Zambiasi was a tackling machine at Georgia, leading the team in stops for three consecutive years from 1975-77. He finished with a UGA record 467 career tackles and posted the single-season record with 165 tackles in 1977 (since broken). The three-time All-SEC performer helped lead the Bulldogs to an SEC title in 1976. Zambiasi was drafted in the 10th round of the 1978 NFL Draft, but instead opted for the Canadian Football League. He earned CFL Defensive Player of the Year honors with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2004.
One of the leaders of the 1967 Liberty Bowl team, Scott also helped the Dawgs to the 1968 SEC Championship with a 8-0-2 regular season and subsequent Sugar Bowl bid. Scott led the SEC in interceptions both years he lettered and also led the league in punt and kick return yardage in ’68. He is the UGA record holder for career INTs and INT return yards with 16 picks for 315 yards. Scott was drafted in the seventh round of the 1970 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. He went to five straight Pro Bowls and played in three Super Bowls, earning MVP honors in the VII edition of the big game.
This run-stuffer helped lead the Dawgs to a 25-6-2 record in his three years in Athens, including two SEC championships in ’66 and ’68. His time in college included trips to the Sugar, Cotton and Liberty Bowls. As a consensus All-American and team Captain in 1968, Stanfill earned the prestigious Outland Trophy – given to the best lineman in the nation each year. The three-time All-SEC tackle’s most memorable game might have been a 51-0 drubbing of the Gators in a driving rainstorm in which Vince Dooley allowed Stanfill to play quarterback. Many UGA fans believe that 1968 8-1-2 team should have won the National Championship instead of Ohio State. He was selected with the 11th overall pick in the 1969 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins.
Greene ended his college career as the winningest quarterback in college football history with 42 victories. A model of efficiency, Greene holds the SEC record for consecutive pass attempts without an interceptions with 214. Only one year after earning SEC Freshman of the Year honors, the burly passer broke a 20-year drought in Athens by leading his team to the 2002 SEC Championship – earning the SEC Championship Game MVP as well. His 11,528 passing yards not only set a Georgia school record but also still stand as the SEC’s all-time record. His 72 touchdowns passes are a UGA career record. Greene was drafted by the Seahawks in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
By the time Murray finishes his final season in Athens, he will own every major SEC passing record in history. He will have thrown for more yards and more touchdowns than anyone in SEC history by the halfway mark of 2013 barring any unforseen incidents. He already owns most single-school records for Georgia and has led the Dawgs to back-to-back SEC East championships — coming within five yards of what would have likely been a national championship. With a win in Atlanta at the end of the season, Murray could become arguably the greatest player in school history (yes, possibly including the great running back from Wrightsville).
Stinchcomb was a three-year starter at Georgia and a two-time All-American. At one point, the big ugly started 32 consecutive games, earning Lombardi Award finalist status in 1998. He was awarded the Draddy Trophy that year, given by the National Football Foundation to the player with the best combination of academics, community service and on-field performance. The talented hog molly was selected with the 19th overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders.
The versatile defensive back/rover was a two-time consensus All-American who finished fifth in the Heisman balloting in 1983 – the highest finish by a defensive back in history at the time. The two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Year posted 14 career interceptions at UGA and was inducted into the NCAA Football Hall of Fame in 2000. Legendary head coach Vince Dooley called him “the best defensive player I’ve ever coached.” His run in Athens included the 1980 National Championship, three SEC crowns and a 43-4-1 overall record. He was selected in the third round of the 1984 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. Hoage played 13 seasons in the league for six different teams.
The most versatile player in Georgia history excelled in all three facets of the game – offense, defense and special teams. The consensus All-American’s astounding career culminated with the Bronko Nagurski Trophy in 1998 as the nation’s top defender. Bailey, who played in all 33 possible games, starting 24, played over 1,000 plays in ’98. He posted 52 tackles, three INTs, 10 passes broken up and four tackles for a loss on defense, while catching 47 passes for 744 yards and five scores as a receiver. For good measure, he added 84 yards rushing (16 att.), 261 kick return yards and 49 punt return yards. He finished his stellar career with 147 career tackles, eight career INTs, 59 career receptions, 978 career yards and five offensive TDs. The extraordinary coverman was selected with the seventh overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Redskins. As one of the best cornerbacks of this generation, Bailey was a Pro Bowler in 10 of his 12 NFL seasons – an NFL record for anyone at his position.
