TCI Game Day: Texas A&M

TCI Game Day: Texas A&M

Football

TCI Game Day: Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATTION, Texas — It’s Game Day in College Station where No. 2 Clemson battles Texas A&M in a critical game for the Tigers’ hopes of making the College Football Playoff.

Location: Kyle Field

Kickoff:  7:00 p.m.

Television:  ESPN

Announcers:  Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor

2018 Record: Clemson  1-0,  Texas A&M 1-0

ACC Record: Clemson 0-0

Series History: Texas A&M leads 3-1

Last Meeting:  Clemson won, 25-24, in 2005 at Death Valley

ROAD OPENERS

On Saturday, Clemson will be in search of its 50th win in a road opener in program history. The Tigers are 5-4 in their road debuts under head coach Dabo Swinney.

This week will mark the eighth consecutive year that the Tigers have entered their road opener ranked in the AP Top 25, surpassing a seven-year stretch from 1987-93 for the longest streak in school history.

TIGERS IN TEXAS

Saturday’s contest will mark Clemson’s 12th game in the state of Texas in program history. A win on Saturday would even Clemson’s all-time record in the Lone Star State at 6-6.

Clemson won its first game in the state of Texas on Jan. 1, 1940 in the Cotton Bowl. The Tigers defeated Boston College, 6-3, in Clemson’s first win over a ranked team as the Eagles were ranked 11th in the nation with a 9-1 record entering the game. Frank Leahy, still the second-winningest coach in college football history with an .864 winning percentage, was the head coach at
Boston College.

A win on Saturday would give Clemson its first victory in Texas since Frank Howard’s 1959 Clemson squad defeated TCU, 23-7, in the Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston’s Rice Stadium. That win against No. 7 TCU marked the highest-ranked team defeated by the Tigers in Howard’s tenure.

CLEMSON VS. SEC OPPONENTS

Clemson has enjoyed a recent run of success against opponents from the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers are 13-9 against SEC foes under the guidance of Head Coach Dabo Swinney.

Clemson’s success against the SEC has been particularly pronounced as of late, as the Tigers are 7-3 against the conference in the College Football Playoff era, including a 6-1 mark in regular season play during that time frame. Clemson has won five of its last six against the SEC, including three in 2016, the most wins against SEC opponents in a single season in
school history.

Clemson has won its last six regular season games against SEC opponents, including its last three true road games.

TAKING ATTENDANCE

The current record for the most people in attendance for a Clemson football game at any site is 92,476, set in 2014 at Georgia’s Sanford Stadium. Texas A&M’s Kyle Field features a seating capacity of 102,733, making Saturday’s crowd potentially the first six-figure crowd in the history of Clemson football.

Clemson has played 13 contests in front of crowds of 85,000 or more in school history. While Clemson holds only a 4-9 record in those contests, the Tigers have won each of the last three games in front of crowds of 85,000 or more, including home wins against South Carolina (2014) and Florida State (2015) and a road win at Auburn (2016).

CHASING 100

Head Coach Dabo Swinney can vividly recall the looks he received when he said Clemson was on the cusp of the winningest decade in program history
following a 2010 campaign in which the Tigers finished 6-7. In 2017, that vision became a reality with two seasons to spare when Clemson collected its 88th win of the decade in the ACC Championship Game against Miami to surpass the 1980s Tigers (87) for the most wins in any decade in school history.

With 12 wins in 2018, the Clemson can reach triple digits in wins in a decade for the first time in program history.

WINS AGAINST TOP 25 FINISHERS

While wins against teams ranked in the Top 25 carry a lot of weight in the moment, one added layer of quality assurance for victories can be gleaned from viewing teams’ records against opponents that actually finished the year in the Top 25. An independent analysis by Saturday Down South revealed that Clemson’s 15 victories in the College Football Playoff era against
opponents that finished the season in the Top 25 ranks second nationally.

TCI Predictions 

Robert – Clemson 38, Texas A&M 21

Gavin – Clemson 31, Texas A&M 17

Will – Clemson 42, Texas A&M 17

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