Day & Time: Friday, October 15, 7:00 p.m.
Location: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.
Line: Clemson is currently a -14 favorite per DraftKings.
TV/Streaming: ESPN, WatchESPN
Clemson Blog: Shakin The Southland
Rivalry: 7-2, Clemson
Current Streak: 3, Clemson
First Meeting: Who wants to feel old? These two teams first met in the year I was born - 1996. Syracuse and Clemson met on New Year’s day that year in the Gator Bowl at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, the home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Now known as TIAA Bank Field, the two programs played the first ever bowl game at the venue and Syracuse cruised to a 41-0 win. Donovan McNabb threw for 309 yards that day, 173 of which went to Marvin Harrison.
Last Meeting: Continuing our favorite tradition of dumb and stupid games (otherwise known as Syracusing), the Orange only trailed by six halfway through the third quarter at Clemson, buoyed by a Garrett Williams pick six. Then Rex Culpepper got sacked, he fumbled, and Clemson scored. The Orange offense shut down after that and the Tigers comfortably won 47-21.
Head Coaches: Syracuse - Dino Babers (sixth year, 27-39) | Clemson - Dabo Swinney (14th year, 143-35)
Coach Bio: Swinney attended his native Alabama and joined the Crimson Tide as a walk-on wide receiver in 1989. He later received a scholarship for his final three seasons in Tuscaloosa and caught seven career passes for 81 yards. After his undergrad career finished, he joined the Crimson Tide coaching staff as a graduate assistant before coaching the wide receivers and tight ends at various points from 1993 to 2000. Swinney moved to Clemson in 2001 to coach the wide receivers before being named interim head coach midway through the 2008 season.
Since his promotion to the head coaching role, Swinney has only had one losing season in 2010. He’s led Clemson to bowl appearances in every season as a head coach, including College Football Playoff appearances in the past six seasons. Swinney has led the Tigers to four National Championship games in that span as well, winning two of those games. All of Swinney’s recruiting classes as Clemson’s head coach have one at least one ACC conference title.
Last Year: Even with Notre Dame in the ACC, the Tigers cruised to another conference title in 2020, defeating the Fighting Irish in the ACC championship. Clemson got the No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff but got blown out in the Sugar Bowl semifinal against the Justin Fields-led Ohio State.
Last Game: Despite allowing over 300 yards of offense for the second game in a row, which is high by this year’s Clemson defense standards, the Tigers hung around and outlasted Boston College 19-13. The Eagles got most of their yards through the air against the Clemson defense, with 46 rushing yards on the day on 34 attempts.
“Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: James Skalski has actually probably killed hundreds of Timelords. He’s got over 200 career tackles with the Tigers and leads the Clemson defense 41 tackles this season.
If Syracuse Wins: A tradition as old as time - beating Clemson at the Carrier Dome on a Friday night in October.
If Syracuse Loses: We meet at Denny’s to celebrate basketball starting next week.
Fun Fact: Let’s continue mentioning the similarities of the 2017 Clemson upset. The game is on a Friday in the middle of October on ESPN, just like in 2017. Syracuse is also coming into the game with the same record - 3-3.