CHARLOTTE, NC. — It’s Game Day at Bank of America Stadium where No. 2 Clemson looks to win their fourth straight ACC Championship and secure a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Location: Bank of America Stadium
Kickoff: 8:00 p.m.
Announcers: Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor
2018 Record: Clemson 12-0, Pittsburgh 7-5
ACC Record: Clemson 8-0, Pittsburgh 6-2
Series History: Clemson trails 0-2
Last Meeting: Pittsburgh won 43-42 in 2016
CLEMSON SEEKS FOURTH CONSECUTIVE ACC CHAMPIONSHIP
The Atlantic Division champion Clemson Tigers will be in search of another piece of history when the team takes to the field against the Coastal Division champion Pittsburgh Panthers in the 2018 ACC Championship Game. Kickoff from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.
A win on Saturday would give Clemson its fourth consecutive ACC title and make the Tigers the first team in the conference’s 66-season history to win four consecutive outright titles. Bobby Bowden’s Florida State squads earned at least a share of the ACC title in nine straight seasons across the 1992-2000 campaigns but never earned four outright titles in a row. Clemson would
be the first Power Five team to win four consecutive conference title games since Florida rattled off four straight SEC Championship Game wins from 1993-96.
The Clemson senior class enters the contest with an ACC-record 52 career wins. Featured among that group is defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, who is expected to play in his 57th career game on Saturday, which would tie fullback Chad Diehl (57 from 2007-11) for the most career games played in school history.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK
– Clemson winning its 24th conference championship in school history. The Tigers enter this week with four SIAA championships, two Southern Conference championships and 17 ACC championships to their credit, and their 23 total conference championships are the most among the ACC’s current membership.
– Clemson securing its 18th all-time ACC championship. Clemson’s currently 17 ACC titles are already the most in conference history, ahead of the 15 earned by Florida State.
– Clemson attempting to become the first team in ACC history to win four consecutive ACC titles outright. Florida State earned at least a share of nine consecutive ACC titles from 1992-2000 but never earned more than three
consecutive titles outright.
– Clemson attempting to join the 1993-96 Florida Gators as the only Power Five conference teams to win four consecutive conference championship games.
– Clemson winning its 53rd game in the last four years to add to existing school and ACC records for wins held by Clemson’s 2018 senior class. It would tie the 2014-17 and 2015-18 Alabama Crimson Tide for the most
wins by a senior class in FBS history. (Note: The 2015-18 Alabama class can push the record to 54 wins with a victory on Saturday).
ACC CHAMPIONSHIP EXPERIENCE
This will be Clemson’s fourth straight appearance in the league’s championship game, while it will be Pittsburgh’s first appearance.
Clemson has 11 players who have played in each of the last three ACC Championship games. Those players include Austin Bryant, J.D. Davis, Judah Davis, Mitch Hyatt, Kendall Joseph, Hunter Renfrow, Milan Richard,
Cannon Smith, Trevion Thompson, Christian Wilkins and Jalen Williams. Hyatt, Joseph and Renfrow are the only players to start three ACC Championship games.
When it comes to participation, six active Tigers have played at least 100 snaps in ACC Championship Games. Hyatt leads the way with 231, Joseph has played 183 snaps, Renfrow 180, Wilkins 123. Juniors Clelin Ferrell and Sean Pollard have played 104 and 103, respectively.
ALL-TIME ACC CHAMPIONSHIPS
Clemson has 17 ACC championships in school history, the most in the history of the conference. Florida State ranks second with 15. The Tigers have won each of the last three titles and will attempt to make it four in a row
for the first time in school history, passing three-year streaks from 1965-67 and 1986-88.
If Clemson wins Saturday night, the Tigers would be the first ACC program to win four consecutive ACC titles outright. Florida State had a streak of nine straight ACC titles, but that streak included two co-championships that
prevented Bobby Bowden’s Seminoles from ever winning four straight titles outright.
Clemson has 23 conference championships overall, also the most of any current ACC school. Duke ranks second among the ACC’s current membership with 18 overall conference titles, including 11 Southern
Conference titles and seven ACC titles.
Clemson enters this week riding a 12-game winning streak, with all 12 coming this season. UCF (24), Alabama (14), Notre Dame (13) and Clemson (12) are the only schools with active streaks of at least 10 games. Clemson’s current 12-game winning streak marks the program’s 10th all-time winning streak of at least 10 games. Recently, Clemson had a 17-game winning streak
from 2014-15 that remains the longest in school history. Alabama ended that streak in the 2015 season National Championship game.
The current streak marks the third time Dabo Swinney has had a winning streak of at least 10 games. Danny Ford had three separate streaks of at least 10 games, including a 13-game streak from 1980 through the last game of the 1981 season.
Frank Howard had a 15-game winning streak from 1947-49 and was part of a 13-game streak from 1939-40. The first 10-game winning streak took place under John Heisman from 1899 to 1901.
BEST IN CLASS
Though the team formally celebrated Senior Day against Duke two weeks ago, the 2018 senior class’ accomplishments remain cause for celebration.
An attempt to encapsulate the full contribution of Clemson’s 2018 senior class may be futile, as the group will eventually conclude its time as Tigers as one of the most successful senior classes in the history of college football. Currently, the 2018 senior class…
… holds a 52-4 overall record in the last four years, one of two senior classes in the country to produce 50 wins in that span.
… is already the winningest class in both Clemson and ACC history.
… will become the first senior class in conference history to play in four consecutive ACC Championship games, and with a win, could become the first class in conference history to win four ACC titles outright.
SATURDAYS ARE FOR THE TIGERS
Clemson enters Saturday’s contest against Pitt having won each of its last 28 Saturday games. Clemson went 12-2 during the 2017 campaign, with its only losses coming on a Friday at Syracuse and a Monday on New Year’s Day in the Sugar Bowl.
You have to travel back to Nov. 12, 2016, a total of 749 days prior to this week’s contest against Pitt, for Clemson’s most recent loss on a Saturday.
Clemson’s 28-game Saturday winning streak is the longest active streak in the FBS. In total, Clemson has won 49 of its last 50 Saturday games. The Tigers’ current 28-game streak started following a 2016 loss to Pitt that
was preceded by a 21-game Saturday winning streak across the 2014-16 season
Robert – Clemson 63, Pitt 21
Will – Clemson 48, Pitt 10
Joanne – Clemson 55, Pitt 3