Watkins, 2013 Tigers advance to Elite Eight

Watkins, 2013 Tigers advance to Elite Eight

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Watkins, 2013 Tigers advance to Elite Eight

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Region Finals set in the West and Midwest in Clemson Football’s March Madness Tournament

Half of the Elite Eight in Clemson Football’s March Madness Tournament on The Clemson Insider is set as the 2018 and 2019 teams advanced with easy victories in the West and Midwest Regional semifinals on Thursday.

The second seed of the Midwest Region, the 2015 Tigers, also advanced with an easy win over the No. 3 seed, the 2017 Tigers. They will face the 2019 Tigers in the Midwest Finals on Saturday.

The 2018 Tigers, the No. 1 overall seed, will face No. 3 seed, the 2013 Tigers, on Saturday. The 2013 Tigers beat the No. 2 seed in the West Region, the 1950 Tigers. In a game that expected to be closer, Tajh Boyd, Deandre Hopkins, Vic Beasley and company ran away from the 1951 Orange Bowl Champions with a 70-30 edge in the polls.

Clemson fans voted the 2018 Tigers to an easy win, too. The 2018 National Champions got 97 percent of the vote to move on to the Elite Eight Round.

Last Thursday, TCI began Clemson Football’s March Madness Tournament in honor of the NCAA Tournament being canceled this year due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Thursday night would have been the first four games of the real Sweet 16 had the tournament not been canceled.

If you want to see how TCI got to this point, you can check out the past results from last Thursday-Sunday.

As for Thursday, the 2019 Tigers easily took care of the 2012 Tigers, who were the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region. The Isaiah Simmons led Tigers tallied 92 percent of the vote to knock of a 2012 Team that was the first team since the 1981 season to win 11 games at Clemson.

In the second Midwest semifinal, the 2015 Tigers also received 92 percent of the vote for an easy victory over the Kelly Bryant led 2017 Tigers. On Saturday, Deshaun Watson’s second team (the 2015 Tigers) will try to pull off the upset and prevent Trevor Lawrence’s second team (the 2019 Tigers) from advancing. It will be the second straight time the 2015 Tigers have faced off against another one of Clemson’s five College Football Playoff participants.

Of course, both the 2015 and 2019 Tigers finished as national runner-ups.

The 2013 Tigers, who will play the 2018 team in the Elite Eight, posted an 11-2 record, which ended with a dramatic 40-35 victory over No. 7 Ohio State in the Orange Bowl Classic.

Clemson’s two losses that year came to eventual national champion Florida State and South Carolina, who finished No. 4 in the final polls.

The Tigers averaged 507.7 yards and 40.2 points per game in 2013. They allowed 356.7 yards and 22.2 points per game.

Besides beating No. 7 Ohio State to close the year, Clemson opened the 2013 season with a 38-35 victory over No. 5 Georgia at Death Valley. The Tigers were ranked No. 8 at the time. It was Clemson’s first win over Georgia since 1990, snapping at five-game losing streak to the Bulldogs in the all-time series.

Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins caught what is still a Clemson record 101 passes for a record 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns. In the 2014 Orange Bowl Classic, Watkins caught a Clemson and Orange Bowl record 16 passes for a record 227 yards and two scores. He was named as the game’s MVP for his performance.

Quarterback Tajh Boyd, playing in his final game at Clemson, totaled 505 yards of offense and six touchdowns. He also had a career-high 127 rushing yards and scored on a 48-yard touchdown run to start the scoring.

Clemson finished the season ranked No. 7 in the final AP Poll.

Sweet 16 Round (Thursday’s results)

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