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Clemson Tiger Football

Updated on August 3, 2014

About Clemson Football

The University of Clemson's football team, known as the "Clemson Tigers", began playing collegiate football in 1896. They currently compete in the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), which is in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), which is part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Clemson Football home games are played in Memorial Stadium in Clemson, SC and the stadium is more commonly known as "Death Valley", after a Presbyterian College head coach gave it the moniker in 1948 due to
the many defeats his teams suffered there. Currently, Clemson's Memorial Stadium is the 21st largest stadium in college football and 2nd largest in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Clemson Conference Affiliations

  • 1896-1921: Southern Intercollegiate AA
  • 1922-1952: Southern Conference
  • 1953-Current: Atlantic Coast Conference

The program has achieved:

  • Division I Football National Championship, 1981.
  • 18 conference championships
  • 5 undefeated seasons
  • 2 divisional titles
  • 36 Bowl Game appearances
  • 25 Final Top 25 Rankings

The program has produced:

  • 68 All-Americans
  • 15 Academic All-Americans
  • 169 NFL players,[3]
  • 6 members inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Clemson won their first and only poll-era national football championship in 1981 with a 22–15 win over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.


FBS Rankings 2013 Season *

Passing Yds
Rushing Yds
Points For
Points Against
333.1 avg
174.6 avg
40.2 avg
22.2 avg
9th overall
56th overall
9th overall
24th overall
* Source: http://espn.go.com/college-football/team/_/id/228/clemson-tigers

Clemson 2014 Schedule

Date
Opponent
8/30
@ Georgia
9/6
SC State
9/13
Open
9/20
@ Florida State
9/27
North Carolina
10/4
NC State
10/11
Louisville
10/18
@ Boston College
10/25
Syracuse
11/6
@ Wake Forest
11/15
@ Georgia Tech
11/22
Georgia State
11/29
South Carolina

Comments on 2014 Schedule

@ Georgia


Playing "between the hedges" is never easy, and I do not expect it to be for Clemson this year. The first game of the season is always a tough one, especially when it comes with a lot of hype like this one will. And with Georgia wanting revenge from last year, and Clemson having questions on certain key skill positions, it should be a very good game.

@Florida state


Having to play the reigning national champs early in the season can be good or bad. Playing them early in the schedule can be good if they are trying to reorganize from last year and maybe do not have all the kinks worked out. However Florida State is a solid football team with a lot of returning starters, including Heisman winner Jamis Winston. So I look for this to be a very tough game early on for the Tigers.

Louisville


Personally I do not know what to expect from the newest addition to the ACC. What we do know is that playing for the first time in Death Valley can be intimidating, they will have a new head coach with the departure of Charlie Strong, and a new QB after having a great QB in Teddy Bridgewater. I think Clemson has a very good chance of winning this game.

@ Wake


Blah, a Thursday night game! Clemson seems to play inconsistent on Thursday night games, and Wake Forest can be a very tough team to play, so this game will be tough for Clemson if they decide to have a night of turnovers.

@ Georgia Tech


With so many games in the past decade having been decided by a field goal or less, you just never know with this rivalry game. If Clemson's defense shows up and is able to stop or slow down GT's option offense Clemson may pull out the win.

South Carolina


Hopefully losing 5 in a row to your instate rival will help Clemson cure the turnover woes of last season's loss to Carolina. With QB questions for both teams and losses for both teams of skill players this game should be interesting this year.


Clemson Quick Facts

First season: 1896

Athletic director: Dan Radakovich

Head coach: Dabo Swinney (2008-current)

Home stadium: Memorial Stadium "Death Valley"

Stadium capacity: 81,473 (86,092 record)

Stadium surface: Natural Grass

Location: Clemson, South Carolina

Clemson Football: Modern History

Danny Ford era: 1978–1989[edit]

Many believe that this was the "Golden Age" of Clemson football. This era in Clemson's Football history began with Danny Ford taking over as head coach for the 1978 Gator Bowl vs a ranked Ohio State led by legendary Coach Woody Hayes. Clemson went on to win 17-15 and Woody Hayes went on to lose his job after punching Clemson Linebacker Charlie Bauman in the throat after a game winning interception.

