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Clemson vs. Boston College Football Game Notes

Clemson vs. Boston College Football Game Notes

Clemson vs. Boston College Series

  • Clemson has a 10-9-2 lead in the series that dates to the 1940 Cotton Bowl. Clemson won last year at home, 36-14, but Boston College won the last meeting in Boston, 16-10 in 2010. Clemson did not score an offensive touchdown in that game. The Tigers have won three of the last four, as Dabo Swinney‘s Tigers won 27-21 in Chestnut Hill in 2008 and 25-7 at Clemson in 2009.
  • The series dates to the 1939 season and the January 1, 1940 Cotton Bowl. That was a landmark victory for the Clemson program, the school’s first bowl game and the school’s first ever win over a top 20 team. Boston College was ranked 11th in the nation entering the game. Clemson won 6-3 behind 115 yards rushing from Charlie Timmons and four pass deflections in the fourth quarter by Clemson legend Banks McFadden.
  • This will be the 22nd meeting between Clemson and Boston College. Only Miami (FL) has played Boston College more among ACC teams entering this season. That will change next year when Pittsburgh and Syracuse join the ACC.
  • Five of the seven meetings between the two teams since Boston College joined the ACC in 2005 have been decided by a touchdown or less. The 2005 game went into overtime and the 2006 game was a double overtime affair in Boston. The 2007 game was a 20-17 Boston College win at Clemson that decided the Atlantic Division title. In 2008, Clemson won 27-21, then the Tigers took a 25-7 victory in 2009 behind a defense that allowed Boston College just 54 yards of total offense in 49 plays. The 2010 game was a defensive struggle won by BC, 16-10.
  • Two of Clemson’s victories in the series took place during undefeated Tiger seasons. Clemson won 26-19 in 1948 on the way to a perfect 11-0 season, and won 35-14 in 1950 on the way to a 9-0-1 season.
  • In 1983, at Chestnut Hill, the Eagles gained a 31-16 win behind Doug Flutie. Clemson had a 16-3 lead with 25 minutes left in the game, but the Eagles went on a 28-0 run to end the contest behind Flutie. The 1984 Heisman winner was 20-36 for 223 yards and two touchdowns against a Clemson defense that featured All-American Wil­liam Perry. The Eagles gained 504 yards of total offense on the night, 281 rushing and 223 passing. It was Clemson’s only loss in 1983 (9-1-1).
  • The two teams tied in a 1982 game in Death Val­ley. The game was televised by CBS on a regional basis, the first CBS broadcast from Clemson’s Memorial Stadium. Clemson had a 14-0 lead at intermission, but sophomore quarterback Doug Flutie led Boston College back to take a 17-14 lead. The Tigers tied the game in the fourth quarter, on a field goal by Donald Igwebuike, who played soccer and football for the Tigers that fall. He then had another attempt from 43 yards with eight seconds left, but the kick missed and the game ended in a 17-17 tie.
  • Clemson had just two losses and two ties over a three-year period from 1981-83. One of the losses and one of the ties came against Boston College in that 1982-83 period.
  • The 2005 game at Clemson was an overtime meeting, a 16-13 Boston College victory. It was the first between the two schools as an ACC matchup. The game was tied 10-10 at the end of regulation. The two teams played a double overtime affair in 2006, a 34-33 Boston College victory. A missed extra point in overtime proved costly for the Tigers.
  • In 2009, Clemson won its first game over the Eagles at home since 1958. Clemson won that 1958 game, 34-12. Clemson now leads 4-3-1 in the series in games played at Clemson.
  • The two teams played three games at famed Fenway Park in Boston, the home of the Boston Red Sox. Clemson won the first meeting there in 1941 (just 13 days after Ted Williams finished his .406 season for the Red Sox) by a 26-13 score. The same two teams met at Fenway the following year, and Boston College won, 14-7. The two teams played to a 14-14 tie in 1953 at Fenway. So, the series stands at 1-1-1 in games played at Fenway Park.
  • The two teams also played at Braves Field in Boston, then the home of the National League’s Boston Braves (now the Atlanta Braves). Clemson had a 3-1 advantage in games played at Braves Field, all between 1942-52.
  • Overall, Boston College leads 6-5-1 in games played in Boston or Chestnut Hill and a 4-3 advan­tage since the Eagles joined the ACC in 2005.

O’Rourke-McFadden Trophy to the Winner

For the fifth time, Clemson and Boston College will play for a trophy. The Boston College Gridiron Club began sponsoring the O’Rourke-McFadden Trophy in 2008. Clemson won it the first season with a 27-21 victory in Boston, then won it in 2009 with a 25-7 win at Clemson. Boston College took the trophy with a hard fought 16-10 victory at Chestnut Hill in 2010, then Clemson won last year 36-14.

The trophy features a leather helmet replica of those used by Charlie O’Rourke of Boston Col­lege and Banks McFadden of Clemson, when they competed against each other in the 1940 Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX.

In addition to the trophy presentation, the Bos­ton College Gridiron Club will present a replica leather helmet to the MVP of the winning school. The helmet will reflect the colors of the winning team.

C.J. Spiller won the award for the 2008 game and Clemson kicker Richard Jackson won the award for the 2009 game. He kicked six field goals in the Clemson victory last year, the only kicker at the FBS level to kick six field goals in a game in 2009. Montell Harris won the award for Boston College in 2010 thanks to his 143 yards rushing and he scored the game’s only offensive touchdown. Chandler Catanzaro became the second Clemson kicker to win the honor with his five field goals in the 36-14 Clemson win in 2011.

The Boston College Gridiron Club devel­oped the idea in order to honor the tradition at both schools and to honor the legacy of Charlie O’Rourke and Banks McFadden, who played dur­ing the leather helmet era. Clemson and Boston College are both in the Atlantic Division of the ACC and will play every year.

O’Rourke led Boston College from the quarter­back position to a 26-3-2 record in his three years as the quarterback of the Eagles between 1938-40. One of those three losses was to McFadden and Clemson in the 1940 Cotton Bowl. O’Rourke had his jersey retired at Boston College and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1972.

McFadden led the Tigers to a 9-1 record in 1939 as the starting quarterback. Regarded as the great­est all-around Clemson athlete of the 20th century, he was an All-American in football and basketball at Clemson. The 1939 football team finished 12th in the final AP poll, Clemson’s first top 20 season on record, and the win over Boston College in the Cotton Bowl was Clemson’s first bowl appear­ance. In the spring of 1939 he led Clemson to the Southern Conference championship in basketball. McFadden was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1959, Clemson’s first inductee.

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