Clemson, SC - Clemson will open and close the 2008 football season with SEC opponents and play at home in all four Saturdays in the month of September according to the schedule released by the Atlantic Coast Conference on Friday. It is the first time Clemson has played at home for four consecutive Saturdays since October of 1989.
As previously announced, Clemson will open the season in the Georgia Dome against the University of Alabama on August 30. The first meeting between the two schools since 1975 will be televised nationally by either ABC or ESPN. Clemson will close the season against state rival South Carolina. The Gamecocks will come to Clemson for a November 29 contest, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
"This is an outstanding schedule," said Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden. "The Alabama game in the Georgia Dome will be one of national importance and should bring considerable exposure to our program. It will be a great challenge for our team right from the get go and it will create a sense of urgency for our players during the off season.
"Because of the way the calendar falls we will have two open dates this year and they come at a good time. We won't have to play the Wake Forest on a short week, which all coaches prefer. We will also have two weeks to prepare for the Boston College game. We do play three of our final four ACC games on the road, which will certainly be a challenge."
The Alabama game will mark the first time Clemson has opened the season with a neutral site game since 1904 when Clemson defeated Alabama 18-0 in Birmingham. It will be the first time Clemson has opened the season away from home since 2002 when Clemson opened the year at Georgia. Clemson has won each of its last four season opening games.
The Alabama game will be Clemson's third straight game against an SEC team. Clemson closed the 2007 regular season with a two-point win over South Carolina, then dropped an overtime decision to Auburn in the 2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Clemson's home opener will be against The Citadel on September 6. It will be the first meeting between the two schools since 2000 when Clemson won its opening game by a 38-0 score at Clemson.
The Tigers open their ACC schedule on September 13 when NC State comes to Clemson. The Tigers have beaten NC State four consecutive years, including each of the last two at Death Valley. It will be the first trip to Clemson for NC State Coach Tom O'Brien since he led Boston College to an overtime victory against the Tigers in 2005. The following Saturday Clemson will face South Carolina State for the first time in history.
Maryland will then travel to Clemson to complete the month of home games. The road team has won each of the last three games in this series that features the top two winningest ACC teams since the league was formed in 1953.
Clemson will have its first Thursday night game since 2006 when the Tigers travel to Wake Forest for an October 9 contest. Clemson will have the previous Saturday open and will thus have 12 days to prepare for the contest. The game at Wake Forest is the only contest Clemson will play on an opponent's home field prior to November 1.
Clemson defeated eventual ACC Champion Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem in 2006 the last time the two teams met at Wake Forest. The Tigers won the contest at Clemson last year by a 44-10 score. Clemson is the only ACC team to defeat Wake Forest each of the last two seasons.
Clemson will play its only home game in a 48-day period when Georgia Tech comes to Clemson on Saturday, October 18. The Yellow Jackets have beaten Clemson three of the last four years with the only Clemson victory coming in October of 2006 when ESPN's College Gameday came to Clemson for the first time.
The Tigers will then have two weeks to prepare for a road game against defending Atlantic Division champion Boston College. The Eagles have ruined Clemson's chances to reach the ACC Championship game with victories by three points or in overtime each of the last three years.
Clemson is back on the road the next Saturday for Bowden Bowl X as the Tigers will travel to Florida State. Clemson has won this game four of the last five years, including victories by six points or less in each of the last two years.
Duke and new coach David Cutcliffe will come to Clemson on November 15 for the final ACC home game of the year. Duke has not won at Clemson since 1980. The Tigers close their ACC schedule at Virginia on November 22. It will be the first meeting between the two schools since 2004.
Clemson closes out the 2008 regular season slate against South Carolina on November 29. The state rivalry game has come down to the final minute each of the last two years and each of the last three games have been decided by four points or less. Clemson won last year's contest in Columbia by a 23-21 count on a 35-yard field goal by Mark Buchholz on the last play of the game.
Clemson will not play Miami, Virginia Tech or North Carolina during the regular season this year. Times of games and the home game special day designations will be announced at a later date.
The price of the season ticket for the seven home regular season games will be the same as last year, $299. Qualified IPTAY donors will receive the ticket application in late March. Ticket information concerning the Clemson vs. Alabama game will be included in the season ticket-IPTAY application.
2008 Clemson Football Schedule
Aug. 30 - #Alabama
Sept. 6 - THE CITADEL
Sept. 13 - NC STATE
Sept. 20 - SC STATE
Sept. 27 - MARYLAND
Oct. 9 - ^at Wake Forest
Oct. 18 - GEORGIA TECH
Nov. 1 - at Boston College
Nov. 8 - at Florida State
Nov. 15 - DUKE
Nov. 22 - at Virginia
Nov. 29 - SOUTH CAROLINA
Season Ticket Information: 1-800-CLEMSON
# - at Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
^ - Thursday evening game on ESPN