Countdown to Kickoff: 100 days

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Chandler Catanzaro got mobbed by his teammates after his game-winning kick, the Tigers' 100th play against LSU in the bowl game

Congratulations, Clemson football fans. The days of triple digits between now and the kickoff against Georgia on August 31st end today. That’s right, there are 100 days until the opener, and starting tomorrow it will be in double digits until the week before the game.

With that in mind, TigerNet is launching the Countdown to Kickoff feature, which we will run on a regular basis. The purpose will be to associate the number of days left with a particular number that means something in Clemson football history.

Obviously, the numbers 81 and 63 have already been thought of, but feel free to share your special numbers with us and why you think they deserve special recognition.

In honor of the number 100, we take a look at 100 plays.

Prior to last season, no Clemson football team had ever run 100 plays in a game, but the 1992 team came close when it ran 98 plays against Maryland. Ironically, Clemson lost 53-23 that day, falling to 5-5 en route to a 5-6 season under then-head coach Ken Hatfield.

That number stayed as the all-time Clemson record until last November, when the Tigers ran 102 plays in a 62-48 Clemson win over the North Carolina St. Wolfpack.

Clemson offensive coordinator Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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says his goal is to run at least 80 plays per game, but he was more than satisfied with the 102 against the Wolfpack.

The Tigers then ran 100 plays against LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, a 25-24 Clemson win that saw the Tigers roll up 445 yards on LSU’s vaunted defense. However, Chad Morris wanted even more.

Clemson’s offense ran 1062 plays from scrimmage last season – not counting penalty plays – an average of 81.69 plays per game, which was good for seventh in the nation. The Tigers ran three more plays than Oregon, and finished 98 plays behind Tulsa, which led the nation with 1160 plays.

Morris wants even more plays this season, and figures his new play-numbering system might be good for five-to-seven more plays per game.

“We want to go fast with it,” Morris told me after a practice earlier this spring. “We want to cut the verbiage down, and it will make us less predictable. If you do the same thing over and over, you won’t get the same results because you become predictable. It will also help out with the way people scout us. The way this business works, it will take some of that away. People will have a hard time keeping up with us.”

The only thing we know for certain, however, is that the Tigers are 2-0 when running 100 plays or more. In the late August heat against a young Georgia defense, 100 could be the magic number.

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