Pollack is the most decorated defensive player to ever put on the Red and Black. His 14-sack 2002 season set a school record for sacks in a single-season; he is also No. 3 with his 12.5-sack 2004 campaign. His 36.0 career sacks are the career benchmark for any Bulldog. He is one of only two three-time All-Americans in school history. On his mantle sits two Ted Hendricks Awards for the nation’s top defensive end (2002, 2004), the Lombardi Award given to the nation’s top lineman (2004), the Bednarik Award given to the nation’s top defensive player (2004) and the Lott Trophy given to the nation’s top impact defensive player (2004). The 2004 SEC Player of the Year started 44 of his 50 career games, finishing with 283 tackles, 58 tackles for a loss, four INTs and 18 passes broken up. Pollack was drafted with the 17th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
The first ever three-time All-American in UGA history, Walker redefined the way running backs played the game. His physically abusive style of play made him arguably the most talented runner to ever carry the ball on a college gridiron. He is the only player to finish in the top three in the Heisman voting in every season he played football. During his freshman season, Walker set the NCAA freshman rushing record with 1,616 yards (and 15 TDs). He helped the Dawgs to the 1980 National Championship. As a sophomore, Walker topped his own marks with 1,891 yards and 18 TDs. In 1982, Walker earned the most coveted trophy in all of sports when his 1,752 yards and 16 scores earned him the Heisman Trophy (as well as the Maxwell Award). Georgia finished with a sterling 33-3-1 record, three SEC titles and three Sugar Bowl appearances during Walker’s time in Athens. When he left for the USFL/NFL, he owned 10 NCAA records, 15 SEC benchmarks and 30 UGA school records. His 5,259 yards are still an SEC rushing record. Walker was inducted into the NCAA Football Hall of Fame in 1999.
One of the most physically gifted players to ever play at South Carolina, Rice redshirted as a freshman and left after only two seasons in Columbia — which was plenty of time for Rice to make his mark. He, at the time, posted the No. 1 (1,143 yards) and No. 3 (1,090 yards) receiving seasons in school history (broken in 2010 by Alshon Jeffery’s 1,517 yads). His 72 (2006) and 70 (2005) catches were good for third- and fourth-best all-time (again, Jeffery set the current record with 88 last fall). Rice’s 13 TDs in 2005 still stands as the school’s all-time single-season record. Rice ranks fourth all-time with 2,233 yards, first with 23 TD catches and is the only Gamecock to ever score five TDs in a game (FAU, 2006). In two bowl games, Rice set every USC postseason receiving mark with 12 receptions for 191 yards against Mizzou in 2005 Independence Bowl. He followed that up with an eight-catch, 39-yard, TD performance the next year against Houston in the Liberty Bowl.
This talented All-Pro defensive end led the team in sacks four straight seasons, finishing with 23.5 total quarterback traps – good for third all-time in school history. The All-SEC performer was selected with the 13th overall pick in the first round of the 200 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.
This smooth, handsy receiver is No. 2 all-time in school history for TD catches with 19, No. 4 all-time in receptions with 156 and No. 6 all-time with yards at 2,211. He went on to win a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers as a consummate professional. His longest lasting legacy on the football field would have to be the advent of the “Lambeau Leap.”
Provence ranks No. 2 in school history in many of the most important defensive statistics. His 401 career total tackles, 26.0 career sacks and 35.0 career tackles for a loss each rank No. 2 in Gamecock history. He set the single-season sack record with 10 in 1982 (since broken). Provence was drafted by his home state Atlanta Falcons in the third round of the 1983 NFL Draft.
Ellis completely rewrote the passing record books at South Carolina. He claimed 20 different school records in his time as the starter in Columbia. His 425 yards against ECU in 1987 were a single-game school record. His 53 attempts against Virginia Tech in 1988 were a school record. His 241 completions in 1987 were a single-season school record. His 20 passing TDs in 1986 were a school record. His 46 career TDs were also a school record. All of these have since been broken by the guy on the next slide, but Ellis is still prominently featured in the “career” section of the record book. His 1,350 career attempts and 9,953 yards are still tops at South Carolina. His 3,206-yard 1987 season is still the best in school history as well. The three-time team MVP led the Cocks to back-to-back bowl games for the first time in school history.
