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2008 Clemson Tigers
Clemson WR Aaron Kelly
Clemson WR Aaron Kelly
Posted Jan 16, 2009

2008 Clemson Tigers Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 Clemson Tigers

Jan. 1
2009 Gator Bowl
Nebraska 26 … Clemson 21

Nebraska was awful early and great late. Clemson took a 14-3 lead into halftime on a 28-yard fumble return for a score from DeAndre McDaniel and a 25-yard Aaron Kelly touchdown catch, and then the Huskers turned it on with four straight scores in the third quarter. Clemson got a 41-yard Jacoby Ford touchdown catch to answer a brilliant 17-yard Nate Swift scoring grab, but the Huskers scored the final 16 points of the game. Todd Peterson kicked off the run with a 19-yard touchdown catch, and then it was all defense with Clemson holding the Huskers to three Alex Henery field goals, a 28-yarder late in the third proving to be the game-winner, and Nebraska finishing with just four rushing yards allowed. Clemson had the ball late with one last shot, but its drive stalled on the Nebraska 26 with a sack of Cullen Harper, a drop in the end zone by C.J. Spiller, and a misfire to Jacoby Ford.
Player of the Game: Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh made eight tackles, two sacks, four tackles for loss, and came up with a blocked kick.
Stat Leaders: Clemson - Passing: Cullen Harper, 17-37, 206 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: James Davis, 12-26. Receiving: Aaron Kelly, 6-74
Nebraska - Passing: Joe Ganz, 19-36, 236 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Quentin Castille, 18-125. Receiving: Todd Peterson, 4-96, 1 TD
Inside The Box Score ... 5 Thoughts on the Gator Bowl …Rushing yards: Nebraska 125 – Clemson 4 … Third down conversions: Nebraska 7-of-19 – Clemson 3-of-16 … Red Zone Scores: Nebraska 3-of-3 – Clemson 1-of-3 … Sacks: Nebraska 5-for-44 yards – Clemson 0-for-0 … Clemson’s Chris Clemons led all defenders with 10 tackles.

- 2008 Clemson Preview
- 2007 Clemson Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2008 Record:

Aug. 30 Alabama (Atl.) L 34-10
Sept. 6 The Citadel W 45-17
Sept. 13 NC State W 27-9
Sept. 20 SC State W 54-0
Sept. 27 Maryland L 20-17
Oct. 9 at Wake Forest L 12-7
Oct. 18 Georgia Tech L 21-17
Oct. 25  OPEN DATE
Nov. 1 at Boston Coll W 27-21
Nov. 8 at Florida State L 41-27
Nov. 15 Duke W 31-7
Nov. 22 at Virginia W 13-3
Nov. 29 South Carolina W 31-14
Gator Bowl
Jan. 1 Nebraska L 26-21

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2007 Record:

Sept. 3 Florida State  W 24-18
Sept. 8
UL Monroe W 49-26
Sept. 15 Furman W 38-10
Sept. 22 at NC State W 42-20
Sept. 29 at Georgia Tech L 13-3
Oct. 6 Virginia Tech L 41-23
Oct. 20
Central Mich W 70-14
Oct. 27 at Maryland W 30-17
Nov. 3
at Duke W 47-10
Nov. 10 Wake Forest W 44-10
Nov. 17 Boston College L 20-17
Nov. 24 at So. Carolina W 23-21
Chick-fil-A Bowl
Dec. 31 Auburn L 23-20 OT

Nov. 28
Clemson 31 … South Carolina 14
James Davis ran for three touchdowns and USC QB Chris Smelley was picked off four times as Clemson won with surprising ease. The Tigers got up 24-0 in the first half on a 20-yard Davis scoring dash, and after the Gamecocks started to make it interesting on two Smelley touchdown passes, including a 23-yarder to Weslye Saunders, the Tigers put it away with a two-yard Davis run. The two teams combined to convert 16-of-31 third down chances.
Player of the game: The tandem of James Davis and C.J. Spiller combined for 179 yards and three touchdowns on 40 carries.
Stat Leaders: South Carolina - Passing: Chris Smelley, 22-47, 212 yds, 2 TD, 4 INT
Rushing: Mike Davis, 17-76. Receiving: Kenny McKinley, 7-56
Clemson - Passing: Cullen Harper, 12-17, 199 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: James Davis, 24-91, 3 TD. Receiving: Aaron Kelly, 4-76
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... With a three-game winning streak and with winning four of the last five games, Clemson has managed to get bowl eligible and show signs of life where there were absolutely none just a few short weeks ago. Does Dabo Swinney keep the job? The way he was able to rally the troops and get the team bowl eligible is nice, but beating the arch-rival convincingly is a whole other story. The offensive line had its best game of the year, beating up the South Carolina defensive front for the entire game. The program should give Swinney the bowl game and see how the team responds. You don’t want to give Swinney a big deal and then have Clemson get blasted in the bowl.

