Ranking Dabo's wins: 6

Christian Ponder's nightmare performance at Clemson in 2009 ended with became be the enduring memory of Dabo Swinney's first win over Florida State.

6.) Nov. 7, 2009


Clemson 40 Florida State 24

What happened
Ponder, who'd already thrown three interceptions, was picked off by DeAndre McDaniel late in the fourth quarter. As McDaniel sprinted down the visiting sideline toward the West End Zone, he pointed at Ponder.

The Florida State quarterback accepted the challenge and met McDaniel around the 6-yardline. McDaniel lowered the boom and walked away nary a scratch. Ponder separated his right shoulder.

There were plenty of fireworks from the Clemson offense. C.J. Spiller broke his own single-game all-purpose school record of 312 yards. He rushed 22 times for 165, caught three passes for 67 yards and had 80 yards in returns. He scored two touchdowns, one rushing and another receiving.

Kyle Parker completed 18 of 30 passes for 242 yards with four touchdowns and an interception.

In response to Dustin Hopkins' 35-yard field goal, which gave Florida State an early lead, Clemson scored its first touchdown on a 17-yard pass from Parker to Allen. Richard Jackson missed the ensuing extra-point, kicking off a forgettable performance by the Clemson place kickers. He missed two extra-points and two field goals [38, 26] before Spencer Benton would miss an extra-point.

Xavier Dye's 43-yard touchdown reception was his first touchdown catch from a Clemson quarterback. Spiller's two-point conversion run cut into the lead, leaving Clemson behind 17-14 at halftime.


Parker threw four touchdown passes against Florida State in 2009.
Spiller also scored the first touchdown of the second half when he caught Parker's 58-yard pass on a wheel route. Clemson regained the lead, 21-17.

Andre Ellington scored on a nine-yard run in the fourth quarter -- the first offensive touchdown since last season. The score gave Clemson a 27-24 lead, and the Tigers never looked back.

Durrell Barry's 2-yard touchdown catch gave Clemson a two-score advantage.

Ponder, who was knocked out for the remainder of the 2009 season by McDaniel, was also intercepted by Coty Sensabaugh, Byron Maxwell and Rashard Hall.

The stakes
The stakes for the annual Clemson and Florida State showdown are always big. The rival teams are perennial contenders for the ACC Atlantic.

This game, like many of the previous match ups, had plenty on the line.

Before and after
Clemson finally had some momentum working in their favor after a 2-3 start. The Tigers built a nice three-game winning streak with defeats over Wake Forest, Miami and Coastal Carolina.

With the win, No. 4 in a row, Clemson was in the driver's seat for the ACC Atlantic title.

The Tigers would go on to qualify for the ACC Championship before losing to Georgia Tech in the title game.

Swinney claimed his first bowl win in December with the Music City Bowl victory over Kentucky.


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