Clemson opens the season on Saturday, September 3 when Texas A&M comes to Clemson for the first time since 1973. The Tigers will be looking to avenge last year's 27-6 loss in College Station. Dennis Franchione's team was one of the most improved teams in the nation in 2004. It will be just the fourth all-time meeting between the two schools.
Three of Clemson's first four games will be at home this year. After a trip to Maryland for the ACC opener on September 10 (Clemson's earliest road game at College Park in history) the Tigers have back-to-back home games with Miami (FL) and Boston College. Both teams won nine games, including bowl victories last year. Boston College won a bowl game for the fifth consecutive year, the only school in the nation that can make that claim.
Clemson defeated a 10th ranked Hurricane team at Miami last year, 24-17 in overtime. It was Clemson's fourth win over a top 10 team in the last two years.
This will be Clemson's first game with Boston College since 1983 when the Eagles defeated Clemson 31-16 in Boston. That was Clemson's only loss during a 9-1-1 season under Danny Ford. The two teams met at Clemson in 1982 and the game ended in a 17-17 tie That Clemson team also went on to a 9-1-1 record and won the ACC Championships. Doug Flutie was the quarterback for Boston College in both games.
Clemson and Boston College have a history that dates to the 1939 season. The Tigers met a Boston College team coached by Frank Leahy in the 1940 Cotton Bowl in Dallas and the Tigers came away with a 6-3 victory behind All-American Banks McFadden. The Tigers have a 7-5-2 lead in the series overall.
Clemson will have back-to-back road games to open the month of October. Clemson plays at Wake Forest on October 1. The Tigers won in double overtime against the Demon Deacons at Clemson last year, 37-30, but lost in the most recent meeting between the two schools in Winston-Salem, Clemson's last loss of the 2003 season.
Clemson will play at NC State on Thursday evening, October 13. This will be the second straight time in Raleigh and the third time in the last four years that Clemson has played against the Wolfpack in a nationally televised Thursday night game The Pack defeated Clemson, 17-15, in Raleigh on a Thursday evening in 2003, but Clemson came back to gain a 26-20 win at Clemson last year on a Saturday afternoon when returning defensive end Charles Bennett had an interception at the goal line on the last play of the game. Seven of the last eight meetings between Clemson and NC State have been decided by eight points or less.
Clemson will take on Temple on October 22 at Death Valley. It will be the first meeting between the two schools since the 1991 season when Clemson gained a 37-7 victory.
The Tigers will travel to Georgia Tech on October 29 as the two schools continue one of the great ACC rivalries. Tech gained a four-point win at Clemson last year, but the Tigers won the last meeting in Atlanta, 39-3 during the 2003 season. Clemson has actually gained victory in its last three trips to Atlanta, as the Tigers also defeated Tennessee 27-14 in the 2003 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome and also defeated a top 10 Georgia Tech team behind Woody Dantzler in 2001.
Clemson has three games in the month of November, including two home conference games. The Tigers will be looking to gain victory over both Duke and Florida State after road losses to both institutions during the 2004 season. Clemson upset a third-ranked Florida State team, 26-10 the last time Bobby Bowden brought his team to Clemson in 2003. Clemson has not lost at home to Duke since 1980.
The season concludes with the annual state rivalry game at South Carolina on November 19. Clemson has won seven of the last eight games with South Carolina, including five out of six under Tommy Bowden.
"This might be the toughest home schedule in Clemson history," said Bowden. "We could play three top 25 teams at home in the first month of the season, something that has never happened in Clemson history. It should be a great atmosphere in Death Valley all season.
"Opening the season with Texas A&M will certainly be a challenge. We will have to play at a high level from the outset of the season. They defeated us last year and certainly must be considered among the programs on the rise under Coach (Dennis) Franchione.
"We have consistently played a top 25 schedule according to the computer rankings since I have been at Clemson. Our players and coaches look forward to the challenge."
Clemson will not play conference schools Virginia, Virginia Tech or North Carolina. Clemson has consecutive Saturdays, October 8 and 15 open.
Special days such as homecoming and parents day will be announced at a later date.
Date Opponent Sept 3 TEXAS A&M Sept 10 at Maryland Sept 17 MIAMI (FL) Sept 24 BOSTON COLLEGE Oct 1 at Wake Forest Oct 13 at NC State (Thursday) Oct 22 TEMPLE Oct 29 at Georgia Tech Nov 5 DUKE Nov 12 FLORIDA STATE Nov 19 at South Carolina