There are two games on Clemson’s 2020 football schedule that could be interesting for the Tigers this coming season.
According to Athlon Magazine, Clemson’s Oct. 10 matchup at Florida State and its Nov. 7 game at Notre Dame are two of the ACC’s 12 biggest games this year, and potentially the Tigers’ two biggest hurdles to clear for a third consecutive undefeated regular season.
When the Tigers visit Doak Campbell Stadium in October, they will likely come in with a 5-0 record. Clemson opens the season on Sept. 3 against Georgia Tech before hosting Louisville, Akron and Virginia in consecutive weeks. It then will visit Boston College for a Friday game on Oct. 2.
The Seminoles open the season on Sept. 5 against West Virginia in Atlanta then host Samford before traveling to Boise State. After an open date on Sept. 26, FSU will travel to NC State for their first ACC game on Oct. 3.
The Tigers have defeated FSU five consecutive years dating back to 2015. Last year, they beat the Seminoles 45-14 at Death Valley. Clemson has won its last two meetings against the ‘Noles at Doak Campbell.
In 2016, Deshaun Watson led the Tigers on a last-minute drive by throwing a touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Leggett, who dove into the end zone for the winning score. In 2018, Trevor Lawrence helped Clemson hand FSU its worst home loss ever against an ACC opponent as the Tigers rolled to a 59-10 victory.
Clemson’s 59 points that day are the most the Seminoles have ever surrendered in a home game and the 49-point loss tied for the worst home loss in the program’s history.
The Florida State-Clemson series dates back to 1970 with FSU holding a 20-13 lead. The Tigers are just 4-13 all-time in Tallahassee, Fla.
If the Tigers do win at Florida State on Oct. 10, and they should be heavily favored to do so, the Tigers next hurdle, according to Athlon, comes three weeks later when it makes its first trip to Notre Dame since 1979.
Clemson could come into South Bend, Ind., with an 8-0 record and coming off an open date. This could be a matchup of top 10 teams and maybe 8-0 teams if the Irish can get past Wisconsin on Oct. 3 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.
Playing in South Bend will likely be the biggest hurdle of the regular season for the Tigers. Notre Dame will be hungry for revenge after the Tigers embarrassed the Irish in the 2019 College Football Playoff. Clemson beat the Irish 30-3 in the Cotton Bowl Classic that year.
The Tigers have won three straight overall against Notre Dame, dating back to their last visit to South Bend in 1979. Led by Terry Kinard’s three interceptions, plus 16 unanswered points, which included a 26-yard Billie Lott touchdown, Clemson rallied from a 10-0 deficit to win 16-10 on Senior Day in South Bend.
The two teams did not meet again until 2015, when the Tigers jumped out to a 21-3 lead in the third quarter and then hung on for a 24-22 victory at Memorial Stadium in Clemson. The win over No. 6 Notre Dame that night in Clemson sprung the Tigers to an undefeated regular season and a trip to the CFP National Championship Game.
Clemson followed up its win over the Irish in the 2019 Cotton Bowl with a victory over Alabama in the national championship game, earning the Tigers their second national championship in three years and the program’s third overall.
Clemson has a 3-1 advantage in the all-time series against the Irish.
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