By the numbers: Duke at No. 2 Clemson
Since it rallied with two fourth-quarter touchdowns to beat Syracuse on Sept. 29, second-ranked Clemson is winning at a rate which it has done just one other time in its rich history.
The Tigers, who host Duke Saturday at 7 p.m. at Death Valley, have won each of the last five games by 20 points. They defeated Wake Forest by 60 points (63-3), NC State by 34 points (41-7), Florida State by 49 points (59-10), Louisville by 61 points (77-16) and Boston College by 20 points (27-7).
Against the Blue Devils (7-3, 3-3 ACC), Clemson is attempting to win six consecutive games by 20 or more points for the first time since the final five games of the 1989 season and the 1990 season opener. That six-game streak from 1989-’90 stands as the longest streak of 20-point wins in school history.
Below are some more numbers the Tigers (10-0, 7-0 ACC) have an opportunity to achieve with a win over the Blue Devils on Saturday.
1: Clemson’s senior class enters the Duke game 29-2 in regular season ACC play, already the winningest class in conference play in league history, surpassing each of Clemson’s last three classes, which exited with a 28-4 record in regular season ACC play. The 2018 class can become the first class in league history to win 30 regular season conference games.
2: With a victory over Duke, Clemson can finish ACC regular season play with a perfect 8-0 record. It would be Clemson’s seventh time winning every ACC regular season game, joining perfect conference records in 1967 (6-0), 1978 (6-0), 1981 (6-0), 1982 (6-0), 1983 (7-0) and 2015 (8-0). The school posted additional unbeaten conference regular season records including ties in 1956 (4-0-1) and 1991 (6-0-1). The Tigers can join Florida State (1992-94, 96-97, 99-00, 2013-14) as the only two ACC schools to post multiple 8-0 regular season records in conference play since the league adopted the eight-game conference schedule in 1992. Clemson, Florida State (nine times, listed above), North Carolina (2015) and Virginia Tech (2000) are the only ACC schools with perfect eight-game conference seasons to their credit.
11-0: Clemson is attempting to open a season 11-0 for the fourth time in program history, joining 11-0 starts in 1948, 1981 and 2015. Clemson winning the first 11 games of a season for the second time under head coach Dabo Swinney. Swinney would become the first coach in Clemson history to coach the school to multiple 11-0 starts, as legendary coaches Frank Howard and Danny Ford only accomplished the feat once each, in 1948 and 1981, respectively. By winning an 11th game, this year’s Tigers can tie the 1948, 1978, 2012 and 2013 squads for the fifth-most wins in a season in school history.
14: Clemson is looking to win win its 14th consecutive game at Memorial Stadium, dating back to a 56-7 win against South Carolina on Nov. 25, 2016. The current 13-game streak is tied for the second-longest home winning streak in Dabo Swinney’s tenure as head coach (21 from 2013-16, 13 from 2011-12).
51: With a win, Clemson will win its 51st game in the last four years, giving the 2018 senior class the most wins in school and ACC history, surpassing the mark set by Clemson’s 2017 senior class.
61: Clemson entering this week with 61 total touchdowns scored by 21 different players. The 21 different players to score a touchdown this season are tied with the 2013 Tigers for the most in a single season in school history.
99: Clemson is attempting to earn its 99th win of the decade. Clemson’s 98-22 record in the 2010s already represents the winningest decade in Clemson history, surpassing the 87-25-4 mark set in the 1980s.