Ranking Dabo's wins: 5

For the first win of his head coaching career, Dabo Swinney pulled off a feat that predecessor Tommy Bowden struggled to do -- beat Boston College.

5.) Nov. 1, 2008


Clemson 27 Boston College 21

What happened
Swinney was the recipient of an orange Gatorade bath for his first victory since he was named the interim head coach in place of Bowden.

C.J. Spiller, one of Swinney's prized additions from his days as the Tigers' recruiting coordinator helped lock up the win.

Spiller, who missed a majority of the third quarter after suffering a head injury, hauled in six catches for 105 yards -- the most for a running back in Clemson history. He set up one touchdown with a 57-yard run and another with a 64-yard kickoff return. He totaled 242 all-purpose yards.

James Davis scored the game's first touchdown 23-yard run. Cullen Harper's 3-yard scoring run gave Clemson a 14-0 first quarter lead. Mark Buchholz pushed the score to 17-0 on a 27-yard field goal with 57 seconds left in the half.


Spiller finished the afternoon with 242 all-purpose yards.
As usual, Boston College wouldn't go away. The Eagles scored the first 21 points of the second half and took a 21-17 lead.

Spiller's 64-yard kickoff return set up the game's next score. Clemson regained the lead when Cullen Harper connected with Aaron Kelly on a 4-yard touchdown pass.

Harper completed 21 of 33 passes for 252 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions.

DeAndre McDaniel forced a key fourth-quarter fumble by Clarence Megwa. The Boston College wide receiver was carted off the field after dropping would-be first-down. The turnover set up the Tigers at the Eagles' 40 and Mark Bucholz went on to knock in a 43-yard field goal with 2:46 to play.

The stakes
Two weeks earlier, Swinney lost in his debut to Georgia Tech. The loss was Clemson's third-straight defeat. With a trip to Florida State looming after the Chestnut Hill visit, the Tigers were in dire need of a win.

Plus, since they were added to the ACC in 2005, Clemson had never beaten Boston College.

Before and after
Clemson would lose the following week's showdown with Florida State before closing the regular season with wins over Duke, Virginia and South Carolina.

Swinney was named the full-time head coach in December. Since then, he's led the Tigers to a pair of ACC Atlantic Division titles and an ACC Championship.


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