CLEMSON, SC — It’s Game Day in Death Valley where No. 2 Clemson battles Georgia Southern as the Tigers’ hope to move to 3-0 and continue their path to the College Football Playoff.
Location: Memorial Stadium (Death Valley)
Kickoff: 12:00 p.m.
Announcers: Ahmad Brooks, Anish Shroff, Alex Corddrey
2018 Record: Clemson 2-0, Georgia Southern 2-0
ACC Record: Clemson 0-0
Series History: First Meeting
Last Meeting: First Meeting
AT HOME IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY
Clemson has been right at home in non-conference contests at Memorial Stadium in recent years, compiling victories in 16 straight non-conference home games. Clemson’s active 16-game non-conference winning streak at home is the longest such winning streak in program history. Clemson has won those 16 games by an average score of 45-11, with 11 of the victories coming by margins of 20 points or more.
The streak also marks the second-longest unbeaten streak in non-conference home games in school history, trailing a 20-game unbeaten streak from 1978-84 that saw ties against Boston College and Georgia interrupt winning streaks of 12 games, four games and two games.
Since joining the ACC as a charter member in 1953, Clemson is 118-32-4 at home against opponents from other conferences. That includes a 26-3 mark in nonconference games at Death Valley under Head Coach Dabo Swinney.
POWER OVER THE POWER FIVE
Early in his head coaching tenure, Dabo Swinney laid out his belief to then-Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips that the Tigers needed to add tough nonconference challenges on top of their tests in ACC play to serve as a foundation for the program’s growth.
“I had a conversation with Terry Don and I was like, ‘Terry Don, I know we are not very good right now, but we need to play people because that is going to help me teach and help me develop the culture and the mindset that you have to have to win at the highest level,’” Swinney recounted prior to the 2018 season. “I didn’t think we had that, and that’s what we committed
to. That’s what we’ve done.”
That scheduling philosophy and culture change has resonated in the Clemson program, and since 2013, no team can claim more wins against Power Five
opponents than Clemson.
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.
Clemson has been ranked in the top 25 of 55 consecutive polls dating to the 2014 season, the third longest active streak in the nation. That includes a
streak of 46 straight top-10 rankings, tied for first in the country with Alabama.
As far as total top-25 rankings since 2011, Clemson has appeared in 110 of a possible 117 polls (94.0 percent). That is the third-most in the nation, trailing
only Alabama (117) and Oklahoma (113).
Clemson returned a school-record 61 letterman for the 2018 season, making this year’s roster the most veteran team in Tiger annals by that measure. However, that experience has not prohibited the team’s talented class of true freshmen from making an immediate impact this season.
Thirteen true freshmen (Xavier Thomas, Justyn Ross, Derion Kendrick, K.J. Henry, Trevor Lawrence, Kyler McMichael, Lyn-J Dixon, B.T. Potter, Mario Goodrich, Jordan McFadden, Jackson Carman, Max May and Braden Galloway) appeared in Clemson’s season opener against Furman, matching the team’s most in a single game in school history set previously against Wofford in the 2015.
Clemson’s 13 true freshmen to appear in game action this season are the second-most in a year since 1982.
Robert – Clemson 52, Georgia Southern 10
Gavin – Clemson 42, Georgia Southern 7
Will – Clemson 42, Georgia Southern 6