This year is a little bit different for Clemson than in most years. Actually, it is very unique.
The Tigers have not played a conference game to open a season in 12 years, when they beat Florida State in what turned out to be the last Bowden Bowl. Clemson knocked off the Seminoles, 24-18, on Labor Day night at Death Valley.
Of course, that will change Thursday when the top-ranked Tigers host Georgia Tech to open the 2019 season. In years past, Clemson has played teams like Auburn and Georgia, as well as Kent State and Furman the last two years to open the season.
“They all count,” Swinney said Monday from the Allen Reeves Complex in Clemson. “We want to win our division and we want to win this league. So, this is not only winning the opener, but this is a league game. You only get so many and they all count.”
Winning the opener and winning the first ACC game are two of the Tigers’ five team goals for the season, which means it makes Thursday’s game extra important for Clemson than it normally is.
“If you are playing Texas A&M in the opener and get beat, nobody is happy, but it was not a conference game so you still have a chance to meet our goals and that is what we are always about,” Swinney said. “We are about those goals right there. That’s what we are about. Nothing else.”
Clemson and Georgia Tech will kickoff Thursday at 8 p.m. The game will be televised on the ACCN.
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