Nov. 22
Clemson 13 … Virginia 3
Four turnovers proved costly with Clemson converting points on three of them. RB C.J. Spiller threw his first career touchdown pass hitting Tyler Grisham for a 15-yard score in the first quarter, and that was the only time either team saw the end zone. Mark Buchholz hit field goals from 32 and 23 yards out for Clemson, and Virginia only managed a 34-yard Robert Randolph field goal in the second quarter. Virginia appeared to be on the verge of a comeback as it moved the ball in the second half, but nothing came of it. The teal teams combined for a mere 362 yards.
Player of the game: Clemson S Michael Hamlin made eight tackles and an interception
Stat Leaders: Virginia - Passing: Marc Verica, 24-39, 160 yds, 3 INT
Rushing: Cedric Peerman, 19-45. Receiving: Kevin Ogletree, 6-73
Clemson - Passing: Cullen Harper, 18-28, 121 yds
Rushing: James Davis, 18-65. Receiving: Jacoby Ford, 6-42
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Alright, so Clemson has turned things around a little bit and is now bowl eligible, but it needs a win over South Carolina to be assured of a bowl game. That’s hardly a given. Despite the two-game winning streak, the team still isn’t playing all that well. The running game continues to be a problem.  James Davis had a decent day, but C.J. Spiller was bottled up. The offensive line simply isn’t getting any sort of a push, while the pass protection has been abysmal. Is this late run enough to give Dabo Swinney the job? Maybe not, but he has calmed things down.

Nov. 15
Clemson 31 … Duke 7
Clemson dominated throughout with C.J. Spiller tearing off a 24-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and taking a Cullen Harper pass 83 yards for a score in the third. The Tiger defense held Duke to 10 first downs and 168 yards of total offense, with the only points allowed coming late in the fourth on a 28-yard Eron Riley catch. With 10 catches, Clemson’s Aaron Kelly became the ACC’s all-time leading receiver.
Player of the game: Clemson RB C.J. Spiller ran 10 times for 71 yards and a touchdown, and caught seven passes for 108 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: Duke - Passing: Zack Asack, 10-22, 61 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Zack Asack, 10-32. Receiving: Eron Riley, 3-51, 1 TD
Clemson - Passing: Cullen Harper, 20-26, 292 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: C.J. Spiller, 10-71. Receiving: Aaron Kelly, 10-96
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Playing Duke cures a lot of ills. Clemson wasn’t perfect against the Blue Devils, but it was close. Cullen Harper played one of his best games of the year, while C.J. Spiller showed once again why he’s one of the nation’s premier all-around weapons. A win like this might not spark an overall turnaround and it might not change the outlook on the season, but for a team that was struggling so badly over the previous few weeks, it was an important win with Virginia and South Carolina to close.

Nov. 8

Florida State 41 … Clemson 27
Everything started out well for Clemson as C.J. Spiller took a Cullen Harper pass 44 yards for a touchdown on the first drive of the game, and Mark Buchholz made it 10-0 on a 41-yard field goal. The Noles came back with Graham Gano field goals from 52 and 37 yards out, and DE Neefy Moffett returned a bad Harper pass 18 yards for a touchdown, but it wasn’t until a one-yard Christian Ponder run before they took the lead for good. Antone Smith ran for a one-yard score and a 41-yarderin the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Player of the game: Florida State DE Everette Brown made five tackles and three sacks.
Stat Leaders: Clemson - Passing: Cullen Harper, 19-33, 240 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: C.J. Spiller, 13-66, 1 TD. Receiving: Aaron Kelly, 5-49
Florida State - Passing: Christian Ponder, 16-27, 153 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Jermaine Thomas, 11-94. Receiving: Preston Parker, 6-37
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Cullen Harper keeps having just enough moments to think he’s about to turn the corner, but the offense continues to be average. It’s the offensive line’s fault. The defense didn’t hold up against the Florida State running game, and it didn’t come up with the big stop needed late in the game to allow the offense to make a comeback. The Dabo Swinney era will soon come to a close, the Tigers have to win two of their final three games against Duke, Virginia and South Carolina just to get to a bowl, so the goal from this point going forward is to try to relax, play loose, and let it rip. Trick plays, more deep throws, and as much creativity as the coaching staff can come up with will be a must.

