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Clemson vs. Auburn Football Game Notes

Sept. 13, 2011

Clemson vs. Auburn Complete Game Notes

Clemson vs. Auburn Series Auburn has a 34-11-2 lead in the series with Clemson. The War Eagles have beaten Clemson 14 consecutive games, as the Clemson Tigers have not gained a victory over Auburn since 1951, a 34-0 win at Clemson.

Each of the last two meetings between the two teams have gone to overtime, and Auburn has won both, 23-20 in the 2007 season Chick-fil-A Bowl and 27-24 at Auburn last year.

Clemson beat Auburn five times in six meetings under Head Coach Frank Howard from 1946-51. Included in that stretch was a 34-18 Clemson win in 1947 as Bobby Gage threw four touchdown passes and gained 374 yards of total offense, both single game records at the time.

Auburn and Clemson first met in 1899 and Auburn came away with a 34-0 win at Auburn. That was just the 14th game in Clemson history. John Heisman coached Auburn in that game. Clemson won three of the next four, including a 16-0 win at Auburn in 1902. Clemson’s coach in that game was the legendary John Heisman. So Heisman gained wins for both teams in this series and both games were played at Auburn.

The two schools have met just three times since 1971, and two of those meetings took place in Atlanta at the Georgia Dome for the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Auburn won both of those close games, 21-17 at the 1998 Chick-fil-A bowl (1997 season), and Auburn won on New Year’s Eve of 2007 by a 23-20 score in overtime. That is Clemson’s only overtime game in a bowl contest.

In that 21-17 Auburn victory in the 1998 Chick-fil-A Bowl, Clemson gained just 146 yards of total offense, 60 rushing and 86 passing.

Despite the offensive problems, Clemson had a 17-6 lead entering the fourth period. But, Auburn scored 15 points in the fourth period to gain the victory. Raymond Priester led Clemson with 19-62 rushing, but Nealon Greene completed just 11-26 passes for 86 yards. Clemson had just four first downs in the game, fewest in history for the Tigers in a bowl game.

Terry Bowden was the head coach for Auburn in that game. Two years later his brother came to Clemson as the head coach and coached against Auburn for Clemson in the 2007 Chick-fil-A Bowl, a game won by Auburn in overtime 23-20.

This will be Auburn’s first game at Clemson since 1970. That year Auburn beat Clemson 44-0 on Clemson’s Homecoming. After the game first-year head coach Hootie Ingram started his postgame press conference by asking, “Who is on the Homecoming Committee?”

Clemson and Auburn Historical Ties

  • The first three coaches in Clemson football history were Auburn graduates. Walter Riggs, Clemson’s first head coach and later University President, was Clemson’s head coach in 1896 and 1899. He was an 1893 Auburn graduate. William Williams, Clemson’s head coach in 1897, was an 1896 Auburn graduate, while John Penton, Clemson’s head coach in 1898, had graduated from Auburn in the spring of 1898.
  • John Heisman was not an Auburn graduate, but he came to Clemson from Auburn. He coached at Auburn from 1895-1899 and came to Clemson to coach the 1900-03 era. Heisman was 12-4-2 at Auburn before coming to Clemson. He was 19-3-2 as head coach of the Tigers for those four years. He then left Clemson to become the head coach at Georgia Tech. His .833 winning percentage is the best in Clemson history. Heisman coached for each school within the first two games of this series. He defeated Clemson for Auburn in 1899 by a 34-0 score, then defeated Auburn as Clemson’s head coach by a 16-0 score in 1902.
  • Both schools have a main administration building on campus that is virtually the same architecture. Clemson’s Tillman Hall was modeled after Auburn’s Langdon Hall. In fact, noted Atlanta Constitution columnist and humorist Lewis Grizzard used to refer to Clemson as “Auburn with a Lake.”
  • Both Clemson and Auburn were among the top programs in college football in the 1980s. In fact, Clemson won 87 games in the 1980s and Auburn won 86. Clemson had the fifth best winning percentage in college football in that decade with an 87-25-4 record for a .767 mark. Auburn had the 10th best winning percentage wit ha 86-31-1 record, a .733 winning percentage.
  • Bill Oliver was a defensive coordinator at both schools. He served on Clemson’s staff under Danny Ford from 1986-89. He then served as Auburn’s defensive coordinator against Clemson in the 1998 Chick-fil-A Bowl.
  • Cliff Ellis was the head basketball coach at Clemson from 1984-94. He announced his retirement in January of 1994 during his final season at Clemson, then was hired as head coach at Auburn for the 1994-95 season. He led both programs to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. He is now the head coach at Coastal Carolina.
  • Both schools had a Bowden serve as head coach of their program. Terry Bowden served as head coach at Auburn from 1993-98 and Tommy Bowden coached Clemson from 1999-08. Tommy also served as an assist coach at Auburn from 1991-96. Terry coached against Clemson for Auburn in the 1997 season Chick-fil-a Bowl and Tommy Bowden coached for Clemson against Auburn in the 2007 season Chick-fil-A Bowl. Both Bowdens left their respective programs the next year.

Clemson and Auburn Current Ties

  • Auburn head Coach Gene Chizik was a graduate assistant at Clemson during the 1988 and 1989 seasons. He has a Master’s degree from Clemson.
  • Kevin Steele is Clemson’s defensive coordinator. His brother, Jeff Steele is the associate athletic director for facilities and operations at Auburn.
  • Auburn baseball coach John Pawlowski is a former Clemson pitcher and Clemson graduate.
  • Wayne Bolt, the Director of Football Operations at Clemson was an assistant football coach at Clemson from 1986-89 and coached current Clemson tight ends and special teams coach Danny Pearman during his junior and senior seasons as a player at Clemson.
  • Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris and Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn are good friends and followed the same path to their current jobs. Both were high school coaches before they moved to college. Both started their college careers at Tulsa. When Morris was a high school coach in Texas and Malzahn was in Arkansas, Morris sought out Malzahn to learn his offense. Malzahn shared some ideas and now the two teams run basically the same offense.