Clemson Memories Both High and Low
The series between the Jackets and Tigers has included plenty of high drama in the past decade, with great plays and great blunders sometimes deciding the ultimate outcome, and as I packed the Jeep and made plans for the drive to Clemson tomorrow morning I reflected back on some of my other trips to Clemson. And then I checked the Hive and found this related thread, which included a cavalcade of GT/Clemson memories.
A handful of “highs” jump immediately to the forefront for me…and I’ll rank them in the order of importance:
- Derrick Morgan’s sack of Kyle Parker in 2009 – Maybe its not the biggest play, but its the timeliest and it secured an ACC title and a BCS bid so it ranks #1.
- George Godsey to Kerry Watkins in 2000 – Amazing catch to end an amazing game, as Tech defeated an undefeated Top 10 Clemson team on the road. “Seven seconds left on the clock and Wesley, it doesn’t get any bigger than this!”, will be an immortalized Kim King call for decades to come.
- “The Muff” and “The Fade” in 2004 – Clemson muffs a punt snap and Reggie Ball throws a fade on the next play to Calvin Johnson, completing an improbably comeback. I was at this game and remember the bedlam in the GT section and the Clemson fans who had left early only to get back to their tailgates and discover they’d lost. One of the best and most improbable comebacks I’ve seen GT execute.
- Nesbitt to Thomas for 70 Yards in the 2009 ACC Title Game – Its third and 10 at the Yellow Jacket 30 yard line. Tech is clinging to a three point lead after a Clemson score on their previous drive. Thomas makes the catch and stiff arms the defender en route to the endzone.
- Nesbitt Pitches to Allen, 82 Yards on First Play – The Jacket’s first play from scrimmage against Clemson in 2009 went 82 yards as Allen gets textbook blocking and rumbles in for the first score in a 21 point Yellow Jacket first quarter.
Unfortunately, a couple of lows are tough to forget…
- The 47-44 overtime loss in 2001 as Woody Dantzler ran for 191 yards and 2 scores, the most painful being his 11 yard scamper in overtime. He killed us over and over again with that quarterback draw play as soon as Darryl Smith got injured and had to leave the game. Our backup middle linebacker played valiantly, but Danztler ended up being the ACC’s top rushing quarterback for a reason.
- The 31-7 loss in 2006 as Clemson ran for 321 yards on just 38 attempts. I remember Tenuta’s defense cheating our outside linebackers up onto the edges while the Clemson offense kept pounding us in the middle. This was the game when Tech fans started realizing that Tenuta’s defense did one thing well and rarely adjusted. It felt like, “They’re gashing us in the middle, we need to blitz harder!”
And speaking of Dantzler…its fitting that Joshua Nesbitt is only 44 yards of eclipsing Dantzler’s career record of 2,761 yards.
It’d be nice to see #9 break the record tomorrow evening…maybe even on a little TD scamper of his own. I bet that would help me exorcise some of the bad memories from that 2001 game. I could do without the image of Danztler running that draw over and over again…
Since I’ll be on the road both early and late tomorrow, in order to attend the game, its highly likely that my post Clemson blog will show up on Sunday. Hopefully I’ll have a new “high” to add to the list rather than a new “low”.