Nov. 1
Clemson 27 … Boston College 21
C.J. Spiller suffered an early concussion, and was held out for most of the third quarter, but he still managed to catch six passes for 105 yards and ran for 55 yards, while the rest of the Tigers picked up the slack. James Davis started out the scoring with a 23-yard touchdown run on the way to a 17-0 Clemson lead, but BC roared back with 21 straight points helped by a blocked punt for a score early in the fourth and a 15-yard Brandon Robinson touchdown catch. But Aaron Kelly came back with a four-yard touchdown catch and Mark Buchholz nailed a 43-yard field goal to put the Tigers up six. BC had one last shot, but the drive stalled.
Player of the game: Clemson RB C.J. Spiller ran eight times for 55 yards and caught six passes for 105 yards
Stat Leaders: Boston College - Passing: Chris Crane, 18-39, 116 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Josh Haden, 15-71, 1 TD. Receiving: Brandon Robinson, 5-60, 1 TD
Clemson - Passing: Cullen Harper, 21-33, 252 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: C.J. Spiller, 8-55. Receiving: C.J. Spiller, 6-105
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... C.J. Spiller has become everything for the Clemson offense. James Davis is an NFL caliber back, and Cullen Harper is a strong quarterback, but without Spiller, the O falls flat. Harper came through against Boston College, despite throwing three interceptions, while the defense held firm when it absolutely had to and did a good job of getting the BC offense off the field. Now the season is back on, but the momentum has to continue against Florida State or bowl hopes could be in trouble.

Oct. 18
Georgia Tech 21 … Clemson 17
Demaryius Thomas made up for an earlier whiff, when he short-armed a deep pass that would’ve been for a touchdown, by catching a 24-yard touchdown pass with 5:22 to play, and the Georgia Tech defense did the rest. Clemson turned it over six times with an early interception taken 34 yards for a touchdown from Dominique Reese. The Tiger offense sputtered, but it finally woke up in the third quarter when Cullen Harper, in for an injured Willy Korn, hit Aaron Kelly on touchdown passes from 32 and 31 yards out. Georgia Tech ran for 207 yards to Clemson’s 51.
Player of the game: Georgia Tech RB Jonathan Dwyer ran 21 times for 109 yards
Stat Leaders: Clemson - Passing: Cullen Harper, 15-24, 170 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: James Davis, 8-26 & Jamie Harper, 10-26. Receiving: Aaron Kelly, 7-122, 2 TD 
Georgia Tech - Passing: Josh Nesbitt, 5-12, 91 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Jonathan Dwyer, 21-109. Receiving: Demaryius Thomas, 4-56, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The Willy Korn era started, sputtered, and stopped with a shoulder injury against Georgia Tech. Cullen Harper was hardly sharp, throwing two interceptions, but he finally got the offense moving and led the way to a second half lead. The running game, with C.J. Spiller on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, didn’t do much of anything netting just 51 yards. Basically, the emotion of the week didn’t really matter and reality has fully set in; the season isn’t going to turn around.

