Clemson fans finally got to see what the new Covid-19 schedule will look like when the Tigers take the field for the shortened 2020 football season. as the Tigers open up at Wake Forest on September 12. A matchup that Clemson has dominated, winning the last 11 in a row in the series. Don’t expect there to be very much difference as far as the outcome in this one.
The following week the Tigers are scheduled to play a non-conference opponent that is still yet to be determined. There has been speculation that this opponent might be the Citadel, but like everything else in 2020 that is still fluid.
One thing that gave this game the opportunity to be enjoyable when it was originally scheduled was the fact that it was going to be Clemson’s weekend to celebrate Military Appreciation Day and the Citadel puts on an awesome program to show their support of our military. Now that it doesn’t look as though that part will even be happening, you probably know where that leaves this game on the schedule.
Clemson then has an open date on September 26. This means the month of September will consist of the team playing just two games. The month of October looks to be all about being at home though, as Clemson plays five times during the month, with four of those games scheduled to be played in Death Valley.
The month starts off with a rematch of last season’s ACC Championship game when the Tigers face off with Virginia on October 3. Expect this one to be hyped even less than last year’s ACC Championship Game. The Cavaliers will be having to deal with the loss of quarterback Bryce Perkins, along with other notable play-makers. Perkins made the Virginia offense roll in record fashion though and will be sorely missed.
Clemson plays hosts to preseason Top-25 Miami on October 10. This is a Canes team that was absolutely horrible on the offensive side of the ball last season. They averaged just 367 yards and 26 points per game. Take away the two games against Bethune Cookman and Louisville and they averaged fewer than 20 points per game over their other 11 games.
With transfer D’Eriq King at QB and new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, they are hoping to see improvement. Installing a new system with little to no spring won’t be easy and with this one being in Clemson don’t look for this to be close for long.
The trip to Georgia Tech on October 17 will be Clemson’s only road game in the month. This one was supposed to be the Tigers opener before the schedules had to be readjusted. The Yellow Jackets are still a work in progress in head coach Geoff Collins‘ second year and not many expected it to be close, even when it was set to be the opener.
Clemson will then host Syracuse on October 24. Last year saw Tommy DeVito struggle at quarterback for the Orange. Their offensive line not being able to block anyone surely did not help. With the fact that four members of that offensive line are back, will they be that much better this year? Dino Babers better hope so or it could get really ugly very fast in Memorial Stadium against a revamped Tigers defensive front.
Clemson then closes out October at home against Boston College on Halloween. The Eagles will be breaking in a new head coach in Jeff Hafley, who was on staff at Ohio State last season. New offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti has a lot of talent to work with on the roster and will not hesitate to throw the ball all over the field.
Clemson’s November begins in front of Touchdown Jesus as the Tigers face off with Notre Dame in South Bend. This one was originally scheduled for Nov. 7 and the date remains unchanged.
This is the game that was already being looked at as Clemson’s marque matchup of the season and there is no reason to expect any different with the new schedule now. It is possible we see this game twice this season though.
Another open date follows the Irish, and the team will travel to Florida State to take on a Seminoles program that has a new head coach and are expected to be rebuilding. Their roster is still packed with talent, but like Miami, they had no time in the spring to implement new systems. This matchup takes place on November 21 and many FSU fans hope the Noles can at least stay close for a while.
Clemson will then host Pitt on Novvember 28, the date the Tigers were originally supposed to host South Carolina. Pitt is expected to be much improved with one of the ACC’s best defensive lines.
Most would say this is a wash as far as team strength goes but also remember that Pitt shocked Clemson the last time they visited Death Valley. Don’t expect that to happen this year to the Tigers. Especially in November.
Clemson ends their regular season this year with a road trip to Virginia Tech on December 5. The Tigers most recently took on the Hokies in 2017 and Clemson has won each of the last five meetings between the two, dating back to 2011. This game should be a much tougher game than the one Clemson originally had scheduled as their season finale, but don’t expect them to take this Hokies team lightly either. December in Blacksburg also means the possibility of it being brutally cold.
A few notes of interest from looking at the new updated schedule tell fans this:
- Every game on Clemson’s schedule this season is played on Saturday. This is interesting because the Tigers have won 43 consecutive Saturday games. The three losses since the start of the 2017 season have come on a Friday and two Mondays.
- Another interesting tidbit is that just one year after playing the earliest game in school history (Aug. 29, 2019 vs. Georgia Tech), Clemson’s September 12 season opener in 2020 will be the program’s latest season debut since opening the 1986 campaign against Virginia Tech on September 13, 1986.
- The Tigers December 5 regular season finale will also be Clemson’s latest regular season finale in school history. This will also be only the program’s second regular season contest in December. The other dates back to December 1, 2001, when Clemson closed the 2001 regular season with a 59-31 victory over Duke.