NOTES: Clemson at Georgia

Notes previewing No. 16 Clemson's game at No. 12 Georgia this Saturday.

Clemson vs. Georgia Series
•Georgia holds a 41-18-4 advantage in the series that dates to the 1897 season. Georgia won that first meeting 24-0 in Athens in the season opener that year. It was the fourth game in Clemson history and the first time Clemson played a game outside the state of South Carolina. Georgia’s football history dates to 1892 and that first meeting with Clemson was the 25th in Bulldog history.

•Georgia holds a 26-7-1 advantage in the series in games played at Georgia, including a 20-2 lead in games played at Sanford Stadium. Clemson’s only wins in Sanford Stadium took place in 1977 (7-6) and 1986 (31-28).

•Clemson has won in Athens just twice in the 100 years since 1914 season when Clemson won 35-13.

•Clemson’s last win in Athens took place on September 20, 1986 when David Treadwell kicked a 46-yard field goal on the last play of the game to give the Tigers a 31-28 victory. Clemson was coming off a heart breaking home loss to Virginia Tech the previous Saturday. Georgia was ranked 14th in the nation entering the game. Clemson went on a an 8-2-2 season, ranked #17 in the final AP poll and an ACC Championship, while Georgia finished 8-4.

•Georgia won the first three games in the series, all in Athens between 1897 and 1899. Clemson’s first win was a 39-5 triumph in Athens in 1900 behind head coach John Heisman. The victory gave Heisman a 4-0 record to open his first season. Heisman was a perfect 4-0 against Georgia as Clemson coach. Clemson won seven games in a row in the series between 1900-06 and held a 7-3 lead in the series 10 games in.

•The two teams were 8-8-1 against each other from 1897-1914, then Georgia went on a 21-1-2 run in the series between 1915-73. Clemson’s only win during that time was a 26-7 win in 1955. Clemson broke an eight-game losing streak in the series in 1974 with a 28-24 win at Death Valley.

•The two teams tied in a 1963 game played in Death Valley, 7-7. That game is note -worthy because a hailstorm delayed the game for 20 minutes a halftime. The temperature at kickoff was 83 degrees, but it dropped to 57 degrees just before intermission.

•The two teams split 11 games (5-5-1) between 1977-87. The 11 games were separated by 12 total points as Georgia outscored Clemson 171-159 in those games. When Danny Ford and Vince Dooley coached against each other nine times in that period the aggregate score was 153 for Georgia and 152 for Clemson. Ford and Dooley were 4-4-1 against each other in that time span.

• Georgia won five consecutive meetings played in the 1991-2003 era. They were close games however. The 1995 contest was a 19-17 Georgia win at Death Valley. Both teams went on to bowl games that year. Torin Kirtsey led Georgia with 38 carries for 195 yards. It is the second most carries in a game against Clemson.

The 2002 game in Athens was also close, but Georgia won, 31-28. Clemson had a 46-yard field goal attempt to tie the game with a minute left, but Aaron Hunt’s attempt was just short. (Ironically it was the same distance as Treadwell’s game winner in 1986.) Clemson held the Bulldogs to 203 yards of total offense, a season low for the 13-1 Bulldogs of 2002.

*Georgia defeated Clemson 30-0 in 2003 and that is the last time Clemson has been shut out. Clemson has scored in 140 games in a row since, the 16th longest active streak in the nation.

•Clemson broke Georgia’s five-game winning streak in the series last year with a 38- 35 victory at Memorial Stadium. Georgia was ranked fifth and Clemson was ranked eighth entering that season opener.

•If Dabo Swinney can lead the Tigers to victory at Georgia this year he will join John Heisman and Danny Ford as the only Clemson coaches to beat Georgia in consecutive seasons.

•Prior to the 2013 Clemson win the Tigers had last beaten Georgia in 1990 by a 34-3 score under first-year head coach Ken Hatfield. Clemson’s defense, led by future pros Levon Kirkland, Ed McDaniel, Brentson Buckner, Chester McGlockton and Robert O’Neal, held the Bulldogs out of the endzone all day.

Georgia and Clemson Two of Six with Same Offensive Staff since 2011
Including the 2014 season, Clemson has had the same offensive coaching staff for the last four years. That staff includes offensive coordinator Chad Morris, running backs coach Tony Elliott, wide receivers coach Jeff Scott, offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell and tight ends and special teams coach Danny Pearman.

