2012 Clemson Football Preview:
The Clemson Tigers were one of the biggest surprises of the college football season during 2011 after they got off to a blistering 7-0 start. While the Tigers cooled off at the end of the season and finished with a 10-4 record, they still managed to capture their first ACC title since 1991 and made it to their first Bowl Championship Series game since 1982 by appearing in the Orange Bowl. The Tigers' stunning offensive production and stingy defense makes them one of the early favorites to repeat as ACC champs during 2012, but they will have to overcome a much tougher schedule and play consistently to get a shot at a National Championship.
The Tigers' offense was one of the main strengths of the 2011 team, and that looks to be the case again this season. The offense is lead by quarterback Tajh Boyd, who threw 33 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions a year ago. Boyd will rely on running back Andre Ellington and an impressive stable of runners to churn out tough yards on the ground. Perhaps the strongest group for the Tigers is their receiving corps, which features wide receiver standouts like Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins. However, the rebuilding of the offensive line will be a huge question mark for the team, which has lost three starters from a year ago.
On defense, the Tigers have just as many weapons as on the offensive side of the ball. The defensive line is the only unit that seems to have a few holes and new starters, so senior defensive end Malliciah Goodman will have to play a large role in getting the underclassmen up to speed. The linebacking corps is lead by senior Corico Hawkins, and the rest of the unit is loaded with talent from top to bottom. Finally, the Tigers will benefit from the return of safety Rashard Hall, who leads an impressive group of defensive backs ready to tackle the high-flying offenses of the ACC.
The Tigers will have one of the toughest opening months of any team in college football, with road games against Auburn and Florida State. If the Tigers can keep their heads above water throughout the first month of the season and take care of business against their ACC opponents, they have enough talent to make the jump from BCS-worthy to a full-fledged National Championship contender.
CLEMSON TIGERS EXPERIENCE:
Location: Clemson, South Carolina
Stadium: Clemson Memorial Stadium
Conference: ACC Conference
Rivals: South Carolina Gamecocks (Battle of the Palmetto State), Georgia Bulldogs, NC State Wolfpack (Textile Bowl), Florida State Seminoles (Bowden Bowl)
Mascot: The Tiger
Notable Alumni: Homer Jordan, Perry Tuttle
Notable Bowl Games:
The University of Clemson Tigers football program is one the most competitive teams in the country every year. The Tigers are also one of the storied old programs of the South. Playing in the always-competitive Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), and holding conference titles -along with a 1981 National Championship title, the Clemson Tigers always seem to find their way into the top-25. Tigers fans believe every year, and with good reason, that their squad can contend for another national title. A home game at “Death Valley” in Clemson, South Carolina is an overwhelming experience you won’t soon forget.
The Clemson Tigers fielded their first football team in 1896, when Walter Riggs came from Auburn to coach at Clemson, bringing the Tiger nickname with him. The team first played in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, winning 2 conference titles. The Clemson Tigers would win 3 conference championships in the Southern Conference before joining the ACC, where they’d win 13 titles, more than any other ACC team. After their national championship in 1981, the team would struggle with sanctions after committing serious NCAA violations. Clemson Tigers has had legendary coaches, like John Heisman at the helm, along with many talented players - William Perry, Michael Dean Perry, and Anthony Simmons to name a few. And who could forget the Orange Bowl in 1982 when Clemson squeaked past Nebraska led by Homer Jordan and Perry Tuttle to win the national title and go 12-0 for the season?
The Clemson Tigers play home games at Frank Howard Field at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina. The stadium is known as “Death Valley” because it sits in a valley below a cemetery, and because of how hard it has been for visiting teams to win there. The crowd volume is one of the Clemson Tigers secret weapons at home. A 2005 home game against Miami set the all-time outdoor sporting event noise record, reaching 126 decibels! Buy Clemson Tigers football tickets and watch the Clemson Tigers fight to reach another national championship!
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I LOVE CLEMSON TIGERS I love Clemson Tigers, they may not have had the best couple years the past few years but I stand by my Tigers. I love Orange and Purple!!! :) GO TIGERS!!!!!!! :) July 31, 2011