Spiller puts together career night

TAMPA - C.J. Spiller was a work horse for Clemson in Saturday's 39-34 loss to Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship.

If Jonathan Dwyer had a ballot for the Heisman Trophy, C.J. Spiller's named would be on it.

Spiller rushed for a career best 233 yards and four touchdowns in Clemson's 39-34 loss to Georgia Tech in Saturday night's ACC Championship. Though a trip to New York seemed to be in doubt heading into the game, his career night could earn him a trip to the Downtown Athletic Club's Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York.

"I know he's got a great future in the NFL," Dwyer said. "He should be a big-time Heisman candidate after what he did tonight."

Spiller scored the game's first touchdown on the opening drive, tying Travis Zachary's school record of 13-straight games with a touchdown. Zachary's record spanned the course of two seasons (2000-01).

Down 13-7, Spiller scored carried on all five of Clemson's plays on the Tigers' following scoring drive. The 41-yard scoring un put him over 1,000 yards rushing on the season and tied Zachary's single-season touchdown record of 18

On Clemson's first drive of the second half, Spiller scored on 36-yard run, breaking Raymond Priester's 1996 record for yards from scrimmage in a single season. Spiller's nine-yard fourth quarter run was the 50th touchdown of his career, tying Zachary's school record.

"I hope he gets the opportunity to go take the trip (to New York) and maybe win," Dwyer said.

Since the beginning of the season Clemson offensive coordinator Billy Napier said he wouldn't walk away from any game knowing he could have utilized Spiller more. That was the case again on Saturday. Napier wouldn't say if he thought Spiller could have played any better--he needs to watch the film.

"There's no question he showed up and gave a good day's work today," Napier said. "The guy played his butt off. He's one of the more competitive people you'll ever be around.

"In this type of setting, you knew he was going to empty his tank. He did that tonight."

Back for his senior season to play in Saturday night's game, Spiller has no regrets about bypassing the NFL.

"Hopefully the other guys can see, even recruits, you come to Clemson, it's not a layoff," he said. "You're going to compete for championships year in and year out."

A dejected Spiller sat on the sideline after the game, head in his hands, wishing the result had gone the other way. Dwyer made it a point to find him on the sideline for a word of encouragement.

"I said, ‘Keep your head up, man. You did what you can,'" he said.

Spiller now has 1,145 yards rushing this season. It's the first time in his Clemson career that he's reached the 1,000-yard mark in a single-season.

"He left it all on the field. That's all you can ask," Swinney said. "He left everything he had on the field."

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