Colorado, Clemson to clash in Champs Sports Bowl

Updated: December 5, 2005, 2:07 AM ET
Associated Press

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Colorado has accepted a bid to play No. 23 Clemson in the Champs Sports Bowl on Dec. 27.

The two teams are moving in different directions. Clemson (7-4) won its last three, including wins over Atlantic Coast Conference champion Florida State and in-state rival South Carolina. Colorado (7-5) has lost three in a row including Saturday's 70-3 defeat against Texas in the Big 12 title game.

The Buffaloes are making their second straight bowl appearance, while coach Tommy Bowden has been to bowls in six of his seven years with the Tigers, only missing last season when Clemson pulled itself out of bowl consideration following a brawl with South Carolina.

"Our players have been looking forward to returning to a bowl game and what better city than Orlando," Tiger coach Tommy Bowden said. "We were in this bowl in 2002 and it is a first class bowl in every respect."

Back then it was the Tangerine Bowl and Bowden certainly hopes for a better result. Clemson was beat 55-15 by Texas Tech as a freshman named Charlie Whitehurst started for the Tigers.

Now a senior, Whitehurst expects to start his 40th and final game for the Tigers at the Champs Sports Bowl despite having shoulder surgery last week.

Colorado also has a veteran quarterback. Joel Klatt has played 39 games with the Buffaloes.

Klatt, who suffered a concussion after a helmet-to-chin hit against Texas, was held in a Houston hospital overnight for observation but returned to Colorado on Sunday.

The teams have two common opponents. Both Colorado and Clemson lost to Miami and beat Texas A&M.

The Tigers and Buffaloes have met only once before in the 1957 Orange Bowl. The Buffaloes beat the Tigers 27-21.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press