NOTES: The Citadel - Clemson

CLEMSON - The Tigers look for their first win of the season Saturday at Death Valley.

Clemson vs. The Citadel Series
Clemson holds a 29-5-1 advantage in the series with The Citadel that dates to 1909. Clemson won that first meeting at Charleston by a 17-0 score. In fact, Clemson won the first six games of the series by a margin of 130-17. Four of the six wins were by shutout. The Citadel's first win took place in 1916 by a 3-0 score in Orangeburg, SC. Clemson then won the next four all by shutouts before there was a 7-7 tie in 1921. The Bulldogs had their most successful era in the series from 1924-31 when they won four of eight games. Their biggest win in that stretch took place in 1928 when The Citadel upset an 8-2 Clemson team by a 12-7 score on December 8th, the latest regular season game in school history.

The Citadel also took a 6-0 win over the Tigers in 1931 and that is the last time the Bulldogs beat Clemson. That game was played in Florence, SC. After the game, Clemson head coach Jess Neely met with some school administrators and told them he needed $10,000 to enhance the program's infrastructure. That meeting led to the formation of IPTAY, the department's athletic scholarship organization.

Clemson has won the last 14 games in the series since that 1931 Citadel victory. The Citadel has scored in double figures just twice in those 14 games and Clemson has outscored The Citadel by 345-41.

In 1954, defensive end Walt Laraway had one of the great defensive games in Clemson history against The Citadel. Laraway had a 30-yard interception return for a score and a 39- yard blocked punt return for a score. He is one of just two Clemson players in history to score two touchdowns on returns in the same game. Justin Miller is the other to do it with two kickoff returns for scores against Florida State in 2004.

The two schools played five times in the 1970s. The 1973 game was an interesting contest for Clemson Head Coach Red Parker. It was Parker's first game as Clemson head coach and he had been the head coach at The Citadel the previous year. Clemson won the game 14-12. The Tigers won in 1976 by a 10-7 score. Those consecutive games are the closest The Citadel has come to beating Clemson since 1931.

Clemson won its season opener of an 11-1 season in 1978 against The Citadel by a 58-3 score. Quarterback Steve Fuller was 9-9 passing in that game, the highest perfect game by a Tiger quarterback. Billy Lott was 6-8 off the bench, giving the two a combined 15-17 passing day. That .882 percentage is the best by a Clemson team in history given a minimum of 15 attempts.

The two teams have played just twice since 1978, a 24-0 Clemson win in 1986 and a 38-0 victory in 2000. The Citadel has not scored against Clemson since that 1978 game when it kicked a field goal and has not scored a touchdown against Clemson since the 1976 game at Clemson.

Last Meeting vs. The Citadel
Clemson opened its 2000 season with a 38-0 victory over The Citadel. Clemson's offense scored three touchdowns in the first quarter, two on touchdown passes by Woody Dantzler and the Tiger defense did not allow The Citadel to get the ball into Clemson territory until the 4:04 mark of the fourth period. Clemson was ranked 17th in the nation entering the game. Dantzler completed 16-17 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns. It remains the Clemson record for completion percentage given a minimum of 15 attempts and his 247.2 efficiency rating was a record for a Clemson quarterback at the time. Cullen Harper has since broken that mark. Rod Gardner caught six passes for 64 yards and Travis Zachery was the top rusher with 13-86 and a touchdown. Zachery had a 52-yard run on Clemson's first offense play.

Chad Carson led the Tigers on defense with 18 tackles, tied for the record for the most tackles in a season opener in Clemson history. Carson and Dantzler were both named ACC Player of the Week for those performances.

Clemson Quarterbacks Have Had Efficient Days vs. The Citadel
The top two completion percentage performances by Clemson quarterbacks have both taken place against The Citadel. The highest perfect passing performance was a 9-9 day by Steve Fuller against The Citadel in the season opener of 1978. The record for a minimum of 15 attempts was a 16-17 performance by Woodrow Dantzler in the season opener of 2000 against the same team.

Dantzler finished that game 16-17 for 192 yards and three touchdowns for a passing efficiency ratio of 247. 2. That is the third best passing efficiency ratio in Clemson history given a minimum of 15 attempts.

