Record Setting Day
The first time Justin Miller touched the ball against Florida State Saturday, he instantly created a buzz. Then he did it again and again. And when the junior cornerback was done, a new NCAA record had been set.
Miller took a Seminole kickoff following their first score in the first quarter and dashed up the middle untouched for a 97-yard touchdown.
At the time, it was his second return for a score this season. Against Wake Forest in the first game of the year, he scored on a 69-yard punt return.
The second time Miller handled a kickoff against the Seminoles, he nearly scored again. But with nothing in between him and the goal line, Miller tripped over himself and fell to the ground.
He was visibly upset because he knew he most likely would had his second score of the day.
Miller, however, didn't let the next opportunity go by as he took another kickoff and raced once again untouched for a touchdown in the third quarter. This time went for 86 yards.
All told, Miller finished with 282 kickoff return yards to set a new NCAA record, besting the performance of Iowa State's Tyrone Watley against Nebraska in 1997.
"It's definitely a great accomplishment," Miller said. "It's just natural instinct. But I owe a lot of credit to the blockers for opening the holes."
However, even Miller's performance couldn't prevent Florida State's eventual 41-22 win.
"I hate that we couldn't help him out," Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said. "It was a great individual performance. I hate that we couldn't have done anything where that could have shone out and been magnified a little bit more. It was a great individual performance by a player who just refused to quit."
Miller now has five career returns for a touchdown. It was also the first time a kickoff return for a touchdown had happened against Florida State since 1996.
COLEMAN CLOSE TO OLD SELF
Clemson running back Duane Coleman said he is close to being 100 percent healthy and it must be true because he was used quite extensively for the first time since breaking his foot August 10.
Coleman had five carries for 29 yards, with his longest run going for nine yards. He also had two receptions for 11 yards.
"During game time, my foot was the last thing on my mind," Coleman said. "I'm past that stage of worrying about it. I'm comfortable with it now."
RUNNING GAME GROUNDED
Even with the return of Coleman, the Tigers still found the going tough rushing the ball.
The trio of Coleman, Reggie Merriweather and Kyle Browning combined for 11 carries and 46 yards rushing.
When asked if he thought the running backs should be used more, Coleman just smile and shrugged his shoulders.
"I'm just going to laugh that one off," he said. "No comment."
THE CENTURY MARK
Clemson senior wide receiver Airese Currie recorded his 100th reception of his career Saturday.
Despite some drops, Currie has been the most consistent player on offense. On the season, he has 23 receptions for 325 yards and a touchdown.
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