Final 2016 Clemson Football Notes
•National Champions for the second time in school history, first time since 1981.
•Tigers finished with a 14-1 record after defeating previously undefeated and #1 ranked Alabama, 35-31, in the College Football Playoff Championship game on Monday, Jan. 9. Clemson’s 14 wins tied the FBS record for victories in a season. It is the second year both Alabama and Clemson finished with 14-1 records.
•Clemson achieved the National Championship while playing the nation’s most difficult schedule according to the NCAA. This year Clemson opponents were 107-51 when not playing Clemson for a .677 percentage, best in the nation.
•Clemson is just the sixth national champion (since 1977) to have played the nation’s most difficult schedule the season they won the title. The others are Penn State (1982), Colorado (1990), Florida (1996 and 2006), Alabama (2015).
•Clemson defeated 11 FBS schools who finished the season with a winning record, including five who won at least 10 games and six who finished in the top 25 of the AP poll. Those schools were #2 Alabama, #6 Ohio State, #8 Florida State, #16 Virginia Tech, #21 Louisville and #24 Auburn. The six wins over teams that finished in the AP top 25 are the most in school history.
•For the sixth straight year Clemson finished at least the same in its final poll as its preseason ranking by Associated Press poll. Clemson was No. 2 in the preseason AP and Amway Coaches polls, then finished first. Dabo Swinney is the first coach in history with a six-year streak in that area. John Cooper of Ohio State and Bill Snyder of Kansas State had five-year streaks.
•Clemson defeated No. 1 ranked Alabama to win the National Championship, the first time Clemson has beaten the No. 1 team in football. In the College Football Playoff Semifinals, Clemson defeated #2 (AP poll) Ohio State 31-0. It marked the first time Clemson had beaten the nation’s No. 2 ranked team. Clemson was 0-9 in history against the nation’s top two teams prior to this year, then defeated both in consecutive games, nine days apart.
•Clemson also defeated a third-ranked Louisville team earlier in the season, giving Clemson wins over the No. 1, 2, and 3 teams (time of game) this year.
•Clemson became the 19th program to win the Associated Press national title at least twice.
•Clemson was never ranked No. 1 this year until the final poll and had to defeat a team (Alabama) who had been ranked No. 1 in every poll entering the playoff. This is the first time a team has defeated an opponent in the championship who had been No. 1 in every poll previously since 2006 when Florida defeated Ohio State to win the National Championship. It also happened in 2005 when Texas defeated Southern California and in 1983 when Miami (FL) defeated Nebraska.
•This is just the eighth time in history Clemson has been ranked No. 1 in any poll, but two of the eight have come in final polls.
•Clemson is the first non-SEC team to beat Auburn and Alabama in the same year since 1990 when Southern Mississippi achieved the distinction. Bill McLellan, athletic director at Clemson when the Tigers won the 1981 National Championship, was athletic director at Southern Miss in 1990.
•Clemson finished 3-0 vs. the SEC, the first time Clemson has beaten three SEC teams in the same year.
•The No. 1 final ranking was the 24th consecutive AP poll Clemson has been ranked in the top five, the longest active streak in the nation. Alabama is second with 22 in a row.
•Clemson defeated Auburn, Florida State, Ohio State and Alabama this year, the programs that had won each of the last seven national championships prior to this year.
•Clemson enters the 2017 season with a streak of 36 consecutive top 25 rankings.
•The 2016 season marked the sixth straight season Clemson has been ranked in the final top 25. It ties for the longest streak in Clemson history (1986-91).
•Clemson has been ranked in every poll in four of the last five years and 91 of the last 98 polls. This year was the first in school history Clemson was ranked in the top five in every poll.
•Clemson’s 49-point win over South Carolina was the largest margin of victory by an ACC team over an SEC team in history. It was Clemson’s third straight win over the state rivals.
•Team won the ACC Championship for the second consecutive year, the first time in 28 years the Tigers have won back-to-back league titles
•Tigers defeated a school record five top 25 teams (rank entering the game), including three top three teams for the first time. Clemson finished the season with three straight wins over top 25 teams, the second time the program has done that (2011).
*Clemson joined Alabama as the only schools to advance to the College Football Playoff in consecutive years.
•Clemson had nine first-team All-ACC players, the most for the program since 1991.