Clemson was 15-17 passing as a team in that 1978 victory as Billy Lott was 6-8 as a reserve after Fuller's 9-9 performance. That .882 completion percentage is the best in Clemson history for a team in a game.

Citadel Wins Opener
The Citadel won its season opener last Saturday in Charleston over Webber International by a score of 54-7. Andre Roberts and Asheton Jordan combined to score five touchdowns in the firs 22 minutes of the game to lead The Citadel to a 38-0 halftime lead.

Roberts scored on a 64-yard punt return, and caught touchdown passes of nine yards and 78 yards from quarterback Bart Blanchard. Roberts finished the day with three receptions for 91 yards and four punt returns for 116 yards for a 207-yard all-purpose running day. Jordan scored on runs of three and four yards and finished the day with 10 carries for 70 yards and added 30 yards on four receptions.

Blanchard was outstanding at quarterback as he completed 12-14 passes for 137 yards and two scores. Tyler Starnes and Luke Caldwell also caught touchdown passes for The Citadel, who out-gained Webber International 385-199. The Citadel had 194 yards rushing and 191 yards passing for Coach Kevin Higgins's balanced attack.

Military Appreciation day
Saturday is Military Appreciation Day, a very special day each year on the Clemson home schedule.

There will be many highlights during pregame and halftime ceremonies of Saturday's game that honors the school's military heritage and recognizes the armed services who continue to serve our country today.

The pregame ceremonies will begin at 2:30 pm with a parade from the Holmes and McCabe dormitories led by a Riderless Horse, The ceremony continues with The Citadel Bag Pipes and Band, the march of The Citadel Cadets and Citadel veterans, the Clemson Senior Platoon and Clemson Corps banner, the march of Clemson veterans, and Clemson ROTC and Tiger Band.

Dotting the "i" in Tigers Saturday will be members of the Clemson University Pershing Rifles, Company C4. This past spring, this group won the National Drill Team Championship for the fifth straight year and for the seventh year in the last nine years. The Pershing Rifles were founded in 1939 and can be seen each year posting and retrieving the nation's colors at all home football games in addition to special events on campus throughout the year. The Pershing Rifles are made up of cadets from the Air Force and Army ROTC programs and Clemson University students.

The pregame ceremonies will also include a flyover at the conclusion of the National Anthem of four F16s from McEntire Air National Guard. The pregame Pledge of Allegiance will be led by a soldier stationed overseas. One of the highlights of Saturday's activities will be the halftime introduction of Medal of Honor recipient First Lieutenant Charles Murray, Jr. and the joint performance by The Citadel and Clemson bands.

Murray is one of just four living Media of Honor recipients from the state of South Carolina. A member of the 30th infantry and third Division, Murray directed his troops from a flank attack against 200 Germans in Kaysersberg, France on December 16, 1944. During the attack, Lieutenant Murray killed 20 and captured 10 enemy soldiers. He suffered eight wounds when hit by a grenade during the attack.

By his single-handed attack, First Lieutenant Murray stopped a counter attack while establishing an advance position against formidable odds. Give a warm welcome to this American hero during halftime of today's game. The halftime ceremonies will also include the introduction of some of the families of the 62 fallen soldiers from the State of South Carolina who lost their lives in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There will also be a 21- gun salute by the Pershing Rifles Drill Team. The bells at Tillman Hall will ring 472 times for the fallen Clemson solders on the "Scroll of Honor."

Spiller Ties Miller's Record
Clemson running back and kick returner C.J. Spiller raced 96 yards for a touchdown with the opening kickoff of the second half against Alabama on August 30 in the Georgia Dome. It was his third career kickoff return for a touchdown, tying the school record of three set by Justin Miller, who had three between 2002-04. Miller is now in the NFL with the New York Jets and made the Pro Bowl as a return specialist in 2006.

This was the third kickoff return for a score in the last six games for Spiller dating to last year. He had an 84-yard kickoff return for a score against Duke and a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Wake Forest in consecutive games last year. That was the first time in school history that a player had kickoff returns for touchdowns in consecutive games.

