CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) -- Charlie Whitehurst's shoulder still hurt
this week. But the Clemson quarterback was not going to miss senior
day and a chance to beat Florida State.
After taking a shot to numb his throwing shoulder, Whitehurst
threw for 269 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Tigers (6-4,
4-4 Atlantic Coast) over the No. 17 Seminoles 35-14 Saturday.
Whitehurst went 21-of-32 a week after resting his sore shoulder
and Chansi Stuckey had 11 catches for 156 yards and two TDs for
The win gave Clemson coach Tommy Bowden his second win over dad
Bobby in their last three games.
"Tommy just blew us out today," Bobby Bowden said. "I'm real
proud of him, but that doesn't help me."
The Seminoles (7-3, 5-3) gained just 226 yards as they lost for
the second game in a row and the third time in their last five.
They have lost three games in the ACC for the first time since
joining the league in 1992.
"It's been a long time since we've been beaten like this," the
elder Bowden said.
It just wasn't Whitehurst and the Clemson offense. Florida
State's only touchdown came on a blocked punt.
The Seminoles came into Saturday with the ACC's top passing
offense at 309 yards a contest, but the Tigers put pressure on the
Seminoles' freshmen quarterbacks all game, getting six sacks and
leaving little time for receivers to get open. Starter Drew
Weatherford was 12-of-27 for 117 yards and two interceptions, while
Xavier Lee, who entered the game in the fourth quarter, was 1-of-7
for seven yards.
"We're supposed to be getting better as the season goes on and
we're not doing that," said Weatherford, who said injuries to
several offensive linemen have really hurt Florida State.
Whitehurst showed no ill effects from taking last week off,
completing six of eight passes for 100 yards in Clemson's first two
drives as the Tigers took a 14-0 lead.
"I didn't feel it then," Whitehurst said of his injured
shoulder. "But I can feel it now. It's going to hurt."
A blocked punt recovered for a touchdown and two field goals
helped Florida State tie it at 14 at the half, but the Tigers
defense took over in the third quarter.
Both Bowdens said the turning point was the first of
Weatherford's two third-quarter interceptions. On the first
possession after halftime, Michael Hamlin picked off Weatherford at
the Clemson 33, ending one of Florida State's best drives of the
The Tigers marched right back down the field, taking a 21-14
lead on Stuckey's 32-yard TD catch from Whitehurst.
As Weatherford continued to struggle, Clemson added an 8-yard
scoring run by James Davis and a 4-yard touchdown catch by Aaron
Kelly to put the game away. The win made the Tigers bowl-eligible
for the seventh straight year.
Bobby Bowden changed quarterbacks in the fourth quarter, but Lee
couldn't get his team going either, with his receivers dropping at
least two sure catches as the clock wound down.
The Bowden Bowl started in 1999 as a fun family reunion. Now,
both coaches say it's an ordeal that guarantees someone named
Bowden is going to leave with fans sniping at him.
Once again, it will be Bobby Bowden. And for the second time in
the last three meetings, the Seminoles will have lost a game in
which they entered as heavy favorites. Two years ago, some fans
grumbled that he lost to Clemson to help save his son's job. This
year they'll want to know why Florida State has been held under 230
total yards in two straight ACC losses.
"I'm not worried about anything. I'm too old to worry," said
Bowden, who turned 76 this week. "Now, concerned," he said,
smiling and his voice trailing off.
Tommy Bowden didn't want to talk about beating his dad, instead
concentrating on what the win meant for his team and their efforts
to join the ACC elite.
"I think maybe this shows a closing of the gap," he said.
Whitehurst, who before Saturday called his first win over
Florida State one of the highlights of his career, said the win in
2003 felt lucky, while this one felt more like one team dominating
"We were more intense," Whitehurst said. "We came out and hit
them right in the mouth."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Clemson scored 21 third quarter points. That opened up a 35-14 lead and put the game out of reach.
Gameball goes to... Tigers QB Charlie Whitehurst, who completed 21-of-32 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns.
Stat of the game... 226: The total number of yards gained by Florida State's offense.