Clemson's 2021 football schedule unveiled
|Thursday, January 28, 2021, 9:05 AM-|
The ACC released Clemson’s full 2021 football schedule on Thursday morning.
The campaign’s start was already set by contracts: fellow projected top-5 team Georgia on Sept. 4 in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium and then a home opener against S.C. State on Sept. 11. The non-conference slate is filled out by hosting the UConn Huskies on Nov. 13 and renewing the Palmetto State rivalry at South Carolina on Nov. 27. After some one-time 2020 changes, the ACC returns to the regularly-scheduled, eight-game divisional and cross-divisional format with home dates versus Georgia Tech (Sept. 18), Boston College (Oct. 2), Florida State (Oct. 30) and Wake Forest (Nov. 20) and away games set for NC State (Sept. 25), Syracuse (Oct. 15, a Friday), Pittsburgh (Oct. 23) and Louisville (Nov. 6). The team plans to hold its annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 3. Gameday designations for the 2021 season will be announced at a later date.
The campaign’s start was already set by contracts: fellow projected top-5 team Georgia on Sept. 4 in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium and then a home opener against S.C. State on Sept. 11.
The non-conference slate is filled out by hosting the UConn Huskies on Nov. 13 and renewing the Palmetto State rivalry at South Carolina on Nov. 27.
After some one-time 2020 changes, the ACC returns to the regularly-scheduled, eight-game divisional and cross-divisional format with home dates versus Georgia Tech (Sept. 18), Boston College (Oct. 2), Florida State (Oct. 30) and Wake Forest (Nov. 20) and away games set for NC State (Sept. 25), Syracuse (Oct. 15, a Friday), Pittsburgh (Oct. 23) and Louisville (Nov. 6).
The team plans to hold its annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 3. Gameday designations for the 2021 season will be announced at a later date.
Clemson is making its first-ever trip to Pittsburgh's Heinz Field after hosting the Panthers in 2020 (a 52-17 win).
In a quirk of the recent scheduling, Boston College is set to play in Clemson for a third-straight year. In the same vein, NC State and Louisville return to the schedule right where the Tigers played them last time, on the road.
Clemson takes on Georgia for the first time since splitting a home-and-home series in 2013 (38-35 Tigers in Death Valley) and 2014 (45-21 Bulldogs in Sanford Stadium). The Bulldogs finished No. 7 in the Associated Press top-25 and ninth in the final Playoff rankings ahead of the postseason, where they topped Cincinnati 24-21 in the Peach Bowl.
It is Clemson’s first out-of-conference Power 5 opener since 2016 (a 19-13 win at Auburn) and the first neutral-site opener since 2012 (also Auburn, a 26-19 win).
The Tigers have never played UConn before, which is an FBS independent that opted out of the 2020 season. The Huskies went 2-10 over the 2019 campaign and 1-11 in 2018.
Wrapping up the regular season, the Clemson-South Carolina football series had been played each season since 1909 before the SEC opted for a conference-only regular-season schedule last year. The Tigers go for a seventh-straight series victory in 2021.
Clemson 2021 schedule
Sept. 4 Georgia (Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte)
Sept. 11 SC State
Sept. 18 Georgia Tech
Sept. 25 at NC State
Oct. 2 Boston College
Oct. 15 at Syracuse (Friday)
Oct. 23 at Pitt
Oct. 30 Florida State
Nov. 6 at Louisville
Nov. 13 UConn
Nov. 20 Wake Forest
Nov. 27 at South Carolina
SCHEDULE NOTES AND ODDITIES (Clemson SID)
-Clemson is once again scheduled to play 10 Power Five Conference opponents. During Clemson's active 10-year streak of 10-win seasons, Clemson has played 119 games against Power Five foes — the most in the country — and leads the nation with 102 wins against Power Five teams in that span. The 2021 season will be Clemson's 20th consecutive season facing at least 10 Power Five opponents.
-Clemson enters the season with an active winning streak against 10 of the 12 teams on its schedule. Clemson has active winning streaks against Wake Forest (12), Boston College (10), NC State (eight), Georgia Tech (six), Louisville (six), South Carolina (six), Florida State (five), South Carolina State (four), Syracuse (three) and Pitt (two). Georgia won its last meeting with Clemson in 2014, and the Tigers have never faced UConn.
-Clemson is scheduled to host a six-game home slate. Clemson has staged at least six games at Death Valley every year since 2000. In the College Football Playoff era (since 2014), Clemson is 47-1 at home, the most home wins and top home winning percentage in the country, and is riding a school-record and national-best 28-game home winning streak.
-Clemson's season opener in Charlotte will be the Tigers' third neutral-site season opener in school history, including games in Atlanta against Alabama in 2008 and against Auburn in 2012. Clemson also played an off-site opener against Alabama in Birmingham in 1904.
-Clemson's opener against Georgia snaps a two-year stretch of Clemson opening up against ACC competition. Clemson most recently opened a season against another Power Five Conference opponent outside of the ACC in 2016, earning a 19-13 win at Auburn to kick off a national championship season.
-Clemson's season opener against Georgia will be Clemson's fifth time opening a season against an SEC opponent under Head Coach Dabo Swinney. Clemson is 3-1 in season openers against SEC foes in his tenure, including a 1-1 mark against Georgia.
-Clemson enters the neutral-site showdown with Georgia having won six of its last seven neutral-site regular season games.
-Clemson holds a 7-1 all-time record at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, the site of the season opener. That includes a 1-0 mark in regular season play (vs. Temple in 2006) and a 6-0 record in ACC Championship Games.
-Clemson is 94-23-8 all-time in season openers, including victories in 11 of its last 12 season debuts.
-When Clemson opens conference play at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 18, it will mark only the second time in nine years that Clemson has opened its conference slate at home. Since 2012, Clemson's only other season in which it played its first ACC game at home was in 2019, when Clemson defeated -Georgia Tech, 52-14. Clemson has won each of its last six conference openers since 2015, the longest conference-opener winning streak in school history.
-Clemson opens ACC play against Georgia Tech on Sept. 18. It will mark the fourth time in a six-year span that Clemson has played its first conference game of the season against the Yellow Jackets (2016, 2018, 2019 and 2021). Clemson is 42-25-1 all-time in ACC season debuts, including a 10-2 mark against Georgia Tech in those games.
-Clemson’s game against Syracuse on Friday, Oct. 15 will be Clemson’s 60th Friday game all-time. Clemson is 30-24-5 all-time on Fridays.
-By virtue of the rivalry being interrupted last year, Clemson will now play consecutive games at South Carolina in the series for the first time since 1959. Clemson played the first 57 games in the 117-game series on the road on "Big Thursday" during the annual State Fair until the series transitioned to the home-and-home format in 1960.
-With both Georgia and South Carolina on Clemson’s schedule, Clemson will play multiple SEC opponents in the regular season for the 10th time in the last 12 years. The only years in that span in which Clemson did not face two SEC opponents were in 2015 and 2020, years in which Clemson was scheduled to play Notre Dame in non-conference play (and the latter of which was altered by the COVID-19 pandemic).
-Clemson enters the season 12-4 against SEC opponents in the College Football Playoff era, including a 10-1 mark in regular season play against SEC teams during that time frame.
-Clemson will be facing three head coaches for the first time: Georgia's Kirby Smart, Florida State's Mike Norvell and South Carolina's Shane Beamer. -Clemson has won its most recent contest against all other head coaches on its 2021 schedule.