National Champions

National Champions

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Clemson vs. Furman Notes

Clemson vs. Furman Series Notes
Clemson Sports Information Department

Furman is Clemson’s oldest football rival. The two teams played in the first game in Clemson football history back on October 31, 1896. Clemson won that game in Greenville, SC by 14-6 score. The two teams did not meet again until 1902, a 28-0 Tiger victory.

Clemson won the first seven games of the series between 1986 and 1918. Furman broke the string when the two teams tied 7-7 in 1919. Furman got its first win in 1920 in Greenville, a 14-0 Paladins win.

The first game in the series at Clemson took place at Riggs Field in 1916, a 7-6 Tiger win. That was the season opener of 1916 and Clemson’s first win at Riggs Field.

Clemson has won 29 straight games against Furman dating to a 0-0 tie between the two schools at Furman in 1937. Furman’s last win over Clemson took place in 1936 by a 12-0 score in a November 26 game played in the snow in Clemson. It is the only time on record that Clemson has had a home game played in the snow.

Overall, Clemson has a 41-10-4 lead in the series, including a 23-2 lead in games played at Clemson and an 18-0 advantage in games played in Clemson Memorial Stadium. The two teams played at Clemson Memorial Stadium as far back as 1942, the first year of the facility and just the third Clemson game in history played at Death Valley.

This will be the first meeting between the two schools since 2007 when Clemson won 38-10. Clemson did not allow a Furman touchdown between 1962 and 1998, a span of eight games. But that streak ended in the 2003 game when Bo Moore threw a touchdown pass to Brian Bratton in the second quarter. The Paladins had scored five field goals over the last 34 quarters against Clemson. But, Furman has scored 27 points against Clemson over the last two games.

Charlie Whitehurst threw for 301 yards and Kevin Youngblood had 10 catches for 100 yards to lead the Tigers to the 2003 victory. Leroy Hill, now with the Seattle Seahawks, had 10 tackles, including three tackles for loss.

The 2003 Furman game on September 6, 2003 was the last game broadcast by Jim Phillips, Clemson’s Hall of Fame broadcaster who died suddenly the following Tuesday morning (Sept. 9).

This will be just the ninth meeting between the two schools since 1964. Both teams won national championships in the 1980s. Clemson won the Division I crown in 1981 and Furman won the Division I-AA title in 1988. Furman was the second winningest program in Division I-AA in the 1980s, while Clemson was fifth for that decade among Division I schools. Clemson graduate George Bennett was the athletic director at Furman when they won the I-AA National title.

On October 8, 1960, Clemson and Furman shared the same uniform pants. In one of the most bizarre uniform stories in college sports history, both teams wore a special (at the time) water repellant uniform that day to guard against the predicted severe weather. Clemson wore the pants in defeating Virginia 21-7 in the afternoon, then had the pants shipped to Furman for a night game against William & Mary. Furman defeated William & Mary that night in Greenville, 25-23. Furman Head Coach Bob King said after the game, “After those big Clemson boys got out of those pants, some of our guys had a hard time making them stay up. We had to tape the legs of the pants for several players.” Players wearing the pants for two different schools defeated two teams from the state of Virginia on the same day.

Clemson has a 29-game winning streak against Furman enter this Saturday’s game. It is the second 29-game winning streak for the Clemson program against any opponent. The other 29-game streak took place against Virginia from 1955-89. That streak ended in 1990, a 20-7 loss in Charlottesville. Clemson went on to a 10-2 season losing only to Virginia and Georgia Tech that year. Both teams went on to outstanding seasons as the Cavs finished ranked 15th in the final USA Today poll and Georgia Tech won the National Championship according to USA Today.

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