Two years later Danny Ford would lead the Tigers to the 1981 Championship. Beginning the 1981 season not ranked the Clemson Tigers would knock of two ranked teams (#4 Georgia and #8 North Carolina) during the Tigers 5th undefeated season. They would go one to defeat #4 Nebraska in the 1982 Orange Bowl to win the National Championship.

Once again sanctions against Clemson placed them on a period of probation from appearing in bowl games or on television. However, after the period of probation Clemson would win three consecutive ACC Championships 1986-1988, and victories over Penn State and the Oklahoma Sooners in the Florida Citrus Bowl.

1989 saw the end of the Danny Ford era with a 10-2 season and a top-12 ranking for the fourth straight season. Ford ended his career with a 27-7 victory over West Virginia in the 1989 Gator Bowl.

Danny Ford: 96-29-4 (.760) - Second most winning coach - 5 ACC Championships


Ken Hatfield era: 1990–1993[edit]

Ken Hatfield: 32–13–1, 3 bowl games.

A common saying amongst Tiger fans during this time was "Howard built it. Ford filled it. Hatfield killed it." This sentiment followed Clemson's first losing season in 1992 since 1976.

The purple home jerseys used currently in special games made their debut during the 1991 ACC championship season, with the Tigers wearing them in the regular season against NC State and in the Citrus Bowl against California.

Tommy Bowden era: 1999–2008

Tommy Bowden, the son of Florida State's head coach Bobby Bowden was hired as Clemson's head coach from Tulane. Bowden led the Tigers to a 6–6 record and a Peach Bowl bid in 1999. The 1999 meeting between the Tigers and Seminoles was dubbed the "Bowden Bowl" and was the first time that a father and son coached against each other in Division I football. FSU won the game 17– 14 in front of the largest crowd in the history of Death Valley.

During Bowden's tenure, the Tigers were bowl eligible every season but never won an ACC championship.

Several under achievments during this time

  • The 2000 team that started 8-0 and was ranked as high as #5, then losing 3 out of the last 4 games.
  • 2006 team started 7-1 with the team in contention to win ACC Atlantic Division before losing several of the final games.

Highlights during this time:

  • 2003 team winning four games at end of season to finish 9-4, which included wins over #3 FSU and #7 Tennessee in the Peach Bowl.
  • 2004 team started 1-4 and one 5 out of final 6 with an overtime upset of #10 Miami
  • 2005 started 2-3 but finished 9-4.

Tommy Bowden resigned on October 13, 2008, after leading the team to a disappointing 3–3 record (1–2 ACC) at the midpoint of a season in which the Tigers were an almost unanimous preseason pick to win their first ACC title under Bowden and were ranked #9 in the preseason polls.

Dabo Swinney era: 2008–present

Interim Coach Dabo Swinney led the Tigers to a 4–2 record, finishing the 2008 regular season at 7–6.In December 2008 Dabo Swinney became full time head coach of the Clemson Tigers. The 2009 season saw Swinney and the Tigers qualified for their first ACC title game appearance. They ended up losing to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 39–34 in a very electrifying game. After being defeated by the Yellow Jackets in the 2009 ACC Title game, the Tigers were invited to the 2009 Music City Bowl in Nashville, TN to play the Kentucky Wildcats. Clemson defeated the wWildcats 21-13 avenging their loss to the Wildcats in the 2006 Music City Bowl.

