CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) -- Charlie Whitehurst was 27-for-40 for 331
yards and Derrick Hamilton had six catches for 133 yards and two
touchdowns in Clemson's 40-7 victory over Duke on Saturday.
The Tigers (7-4, 5-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) held the Blue
Devils to 174 yards, and held the ACC's leading rusher, Chris
Douglas, to just 62 yards. Douglas had run for at least 100 yards
in his last three games.
The win means the Tigers can still finish second in the ACC with
some help and can't finish worst than third. The Blue Devils (3-8,
1-6) will need to beat North Carolina next weekend to avoid
finishing last for the fourth straight season.
Whitehurst, who threw for three touchdowns, picked the Duke
defense apart with short passes and the Blue Devils compounded
their problems with an inability to tackle. The final score could
have been uglier, but Whitehurst had two passes picked off in the
Death Valley fans rushed on to the field after this one like
they always do following Clemson wins, but the goal posts stayed
up, unlike what happened after last week's 26-10 upset of then-No.
3 Florida State
In the three games since Ted Roof took over the Blue Devils, the
ACC's annual patsy had suddenly got tough. Duke lost close ones to
North Carolina State and Tennessee before emphatically breaking a
30-game league losing streak last week against Georgia Tech.
The breakthrough looked like it might continue Saturday, but
after a promising opening drive stalled in Clemson territory, the
Blue Devils punted the ball away and the game quickly got out of
First was a methodical 80-yard Tiger drive that ended with a
31-yard touchdown catch by Hamilton. Then Duke's Senterrio Landrum
fumbled as he returned the ensuing kickoff. On the next play,
Whitehurst flipped the ball to Hamilton around the line of
scrimmage and the junior receiver turned it into a 25-yard TD to
give Clemson a 14-0 lead.
Duke threw an interception deep in its territory two players
later. The Tigers' Aaron Hunt missed a 27-yard field goal, but by
then the Blue Devil offense was so rattled and Clemson's defense
was so juiced it didn't matter. In fact, Duke managed just one
first down the rest of the first half and wouldn't get back into
the Tigers' territory until late in the third quarter.
The only score for the Blue Devils came on a 25-yard run by
Cedric Dargan after a Clemson fumble deep in its territory long
after the game was decided.
Clemson's Justin Miller had a 63-yard punt return for a
touchdown to go along with a second-quarter interception.