Note: The following appears in the Georgia Tech Football Game Day schedule.
Due to the limitations of last year’s pandemic, we’re honoring eight former Clemson teams on this reunion weekend. Today’s “last word” gives you a brief overview of each season that is recognized today.
50th anniversary in 2020
The 1970 Tigers ushered in a new era as they were the first football team in 30 years not to be coached by Frank Howard. Hootie Ingram’s first team won their first two games, including a 27-17 victory over Virginia. The season featured the biggest single-player rematch in ACC history. Don Kelley had an ACC record 223 yards return on 167 yards punt return and 56 intercept return yards against Maryland on Halloween. The 167 punt return yards are still 41 yards longer than any performance in Tiger history.
50th anniversary in 2021
Hootie Ingram’s second-team Clemson have won five of their last eight games, and two of the losses have been to Auburn, No.5 and North Carolina, No.19. A 3-0 win over No.14 Duke was a highlight in addition to a 17-7 victory in South Carolina that ended the season. Future Super Bowl champion John McMakin was the best receiver since his tight end-of-race position. The defense featured a secondary led by Ben Anderson, Marion Reeves and Bobby Johnson, who each had four interceptions during the season. Only three Tiger teams in the past 50 years have had three defenders with at least four interceptions.
25th anniversary in 2020
Tommy West’s second team at Clemson was his best. The Tigers finished 8-4 that year, including a five-game winning streak to end the regular season that propelled the Tigers into the top 25 AP and the Gator Bowl. The wins over the streak were taken by Maryland, Georgia Tech and North Carolina, teams that ended the year with record wins. The Tigers beat their South Carolina rival 38-17 on the road with 323 rushing yards. The 1995 Tigers ended the year 5-0 on the road, the only Clemson team to do so between 1981 and 2015.
25th anniversary in 2021
The Clemson 7-5 team included the run from Raymond Priester, who gained 1,345 rushing yards, the fourth-highest number in school history. The Tigers started 2-3, then posted a five-game winning streak that included wins over No. 22 Georgia Tech and a road win over No. 15 Virginia. The Tigers defeated NC State 40-17 in the ACC’s final game to finish second in the league standings behind Florida State. Clemson’s defense included first-round draft picks Anthony Simmons (178 tackles), Trevor Pryce (20 tackles for loss) and Antwan Edwards (83 tackles).
10th anniversary in 2020
The 2010 squad was 6-7 overall, but that set the tone for head coach Dabo Swinney’s program culture. The team have lost five games by one touchdown or less, including a five-point loss to South Florida in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. The seniors, led by Tiger’s current staff member DeAndre McDaniel, didn’t bow their heads and walked around the locker room to encourage the returning players to work hard and not let this season happen again. I’ll always believe that act kicked off the program on his current 10-game 10-game winning streak.
10th anniversary in 2021
The 2011 team broke a lot of streaks. In the foreground was Clemson’s first ACC Championship in 20 seasons, a 38-10 victory over No.3 Virginia Tech in Charlotte. The win also gave Clemson his first 10-game season in 21 years. With wins on three ranked teams, defending National Champion Auburn (ended their 17-game winning streak), Florida State and Virginia Tech on the road, Dabo Swinney’s team started the year 8- 0 and reached No. 6 in the country. It was the first time that an ACC team had won three straight wins against the top 20 AP teams.
Fifth anniversary in 2020
The 2015 squad will be remembered as the team that brought Clemson to their first college football playoff. The season included a 24-22 victory over Notre Dame No.6 in pouring rain in early October, a 58-0 victory in Miami, Fla that led the Hurricanes to change coaches, a 23-0 victory. at 13 out of No. 15 Florida State and an ACC Championship game win over No. 8 North Carolina. Clemson then defeated No. 3 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl to advance to the national title game.
Fifth anniversary in 2021
“It’s been 35 years… it’s finally coming home! Those were the words of Ben Boulware during the presentation of the trophy after Clemson defeated the first Alabama 35-31 to win their first national title since 1981. The Tigers have won a school record of seven games by a touchdown or less while running. until its 14- 1 registration. A key win was a 42-36 win over Louisville No.3 which was a battle between Heisman Trophy finalists Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson. The Tigers beat the Ohio State No.2 31-0 in the semifinals, his first shutout since 1993.