Clemson has had many wins away from Death Valley, and of course the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game against Alabama and the 1982 Orange Bowl vs. Nebraska are without a doubt the two biggest because national championship implications were at stake.
But what are Clemson’s best “road-wins” during the course of its history? From the days of John Heisman to Frank Howard to Danny Ford and now Dabo Swinney, Clemson has had some historical road wins that paved the way for the program’s success over the years.
For example, Clemson’s road win at Georgia in 1977 was the first big road victory of that era and was a pivotal story in the Tigers’ run to its first bowl appearance in 18 years at the time. A year later, Steve Fuller, Jerry Butler and Dwight Clark helped Clemson win its first ACC title in 11 years with a dramatic come-from-behind, 28-24, win at No. 11 Maryland.
Who can forget the Tigers’ 10-8 at North Carolina in 1981 on the way to the program’s first national championship? Remember Clemson’s 29-28 victory at No. 10 Virginia in 1992? That is still the greatest come-from-behind win in ACC history involving two ACC teams. The Tigers trailed 28-0 at one point in that game.
There have been other countless road wins since then, but here are the listings of what I believe are the top 10 road wins in Clemson history.
- 1981 at No. 8 North Carolina, 10-8: key road win on the way to the national championship
- 1978 at No. 11 Maryland, 28-24: still dubbed the greatest game ever played in the ACC
- 1977 at No. 17 Georgia, 7-6: First big win, period, in this era. Paved the way to 1981 season
- 1992 at No. 10 Virginia, 29-28: Largest come-from-behind win in Clemson history
- 2016 at No. 12 FSU, 37-34: solidified the Tigers as ACC’s best team on the way to national title
- 2009 at No. 9 Miami, 40-37 (OT): ushered in a new era for Clemson football; first division title
- 1982 at No. 18 Maryland, 24-22: Clemson wins its second straight ACC Championship
- 1986 at No. 14 Georgia, 31-28: was the key win in a season that ended with an ACC title
- 2011 at No. 11 Virginia Tech, 23-3: Keyed Tigers’ run to first ACC title in 20 years
- 2001 at No. 9 Georgia Tech, 47-44 (OT): Bowden’s biggest road win; Dantzler went off