•Sixteen of Clemson’s starting 22 made an All-ACC team. Clemson had five more All-ACC selections than any other team.
•Seven different players were named first, second or third team All-American, most in school history.
•This year’s Tiger team showed an ability to win close games. The Tigers were 7-1 in games decided by seven points or less, establishing a school mark for wins by seven points or less in a season.
•Tigers posted an 8-0 road record away from home, the school mark for wins away from home in a season. Clemson was 5-0 on the opponent’s home field and has a 10-game road winning streak entering 2017.
•Began the season 9-0 for just the fourth time in Clemson history.
•Opened season with win at Auburn, Clemson’s first win there since 1950. It was first time Clemson has opened the season with a road win over a current SEC team since 1903.
•Left a game in Atlanta against Georgia Tech with a perfect record for the first time since 1903. Clemson had lost 11 straight when entering a game at Georgia Tech unbeaten.
•Opened the season ranked No. 2 in the AP poll, highest preseason ranking in school history.
•Defeated Florida State in Tallahassee, just the second win for the program at Florida State since 1989.
•Program honored for its graduation success rate of over 90 percent by the American Football Coaches Association.
•Team was 12-1 when leading going into the fourth period and is now 77-5 under Swinney.
•The win over Alabama was the third straight over a top 25 team for the Tigers, just the second time Clemson has done that in history. The other time also took place under Swinney in 2011.
Clemson 35, Alabama 31
•Defeated the University of Alabama for the first time since 1905.
•Dabo Swinney became the first person to win the National Championship by defeating his alma mater.
•Dabo Swinney joined Bud Wilkinson as the only people to play on and serve as head coach of an AP National Champion
•Clemson ended Alabama’s 26-game winning streak, the longest winning streak Clemson has ended in its history. The 26-game streak was the third longest in SEC history and longest since Crimson Tide had 28-game streak from 1978-80.
•Defeated the No. 1 team in the nation for the first time in school history.
•Clemson trailed 24-14 entering the fourth quarter. Nick Saban had been 97-0 with a 10-point lead in the fourth period.
•Saban was 5-0 in National Championship games and 12-1 in National or league championship games prior to the contest.
•Clemson ended Alabama’s FBS record tying 16-game winning streak against AP top 25 opponents.
•Nick Saban had been 106-6 when leading at the half as Alabama head coach. But, Clemson overcame a 14-7 deficit at intermission to win the game.
•Clemson had three of the five first-team All-ACC offensive linemen, the first time a Clemson team had done that and just the fifth team in ACC history to do it.
•Clemson averaged 39 points and 503 yards of total offense per game, just the third Clemson team to do both in same season.
•Clemson averaged a record 334 yards per game passing. The team had 78 touchdowns for the season and scored 588 points.
•The Clemson offense was seventh in the nation in passing yards per game, fourth in first downs, seventh in completion percentage, eighth in third down efficiency, 12th in total offense and 14th in scoring.
•Clemson has had at least 500 yards total offense in 19 of the last 25 games.
•Clemson has had balance in its offense. Over the last 27 games Clemson has had at least 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing 13 times. Clemson has never lost a game when it has at least 200 of each.
•Deshaun Watson finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting and won the O’Brien and Unitas Awards. He is a finalist for the Manning Award He was also named the College Player of the Year by Westwood One Radio and the Columbus Ohio Touchdown Club.
•Watson was the first two-time Heisman finalist in ACC history.
•Watson is just the third quarterback in ACC history to account for 100 touchdowns rushing and passing in a career. The others are Philip Rivers (NC State) and Tajh Boyd, who preceded Watson at Clemson.
•Watson finished 32-3 as a starting quarterback, a .914 winning percentage, best in Clemson history.
•Watson threw an ACC record tying six touchdown passes against South Carolina and had just six incomplete passes. He threw for 347 yards.
•Watson accounted for50 touchdowns for the year, his 50th was the winning score to Hunter Renfrow with just one second left against Alabama. He set a Clemson record for total touchdowns in a season with the 50 in 2016.
•Watson broke Jameis Winston’s ACC record for touchdown passes with 41.