Oct. 9
Wake Forest 12 ... Clemson 7
D.J. Boldin caught a seven-yard touchdown pass with 5:28 to play, and Clemson couldn't answer despite a big 19-yard fourth down completion to keep the final drive alive. In the defensive slugfest, Shane Popham, in place of an injured Sam Swank, hit field goals from 22 and 32 yards out for the Demon Deacons, but Clemson had the lead until late thanks to a juggling 10-yard touchdown catch form Jacoby Ford. Wake Forest outgained Clemson 342 yards to 198, while the Tigers converted just two of 14 third down chances.
Player of the game: Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry made nine tackles.
Stat Leaders: Clemson
- Passing: Cullen Harper, 15-35, 177 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: James Davis, 12-25. Receiving: Jacoby Ford, 5-43, 1 TD
Wake Forest
- Passing: Riley Skinner, 22-34, 186 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Riley Skinner, 11-73. Receiving:
Ben Wooster, 5-36
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... What happened to the Clemson team that was supposed to be such an offensive juggernaut? Wake Forest's defense is fantastic, but it's not so good that the Tigers should've been completely shut down. The defensive line cranked out 13 tackles for loss, and it did the best it could do considering the offense was awful. Cullen Harper was inaccurate, misfiring on too many throws, while James Davis couldn't find any room to run. If Tommy Bowden wasn't in trouble before, he is now.

Sept. 27
Maryland 20 ... Clemson 17
After getting dominated in the first half. Maryland took control in the second half as Darrius Heyward-Bey came up with a 76-yard run to set up a six-yard Torrey Smith touchdown catch, and Da'Rel Scott ran for a one-yard score. The defense held firm time and again as the Clemson offense that controlled the game early on, with C.J. Spiller running for  35-yard touchdown run and James Davis adding a 38-yard score, struggled to move the ball. Clemson turned the ball over three times, Maryland didn't give it away.
Player of the game:
.Maryland LB Alex Wujciak made 16 tackles and a half a tackle for loss
Stat Leaders: Clemson
- Passing: Cullen Harper, 15-22, 151 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: James Davis, 17-126, 1 TD. Receiving: Aaron Kelly, 7-75
- Passing: Chris Turner, 16-30, 172 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Darrius Heyward-Bey, 1-76. Receiving: Danny Oquendo, 4-49
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Clemson's offensive line continues to have issues. It didn't do nearly enough to open up holes for the running game in the second half against Maryland, and once the momentum started going the other way, the offense as a whole didn't do anything to slow things down. This is a far more talented team than it's playing, and it's far too good to be losing at home to Maryland. These are going to be a long two weeks before the trip to Wake Forest with the season on the line. It'll be interesting to see how the heat is suddenly turned up to another level for Tommy Bowden.

Sept. 20
Clemson 54 … South Carolina State 0
Clemson went through the motions on offense and rolled up 30 points in the first half starting out with three short James Davis touchdown runs and getting a one-yard Cullen Harper score. The defense went to work in the second half starting out with a 32-yard Chris Clemons interception return for a touchdown. Backup QB Willy Korn was great in mop-up duty completing all seven of his passes with a five-yard touchdown pass to Michael Palmer and a one-yard run. SCSU was held to -10 rushing yards and committed 18 penalties for 134 yards.
Player of the game:
Clemson RB James Davis ran for 95 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries
Stat Leaders: South Carolina State - Passing: Malcolm Long, 22-35, 162 yds, 3 INTs
Rushing: Travil Jamison, 4-15. Receiving: Oliver Young, 7-70
- Passing: Cullen Harper, 15-24, 151 yds, 2 INTs
Rushing: James Davis, 11-95, 3 TDs. Receiving: Jacoby Ford, 5-24
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
Considering it was an easy blowout over South Carolina State, there has to be some concern that the passing game isn’t quite clicking as well as it should be. Cullen Harper threw two interceptions and didn’t produce enough on the deep balls. Eventually, C.J. Spiller has to break out. He was fine, but it was James Davis who came up with the big early runs to end the game. Now the team has to be prepared for a shootout with a confident Maryland coming up next.

Sept. 13
Clemson 27 … NC State 9
Clemson overcame an early interception return for a touchdown from NC State’s Nate Irving with 17 first half points highlighted by a 16-yard Jacoby Ford touchdown catch and a 28-yard scoring play on a catch from C.J. Spiller. The Wolfpack never got in the end zone, and despite the close score, never posed a major threat. Clemson finally pulled away in the fourth quarter on a 12-yard Spiller touchdown run. Clemson outgained State 428 yards to 288.
Player of the game:
Clemson WR Jacoby Ford caught six passes for 106 yards and a touchdown, and he ran twice for 48 yards.
Stat Leaders: NC State
- Passing: Russell Wilson, 10-21, 92 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Andre Brown, 14-64. Receiving: Andre Brown, 4-51
- Passing: Cullen Harper, 20-28, 262 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Rushing: C.J. Spiller, 10-61, 1 TD. Receiving: Aaron Kelly, 7-94
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Yeah, Clemson beat NC State rather easily, despite the 27-9 final score, and yeah, the Wolfpack has a good defense, but the Tiger offense isn’t humming quite like it should be. C.J. Spiller and James Davis are next-level backs, but they only combined for 95 yards. The offensive line did a decent job, but it wasn’t dominant. Soon, the skill players are going to need more time to work.

