Originally created 10/30/00

Clemson notebook



A look at No. 10 Clemson (8-1, 6-1 ACC) two days after their 31-28 loss to No. 25 Georgia Tech (6-2, 4-2):

What worked: The Tigers did little offensively or defensively, but its special teams play, especially its punt-return team, deserved a game ball Saturday. A blocked punt by Toure Francis on Georgia Tech's opening possession gave the Tigers the ball on the 1-yard line, setting up Woody Dantzler's 1-yard run. Then, with Clemson needing a spark heading into the fourth quarter and trailing 16-14, Brian Mance returned a punt 88 yards for a touchdown.

What didn't: Clemson's offense sputtered for just two touchdowns in the game and was held to a season-low 354 yards of total offense. The defense was even worse. With a 28-24 lead, Clemson needed to keep Georgia Tech out of the end zone to preserve the victory. Tech made it look easy, marching 80 yards on 11 plays and scored with seven seconds left in the game. A miserable stat is that Clemson allowed Tech to convert 11 of its 23 third downs in the game. Clemson's kicking also was ineffective. Freshman Aaron Hunt's 39-yard attempt in the third quarter was wide right. Then his 29-yard attempt with 9:54 left hit the crossbar.

Injuries: QB Woody Dantzler (bruised left ankle); PR Joe Don Reames (concussion) are probable.

Analysis: Even with a loss to Georgia Tech, Clemson still can play to be co-ACC champions with a victory over Florida State. The Tigers have an outside shot of getting a BCS bid if they can beat Florida State. The ACC champion gets an automatic bid into the BCS. If Clemson could upset FSU, that would put both teams with one conference loss. Since both teams would be declared co-champions, the BCS likely would take the higher-ranked team.

Quote: "Every team loses. Don't let a loss beat you twice. Now you'll find out a little about the kids' personality and attitude and how well they bounce back after a loss. There's not a team that's ever played football that hasn't lost. It's how you respond after a loss." -- Clemson coach Tommy Bowden.