If it was up to Steve Spurrier, Lattimore might be the greatest Gamecock of all-time. The in-state five-star recruit immediately produced at an elite level, scoring a touchdown in each of his first six college games. He rushed for 1,197 yards and 17 touchdowns as a true freshman on the first SEC East championship team in Columbia. Unfortunately, his next two seasons were cut short by horrific knee injuries. For his career, Lattimore scored 41 total touchdowns in just 29 games while producing 118.8 yards from scrimmage for his career. He was unstoppable when on the field and was just as important to the Cocks off the field and in the locker room as he was in the backfield. There is a reason that 2010-12 is the most successful three-year run in school history.
After Todd Ellis totally reworked the passing record books, Taneyhill came through and rewrote many of the same records. Taneyhill has the best two games passing in school history with a 473- and 451-yard performances. He has the top four games in school history in terms of completions. He owns the single-season TD mark with 29, completion percentage record with 67.1% and total completions with 261. He obliterated the career TD mark of 49 with his 62 scoring throws. The SEC Offensive Freshman of the Year finished No. 2 on the all-time yards chart with 8,782 yards. Most importantly, however, the trademark longhaired gunslinger led South Carolina to its first-ever bowl win in the 1995 Carquest Bowl victory over West Virginia. Taneyhill was the MVP.
After just two seasons, Clowney has quickly established himself as one of the school’s greatest players. And after his junior season this fall, he could easily become the program’s single-best player. The freakish defensive end has 90 total tackles, 35.5 tackles for loss, 21.0 sacks and eight forced fumbles over two seasons in Columbia. The SEC Freshman of the Year (2011) also earned SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors (2012) and won the Hendricks Award as the nation’s best defensive end (2012). The unanimous All-American is all but assured to add some trophies to his case in 2013.
As high school standout in Georgia, Sharpe left an indeliable mark on South Carolina football. He set school records for receptions with 169, yards with 2,497 and touchdowns with 17 (all of which have since been broken). He also set the single-season catches record with 74, touchdowns with 10 and was the first receiver to ever top 1,000 yards in a season (1,106). He is still only one of three players to ever top the 1,000-yard mark. The two-time All-American also set a Carolina record with a 104-yard kick return – the longest play in school history. A perennial All-Pro with the Green Bay Packers, Sharpe saw his stellar career cut short with head and neck injuries. Is the brother of Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe.
There is little doubt who the best player in South Carolina history is as Rogers not only holds most every rushing record but also has the school’s only Heisman Trophy. The All-American led the nation in rushing in 1980 with 1,894 yards – which broke his own single-season school record when he was second nationally in 1979 with 1,681 yards. He is the Gamecocks’ all-time leading rusher with 5,204 yards, and only Marcus Lattimore player has scored more TDs than Rogers’ 33. Rogers topped the 100-yard mark in 27 of his 46 collegiate games, including an insane 22 straight 100-yard efforts to end his amateur career. As the first overall pick in the 1981 NFL Draft, Rogers went on to win NFL Rookie of the Year honors with the Saints after he led the league in rushing in his first season. He went on to win a Super Bowl with the Redskins in 1988.
Brad Edwards intercepted Clemson quarterback Rodney Williams and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown to clinch South Carolina's 20-7 win over the rival Tigers. The game was the highest rankings of both teams in the storied rivalry, with USC No. 12 and Clemson No. 8 heading into the matchup. South Carolina's 'Black Death' defense surrendered just 11.8 points per game and the team finished ranked No. 15 after a loss to LSU in the Gator Bowl.
George Rogers continued his outstanding season with 177 yards and two touchdowns -- his 20th straight 100-yard game -- and South Carolina edged Wake Forest 39-38 to improve to 8-2. Rogers would go on to win the school's only Heisman Trophy with 1,894 yards and the Gamecocks finished the season with a loss to Pittsburgh in the Gator Bowl.
Former Mr. Ohio Ryan Brewer scored three touchdowns as South Carolina upset Ohio State 24-7 in the Outback Bowl to cap an amazing turnaround season. The Gamecocks had lost 21 straight games entering the season, but second-year coach Lou Holtz directed the team to seven wins in its first eight games. In the bowl game, Brewer replaced 1,000-yard rusher Derek Watson, who was suspended by Holtz, and Brewer accounted for 219 total yards.
Second-year coach Joe Morrison capped a remarkable regular season with a 22-21 win at Clemson, which still stands as the only 10-win campaign in school history. The Gamecocks, who were 5-6 the year before, defeated Georgia, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Florida State before capping the year with a win over its archrival. The Gamecocks went on to lose the Gator Bowl to Oklahoma State and finished No. 11 in the AP poll.
