The 1897 game was just the sixth game in Clemson football history and the Tar Heels won that game 28-0. It was the first game for the Tigers against a team that is now in the ACC.
•Clemson has won six of the last eight
meetings dating to the 1999 season, Tommy
Bowden’s first year. This will be the third game
for the Tigers against the Tar Heels since Dabo
Swinney became head coach. In 2010 North
Carolina won 21-16 in Chapel Hill, Clemson’s
only appearance in Chapel Hill between 2003
•This will be North Carolina’s last
appearance at Clemson until 2024 according
to the way the ACC schedule is at the moment.
The Tigers and Tar Heels will not play again after
this year until 2019 in a game in Chapel Hill.
Between 2015 and 2023, Clemson will play non-
conference games with Notre Dame four times,
but North Carolina just once.
•Clemson has scored at least 50
points in each of its last two games against
North Carolina in Memorial Stadium, a 52-7
win in 2006 and a 59-38 victory in 2011. The
current Clemson seniors were freshmen for that
game. In each of those games Clemson was
celebrating an anniversary of the program’s 1981
•Clemson has scored at least 36
points in four of the last five games against North
Carolina. Clemson has averaged 41 points per
game against the Tar Heels over the last five
meetings dating to 2002.
•North Carolina’s last win over Clemson at Clemson came in 2001. The Tigers were
in the nation entering the 2001 meeting with the Tar Heels and Woody Dantzler was
coming off the best back-to-back performances
in Clemson history by a Tiger signal caller.
He had 418 yards total offense in an
overtime win against Georgia Tech and 517 in
a win at NC State. Over 84,000 Clemson fans
attended that Homecoming game in 2001, but
Julius Peppers and the North Carolina defense
had a plan to stop Dantzler and held him to a
season low 127 total yards rushing and passing
in a 38-3 North Carolina win. That Tar Heel team
went on to defeat Auburn in the Peach Bowl.
•Freshman Charlie Whitehurst threw
four touchdown passes in just his second start in
a 42-12 Clemson win at North Carolina in 2002.
That was the last time a freshman started at
quarterback for Clemson against North Carolina.
Tye Hill had the only 100-yard rushing
day of his career in that victory. The next year
Hill moved to defense and became a first round
•It is not the only time a freshman
has thrown four touchdown passes in a game
against North Carolina. Redshirt freshman Willie
Simmons came off the bench in 2000 to throw
four touchdown passes in Chapel Hill and lead
Clemson to a come from behind 38-24 victory.
It the most touchdown passes by a non starter
•Clemson has won 19 of the last 26
meetings in the series. The Tigers have a 18-7
lead in games played at Clemson and Death
Valley, and a 15-11-1 advantage in games in
Chapel Hill, including a 14-10-1 lead in games at
ªThe landmark game of the series took
place at North Carolina in 1981. The Tigers won
that contest 10-8 behind an outstanding defense
led by Jeff Davis and Jeff Bryant. It was the first
meeting of top 10 ACC teams in the history of
the conference, as Clemson was undefeated and
ranked second in the nation entering the contest,
while the Tar Heels were 7-1 and ranked eighth.
Jeff Bryant recovered a North Carolina lateral
with a minute left to clinch the victory for the
Tigers, a key win in Clemson’s National Championship season.
Ron West Returns to Memorial Stadium
North Carolina co-defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Ron West is a Clemson
graduate who was a letterman on the Tigers
He also served as an assistant
coach with the Clemson program from 1999-
West was a versatile offensive lineman
on the 1977-78 Clemson teams that changed the
course of Clemson football. The Clemson program had not been to a bowl game in 18 years
prior to the 1977 season, but the 1977 and 1978
Tigers changed all that. Both of those Clemson
teams finished in the top 20, including a number-
six finish by the 1978 team that is still the second
highest final ranking in Clemson history.
West came to Clemson as an assistant coach in 1999 with Tommy Bowden. West
had been with Bowden at Tulane.
West was an
offensive line coach from 1999-2003, defensive
line coach in 2004 and outside linebackers
coach in 2005-08. He was an assistant coach
for the Tigers when Clemson defeated North
Carolina in 2006 at Clemson.
Since West left Clemson after the
2008 season, he has been an assistant at Tulsa,
Illinois, Arizona State and now North Carolina.
He is in his second year with the Tar Heels
Two Tiger Coaches Worked at UNC
Clemson assistant coaches Dan
Brooks and Danny Pearman both worked at
Brooks was with the North Carolina
program as defensive line coach from 1989-93
working under Mack Brown. The Tar Heels had
a 9-3 record in 1992 and 10-3 in 1993, Brooks’s
last two years with the Tar Heels.
Pearman coached at North Carolina
during the 2006 season as special teams coach
and defensive ends coach. Pearman returned
to Clemson for the 2008 Gator Bowl and has
been an assistant under Dabo Swinney for all 77
games Swinney has coached at Clemson.
So, in 2006 when North Carolina
played Clemson at Memorial Stadium, Ron
West was an assistant at Clemson and Danny
Pearman was an assistant at North Carolina.
Saturday the their schools of employment will be
North Carolina Update
North Carolina comes into Saturday’s
game with a 2-1 record. Larry Fedora’s team
is coming off a 70-41 loss at East Carolina. All
three games have been against non-conference
foes, so this is the ACC opener for the Tar Heels.
