Clemson has been one of the most enjoyable opponents to watch the Yellow Jackets play the past couple of years, at least to me. We have gone 4-1 against the Tigers, including winning the 2009 ACC Championship game in Tampa. This year Clemson returns the bulk of a team that started 8-0 and was ranked in the top 10 in the country. This was also the team that lost to NC State by 24 points in a game that wasn't really that close and also got embarrassed on national TV to the tune of a 70-33 beatdown by West Virginia. They still have Sammy Watkins and he could single handedly turn any game around for them, but they are also coached by this guy. Inside we will look at some of the past years games.
In order to learn about this year's Clemson team I really can't do a better job previewing them than what has already been done by Bill C and Pre-Snap Read. Really, if you have the time go and read one or both of these previews and you will be more knowledgable than most college football fans about Clemson's expectations this year. Instead I thought it would be fun to look back at all of the Clemson games since CPJ got here to relive the memories.
21 - 17 GT
2008 was CPJ's first year and we were still getting our feet wet learning the option. Fortunately for us this was the very first game after Clemson fired Tommy Bowden and replaced him with Dabo Swinney as the interim head coach. Yes, we were the first team to play The Fighting Dabos! This game was at Clemson against a decent Clemson team that also had a ton of talent. We used a swarming defense to capitalize on two interceptions by Clemson, one on a flea flicker that we returned for a touchdown. Our offense was able to close out with a couple of late scores to pull out a 21-17 victory for the visitors.
30 - 27 GT
You guys remember this? The best part about this are the ESPN announcers making fun of him, Jesse Palmer has some great quips and Chris Fowler is THE MAN. The game itself was very intense. Somehow, and I thought I would never say this, like ever, but Scott Blair WON us the game. He threw a fake-field-goal touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas and then kicked the game winning field goal to put us ahead late in the fourth quarter. Our offense also showed some moxy late by keeping possessions alive and letting Scott Blair do his thing, and while the defense did allow Clemson to come all the way back, they played pretty well. I still remember this game because it was my first ACC home game as a student and was also a Thursday night home game. That first half was electric and the student section was going crazy.
39 - 34 GT
Our ACC Championship game that apparently never happened. This game was intense. I was lucky enough to have a group of friends as stupid as myself to drive down on Saturday morning to see the game and immediately drive back up on Sunday morning because some silly things they call "finals" were the following Monday. This game probably cemented CJ Spiller as one of the greatest backs in Clemson history, he scored four touchdowns and it really seemed like he could score whenever he wanted to, it was pretty frustrating watching our defense chase him around the field all day. Luckily our offense responded with long touchdowns from Nesbitt to Thomas and the late clincher by Dwyer to seal the game. Again Scott Blair deserves a shout-out for kicking 3 field goals and also neither team punted the ball.
27 - 13 Clemson
This game was AWFUL, both for me and the Jackets. After camping on Lake Hartwell on Friday night and then enjoying some beautiful tailgating all morning we arrived to the game a little late. It also took us about 30 minutes to find the right gate for our tickets because the Clemson stadium has one gate that is not numbered in the same order as every other gate at the place. Then we found our seats which were two rows from the top of Death Valley which is really a place you do not want to be. The first play I saw was a long touchdown run by Andre Ellington and in my memory he wasn't even touched. Clemson got up early to the tune of a 17-0 lead in the 2nd quarter and Georgia Tech decided to do nothing with the ball and punted or turned it over on our first four possessions. This game was one of the least fun memories of Georgia Tech football I have.
31 - 17 GT
Back to the fun! Clemson came into town ranked fifth in the country and riding high on an 8 game winning streak. This was also our homecoming game and a Saturday night nationally televised gamed. We got up big and early, 24-3 at half. This included an incredible pass from Tevin Washington to Stephen Hill (granted Stephen Hill had already dropped a pretty sure touchdown before that) and some great runs by Tevin. Watch this highlight and look at the 3rd down draw that Tevin runs for about 60 yards. That play, and also the draw to the B-Back that we used to run with Dwyer, are probably two of my favorite plays in our playbook. If it is set up right its pretty much a guaranteed first down every time. Anyway we stormed the field after whooping up on Clemson and it was a great night to be a Georgia Tech fan.
Hopefully all of my reminiscing has brought back some memories for you guys as well and has gotten you excited for our game on October 6th at Clemson. This is probably one of the best games to take a road trip for because it is close and Clemson is actually a fun place to tailgate. Any memories or stories you would like to share about Clemson games? This is only recent history, I didn't even mention any of the Calvin Johnson plays against Clemson (watch that video by the way, it is awesome).
Also if you haven't participated in our community win prediction totals for the upcoming season then do so now, its great fun!