Ranking Dabo's wins: 20

Dabo Swinney relied on his defense to grind out a must-win road game at Virginia. With the 13-3 win, Clemson continued their push towards bowl eligibility.

20.) Nov. 22, 2008


Clemson 13 Virginia 3

What happened

Da'Quan Bowers and the Clemson defense forced four Virginia turnovers.
It wasn't pretty -- far from it, actually. Only one touchdown was scored and neither team eclipsed 200 yards of total offense.

The lone Clemson touchdown came on a 15-yard first quarter touchdown pass from C.J. Spiller to Tyler Grisham. For the Tigers, Cullen Harper completed 18 of 28 passes for 121 yards. James Davis had a team-high 65 yards rushing while Spiller chipped in with 18.

Three Clemson defenders recorded interceptions -- DeAndre McDaniel, Crezdon Butler and Michael Hamlin. Hamlin's interception set up the Spiller touchdown pass.

The stakes
Like the previous week's showdown with Duke, this was a must-win game.

Even though the win was the sixth of the season, Clemson needed seven to become bowl eligible. Only one against that season's Division 1-AA opponents [S.C. State and The Citadel] could count towards the six.

Before and After
Clemson went on to win the following week against South Carolina and was invited to play Nebraska in The Gator Bowl.

By December, the interim tag was lifted off of Swinney's title, and he was named full-time head coach at Clemson.

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