Orange Bowl

1951

 

Clemson 15

Miami 14

 

 

Clemson Fight Song


Clemson’s bid for a repeat of the 1948 perfect season ended when the Tigers had to rely on the toe of Charlie Radcliff to tie South Carolina after three season-opening shutouts. Clemson regrouped, however, with a 13-12 win at Wake Forest and then won the remaining four games by convincing margins. The Tigers’ 8-0-1 mark and second-place finish in the Southern Conference earned them a bid to play Miami, who was also undefeated at 9-0-1, in the 17th Orange Bowl. Both teams had come into the Orange Bowl with only a tie blemishing their schedules. Clemson was rated tenth and Miami came in at fifteenth.

After a scoreless first quarter, Clemson got on track with a 45-yard pass from Billy Hair to Bob Hudson that put the Tigers at the Miami one. Fred Cone capped the 76-yard drive with a sweep for the score and Radcliff tacked on the extra point (video). Clemson mounted a six-play, 70-yard drive in the third quarter for its second touchdown. Hair threw a 31-yard pass to Ray Mathews, who, as the papers said, “made a circus catch with two men on his back,” to move the Tigers to the Miami 28. Hair tossed a pass to Glenn Smith at the Miami seven and Smith scrambled in for the score.

The third period, however, would belong to Miami. Miami caught fire when Jack Delbello intercepted a pass in the Clemson end zone and returned it to the 40, and then a 10-yard penalty was assessed on the Tigers for unnecessary roughness. On the next play, Frank Smith ran a reverse for 45 yards to move to the Clemson five. Harry Mallios took a pitch from quarterback Bob Schneidenbach in for the score and Gordon Watson added the conversion. Miami drove 95 yards in just five plays for its second score of the game. Ed Lutes caught a pass at midfield and rambled down to the Clemson 17 before he was stopped. On fourth down, Jack Hackett threw to Frank Smith for the score and Watson’s point put Miami in the lead for the first time, 14-13 (video).

In the fourth quarter, Mallios’ 80-yard punt return was called back and two clipping infractions along with one unnecessary roughness penalty put Miami in a deep hole with six minutes left in the game. Frank Smith took a pitch-out from Hackett, but before Smith could get out of the end zone, Sterling Smith, a second-team defensive guard for Clemson, tripped him up for a safety, and Clemson led 15-14 (video) (video). Don Wade ended the last Miami threat with an interception, his second of the game, and Clemson ran out the clock.

Sterling Smith and Billy Hair are remembered by Clemson fans in this game, but and unsung hero was Fred Cone, who gained 81 yards on the ground, scored once, punted four times and returned one kickoff.

 

Clemson's Ray Mathews about to be thrown for a three yard loss.

 

Billy Hair carries for Clemson.

 

Smith's amazing tackle from the endzone.

 

Attendance: 65,181

 

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
CU - Cone 1 run (Radcliff kick)

Third Quarter
CU- Smith 7 pass from Hair (kick failed)

Fourth Quarter
UM - Mallios 5 run (Watson kick)
UM - F. Smith 14 pass from Hackett (Watson kick)
CU - Safety, F. Smith tackled in end zone by S. Smith

 

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