Spiller had 152 kickoff return yards in the loss to Alabama, tied for the seventh highest single game total in school history. Ironically, he tied Miller, who had 4-152 in a game against Maryland in 2002. Miller has the single game record with 282, a total that is in fact an NCAA record.

Getting back to Spiller, he now has 933 career kickoff return yards, sixth highest in school history. He is in sixth place in Clemson history in kickoff return average with a 26.0 figure. He needs just 67 to become the sixth Clemson player with at least 1000 kickoff return yards. He already has over 1700 rushing yards. When he reaches 1000 kickoff return yards he will become the first Clemson player with at least 1000 kickoff return yards and 1000 rushing yards in a career.

Clemson has been outstanding in returning kicks for touchdowns under Tommy Bowden. Spiller's kickoff return for a score against Alabama was the ninth in the 10 years of the Bowden era. From 1951-98, Clemson had just five kickoff returns for scores. Clemson went from 1963-86 without one. In terms of punt returns for scores, Clemson has had six under Bowden and had 12 between 1951-98. So, Bowden teams have 15 kick returns for score. There were just 17 by the Clemson program from 1951-98.

Clemson Has Young Lines
If Clemson is to have a strong season this year it will have to accomplish it with young offensive and defensive lines. According to the depth chart entering the game against The Citadel, the Tigers have 19 players listed as first or second team offensive or defensive linemen and only one of the players is a senior. That is Dorell Scott, who is in his third year as a starting defensive tackle.

Scott made his 27th career start against Alabama and has now played 36 games over four years. But, he is the only senior in the group of linemen on both sides of the ball. Senior Rashaad Jackson, who was slated to be a starter prior to the season, suffered a knee injury in a preseason scrimmage and will be out until at least mid-season.

Clemson does not have a single offensive lineman on scholarship who is a senior.

Conner Ties Clemson Record for Opener
Clemson junior linebacker Kavell Conner not only led Clemson in tackles this past weekend, but he also had the top total in the ACC for the first weekend of action. Conner had 16 tackles on scrimmage plays and two on special teams for a total of 18. The 18 tackles tied a Clemson record for tackles in a season opening game. Jeff Davis had 18 against Rice in the opening game of the 1980 season and Chad Carson had 18 against The Citadel in the opener of the 2000 season.

Conner had 46 tackles last year in 233 snaps as a reserve linebacker. He actually started two of the 13 games last year. One was the Chick-fil-A Bowl against Auburn and he made 15 tackles in that contest to lead the Tigers. Then in the first game of this season he had 18 against Alabama in the same facility. So, he has had 33 of his 95 career tackles in two games in the Georgia Dome against SEC teams from Alabama.

Maye Establishes Record for a Freshman
Clemson linebacker Brandon Maye got the start at middle linebacker against Alabama in the season opener and registered 12 tackles, most in Clemson history by a freshman in his first start that was also the first game of the season. The previous record was 11 by Derek Burnette against Ball State in 1992. Former Clemson All-American Anthony Simmons had 10 in his first career start and game in the season opener of 1995 against Western Carolina. May is a red-shirt freshman, while the other two mentioned above were first year freshmen.

Maye finished the game with eight first hits and four assists to rank second on the Tiger team in tackles behind the 18 by fellow linebacker Kavell Conner. It was a big night for Maye, who is a native of Mobile, AL and obviously was playing against the team from his home state in his first college start.

Clemson Coming off a Loss
Clemson will face The Citadel coming off a 24-point loss to Alabama in the season opener. The Tigers have done well the next game (in season) following a sizeable loss. The Tigers are 7-1 under Tommy Bowden when coming off a loss of 20 points or more. The only loss took place in 2004 when Clemson lost to Florida State following a 21-point loss at Texas A&M.

The most remarkable turnaround from a large margin of defeat took place in 2003 when Clemson lost at Wake Forest 45-17, then defeated third-ranked Florida State the next week. That is still the highest ranked team Clemson has defeated in its history.

Overall, Bowden is 25-12 the game after a loss (in season) by any margin. He was 5-0 the week after a loss in 1999 and 4-0 the week after a loss in 2003.

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