The 2012 road trip you don't want to miss


by - Senior Writer -
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Baseball is in the rear view mirror, and the heat of summer beckons.

School is out, and plans are made for vacations, road trips, weekends at the lake and lazy days hanging out by the pool.

To me, that is an indicator that college football is just around the corner, and indeed the ACC Football Kickoff meetings in Greensboro –the official start to football season for me – is just around 40 days away. It’s closer than you think, and with that in mind, I decided to take a look at Clemson’s road schedule this season and figure which one is the can’t-miss road trip.

That would be the one road trip you would take if you could only take one this season.

The first road opportunity is actually the opening game of the season, against Auburn in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta as part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic. The Georgia Dome is nothing to see, but you can't get much better than a weekend in Atlanta.

The Phillies and Braves are hooking up in a weekend series at Turner Field that weekend, and the Tennessee Volunteers take on the N.C. State Wolfpack in the first game of the classic on Friday night. If you like racing, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is also in town that weekend. That weekend could actually be a dream for someone who likes all kinds of sports – major league baseball, college football and racing all in three days.

The Tigers get to play Wake Forest on a Thursday night in Winston-Salem, and Thursday night games are fun. But who wants to hang around Winston-Salem? That might be a situation where you drive up the day of the game, spend the night and leave early the next morning.

Duke is another road trip. If you’ve never been, you can go once and tour the campus. It’s a beautiful place, but the stadium is terrible and it isn’t one of those road trips that are a must-take.

Now, I love to go to Boston College, even though that has been a house of horrors for the Clemson football team. The loss to the Eagles two years ago ruined an otherwise great trip, and my son is already begging to make the trip this year. Boston is a great place to visit – Fenway Park, Bunker Hill, the history – Boston has it all. And we usually go up there during a cooler time of the year, so it’s not oppressively hot.

Boston is one of those places you can go up early on a Thursday and sight-see all day Friday, attend the game on Saturday, see a few sights on Sunday and then come home late that afternoon.

But the trip I wouldn’t miss this year has nothing to do with being a tourist or seeing the sights and it has everything to do with football.

I can't wait to get to Tallahassee for the game against Florida St. in week four. The Seminoles and Tigers always seem to hook up in a breathtaking, edge-of-your-seat contest, and the last two years have been no exception.

Two years ago at Doak Campbell, I stood under the goalposts as the kick sailed through the uprights in Florida St.’s 16-13 win, a game that saw Clemson dominate in many phases of the game but was also a game that saw too many missed scoring opportunities. Who can forget Clemson running the ball down the field in the third quarter – the Seminoles with seemingly no answer to Jamie HarperJamie Harper
Running Back
#8 6-0, 235
Jacksonville, FL

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– only to see Clemson call a fade to Nuk Hopkins in the end zone that was intercepted on a key play.

Last season, the Tigers and Noles hooked up on a shootout in Death Valley in a game that saw backup quarterback Clint Trickett throwing for over 300 yards and almost single-handedly keeping Florida St. within hailing distance of the Tigers. The outcome was finally sealed when Clemson senior defensive tackle Rennie MooreRennie Moore
RS Sr. Defensive Tackle
#94 6-3, 265
Saint Marys, GA

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sacked Trickett on fourth down to cement the win.


This year, Florida St. will once again be picked to win the Atlantic Division and once again they will be picked to win the Atlantic Coast Conference, but most would agree that the Tigers will also have a say in who wins the division.

That makes the late September matchup even more crucial – every game within the division means something, and a loss in this game effectively puts the loser two games behind in the division race. Yep, this is the game I am most looking forward to. This one is early enough that a loss doesn’t mean you are out of the division race, but a win makes the road a little easier.

This is one you won't want to miss.

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