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Topic: On This Date: 1995 Clemson- 17 North Carolina- 10
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On This Date: 1995 Clemson- 17 North Carolina- 10

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Posted: Nov 4, 2020, 10:40 AM
 

11/4/1995
Death Valley, SC

TIGERS PICK OFF TAR HEELS 17-10
BY LARRY KEECH Staff Writer

For the seventh consecutive time in the last 15 years, the scoreboard at Death Valley told the same old story Saturday. Clemson 17, North Carolina 10. And for the fourth time this season, the Tar Heels succumbed to the same old bugaboo. Interceptions.



Mike Thomas, UNC's senior quarterback, suffered five of them. Clemson sophomore Nealon Greene suffered just one. Otherwise, the two teams played on even terms statistically. Thomas now holds Carolina's single-season record with 17 interceptions, two more than Ray Farris experienced in 1960. Fourteen of Thomas' interceptions have occurred during the four losses of the Tar Heels' disappointing 4-4 record.

`A number of Mike's interceptions haven't been his fault,' UNC head coach Mack Brown said in the aftermath of the latest defeat. Unfortunately, they are perceived as being his fault, and that makes it tough for me. Ultimately, though, it's my fault because I'm the one who hasn't gotten our team to the point where it's not making too many mistakes.'



Brown, Thomas and Clemson coach Tommy West agreed that most of the interceptions Saturday could be traced to the effectiveness of the Tigers' defense and the abilities of the players in Clemson's veteran secondary.
I thought they did the last time we went tout to the last time we avI thought our defense got into a good rhythm of mixing blitzes and coverages,' West said. ``We kept their quarterback off-balance and a little confused. Our secondary broke well on short balls and recovered well on the deep ones. And we did a good job of tackling - getting them on the ground.'

Two of Clemson's interceptions of Thomas passes were back-breaking for Carolina.

The first took place early in the third quarter when Brian Dawkins, the Tigers' strong safety broke in front of Tar Heel tight end Freddie Jones in the flat, caught the ball in stride and ran 49 yards to boost Clemson's lead from 7-0 to 14-0.

West called Dawkins' interception ``by far the biggest play of the game.' Brown described it as ``the turning point.'

Nonetheless, the game's momentum finally swung Carolina's way in the fourth quarter after the Heels had fallen behind 17-0. In that final period, UNC pulled within 17-10 and its defense continued to stuff Clemson's offense.

Carolina still had a chance to win when it got the ball at its own 20-yard line with 2:32 left to play. Thomas & Co. went for the bomb on the very first play - a fly pattern by receiver Darrin Ashford. But Clemson cornerback Dexter McCleon shadowed Ashford stride-for-stride down the sideline and outjumped him to collect the interception that preserved the win.



``Give them credit,' said Octavus Barnes, UNC's star receiver who was held to four catches for 65 yards. ``They had the most physical secondary we've played against. They bumped me, threw me off my routes and did a great job of coverage and breaking on the ball. They made the plays that won the game for them.'

It was the third straight ACC win for Clemson, pushing the Tigers' record to 6-3 and moving them within one victory of a bowl berth for just the second time in the last four years. Now 5-2 in conference play, Clemson can sew up a Peach Bowl bid with a win over Duke here next week.

``This is a big, huge win for us,' West said.

Added Brown: ``Clemson is doing the three things you need to do to win - playing with confidence, playing good defense and not turning the ball over.'

Carolina, on the other hand, saw its record dip to 2-3 in the ACC and 4-4 overall with No. 2-ranked Florida State coming to Chapel Hill next week and arch-rivals Duke and N.C. State left on the schedule. The Tar Heels still need two wins to qualify for a low-echelon bowl berth with a 6-5 record.

``We haven't been getting many breaks, but we need to start making some breaks for ourselves,' Brown said. ``All we can do is keep trying to fight our way through this and use a sixth consecutive winning season as incentive.

``We played hard today, but we just made too many mistakes.

``I mean, boy, this has been one of those years.'

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Re: On This Date: 1995 Clemson- 17 North Carolina- 10

[2]
Posted: Nov 4, 2020, 12:58 PM
 

Thanks for these, I really enjoy them esp the GIFs.

Props to uncheat in defeat:

`A number of Mike's interceptions haven't been his fault,' UNC head coach Mack Brown said in the aftermath of the latest defeat. Unfortunately, they are perceived as being his fault, and that makes it tough for me. Ultimately, though, it's my fault because I'm the one who hasn't gotten our team to the point where it's not making too many mistakes.’

"Give them credit,' said Octavus Barnes, UNC's star receiver who was held to four catches for 65 yards. ``They had the most physical secondary we've played against. They bumped me, threw me off my routes and did a great job of coverage and breaking on the ball. They made the plays that won the game for them.'

No the weather, the refs, they really aren't any better than us...


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