Jan. 10, 2012
Team Accomplishments Atlantic Coast Conference Champions for the first time in 20 years. Earned first appearance in BCS level bowl (Discover Orange Bowl) for first time in 30 years. Atlantic Division Champions of the ACC for second time in three years. Won 10 games, most for the program in 21 years. Ranked 22nd in final AP and USA Today polls. One of just five FBS schools to improve from a losing season in 2010 to a 10-win season in 2011. One of just three schools from BCS conferences to do it. Gained seven wins over ACC teams for the first time in 28 years. Defeated four top 25 teams, tied for third in the nation, and most in Clemson history for one season. Just third ACC school to have four top 25 wins in same year since 2000. Defeated third-ranked (USA Today) Virginia Tech to win ACC Championship, tied for highest ranked team Clemson has beaten in its history. Won the game 38-10. Had two first-team AP All-Americans for first time in school history. Had three first or second team All-Americans altogether. Three different players were finalists for national position awards, five were semifinalists. Became first ACC school to defeat AP ranked teams in three consecutive games (Auburn (19), Florida State (11) and Virginia Tech (10). Posted perfect 7-0 record at home, first 7-0 home mark in school history. Achieved number-five BCS ranking on October 23, highest ranking in that poll in Clemson history. Finished 15th in BCS ranking on December 4, tied for best final BCS ranking in school history. Clemson was ranked in BCS standings eight straight weeks to finish regular season. Overcame a deficit of 14 points or more to win three games, most in one season in school history. Clemson had done it just nine times in 115 years previously. Overcame 18-point deficit at Maryland to tie for second greatest comeback in Clemson history. Won first eight games of the season, just the fourth team in Clemson history to do that, the first in 11 years. Clemson was named National Team of the Week by the Football Writers Association for its 35-30 win over 11th-ranked Florida State in the fourth game of the season. Second time Clemson was named National Team of the Week (FSU 2003). In defeating Auburn for the first time since 1951, the Tigers ended nation’s longest winning streak, as Auburn had won 17 straight games. It was the longest winning streak ended by Clemson in school history. Defeated a top 10 Virginia Tech team twice in 2011 by a combined 48 points. Defeated 10th ranked Virginia Tech 23-3 on October 1 and the 20-point margin was the largest in Clemson history in a road win over a top 25 team. Became bowl eligible on October 7, the earliest bowl eligibility on the calendar in Clemson history. Set school record for consecutive quarters scoring with 22 in a row between September 17 and October 22. Had 6171 yards of total offense, third most in ACC history. Had 33 touchdown passes as a team, fourth most in ACC history. Had 3952 passing yards, fourth most in ACC history. Scored 470 points, seventh most in ACC history. Set Clemson season records for passing yards, total offense and points scored. Achieved all this with a roster that played 29 freshmen (true or red-shirt), tied for the most in the nation with Indiana.
Individual AccomplishmentsDwayne Allen Consensus First-Team All-American tight end, Clemson’s first All-American tight end sine 1975. First-Team All-ACC Won John Mackey Award as top tight end in the nation.
Andre Branch Named Second-Team All-American by six different services. First-Team All-ACC defensive end Finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award as top defensive end in the nation
Tajh Boyd First-Team All-ACC quarterback, first Clemson sophomore to be named First-Team All-ACC QB since 1957. ACC total offense and passing yardage champion MVP of ACC Championship Game
Chandler Catanzaro Set Clemson record for kick scoring in a season with 118 points on 22 field goals and 52 extra points. ACC Kick Scoring Champion Ranked 14th in nation in field goals per game. Semifinalist for Lou Groza Award
Dalton Freeman One of six finalists for the Dave Rimington Award, the award presented to top center in college football. First-team All-ACC center
Sammy Watkins Became just the fourth true freshman position player in college football history to make First-Team All-American according to the Associated Press. Others to make first team as true freshmen were Herschel Walker (Georgia, 1980), Marshal Faulk (San Diego State, 1991) and Adrian Peterson (Oklahoma, 2004). ACC Freshman of the Year First-Team All-ACC National Freshman of the Year by Sporting News and Rivals.com Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist Walter Camp Award Semifinalist
Dawson Zimmerman Finalist for Lowe’s Senior Class Award Wuerffel Award Finalist
Coaching AccomplishmentsHead Coach Dabo Swinney Won Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year Finalist for Bear Bryant Coach of the Year Finalist for Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Regional Coach of the Year by AFCA Finalist for Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year
Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris National Coordinator of the Year by Rivals.com National Offensive Coordinator of the Week for Auburn game by Rivals.com
Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele National Defensive Coordinator of the Week for Virginia Tech game by Rivals.com
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