Sept. 6
Clemson 45 ... Citadel 17
Clemson got three touchdown runs from C.J. Spiller, three interceptions from Michael Hamlin, and 525 yards of total offense in a breather. James Davis started off the scoring with a 38-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, and then it was spiller with runs from 37, 1 and 17 yards out. Citadel moved the ball well with Bard Blanchard hitting Andre Roberts on a 41-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, but Clemson had things well in hand taking a 42-7 lead into the middle of the fourth quarter.
Player of the game: Clemson S Michael Hamlin made 10 tackles and three interceptions
Stat Leaders: Clemson - Passing: Cullen Harper, 14-18, 192 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: James Davis, 13-107, 1 TD. Receiving: Jacoby Ford, 5-60
Citadel - Passing: Bart Blanchard, 22-35, 279 yds, 1 TD, 32 INT
Rushing: Bart Blanchard, 9-27,. Receiving: Andre Roberts, 9-153, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Blowing away Citadel will hardly make up for the loss to Alabama, but it was a necessary blasting to show that yes, the offense really does work. While the outcome was never in doubt, it would've been nice if the defense had played better, giving up 427 yards and 338 through the air. Granted, most of the yards were meaningless, but for everyone's sake, the bigger the blowouts right now, the better. Another big win is needed next week against NC State to keep moving forward.

Aug. 30
Alabama 34 ... Clemson 10
Alabama stunned Clemson holding the high-powered Tigers to no net yards rushing while tearing off 239 yards on the ground in the surprisingly easy blowout. The Tide held on to the ball for 41:13 as John Parker Wilson was in total command of the offense running for a one yard score and connecting with Nick Walker and Julio Jones for short touchdowns. Clemson managed a 33-yard field goal in the second quarter and got a kickoff return for a touchdown from C.J. Spiller to start the second half, but that was it. Leigh Tiffin nailed four field goals for the Tide.
Player of the game: Alabama QB John Parker Wilson completed 22 of 30 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a score.
Stat Leaders: Clemson - Passing: Cullen Harper, 20-34, 188 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: James Davis, 6-13. Receiving: Tyler Grisham, 6-42
Alabama - Passing: John Parker Wilson, 22-30, 180 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Mark Ingram, 17-96,. Receiving: Nick Walker, 7-67, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Alabama was ready to play; Clemson wasn't. This is a far more talented Tiger team than it showed, but the energy wasn't there and the fight was gone after Bama showed early on that it came to play. The O line really is going to be a major problem as there was no push for the running game and Cullen Harper didn't have nearly enough time to operate consistently. Playing Citadel next week should help, and the schedule is easy until a trip to Wake Forest in October, so there's time to turn things around. Now the team needs some confidence in a big way.

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

Da’Quan Bowers DE  6-5 265 Bamberg, South Carolina Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School
Number-one ranked player in the nation regardless of position by signee in Clemson history to come to the Tigers as the number-one player in the nation...ranked number-two player in the nation by, number-eight player in the nation by SuperPrep, and number-14 player in the nation by Tom Lemming... five-star player by ...named first-team All-American by in the ESPN/Under Armour All-American Game, he was the defensive MVP of the game when he had four tackles for loss...graduated from high school in December of 2007 and already enrolled in Clemson for the spring semester...five-star player by to be a factor on Clemson's defensive front in 2008 ...won Dan Foster Award from the Greenville Touchdown Club as the top high school player in South Carolina...first-team All-American according to EA Sports... #1 defensive end nationally by ...# 2 player in South Carolina and #2 defensive lineman in the country by SuperPrep...SuperPrep Mid Atlantic Defensive Player of the Year...played at the same high school that sent current bandit end Ricky Sapp to Clemson...2007 South Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year...two-time AP all-state selection...totaled 267 tackles, 90 for a loss, and 37 sacks in his high school a senior, he registered 97 tackles, 33 for a loss,14 sacks, and 3 fumbles recovered...also added over 1200 yards rushing as a senior and 840 yards rushing as a junior...also had a 40-yard average on kickoff returns as a senior... recruited by outside linebackers Coach Ron West...chose Clemson over Florida State, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech.

