ORLANDO, Fla. — When Clemson jumped out to a five-touchdown lead on rival South Carolina by halftime in last Saturday night’s 56-7 victory, Drew Bass made a decision right then and there that he was headed to Orlando, Florida for the ACC Championship Game.
Bass was one of several hundred Clemson fans that attended Clemson’s official pep rally on Friday night by Sea World.
Bass came down from Belton, South Carolina to watch his third-ranked Tigers take on No. 18 Virginia Tech on Saturday at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium.
“I think it is going to be a close game,” Bass said.
Carrie Jones, of Atlanta, says she made the trip to Orlando with her husband who brought her here to celebrate her 40th birthday.
“My blood runs orange,” said Jones, whose father Randy Learn played on the 1981 National Championship team. “My 40th birthday is in a couple of weeks, so I told my husband that is what I wanted for my 40th birthday.
Learn said she would have made the trip to Charlotte if the championship game was not moved because of North Carolina’s House Bill 2.
“We would have gone, but I’m happy it is in Orlando,” she said. “I know Charlotte is closer to Atlanta and all, but it’s warmer down here.”
If the Tigers are able to take down the Hokies in the title game, Jones is hopeful the Tigers somehow land in Atlanta for the College Football Playoff. However, if they should be shipped to Glendale, Arizona to play in the Fiesta Bowl, Jones says she will save her money for the national championship game in Tampa.
“If we make it, we are going to be there. I just told my husband that tonight,” she said.
Clemson freshman Darrel Wurdemann, says he is going to go to Arizona if the Tigers win the ACC Championship, and he plans to be in Tampa, too, if they make it that far.
“There is no doubt,” he said.
The Rock Hill, South Carolina native said he is going to follow his Tigers anywhere.
“I came here to watch them win an ACC Championship,” he said.
Clemson sold the majority of its allotted 5,500 seats for the ACC Championship Game, and with ticket prices so low on Stub Hub, the ACC is expecting Clemson to bring another respectable crowd to the Orlando area for the game.
Clemson and Virginia Tech will kick off Saturday at 8 p.m. For those who did not journey to Orlando, they can watch the game on ABC.