After a tough loss to Georgia Tech in Atlanta- Clemson’s first in 21 games vs ACC teams- the Tigers could have folded. Instead, Danny Ford’s team went on a Camping Trip in Yellowstone National Park at the expense of 5-straight Southern rivals. North Carolina was the first victim, and Defense was the name of the game.
William Perry had one of his greatest games with 12 tackles (3 for loss) and a fumble recovery. North Carolina native Mike Eppley came into the game never having lost to the Tar Heels. With UNC leading 6-3, Eppley dropped back and unloaded a bomb to the fleet Terrance Roulhac for a 76-yard TD, the longest of the season for the Tigers- and Clemson re-took the lead 10-6.
Then came the William Perry show. On 3 consecutive plays, he took over the game. On 1st down, Perry shucked his block, slid right and tackled Ethan Horton behind the line of scrimmage for a 3 yard loss. The 2nd down the call was again to Horton - this time on a veer to the right side, but the “Fridge” simply ran right over his blocker and made the tackle even quicker, resulting in a 4-yard loss. On 3rd down the Heels drew up a screen pass to Horton, and Perry, showcasing his impressive lateral quickness made the stop for a minimal gain. Perry would lead the nation in Tackles Per Game in 1984.
Clemson scored the decisive TD on an impressive run by Kenny Flowers, who followed the excellent downfield blocking of Shelton Boyer to Pay-dirt. The 20-12 Clemson win was the 9th Tiger victory over the Tar Heels in 12 years, and the 21st straight Tiger Triumph in front of 60,000 fans or more.