South Carolina clinched its first SEC East title with its first win in Gainesville, as Marcus Lattimore ran for 212 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-14 beatdown of Florida. Coach Steve Spurrier enjoyed the milestone moment at the expense of his alma mater, where he won a Heisman Trophy and coached a national championship team. The Gamecocks finished the regular season 9-3 before losing to Auburn in the SEC title game and Florida State in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.
With Georgia down to Alabama, 17-10, and facing a second-and-eight from its own 27, QB Kirby Moore passed to Pat Hodgson, who lateraled to Bob Taylor. Taylor ran the rest of the way for a Bulldog touchdown. Moore threw to Hodgson for the two-point conversion to give Georgia an 18-17 victory.
Georgia fell into a 20-0 hole against Georgia Tech before rallying to take a 21-20 lead. But the Ramblin’ Wreck jumped back in front, 28-21, when Drew Hill took a kickoff 101 yards, and Tech converted a two-point try. Buck Belue then engineered an 84-yard TD drive that culminated with a 43-yard scoring pass to Amp Arnold. Arnold’s sweep on the conversion gave Georgia a wild, 29-28 win.
Freshman Herschel Walker capped a remarkable debut and a dream Bulldog season by scoring two touchdowns in Georgia’s 17-10 win over Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl to win the national title. The Bulldogs took a 17-3 second-quarter lead and repelled several Irish drives after intermission to secure the win.
With only 1:05 remaining, and Georgia’s undefeated season in jeopardy, the Bulldogs took possession on their own seven-yard line, down 21-20, to Florida in the teams’ annual rivalry clash. QB Buck Belue was trapped at the line of scrimmage on first down and threw incomplete on second. Desperate for yardage, he threw a short crossing route to Lindsay Scott, who caught the ball, spun 180 degrees and took off up the left sideline. He outran the Florida defense as legendary Georgia radio announcer Larry Munson yelled, “Run, Lindsay! 25, 20, 15, 10! Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott!” Georgia won, 26-21, and was ranked number one the following Monday.
These tweeters will keep you entertained, educated and occasionally enraged
College football is well-represented in the Twitterverse by people who know the game intimately and aren't afraid to tell you about it. We took a look at the lengthy list of CFB-oriented Twitter accounts and whittled them down to 50 that are definitely worth a follow. These tweeting all-stars are sure to entertain, educate and occasionally enrage. Let us know your favorites (and anyone we missed).
HEAD COACH: Dabo Swinney, 40-21 (4+ years) |
OFF. COORDINATOR: Chad Morris |
DEF. COORDINATOR: Brent Venables
Tajh Boyd’s decision to return for his senior season was a huge recruiting coup for Clemson coach Dabo Swinney. Boyd took a major step forward as a junior, emerging as one of the nation’s top quarterbacks. He earned ACC Player of the Year honors and was also named first-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association. Boyd threw for 3,896 yards and 36 touchdowns (an ACC single-season record) against 13 interceptions.
Senior tailback Roderick McDowell thought about transferring two years ago. Now, he’s the No. 1 back, replacing standout senior and two-time 1,000-yard rusher Andre Ellington. Junior D.J. Howard and sophomore Zac Brooks will compete for time behind McDowell.
Junior Sammy Watkins had one of the best freshman seasons ever for a receiver, but his numbers slipped last fall thanks to a drug arrest-related suspension and injuries. He’ll be counted upon to pick up the slack left by DeAndre Hopkins’ early NFL departure. Fellow juniors Adam Humphries, Charone Peake and Martavis Bryant will also help; Peake and Bryant are former 4-star recruits.
A year ago, the offensive line paved the way for an attack that averaged 512.7 yards and 41.0 points per game. With four starters returning, it should be a major strength once again. The only loss, however, was a big one — center Dalton Freeman, a two-time Rimington Award finalist.
Brent Venables’ defense improved steadily as 2012 progressed. The Tigers finished third in the ACC in scoring defense and capped the year by holding LSU to only 219 yards of total offense in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Despite the loss of leading tackler Jonathan Willard and starting safeties Rashard Hall and Jonathan Meeks, the Tigers’ defense should be even better this fall.
The defensive line was much-improved in 2012 and figures to build on that success after losing only starting end Malliciah Goodman. Junior Vic Beasley (eight sacks in only 288 snaps) is poised to move into Goodman’s strong-side end role, while juniors Josh Watson, DeShawn Williams and Grady Jarrett form a formidable three-man rotation at defensive tackle.
