National Champions

National Champions

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Clemson vs. Maryland Notes

Clemson vs. Maryland Series


Clemson holds a 32-26-2 advantage in the series with Maryland. The first game of the series was played in 1952, one year before both teams became charter members of the ACC. The two schools have played every year since 1952, the longest active continuous rivalry for the Tigers against an ACC school. It is the longest continuous rivalry for Maryland as well. The Terps won each of the first four games in the series before the Tigers got a tie in 1956 and a win in 1957.

The visiting team won four straight games between 2005-08. The home team pulled off an upset in 2009 and 2010. Maryland won just two games all year in 2009, but defeated a Clemson team that won nine games and played for the ACC Championship. In 2010, Clemson finished with a 6-7 record, but defeated a nine-win Maryland team that finished in the final top 25 by a 31-7 score.

Clemson had won eight in a row and 13 of 14 prior to Ralph Friedgen’s return to his alma mater for the 2001 season. Friedgen finished 6-4 against Clemson, including a 3-2 record at Death Valley and 3-2 in Byrd Stadium.

Clemson won the first meeting of the Randy Edsall era last year by a 56-45 score at Maryland.

The three meetings between 2004-06 were decided within the last three minutes of the game and the average victory margin in those three games was just 2.7 points.

Clemson held Maryland to just 12 to­tal points in winning every game between 1993-98. Clemson recorded four shutouts, including three in a row during that time period. During Clemson’s eight-game winning streak in the se­ries from 1993-2000, Clemson held Maryland to an average of 7.0 points per game, while scoring 26.8 points per game themselves.

In 2002, Maryland defeated Clemson in Death Valley, its first win at Memorial Stadium since 1985. It was Ralph Friedgen’s first game as Maryland head coach against Clemson in Death Valley. Clemson has won 10 of the last 13 between the two teams in Death Valley. Maryland won at Clemson in an upset in 2006 by a 13-12 score. Had Clemson won that 2006 game it would have played in the ACC Champi­onship game.

Saturday’s game will be a meeting of two of the traditional powerhouses of the ACC. Both Clemson and Maryland have been in the ACC since its inception in the fall of 1953. Both teams played their first ACC game against each other on October 3, 1953 at Clemson, a 20-0 Maryland victory. Clemson has the most ACC wins in the history of the league and Maryland is second.

Clemson and Maryland have both won the National Championship, the Terps dur­ing that first ACC season in 1953, and Clemson in 1981. Clemson has the most ACC champion­ships with 14, while Maryland is third with nine.

The two teams played at the end of the season in most years between 1978-88 and the game usually decided the ACC champion­ship. That was certainly the case in 1978 when the Tigers won 28-24 at College Park, clinching an undefeated season in the league over Mary­land. It was 11th ranked Maryland’s only league loss that season.

Clemson also clinched the ACC championship with a November victory or tie over Maryland in 1981, 1982, 1986, 1987 and 1988. Maryland clinched the ACC Champion­ship in 2001 with a 37-20 victory over Clemson in College Park. The Terps also clinched the title in 1985 with a victory in Death Valley.

Clemson has a history of great return perfor­mances against Maryland over the years.

The greatest return game in ACC history by any individual was recorded by Clem­son’s Don Kelley against Maryland in 1970. He had 223 total return yards on punt and intercep­tion returns in that game.

In 1990 in Baltimore, Doug Thomas had a 98-yard kickoff return for a score in Clem­son’s 18-17 victory.

A year later Darnell Stephens had an 89-yard punt return for a score in Death Valley, the second longest punt return for a score in the history of Memorial Stadium.

In 2001, Derrick Hamilton had a 100-yard kickoff return for a score in a game in College Park.

Clemson has had a kickoff return for a touchdown against Maryland each of the last three years.

C.J. Spiller had a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown at Maryland in 2009. He finished the return wearing just one shoe. In 2010 Andre Ellington had an 87 yard kickoff return for a score at Clemson, then last year Sammy Watkins had an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Clemson win at Maryland. It is the only time in history Clemson has had a kickoff return for a score against the same team three straight years.

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Scott Rhymer can be reached at scottrhymer.tps@gmail.com