Spiller wants elusive bowl victory

CLEMSON - There are just 60 minutes left in C.J. Spiller's four-year masterpiece that has been his Clemson career.

He's racked up 7,416 all-purpose yards for his career, third best in NCAA history. This season he has 2,508 all-purpose yards, an ACC record.

And of course, the always modest Spiller doesn't claim it all for himself.

"I couldn't have done it without any of my guys. They were out there sweating and fighting along with me," he said.

Questions swirled around Tigertown and much of the nation, as many wondered why and how the Heisman Trophy candidate didn't receive an invite to New York. Spiller shrugs off questions when asked if he feels that snubbed. He was happy to hear the award went to a running back.

Instead of watching the ceremony on Dec. 12, he was Christmas shopping for his daughter.

"All the contestants were deserving of the trophy. All of them had great years and they chose who they thought was the best guy, and that was (Mark) Ingram," Spiller said.

Spiller said he's since talked to the Alabama running back about Clemson's opponent in Sunday's Music City Bowl.

"I tried to get some inside notes on them," Spiller said.

Matched up with a rush defense that gives up over 180 yards on the ground per game, Spiller could be looking at another ACC Championship-like performance when he rushed 20 times for 233 yards and scored a career high four touchdowns.

With the NFL right around the corner for Spiller, he's drawing comparisons to another No. 28. On Christmas Day, Spiller and his teammates will go watch Chris Johnson and the Tennessee Titans play the San Diego Chargers.

"I watch him…I saw him at East Carolina. I was able to watch him a little bit and now I've been able to follow him with the Titans," Spiller said.

Johnson needs to average 188 rushing yards per game over the final two weeks to reach Eric Dickerson's record of 2,105 yards.

"Records are meant to be broken. Of course he's wearing number 28. Anytime number 28 can take over anything, it's always good," Spiller said.

That record breaking mentality has led Spiller to one of the most memorable Clemson careers. In the last four seasons, he's set or tied 31 school, conference and national records for offense and scoring.

An accomplishment that will never be broken, Spiller earned his degree in sociology last week, and it took him just 3.5 years.

"That was my main purpose--coming back to graduate," he said. "It lets younger guys and also my younger sibling, my daughter--she'll be able to see that one day. My sister is getting ready to graduate from high school next year. She'll see what it takes. It's been great."

One achievement that's noticeably missing from Spiller's Clemson resume is a bowl win. The Tigers haven't won a bowl game since the 2005 Champs Sports Bowl win over Colorado.

"Rendrick (Taylor) is the only one (on the team) that can say he's won one. For everybody else, we're trying to get a bowl win, trying to end on a great note," he said.

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