Potential Instant Impact Players

Jarrett Crittenton DE 6-6 275 Wahpeton, ND
Ranked as the 27th best junior college player in the nation by SuperPrep...ranked as fifth best JC defensive end in the nation by SuperPrep ... originally played at Fayette County High School in Fayetteville, GA...recruited by Defensive Line Coach Chris Rumph...chose Clemson over Kansas State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Wisconsin, and Arkansas

Brandon  Thompson DT 6-2 291 Thomasville, GA
#71 player overall and #6 defensive tackle nationally by player in Georgia and #8 defensive lineman nationally by SuperPrep...four-year starter...four-star player according to a senior, he led the team in sacks with 19 and registered 61 tackles...Defensive Player of the Year by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution...three-time all-region selection...Region 1-AA Defensive Player of the Year as a senior...two-time all-state player...he is especially strong in the weight room...he can bench press 385 pounds, squat 600 pounds, and clean 315 pounds, all impressive...participated in ESPN/Under Armour All-American Game...recruited by Tight Ends Coach Billy Napier ...chose Clemson over Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami (FL), Ohio State, & Tennessee.

Rest of the Class

Spencer Adams DB 6-2 180 Matthews, NC
Dwayne Allen TE 6-4 243 Fayetteville, NC
Daniel  Andrews DB 6-0 192 Jacksonville, FL
Spencer Benton K 6-3 190 Myrtle Beach, SC
Xavier Brewer DB 5-10 169 Jacksonville, FL
Jaron Brown ATH 6-2 187 Cheraw, SC
Andre Ellington RB 5-10 170 Moncks Corner, SC
Brandon Ford WR 6-4 205 Hanahan, SC
Dalton Freeman OL 6-6 270 Pelion, SC
Rashard  Hall DB 6-2 190 Saint Augustine, FL
Jamie Harper RB 6-0 210 Jacksonville, FL
Stanley Hunter LB 5-11 205 Duncan, SC
Marquan Jones WR 6-0 173 Blythewood, SC
Carlton Lewis DB 6-3 190 Saint Augustine, FL
Antoine  McClain OL 6-6 317 Anniston, AL
Kenneth Page OL 6-4 293 Columbia, SC
Kyle Parker QB 6-0 188 Jacksonville, FL
Jon  Richt QB 6-2 185 Athens, GA
Tarik Rollins LB 6-2 187 Hollywood, FL
Matt Sanders OL 6-4 293 Crestview, FL
Matt Skinner ATH 6-7 230 Jacksonville, FL
Jonathan Willard LB 6-2 203 Loris, SC
Dawson Zimmerman K 6-2 195 Snellville, GA

2007 Recap

Clemson came tantalizingly close to having that long-awaited breakthrough season under Tommy Bowden, but couldn’t close the deal, a familiar result for the school.  The Tigers appeared to be in the Atlantic Division driver’s seat at the end of the season before losing a heartbreaker to Boston College in Death Valley, 20-17.  They went on to win nine games, beating rival South Carolina and losing to Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, while finding a gem at quarterback in junior Cullen Harper.

Offensive Player of the Year:
QB Cullen Harper

Defensive Player of the Year: DE Phillip Merling

Biggest Surprise: Harper.  A career backup, Harper looked vulnerable to mega-recruit Willy Korn before the season began.  He won the job in August, however, and then padlocked it during the season, earning a spot on the All-ACC second team by throwing 27 touchdown passes and just six interceptions.

Biggest Disappointment: The devastating Nov. 17 loss to Boston College.  Clemson was at home and on fire heading into this winner-take-all game for the Atlantic Division, but fumbled opportunities to win the game, eventually caving in to QB Matt Ryan’s late-game heroics.

Looking Ahead:
Yeah, it’s becoming a tired phrase around Death Valley, but Clemson does have enough returning talent to finally win that first ACC championship since 1991.  With the rushing tandem of James Davis, who chose to come back to school at the last moment, and C.J. Spiller, the ground game should be devastating.


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