Loss darkens another Spiller gem

CLEMSON - Like any other coach looking at the Clemson game on his schedule, Texas Christian Coach Gary Patterson knew several months ago that limiting C.J. Spiller was going to be necessary to win.

"I said going into the game that we had to stop the run and we could not allow Spiller or (Jacoby) Ford to catch big passes, and it about beat us," Patterson said.

Spiller joined Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush as one of two players in college football history to amass 2,500 yards rushing, 1,000 yards receiving, 1,500 yards in kick off returns and 500 yards in punt returns Saturday. Spiller set the mark when he caught a 60-yard pass from Kyle Parker in the second quarter.

Despite the 14-10 loss, Spiller believes it was one of the best offensive games Clemson has had this year.

On a career high 26 carries, he rushed for 120 yards and caught three passes for 79 yards. That stat line looks like a pretty productive day for a guy who admitted afterwards that he wasn't at full speed. With out the toe injury, the 60-yard catch could have been a 64-yard touchdown.

"I'm not going to make excuses but the guy just caught me," Spiller said. "I'm not 100 percent. But let's not jump to conclusions."

He said the play was set up from something offensive coordinator Billy Napier noticed from the booth that the safety would be moved over.

The matchup was good too.

"We knew all week that we would be matched up with the linebackers," Spiller said.

He put together a third-straight 200-yard all-purpose game, making him the only player in Atlantic Coast Conference history to accomplish the feat. One of the yards was a one-yard touchdown run. The run was his first and the team's first rushing touchdown of the season.

Offensive coordinator Billy Napier praised Spiller for another solid performance.

"That guy, he's phenomenal. That's obvious. That effort level and physicality he plays with," Napier said.

On three consecutive plays in the fourth quarter, Spiller rushed for 54 yards, the last moved Clemson into the Texas Christian red zone. Jamie Harper was substituted in after the play and carried once for no gain.

"I was trying to catch my wind. I felt some cramps in my hamstring," Spiller said. "I didn't want to get out there and have it cramp up."

A 200-yard all-purpose day was no simple task against a defense that Spiller believes is very good. Napier said it was possible since Spiller is one of the best players in college football.

"There aren't many players better than C.J. Spiller," Napier said.

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