Swinney Wins First Game As Clemson Head Coach

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Saturday, November 1, 2008. (AP) -- C.J. Spiller's day wasn't done after a hit left him wobbly on the sideline. First, though, he had to pass a test from the Clemson medical staff to prove he was lucid enough to return.

"He had to fight with the doggone trainers. They weren't going to let him back in," interim Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said after Spiller returned to lead the Tigers to a 27-21 victory over Boston College. "I guess he guessed right on the three questions. I asked him what the three questions were and helped him with the answers."

The Tigers (4-4, 2-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) had not beaten the Eagles (5-3, 2-3) in six tries since 1958, including three straight heartbreakers since BC joined the league: One in overtime, one in double overtime and one on a touchdown pass in the final minutes.

Spiller, who missed most of the third quarter after what was called a head injury, caught six passes for 105 yards -- the most for a running back in Clemson history -- while setting up one touchdown with a 57-yard scamper run and another with a 64-yard kickoff return.

Swinney earned an orange Gatorade bath for his first victory since he took over the Tigers -- the consensus preseason picks to win the conference -- when Tommy Bowden stepped down for the good of the program. He lost his debut to Georgia Tech as Clemson fell for the third straight week.

Cullen Harper completed 21 of 33 passes for 252 yards, and linebacker DeAndre McDaniel forced a key fourth-quarter fumble by Clarence Megwa. The BC receiver was taken off the field on a cart after dropping what would have been a first-down reception, setting up the Tigers up at the BC 40 and leading to a 43-yard field goal with 2:46 to play that made it 27-21.


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