After the 2010 season head coach Dabo Swinney announced that he had hired Chad Morris as the new offensive coordinator.The 2011 season saw the Clemson Tigers defeat defending national champions #21 ranked Auburn Tigers and ending their 17-game win streak that was currently the longest in the nation, #11 ranked Florida State, and #11 ranked Virginia Tech, which made Clemson the first ACC team to beat three nationally ranked teams in a row. Another highlight of the 2011 season was the win over Wake Forest that claimed the ACC Atlantic Division Title for the Tigers. On December 3, 2011 the Tigers won the ACC Championship, the first since 1991, beating Virginia Tech 38-10.The electrifying 2011 season would end with then #15 Clemson losing to #23 West Virginia 70-33 in the 2012 Orange Bowl, and Clemson's first BCS appearance.

The 2012 season would see Clemson achieve its first 11 win season since the 1981 national championship year, with an upset win over the #8 LSU Tigers in the Chick-fil-a Bowl, after a game winning field goal as time expired.

The 2013 season was another 11 win season for the Tigers and ended with the school's first ever BCS Bowl win over #7 Ohio State 40-35, a grudge match and rematch of the infamous 1978 Gator Bowl.

Conference Championships

Year
Coach
Conference
1900
John Heisman
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Assoc.
1902
John Heisman
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Assoc.
1940
Frank Howard
Southern Conference
1948
Frank Howard
Southern Conference
1956
Frank Howard
Atlantic Coast Conference
1958
Frank Howard
Atlantic Coast Conference
1959
Frank Howard
Atlantic Coast Conference
1965
Frank Howard
Atlantic Coast Conference
1966
Frank Howard
Atlantic Coast Conference
1967
Frank Howard
Atlantic Coast Conference
1978
Charley Pell
Atlantic Coast Conference
1981
Danny Ford
Atlantic Coast Conference
1982
Danny Ford
Atlantic Coast Conference
1986
Danny Ford
Atlantic Coast Conference
1987
Danny Ford
Atlantic Coast Conference
1988
Danny Ford
Atlantic Coast Conference
1991
Ken Hatfield
Atlantic Coast Conference
2011
Dabo Swinney
Atlantic Coast Conference

Current Coaching Staff

Name
Position
Alma Mater
Dabo Swinney
Head Coach
University of Alabama
Chad Morris
Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
Texas A&M University
Brent Venables
Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
Kansas State University
Mike Reed
Defensive Backs Coach
Boston College
Jeff Scott
Recruiting Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach
Clemson University
Dan Brooks
Defensive Line Coach
Western Carolina University
Tony Elliott
Running Backs Coach
Clemson University
Marion Hobby
Defensive Ends Coach
University of Tennessee
Danny Pearman
Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends/Offensive Tackles Coach
Clemson University
Robbie Caldwell
Offensive Line Coach
Furman University

Who do you think will be Clemson's QB in 2014?

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Big Shoes to Fill in Key Positions

QB

With the departure of Tahj Boyd, Clemson will be looking for a new starting QB this season and lucky for them there are two great QBs waiting in the wings to take command of the team. Unlucky for staff because that may be a hard decision to make! Cole Stoudt and Deshaun Watson will all be in the running for the top spot this spring, so we will have to see how it goes.

WR

Clemson is definitely going to have to have some returning starters to step up this season with the departures of Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant.

RB

Clemson has had depth at the running back position behind Roderick Mcdowell for some time now in Zac Brooks and DJ Howard, and all have showed some promising signs of being reliable out of the back field, and hopefully they will deliver this season.

Cole Stoudt TD Run vs Georgia Tech

Deshaun Watson Highlight

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Football Rivalry Games

South Carolina - Instate Rivalry

  • Games played: 111
  • Series record: Clemson leads, 65-42-4
  • First meeting: November 12, 1896
  • Trophy: Hardee's Trophy

Georgia Tech

  • Games Played: 78
  • Series record: Georgia Tech leads 50–27–2
  • First Meeting: 1898

NC State - "Textile Bowl"

  • Games Played: 82
  • Series record: Clemson leads, 53-28-1
  • First meeting: 1899
  • Trophy: Textile Bowl

Boston College

  • First Meeting: 1940
  • Number of Meetings: 23
  • Series record: Clemson leads, 12-9-2
  • Trophy: O'Rourke–McFadden Trophy (2008–Present)
  • Trophy Series: Clemson, 5-1