They have one more non-conference game left
at Notre Dame on October 11.
North Carolina has an explosive
offense that is led by quarterback Marquise Williams. He led North Carolina to a strong finish
last year, including a 39-17 bowl victory over Cincinnati. So far this year the junior has completed
53-83 passes for 551 yards and four scores.
North Carolina has outstanding receivers, led by Mack Hollins, who has a 30.2 yard
average on eight catches. He is second in the
ACC in yards per catch and is fourth in receiving yards per game at 80.7. He is just ahead of
Clemson’s Artavis Scott.
Ryan Switzer is another outstanding
pass catcher, but he is also among the top punt
returners in the nation. Switzer is third in the
ACC in receptions per game with 16 in his three
games. Last year he set an NCAA record with
five punt returns for touchdowns. He has 11
returns for 74 yards so far.
Austin Proehl is a freshman who will
see some action. He is the son of Ricky Proehl,
who was a great player for Wake Forest before
a 17-year NFL career. He caught four touchdown passes against Clemson in his career that
T.J. Thorpe is another all-purpose
player the Tigers will remember. He had a 100-
yard kickoff return for a score against Clemson in
2011, a day he had 234 all-purpose yards.
Tigers Have Played Tough Schedule
Clemson is off to a 1-2 start, but has
played a difficult schedule. According to the
latest Sagarin computer ranking, Clemson has
played the most difficult schedule in the country
with an 84.38 rating. Rice is second and SMU
third in terms of most difficult schedule among
Clemson opened the season with
a loss at #12 Georgia and lost last week at #1
ranked Florida State in overtime. Clemson
is one of just three schools to play two games
against Associated Press top 12 teams so far
this year (SMU and West Virginia are the others),
and the Tigers are the only school in the nation
to play two top 12 teams on the road.
How rare is such a difficult start to the
schedule? This is the first time since 1966 that
Clemson has played two top 12 teams within
its first three games of the season and just the
fourth time in school history. Frank Howard was
well known for taking on all challengers. His
1959, 1963 and 1966 teams all had two road
games against top 12 teams within its first three
games of the season.
As far as the ACC is concerned, Clemson is the first league school to have two road
games against top 12 ranked teams within the
first three games of the season since 2001 when
North Carolina played at #3 Oklahoma and at #4
Texas within its first three games. That Tar Heels
team also played #6 Florida State at home in the
Clemson Glad to be Home
Historically and in the Dabo Swinney era, Clemson has had
good fortune playing in Memorial Stadium, so the Tigers welcome this
upcoming three-game home stand.
The Tigers are 33-6 (.846) at home under Swinney, including a
20-2 mark over the last four years, or since the current senior class came
to Clemson. That includes a 13-game winning streak from 2011-12, the
longest winning streak in the history of the facility. Clemson has won at
least two-thirds of its home games 12 consecutive years.
Overall, Clemson has a home record of 352-125-15 including
all home facilities. That includes a 276-101-7 record in the 73 years of
Watson Gets the Start
Deshaun Watson is expected to be Clemson’s starting quarterback against North Carolina. He will be the first true freshman to start
at quarterback for Clemson in 20 years. In 1994, Nealon Greene started
five games at quarterback as a true freshman, with the last being against
Watson was 19-28 for 266 yards passing and had 12 rushes
for 30 yards, giving him 296 yards of total offense against the number-
one ranked Seminoles. The 296 yards were the most by a Clemson true
freshman quarterback. The previous mark was 288 by Willie Jordan at
Georgia Tech in 1975. Watson’s passing yardage was the second most by
a Clemson true freshman and the most since Patrick Sapp threw for 273 at
Maryland in 1992.
Greene was 2-3 as a starter in 1994, Patrick Sapp was 1-3 in
1992, Willie Jordan was 1-5 in 1975 and Steve Fuller was 0-1. So Clemson true freshmen quarterbacks are a combined 4-12 over the years.
Two of the four wins are against North Carolina. Patrick Sapp
defeated a top 20 North Carolina team in 1992, 40-7, and two years later
Nealon Greene upset a #12 North Carolina team in Chapel Hill, 28-17. The
40-7 win led by Sapp is the second largest margin of victory for Clemson
over a ranked opponent.
So Clemson true freshmen quarterbacks are 2-0 all-time
against North Carolina and 2-12 against everyone else.
NOTES: Tigers host Tar Heels
CUTigers.com Top Stories
RECRUITING RADARIn our weekly Recruiting Radar, CUTigers Recruiting Analyst Gary McDaniel updates you on the latest news and intel on the Clemson recruiting front!
CUTigers.comMonday at 5:53 PM
WHAT WE ARE HEARINGACC Atlantic foes Clemson and Louisville are each ranked #3 in the polls and will clash in Death Valley with the division title and a spot in the College Football Playoff on the…
Inside the Matchup: Louisville vs ClemsonIt's a top 5 matchup from Death Valley.
Scout CFBYesterday at 12:00 PM
GRADES & ANALYSIS: Georgia Tech#3 Clemson dominated Georgia Tech, beating the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta for the first time since 2003!
CUTigers.comYesterday at 11:08 AM