Clemson will open its 2008 football season in the Georgia Dome against Alabama, athletic director Terry Don Phillips announced Friday. The game will be played August 30, 2008 and will be the first Saturday evening prime time telecast on either ESPN or ABC.
Phillips also announced the other three non-conference games on the Clemson 2008 schedule. The Tigers will open the season against an SEC opponent and it will close the season with an SEC opponent as state rival South Carolina comes to Clemson on November 29. It will be the third straight game of the Tigers against an SEC opponent.
Clemson closed the 2007 regular season with a win at South Carolina and met Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in the Georgia Dome on New Year's Eve to close the season. It marks the first time since 1925 that Clemson has played three consecutive games against teams currently in the SEC.
Clemson will also play host to state institutions The Citadel and South Carolina State in 2008. The Citadel game is tentatively scheduled for September 6, while the South Carolina State game is scheduled for September 20.
Clemson had previously announced plans to play Central Florida at home and Louisiana Tech in Shreveport, LA during the 2008 season, but both schools contacted Clemson and asked to be relieved of their contract obligations so they could play different schools.
"This is certainly a game that our players, fans and coaches will look forward to over the off season," said Phillips. "There is a lot of history between Clemson and Alabama from a coaching standpoint, but the two schools have not met since 1975. With the game played on national television in prime time in front of two rabid fan bases in a premier football facility, it should be one of the highlights of the college football season."
Clemson and Alabama first played in 1900, a 35-0 Clemson victory. The Tigers coach in that game was Hall of Fame Coach John Heisman. Alabama legend Bear Bryant and Clemson legend Frank Howard met four times in the 1960s. Danny Ford played in three of those games for Alabama and went on to coach Clemson for 11 seasons.
Phillips also addressed the addition of South Carolina State to the schedule. "When we had the opportunity to play Alabama at a neutral site, we considered losing a home game and the negative economic impact that would have on the University and the state of South Carolina. We understand that many businesses in the area depend on Clemson home games for a primary source of revenue. When Louisiana Tech contacted us about voiding their contract with us, it afforded us the opportunity to find a seventh home game.
"We made many contacts with FBS teams, but no one had an opening that allowed for a seventh home game. We contacted South Carolina State and they had an opening. It will be a positive for two football programs in the state of South Carolina."
Clemson Non-Conference Football Schedule for 2008
August 30: Alabama (at Georgia Dome)
Sept. 6: The Citadel
Sept. 20: South Carolina State
Nov. 29: South Carolina
Dates of ACC Games TBA
Home ACC Games: Duke, Georgia Tech, Maryland, NC State
Road ACC Games: Boston College, Florida State, Virginia, Wake Forest
Clemson's 2008 Schedule
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