Ranking Dabo's wins: 11

In his first full season on the job, head coach Dabo Swinney led Clemson to its first appearance in the ACC Championship game.

11.) Nov. 21, 2009

Clemson 34 Virginia 21

What happened
Clemson clinched the ACC Atlantic Division title before their 34-21 Senior Day/Military Appreciation Day win over Virginia. Swinney informed his team of that their spot in the title game was assured before they stepped onto the field, the Tigers still took care of business.

Kyle Parker led the Clemson offense, throwing for 234 yards and two touchdown passes.

His first touchdown a 16-yard score to Dwayne Allen, was on Clemson's second drive of the game. Allen was flagged after the play for an unsportsman-like conduct penalty. He drew the 15-yard for saluting military members in front of him on the sideline.

Jacoby Ford, who also caught a touchdown pass, finished with a career-best 211 all-purpose yards.

Ford caught the second touchdown pass thrown by Parker in the win over Virginia.
C.J. Spiller's 17-yard punt return broke the ACC single-season record for all-purpose yards that Virginia's Thomas Jones set 10 years earlier. Spiller finished the afternoon with 58 yards rushing and a touchdown and caught five passes for 39 yards.

At halftime, Virginia had 119 yards rushing and 114 yards passing and trailed 24-21. But the Cavaliers finished the game with 78 on the ground and 195 through the air.

Kevin Alexander, Ricky Sapp, Jamie Cumbie, Jeremy Campbell and Andre Branch each recorded sacks. Rennie Moore was credited with two. Ricky Sapp also recovered a fumble that Brandon Maye caused on the first play of the game.

The stakes
The stakes for the game would have been considerably higher had Boston College not lost earlier that afternoon.

Regardless of the Eagles' result, the Tigers needed to keep momentum going with a trip to Columbia in store seven days later.

Before and after
Clemson opened the season with a disappointing 2-3 record. Six-straight wins, including the Senior Day/Military Appreciation Day victory over Virginia, allowed the Tigers a chance to make an appearance in the ACC Championship game.

After the losses to South Carolina and Georgia Tech in the ACC title game, Clemson knocked off Kentucky in the Music City Bowl.

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