State staff in 1982. That Florida State team finished 9-3, ranked 13th in the country and appeared in the Gator Bowl. Bowden was a part-time coach working with the receivers, while Amato was a fulltime coach in charge of the defensive line. Amato worked for Bobby Bowden from 1982-99 before becoming the head coach at NC State this year.

Both coaches have had success early in their respective head coaching careers. Bowden took Tulane to an undefeated 11-0 record in the regular season of 1998 and brought the Tigers to a top 15 final ranking in 2000 after an 8-0 start. Amato has taken NC State to a bowl game in each of his first two years and now has the Pack at 8-0 and ranked in the top 10 in the nation.

Clemson Has Played 12th Toughest Schedule
Clemson has a 4-3 record against a schedule ranked as the 12th most difficult in the nation by the Jeff Sagarin computer poll, a rating published by USA Today. Sagarin is one of the computer rankings used by the BCS standings. The Tigers are ranked 35th overall in that ranking.

Clemson has losses to two top 15 teams so far this year, an undefeated Georgia team and a 5-2 Florida State team that lost by a point to number-one ranked Miami (FL). Florida State is ranked fourth in the Sagarin poll overall and has the second most difficult schedule ranking, the only team in the nation ranked in the top 10 in both areas. Clemson's third loss is to a 6-2 Virginia team. Thus, the three teams who have beaten Clemson this year have a combined record of 18-4.

Clemson's highest final schedule ranking in the history of the Sagarin poll is a #7 rating in 1999, Tommy Bowden's first year as head coach. Clemson was 6-6 that year, but still had a final top 25 ranking (24th) according to Sagarin's computer rankings. Clemson's highest overall final ranking by Sagarin is #15 in 2000.

Clemson Veterans vs. NC State
* Airese Currie (WR)-Had just one reception, but it was for 79 yards, at NC State last season.

* Ben Hall (TE)-Had three catches for 39 yards and his first career touchdown at NC State in 2001.

* Derrick Hamilton (WR)-Had eight catches for 106 yards and a touchdown at NC State in 2001. At the time, it was a Clemson record for reception yards in a game by a freshman. It was later broken by Roscoe Crosby against Duke in 2001.

* Aaron Hunt (PK)-Is 11-12 on extra points and 1-2 on field goals in two games against NC State. He scored 10 points last year on a field goal and 7-7 extra points.

* Chad Jasmin (RB)-Did not carry the ball, but caught a four-yard scoring pass from Woodrow Dantzler at NC State in 2001.

* Wynn Kopp (P)-Had a 45.0 average on two punts at NC State in 2001.

* John Leake (LB)-Had 14 tackles in 76 snaps at N C State in 2001.

* Brian Mance (CB)-Had three tackles, 6-54 on punt returns and 2-38 on kickoff returns at NC State in 2001. Had two tackles in the 2000 game at Clemson.

* Bryant McNeal (DE)-Has five tackles in the last two games against NC State, including a three-yard sack in 2000 at Clemson.

* Eric Meekins (SS)-Had six tackles and career best three passes broken up at NC State in 2001.

* Bernard Rambert (RB)-Had 8-43 rushing at NC State in just 18 plays in 2001.

* Jackie Robinson-Had 2-22 receiving against NC State in 2000. Missed last year's game with a broken jaw.

* Willie Simmons (QB)-Has never played in a game against NC State.

* Rodney Thomas (LB)-Had three tackles in 59 plays at NC State in 2001.

* Donnell Washington (DT)-Ha five tackles, all first hits, at NC State in 2001. He had 2-15 in sacks, his single game career high in sacks.

Clemson Completion Percentage at Record Rate
Clemson is completing passes at a 61.2 percent rate, a record pace. The percentage is third best in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Clemson has completed 145 of 237 passes so far this season for a .612 rate. That is ahead of the .605 pace set by the 1997 Clemson team that was led by current Canadian Football league star Nealon Greene. The only other Clemson team to complete 60 percent over the course of the season is the 1989 Tiger team that was 117-195, exactly 60 percent. Current wide receivers coach Rick Stockstill was the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator that year.

Starting quarterback Willie Simmons has completed 58.8 percent of his passes so far this year on 130-221. He was 21-33 last week against Wake Forest, a 63.6 percent mark. He has thrown for 1404 yards and seven scores, an average of just over 200 yards per game.

Clemson's reserves have had an impact on the percentage as Tony Elliott, Charlie Whitehurst and Jeff Scott are a combined 15-16 this season, including 12-13 by Whitehurst. The freshman completed his first 12 passes as a Clemson quarterback, the best streak ever by a Clemson quarterback at the beginning of his career. Top Stories