CLEMSON, S.C. - Coming into Saturday's game at Clemson, junior quarterback Talmadge Hill had not thrown a touchdown pass nor an interception.
Hill showed the poise of a veteran quarterback Saturday as he led the opening drive to paydirt, surprising the Clemson defense with a touchdown. The drive began on Ball State's 23 and was started by an attempt to go up-field to senior receiver Sean Schembra.
The big play attempt was something Hill has been lacking this season. Coming into the game Hill's longest pass of the season had been 23 yards, something head coach Bill Lynch said the team has had to work on since the beginning of the season.
"We had lots of momentum going down there," Hill said. "I thought we did a good job protecting, but as far as taking some shots and going deep we just couldn't quite come up with it."
Hill completed six passes on the first drive, including two 18-yarders to Schembra, and a three-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Ryan Hahaj; Hill's first touchdown pass of the year.
"I thought it was real good play calling," Hill said. "Guys caught the ball well, ran well; that's what we're (team) capable of doing."
Along with the first touchdown pass of the year, came the first interceptions as well, both coming in the second half of the game.
The first of the two interceptions came in the second drive of the second half. The Cardinals were beginning to drive the ball down the field, even converting a fourth down situation to keep the drive going.
Hill threw a pass up the middle to Hahaj who was being covered by two men, as he went up for the ball, it was tipped into the air. A Clemson defender pulled the tip down with one arm and returned it for a few yards. Lynch said it was an unbelievable play by the Clemson defender.
On the second interception, the ball was under-thrown to the sideline, intended for freshman receiver Larry Bostic. Hill said he did not get it out there enough and it was intercepted.
"Both of them were really bad throws on my part," Hill said.