NOTES: Clemson at Wake Forest

Clemson looks to build on an undefeated October Thursday night at Wake Forest.

Clemson vs. Wake Forest Series
•Clemson owns 61 wins over Wake Forest in history, its second highest victory total over any opponent. Clemson has 65 wins over South Carolina. Fifty-one of those wins against Wake Forest have taken place since the ACC was formed in 1953. Clemson is 36-7 against Wake Forest in games played in Clemson and is 31-7 in Death Valley in the series that dates to a 13-0 Clemson win in Charlotte in 1933.

•Clemson has won five in a row in the series, all under Head Coach Dabo Swinney, by a combined score of 197-61. The Tigers won last year by a 56-7 score at Clemson and by a 42-13 count at Wake Forest on a Thursday night in 2012.

* Three years ago, the Tigers won 31-28 on a 43-yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro on the last play of the game. Clemson won 30-10 in 2010 in Winston-Salem, and 38-3 at Clemson in 2009. Wake Forest’s last win was by a 12-7 margin in 2008 in Tommy Bowden’s last game as Clemson head coach.

•Clemson won the 2006 game at Wake Forest, 27-17. The late Gaines Adams had a game changing 66-yard fumble return on a botched field goal attempt in the fourth quarter to cut the Demon Deacons lead to 17-10. The Tigers scored 24 points in the fourth period to gain the victory. C.J. Spiller had a 72-yard run in that game. Wake Forest went on to win the ACC Championship that year.

•Clemson played at Wake Forest three times in a four-year period from 2003-06. Clemson was 1-2 at Wake Forest during that time. The Deacs won 45-17 in 2003 against a Clemson team that finished the year 9-4 and ranked in the top 25 in the nation. Clemson won four in a row after that game and Wake Forest lost its last three games. Wake Forest also won in 2005 at Winston-Salem.

•Clemson has a 51-9-1 lead in the series since 1953 or since the formation of the ACC, a .844 winning percentage. Clemson has played Wake Forest in football 61 consecutive years, as the last year the two schools did not play was 1952. The two schools are in the same division in the ACC, so they will continue to play annually.

•Clemson has a 22-10-1 lead in the series in games played at Wake Forest, including 14-6-1 in games played at Groves Stadium.

•Only one coach in history won as many as four games against Clemson without a loss in Death Valley and the coach was from Wake Forest. Frank Howard and Peahead Walker had a close friendship, but Peahead had a 4-0 record against Howard in Death Valley.

•Walker fielded some tough teams, but lost five in a row to the Tigers (1937-41),including his first two outings against Frank Howard, 39-0 and 29-0, after Jess Neely’s departure to Rice in 1940.

Anthony Better than His Stats Show
The website Bleacher Report ran a list of the top 10 players in the nation who are better than their statistics indicate. One of the players listed was Clemson linebacker Stephone Anthony, who was recently named to the Butkus Award semifinalist list.

Anthony leads Clemson in tackles with 58 on 38 first hits and 20 assists. Anthony’s 7.25 tackles per game lead the Tigers, but don’t rank in the top 100 in the nation. He has 8.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and seven quarterback pressures. Clemson’s defense has been so balanced that Anthony has not had the opportunities that a lot of players have across the country. The Tigers have 52 defensive three-and-outs.

Anthony was named the co-Linebacker of the Week in the ACC for his performance against Syracuse when he had six tackles, a sack on the first play of the game, had a caused fumble and an interception that turned the momentum of the game.

Holding Teams under 100 Rushing and Passing
Clemson held Syracuse to 88 yards rushing and 82 yards passing in the 16-6 victory at Memorial Stadium on October 25. It was the second time this year Clemson held the opposition under 100 yards rushing and under 100 yards passing in he same game. This is the first time Clemson has accomplished the feat in any game since 2009 when the Tigers also did it twice, wins over Wake Forest and Boston College.

Overall, Clemson has accomplished the feat five times under Dabo Swinney. The other occasion was in 2008 when Swinney was interim coach in a win over Duke.

Clemson has held an opponent to under 100 yards rushing and under 100 yards passing in the same game 25 times since 1977 and the Tigers have won all 25.

Pinion Chasing his Own Record
Bradley Pinion had three more punts inside the 20 in the win over Syracuse and now has 22 for the season. He needs just three more punts inside the 20 to break his own Clemson single season record. Pinion had 24 last year in 13 games, the same total Kevin Laird had in 1996.

Over Pinion’s first 102 punts as a Tiger he had 42 punts inside the 20 and no touchbacks. The streak was broken at Boston College on October 25. He now has two touchbacks in his career.

Pinion has also been outstanding in terms of touchbacks on kickoffs. He has 24 touchbacks on 46 kickoffs and has forced the opposition to start their possession inside the 21 yard line on nine other occasions.

Back to punting, Pinion has 41 punts for a 42.8 average and has 12 punts of at least 50 yards. He has a net punting figure of 40.0 yards per attempt.

Clemson Defense is Balanced
Clemson ranks among the best in the nation in a number of categories, including second in total defense, fifth in pass defense, 10th in rush defense and 10th on scoring defense. Three members of the defense, Vic Beasley, Stephone Anthony and Grady Jarrett were named to many preseason award watch lists. All three have had outstanding seasons.

Statistically, it has been a balanced contribution. Sixteen players have between 20 and 58 tackles, 15 different players have a sack, 23 different players have a tackle for loss and 15 players have at least one PBU. Clemson has played eight games and six different players have led the team in tackles. Only Anthony has led Clemson more than once in tackles and he has done it three times.

Vic Beasley is the only Clemson player in the top 25 in a an individual category. He is eighth in sacks with eight in eight games, and is 18th in tackles for loss with 1.4 per game.

Tigers Were Perfect in October
Clemson closed the month of October with a perfect 4-0 record. Perfect months are tough to come by. In fact Dabo Swinney has had just four in his 22 complete months as a college head coach. He was 4-0 in September of 2011, 3-0 in October of 2012, and 4-0 in September of 2013. Overall, Swinney is 18-6 in August/September combined, 19-7 in October, 16-8 in November and 4-4 in December and January.

Clemson On Thursday Night
Clemson has a 4-9 record in ESPN Thursday Night games over the years, but has won its last three, including two victories last season. Dabo Swinney is 3-1 in ESPN Thursday night games.

Only three of Clemson’s 13 Thursday night games have been at home, 1998 vs. Georgia Tech, 2002 vs. NC State and 2013 vs. Georgia Tech. Playing on Thursday is not new for Clemson historically. Clemson and South Carolina used to play on “Big Thursday” every year between 1909 and 1959. The game was played in Columbia in conjunction with the State Fair.

Clemson did not win a Thursday game between 1964 and 2004. The Tigers played on Thanksgiving Day in 1963 due to the death of President Kennedy. Clemson broke the streak with a 31-10 win at NC State in 2005. Top Stories