•Running back Wayne Gallman finished fifth in Clemson history in career rushing yards. He went over 1000 yards for the second time, just the sixth Tiger in history with a pair of 1000 yard seasons. He also has established a Clemson record with 17 career 100-yard games. Clemson was 17-0 in those games.
•Mike Williams had 1361 receiving yards this year, second most in Clemson history. He was just the third player in Clemson history with at least 1000 yards in two different seasons.
•Artavis Scott finished tied for fifth in ACC history in career receptions with 244 and first in Clemson history.
*Jordan Leggett was a finalist for the Mackey Award for the second straight year and an All-American for the second straight year. First Clemson tight end to be a two-time All-American since Bennie Cunningham, 1974-75.
•Hunter Renfrow had the winning touchdown reception from Deshaun Watson with one second left in the national championship win over Alabama. He finished the game with 10 receptions, most against Alabama in four years.
•Clemson’s defense ranked eighth in total defense and 10th in total defense in 2016. Additionally, Clemson was third in tackles for loss and 10th in sacks per game to go wih sixth in interceptions and fourth in pass efficiency defense.
•Clemson has had at least one sack in 44 straight games entering the National Championship game.
*Ben Boulware was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year by the ACC Coaches. He was named an All-American by seven different services.
•Boulware won the Jack Lambert Award as the top linebacker in college football according to the Columbus Ohio Touchdown Club.
•Wilkins was finalist for the Nagurski Award, which is given to the top defensive player in the nation.
•Dexter Lawrence was named ACC Defensive Freshman of the Year by the ACC Media and the ACC Coaches. He was a first-team Freshman All-American by USA Today, ESPN and the Football Writers Association.
•Cordrea Tankersley was a first-team All-American by USA Today, giving the Tiger defense four All-Americans and at least one at each line of defense.
•Jadar Johnson earned first-team All-ACC honors and his five interceptions ranked ninth in the nation.
•Clemson has forced 87 three-and-outs, second in the nation.
•There are two major assistant coach of the year awards and Clemson coaches won both honors. Defensive coaches Brent Venables won the Broyles Award and Dan Brooks won the AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year.
•Clemson had 597 tackles for loss over the last five years, most in the nation and 100 more than 125 of the other 127 FBS teams.
Team Accomplishments Last Six Seasons
•Reached four BCS or New Years Six Bowls since 2011, only Alabama (6) and Florida State (5) have been to more.
*Program has 70 wins over the last six years, only Alabama has more with 76.
•Clemson has been ranked in the top four of the College Football Playoff poll each of the last 12 polls over two years and in the top 25 in all 19 polls the last three years.
•Program has been ranked in the top 25 of the AP poll in 91 of the last 98 AP polls.
•Clemson has won 30 of its last 34 against ACC teams.
•Clemson has won at least 10 games, six straight years. Only Alabama can also make that claim.
*Clemson has won three ACC Championships in the last six years after not winning the title between 1992 and 2010.
•Clemson has been Atlantic Division Co-Champion or champion five of the last eight years.
•Dabo Swinney has won a bowl game against a coach who already has a National Championship on his resume six times over the last five years, the only FBS coach to accomplish that feat.
•Program had a 15-game ACC winning streak extended into 2016, longest for the program since 1981-84.
•Program won 23 consecutive regular season games extended into 2016.
•Had streak of 44 consecutive wins over unranked teams between 2011-16
•Won 21 straight games at home, a school record extended into 2016.
•Won 27 straight non National Championship games extended into 2016.
•Won 10 games over top 25 teams over the last four years.
•Program has finished in the top 15 in the nation each of the last five years.
•Coach Swinney now ranks third in winning percentage in ACC history, seventh among winningest active coaches with .761 percentage.
•Clemson is now 28-2 over the last two years and 31-2 over its last 33 games.
•Clemson’s senior class finishes with a record of 49-7, the most wins by a class and the best winning percentage in school history
•This was Dabo Swinney’s 20th win over a team ranked in the top 25 (entering the game) of at least one of the polls. He has now tied Danny Ford for the record for ranked wins in a career. Ironically he tied Ford on the day the former Clemson coach was named to the 2017 College Football Hall of Fame class.
•Over his last 17 games, Dabo Swinney and the Tigers have beaten #4 Oklahoma, #3 Louisville, #2 Ohio State and #1 Alabama (rankings by AP).