Oct. 18, 2010
It’s no surprise one of the best moments in Jeff Davis’ colorful football career at Clemson came in the 1982 Orange Bowl.
That night, Clemson’s greatest linebacker of all-time had 14 tackles and recovered a fumble during the Tigers’ 22-15 victory over fourth-ranked Nebraska. It was a win that clinched Clemson’s only national championship in football.
But, what Davis also remembers about that night was the sea of orange that surrounded them throughout the sold out stadium in Miami, Fla. Grown men, women, teenagers and little children were all decked out in their Clemson Orange supporting their Tigers.
It was a scene he had seen so many times, especially in big games, during his four-year career at Clemson – Clemson people wearing their orange, and being extremely supportive and loud. That’s why then head coach Danny Ford broke out the all-orange uniforms for the first time in the 1980 Clemson-South Carolina game.
He felt like the solid orange uniforms made Death Valley that more intimidating for its opponents. There was something to that. That day in particular, Clemson ran up and down the field on the heavily-favored and 14th-ranked Gamecocks in route to a 27-6 victory.
“That game was over right when we came down the Hill,” Davis recalls. “There was nothing but orange all over the stadium. When we came down the hill wearing all-orange for the first time, they went crazy. That game was over right there.
“That win and that momentum carried over into the next season and we carried it all the way to the national championship.”
The next year Clemson wore all-orange in a 13-3 victory over fourth-ranked Georgia, a 21-7 victory to clinch the ACC Championship over Maryland, and then in the Orange Bowl against Nebraska. In all, Clemson went 12-2 in the all-orange uniforms under Ford, making Clemson’s complete sea of orange around Death Valley one of the more intimidating places to play in all of college football.
Clemson Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney is bringing that intimidation back to Clemson. Since taking over on Oct. 13, 2008, Swinney’s teams have posted an 11-3 record at Death Valley. A big part of that is due to the sea of orange that welcomes the visitors.
Solid Orange…It’s About Pride, is just not about wearing orange on Fridays or wearing orange to a Clemson Athletic event. It is about a deep sense of pride in what Clemson University is all about… its legacy, its tradition and its excellence.
Wearing orange brings us all a sense of unity as we work to build upon the foundation of past generations. It’s sending a powerful message to Tiger student-athletes to let them know what they do is important and it helps our teams climb to greater heights.
Wearing orange creates a tremendous competitive advantage for the Clemson student-athletes on the fields and courts of competition, while sending a powerful message to recruits (regardless of sport) that Clemson is a wonderful place.
Clemson recruits 365 days a year, whether it’s for students in general or student-athletes. Whenever prospective students are in any of our athletic venues, or simply watching on television, they need to feel the Clemson experience is something that generates excitement and pride, and is an experience they want to join in the future.
Wearing orange promotes unity, spirit and oneness among the Clemson Family. It is a commitment that when our Clemson teams walk onto the field of competition, a sea of orange is visible and a competitive advantage is present.
So wear your orange this Saturday when the Tigers host Georgia Tech. Let’s make sure Clemson pride shines through in Death Valley like it did that night in January of 1982 for Jeff Davis and the rest of the Clemson football team in Miami’s Orange Bowl.
Tickets are still available for the Clemson vs. Georgia Tech game on October 23.
Click here to purchase tickets.
Tickets are also still available for Clemson’s home game against N.C. State on November 6. Tickets may be purchased online at ClemsonTigers.com or by phone at 1-800-CLEMSON.
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