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Nov 16, 2019

The Last Word – 2019 Senior Class

By: Tim Bourret

Note: The following appears in the Wake Forest gameday football program.

In Dabo Swinney’s summer meeting with the media in July, he talked about the youth of the 2019 team. As we have moved into the season, there is one statistic that backs that up. The Tigers have played 50 freshmen this year, 15 more than any other FBS school and the most in one season in school history.

Despite the youth on the 2019 squad, Clemson finds itself 10-0 this year and on a 25-game winning streak over two seasons, the longest winning streak in Tiger history and the longest active FBS winning streak.

While there have been many underclassmen who are the leaders statistically, Swinney would be the first to say those numbers could not have been accomplished without the leadership of the 2019 senior class.

That class makes its final run down the Hill this afternoon before the Tigers play Wake Forest. Fittingly, there is a lot on the line today as Clemson attempts to remain in the hunt for an ACC title, the College Football Playoff and the national championship.

These seniors are used to dealing with pressure situations. Think about the following fact. This will be the 55th game for this group, and all 55 have had an impact on the College Football Playoff. Clemson has won 51 of the previous 54 games.

There is still a lot on the table for this class, but let’s take a look at some of the accomplishments on the resumé so far:

• Two national championships and three College Football Playoff appearances.

• A 51-3 record, tied for the fourth-most wins by a senior class in college football history.

• Four consecutive 10-win seasons, upping Clemson’s streak to nine years in a row, tied for the third-longest streak in college football history.

• A 25-game winning streak, the longest in Clemson history and second longest in ACC history.

• Sixty consecutive AP polls ranked in the top 10 and 57 of the 60 ranked in the top five. Nine times, the class has been ranked No. 1.

• Only one loss at home in four years, and that was by one point against Pittsburgh in 2016. With an active 21-game home winning streak, Clemson can break the school record with a win over Wake Forest.

• An 18-1 record in road games and a 25-2 record in games away from home.

• A 17-1 record against top-25 teams (AP or coaches poll).

• Only two losses in 34 games to ACC teams, and a 3-0 record in ACC Championship Games.

• An 11-game streak of wins by 20+ points, the second-longest streak of its kind by any team since 1936.

• Thirty-nine consecutive wins on Saturdays.

• Four College Football Playoff wins, including two national championships.

Here is a list of accomplishments that are still within reach:

• A 15-0 record would give this class 56 wins, the all-time FBS record.

• A fourth consecutive ACC championship.

• A 34-2 record against ACC teams, including the conference championship game.

• A fourth straight appearance in the College Football Playoff.

• A third national championship. Only senior classes at Notre Dame (1949) and Alabama (2013) have won three national titles.

• A victory at South Carolina in two weeks would give the class 12 consecutive road wins, tied for the longest streak in Clemson history.

• A 4-0 record against state-rival South Carolina.

• A fourth straight top-four finish in the Associated Press poll, something only the 2018 Clemson seniors have accomplished.

• A ranking in the top five in the College Football Playoff poll for all 24 listings during the four years.

• Can become the first school to win three national championships in the College Football Playoff era.

Thank you seniors for further enhancing this great tradition through your dedication on the practice field, representation of the program on and off the field and setting an example for future Clemson classes.