Florida State

  • First Meeting 1970
  • Series record: Florida State leads 19–8

Georgia

  • Games Played: 63
  • Series record: Georgia leads, 41–18–4
  • First meeting: October 9, 1897

Auburn

  • Games played: 49
  • series record: 34-13-2
  • First Meeting: 1899

Memorial Stadium - "DEATH VALLEY"

Source

The Most Exciting 25 Seconds in College Football

Clemson Players/Coaches Honors

College Hall of Fame Players

  • Terry Kinard
  • Jeff Davis
  • Banks McFadden

College Hall of Fame Coaches

  • John Heisman
  • Frank Howard
  • Jess Neely

Tigers currently in NFL

Dwayne Allen , TE Indianapolis Colts

Thomas Austin, C Indianapolis Colts (practice squad)

Da'Quan Bowers, DE Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Andre Branch , DE Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaron Brown , WR Arizona Cardinals

Chris Clemons, FS Miami Dolphins

Kavell Connor, LB Indianapolis Colts

Andre Ellington , RB Arizona Cardinals

Jacoby Ford, WR Oakland Raiders

Dalton Freeman , C New York Jets (practice squad)

Marcus Gilchrist, CBS an Diego Chargers

Malliciah Goodman , DE Atlanta Falcons

Chris Hairston, OT Buffalo Bills

DeAndre Hopkins , WR Houston Texans

Jarvis Jenkins, DT Washington Redskins

Byron Maxwell, SS Seattle Seahawks

Antoine McClain , OT Oakland Raiders

Jonathan Meeks , SS Buffalo Bills

Phillip Merling, DE Washington Redskins

Michael Palmer, TE Seattle Seahawks

Ricky Sapp, DE New York Jets

Coty Sensabaugh , CB Tennessee Titans

CJ Spiller, RB Buffalo Bills

Brandon Thompson , DT Cincinnati Bengals

Charlie Whitehurst QB San Diego Chargers

Jonathan Willard LB Tennessee Titans (practice squad)


Bowl Game History

Year
Bowl Game
Opponent
Win/Loss
Score
2013
Orange
Ohio State
W
40-35
2012
Chick-fil-a
LSU
W
25-24
2011
Orange
West Virginia
L
33-70
2010
Meineke Car Care
South Florida
L
26-31
2009
Music City
Kentucky
W
21-13
2008
Gator
Nebraska
L
21-26
2007
Peach
Auburn
L
20-23
2006
Music City
Kentucky
L
20-28
2005
Champ Sports
Colorado
W
19-10
2003
Peach
Tennesee
W
27-14
2002
Tangerine
Texas Tech
L
15-55
2001
Humanitarian
Louisiana Tech
W
49-24
2000
Gator
Virginia Tech
L
20-41
1999
Peach
Mississippi State
L
7-17
1997
Peach
Auburn
L
17-21
1996
Peach
Louisiana State
L
7-10
1995
Gator
Syracuse
L
0-41
1993
Peach
Kentucky
W
14-13
1991
Citrus
California
L
13-37
1990
Hall of Fame
Illinois
W
30-0
1989
Gator
West Virginia
W
27-7
1988
Citrus
Oklahoma
W
13-6
1987
Citrus
Penn State
W
35-10
1986
Gator
Stanford
W
27-21
1985
Independence
Minnesota
L
13-20
1981
Orange
Nebraska
W
22-15
1979
Peach
Baylor
L
18-24
1978
Gator
Ohio State
W
17-15
1977
Gator
Pittsburgh
L
3-34
1959
Bluebonnet
Texas Christian
W
23-7
1958
Sugar
Louisiana State
L
0-7
1956
Orange
Colorado
L
21-27
1951
Gator
Miami FL
L
0-14
1950
Orange
Miami FL
W
15-14
1948
Gator
Missouri
W
24-23
1939
Cotton
Boston College
W
6-3
Bowl Game Record 18-18 (.500)

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