While Cole Stoudt is in his first year as a starter, at least the senior has had the same system and the same coaches all four years he has been with the program. Clemson is one of six programs nationally with the same offensive coaching staff entering its fourth season. The others are Georgia, Clemson’s opponent in the first game of the season, Navy, Minnesota, Northwestern and Nebraska.

Opening on Opponent’s Home Field
Clemson will open the 2014 season at Georgia, the first time the Tigers have opened a season on the opponent’s home field since 2002. The last time it happened was also at Georgia as the Tigers opened the 2002 season in Athens. Clemson had a quarterback making his first start in that game also, as Willie Simmons was under center for the start for the first time. Georgia won 31-28.

Clemson has opened a season on an opponent’s home field just twice since 1985. In addition to 2002, Clemson also did it in 1996 at North Carolina. The Tar Heels came away with a 45-0 victory.

Overall, Clemson has played 118 seasons of college football and opened a season on the opponent’s home field (not including neutral sites) just 22 times. Clemson is 9-11-2 when opening on an opponent’s home field.

Clemson’s last win in a season opener played on the opponent’s home field took place in 1985 when the Tigers won at Virginia Tech, 20-17. David Treadwell kicked a 36-yard field on the last play of the game to give the Tigers the victory. It was actually his second attempt, as Virginia Tech was off sides on his first attempt from 41 yards, a kick that missed.

Clemson’s most impressive victory in a season opener on the opponent’s home field took place in 1959. The Tigers and Head Coach Frank Howard defeated North Carolina in Chapel Hill 20-18. The Tar Heels were ranked 12th in the AP poll entering that game.

Clemson and Georgia Ties
•Georgia tight end Jay Rome is the son of former Clemson football and basketball star Stan Rome. Stan played football and basketball for Clemson during the 1975-76 academic year, then played just basketball over his final two years. On the gridiron Stan caught passes from Steve Fuller and Mike O’Cain.

In the 1975 game at Georgia, Rome had a 62-yard touchdown reception, his first career touchdown and the longest catch of his Clemson career. He finished the game with two catches for 70 yards and the yardage would be the most in a single game in his career. Stan Rome returned to the gridiron at the professional level in 1979, playing for the Kansas City Chiefs. He played 42 games over four years for the Chiefs where he again teamed up with Steve Fuller.

•Georgia Head Coach Mark Richt has a son named Jon, who signed with the Tigers in the recruiting class of 2006. Jon was a quarterback for the Tigers who red-shirted that season.

He later transferred to Mars Hill. Jon Richt was coached at Clemson by Tommy Bowden. Mark Richt had been an assistant coach under Bobby Bowden at Florida State before he became the head coach at Georgia.

Tigers from Georgia
Georgia has been a top recruiting area for Clemson for many years. The school is just 20 miles from the Georgia/South Carolina state line and, the distance between the Clemson campus and the Georgia campus is just about an 80-minute drive. It is just 59 miles as the crow flies.

This year’s Clemson team has 16 players from the state of Georgia who are slated to make the trip to Athens. Three others, Corey Crawford, David Beasley, and Garry Peters, are suspended for he game. Tyson Dye will not play due to injury.

The top Tigers from Georgia include starting defensive end Vic Beasley (Adairsville), starting defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (Conyers) and starting cornerback Martin Jenkins (Roswell). Backup quarterback Deshaun Watson is also from Georgia and slated to see some time in the game in Athens. Clemson’s National Championship team of 1981 had 22 players from the state of Georgia and 23 from South Carolina. Jeff Bryant (Atlanta) was an All-American on that team.

Other Clemson All-Americans who came to Tigertown from the state of Georgia are Robert Carswell, Keith Adams, Chris Gardocki, Nathan Bennett and Leroy Hill. Carswell and Gardocki were from Stone Mountain, while Adams was from College Park. Nick Eason, from Lyons, GA, was not an All-American, but won a Super Bowl Championship ring with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Charlie Whitehurst, now in the NFL with Tennessee, was from the Atlanta, GA area and is still third in Clemson history in victories by a starting quarterback with 25. He is the only quarterback in the history of the Clemson vs. South Carolina series to win four times as starting quarterback.