Whitehurst throws three TDs to lead Clemson past 'Noles

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

the other.

"We were more intense," Whitehurst said. "We came out and hit

them right in the mouth."