National Champions

National Champions

Saturday, July 15, 2017

49 Days Until Kickoff! Dark Territory Clemson Letterman Of The Day

49 Days Until Kickoff!

Dark Territory Clemson Letterman Photo Of The Day

Cliff Austin

Today's photo is of Cliff Austin, who lettered at Clemson from 1978-1982 as a running back.

Austin sat out the 1979 season after tearing his ACL in the Spring Game. Austin is remembered as a solid running back at Clemson, scoring a touchdown in the Orange Bowl that helped lead Clemson to the National Championship.

Austin was also a part of some unique circumstances at Clemson, something many remember him for even more than his play on the field. Austin was on the Clemson team that traveled to Tokyo, Japan to play Wake Forest in the Mirage Bowl in November of 1982.

At almost the exact moment that the Clemson plane touched down in Japan, word came to Clemson that Austin’s mother had passed away suddenly back in the United States.

Austin was placed on the next available plane back to the states to be with his family. Some accounts have Austin on Japanese soil less than 2 hours.

Austin is possibly best remembered for his role in a strange incident at the 1982 Orange Bowl. Austin was among three or four players that became “stuck” in an elevator for several hours on game day. The Miami Fire Department finally was able to get the players out of the elevator, but the story made the airwaves the night of the game as the NBC commentators made reference to the incident.

On the field, Cliff Austin broke the Clemson record for most rushing yards in a game with 260 in a route of Duke in October of 1982.

Austin was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the 3rd round in 1983 and went on to a five-year career in the NFL.

The Tiger Pregame Show on Facebook
Tigerpregame on Twitter

Scott Rhymer can be reached at