Senior Spencer Shuey (93 tackles) and junior Stephone Anthony lead an improved linebacker rotation, and Travis Blanks, a 2012 Freshman All-American, is a star in the making at safety. Blanks should shore up a thin secondary that was, at times, a disaster. Junior Robert Smith is working as a starter at the other spot. Veterans Martin Jenkins, Bashaud Breeland and Darius Robinson all struggled with injuries to various degrees, but should provide experience this fall.
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Sammy Watkins, WR – Struggled with suspension and injuries as a sophomore, but few possess his speed and game-changing ability.
Tajh Boyd, QB – The linchpin of the Tigers’ high-powered offense led the ACC and ranked sixth nationally by averaging 9.1 yards per pass attempt in 2012.
Spencer Shuey, LB – Not the biggest or fastest guy, but he racks up tackles with effort, competitive fire and leadership.
Following a rocky freshman season, Chandler Catanzaro has emerged as one of Clemson’s most consistent kickers in school history. Catanzaro made 18-of-19 field goals as a junior, including the game-winner as time expired against LSU in the bowl game. Sophomore Bradley Pinion is the odds-on favorite to replace Spencer Benton as the punter and kickoff specialist; he has a booming leg and split kickoff duties with Benton a year ago.
Clemson is the favorite in the ACC and should be ranked in the top 10 in every preseason poll. Swinney believes he can bring the program’s second national title back to Death Valley. Is this the year? That remains unclear. But with a solid base of talent returning, Clemson fans have sky-high expectations.
“I’m proud of what we have done, but there is so much more to do,” Swinney says. “We have realized some accomplishments that haven’t been done here in 20 or 30 years, but we have higher goals. This is a program that has the resources, the tradition, the fan support, the overall infrastructure to compete for the national championship.”
Dawkins didn’t fully blossom until his professional career, which ended in his retirement after the 2011 season. Before his potential Pro Football Hall of Fame career for 16 years in the NFL, Dawkins was productive safety for two coaches (Ken Hatfield and Tommy West) at Clemson. A three-year starter, Dawkins was a second-team All-ACC selection as a sophomore and junior before emerging as a second-team AP All-America selection as a senior in 1995. He finished his career with 11 career interceptions and 251 tackles. Dawkins showed a glimpse of what was to come in his pro career when he intercepted three passes against Duke in his final home game with the Tigers.
Compared to some others on this list, Simmons did not play during the best years of Clemson football. The Tigers went 22-14 during his three seasons with the Tigers, but Simmons was a dominant force anyway. He started all but one game in his three seasons at Clemson, racking up 486 career tackles. In 1996, Simmons set a school record with 178 stops, topped only by Keith Adams’ 186 three years later. Simmons earned consensus All-America honors the following seasons.
There is little left for Tajh Boyd to accomplish in his college career. He returned the Tigers to ACC supremacy with its first league championship in two decades as just a sophomore. He then shattered most Clemson and some ACC passing records as a junior in 2012. He owns the single-season school record for passing yards (3,896) and the ACC single-season touchdown record with 36 scoring strikes. He has posted back-to-back seasons of at least 4,000 total yards of offense and has a chance to finish as the ACC's most productive player in history (passing yards and total offense). Against NC State, Boyd set an ACC record by accounting for eight total touchdowns (5 pass, 3 rush) and the third best total offense game in ACC history (529). The reigning ACC Player of the Year wants more than just a conference championship in 2013.
Like his quarterback Steve Fuller, Bostic helped return Clemson to national prominence in the late 1970s. Behind Bostic, Fuller and running back Lester Brown, Clemson had a dominant run game during the 11-1 season of 1978. The ACC and Gator Bowl champions, Clemson set school records that for total rushing yards (3,469), rushing yards per game (289.1), total carries (741) and carries per game (61.8). Not even Chad Morris’ up-tempo offense topped Clemson’s 78.8 plays per game in 1978. Bostic was an All-America selection in 1977 and ’78.
The Refrigerator’s brother was more than just a familiar name along the Clemson defensive line. Michael Dean Perry picked up where his brother left off and exceeded him in some areas. Like his brother, he was one of a handful of defensive players to win ACC Defensive Player of the Year (1987). Michael also broke William’s ACC records for career tackles for a loss (61) and career sacks (28). He remains Clemson’s sole record holder for career tackles for a loss and was tied for career sacks by Gaines Adams in 2006. Perry’s best season came in 1987 when he recorded 24 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks as Clemson went 10-2 with an ACC title.
Arguably Clemson’s most dynamic offensive playmaker of the Athlon era (since 1967), C.J. Spiller arrived to Clemson from Lake Butler, Fla., as an elite all-purpose recruit. He delivered in all areas, earning ACC Player of the Year honors in 2009. He was the first Clemson player to receive the award since Michael Dean Perry in 1987 and the first offensive player from Clemson to earn the award since quarterback Steve Fuller in 1978. Spiller had only one 1,000-yard season in his career (with 1,212 yards as a senior), but his 7.27 career yards per carry was the second-best average in Clemson history and the best since 1950. A threat as a runner, receiver and return man, Spiller shattered the Clemson record for all-purpose yards with 7,588 in his career, an ACC record and the third-most in NCAA history. His 51 total touchdowns (31 rushing, 12 receiving, seven on kickoff returns, one on a punt return) is a school record.
Clemson re-emerged from NCAA sanctions and a recruiting scandal in the late 1980s with defense once again at the forefront. After recording 71 tackles as a freshman, Kirkland enjoyed a breakout game at the end of his sophomore season in the Gator Bowl. With nine tackles and a sack, Kirkland was the Gator Bowl MVP as the Tigers’ defense held Heisman finalist Major Harris to 119 passing yards in a 27-7 win over West Virginia. Kirkland was a second-team All-American as a junior and a consensus first-team All-American as a senior, leaving school with 273 career tackles and 19 career sacks.
One of three defensive players from the title-winning 1981 team to make our list, the team captain Davis played a major role in clinching Clemson’s only national title by earning Orange Bowl Defensive MVP honors in the 22-15 win over No. 4 Nebraska to clinch the championship. Davis led Clemson in tackles that season with a then-school record 175, earning ACC Player of the Year honors and consensus All-America honors. More than a sure tackler, Davis had a penchant for forcing opponents to cough up the ball with 10 forced fumbles and eight recovered fumbles in his career. Both are school records.
“The Refrigerator” had a knack for the big debut, even before helping the Chicago Bears’ dominant defense to the Super Bowl as a rookie in 1985. As a freshman at Clemson, Perry helped the Tigers to the 1981 national title. That season, Perry came off the bench to 48 tackles and four sacks, including two in a key win over North Carolina. That was only the start for the 300-pound lineman, who earned his nickname as a senior at Clemson after earning consensus All-America honors as a junior. In his final season in 1984, Perry led the nation with 27 tackles for a loss and had 100 tackles – as a nose guard – to earn ACC Player of the Year honors. Only three ACC defensive players and two players from Clemson since then have earned such honors.
A dominant defensive back, Kinard was Clemson’s first of four unanimous All-America selections and the only one until 2006. The safety from Sumter, S.C., remains the Tigers’ only two-time consensus All-American. As Clemson went 12-0 and won the national title in 1981, Kinard led the Tigers with six interceptions and added 95 tackles. He returned for his senior season in 1982 to record 89 tackles and another six picks. He is Clemson’s career leader in interceptions with 17 and leads all Clemson defensive backs with 294 career stops.
Down 14-13, with 0:10 left, Clemson QB Woody Dantzler connects with Rod Gardner on a 50-yard pass to the South Carolina eight-yard line that sets up a game-winning 35-yard field goal by Aaron Hunt. Clemson fans dub the play “The Catch II,” while Gamecock supporters complain that Gardner pushed off.
Mark Buchholz hits a 35-yard field goal with no time remaining to give Clemson a 23-21 victory over South Carolina. It is the first time in the history of the rivalry that the game is won on the last play and is the Tigers’ fifth win in six games against the Gamecocks.
Tajh Boyd throws three touchdown passes to lead Clemson to a 38-10 romp over fifth-ranked Virginia Tech in the ACC championship game. The triumph gives the Tigers their first conference crown in 30 years and sends them to the Orange Bowl.
Steve Fuller completes a 20-yard touchdown pass to a twisting Jerry Butler with 0:49 left to give Clemson a 31-27 win over South Carolina. “The Catch” serves as notice that the Tigers have returned to the top echelon of college football.
Clemson stifles Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, 22-15, behind QB Homer Jordan and receiver Perry Tuttle to complete a 12-0 season and win its first national championship. The Clemson defense holds the Cornhuskers to 256 total yards.