Clemson Football: Counting Down Tigers Ten Most Iconic Games

Over the bye week staff writer Sam Clemons shares, what are in his opinion, the ten most iconic games the Tigers have played during his lifetime.

Day number two of looking back at what I consider some of the most iconic games the Clemson Tigers have played in over my lifetime.

#8 Clemson vs. Florida State: “The Puntrooski” Game.

Clemson and FSU first played in 1970, predating Florida State’s membership in the ACC. The actual rivalry started to emerge in 1988 when the No. 3 Clemson Tigers hosted the No. 10 Seminoles in a “clash of styles” marked by FSU’s highly touted skill talent and passing attack, versus Clemson’s well regarded option, linemen and linebackers. This matchup was ultimately decided by Leroy Butler’s 78-yard “puntrooskie” run, costing Clemson the victory and dashing their national title hopes.

I was there, in the rain and misery watching the whole thing unfold. I didn’t realize Butler had the ball until he passed the 50 yard line and scampered down the field and broke the hearts of all Clemson Tigers everywhere. Even in defeat, this game was, is and always will be Iconic.

# 7 1977 Clemson vs. South Carolina: “ The Catch.”

Unlike most major college rivalries, the Carolina–Clemson rivalry did not start innocently or because of competitive collegiate sports. The deep-seated bitterness began between the two schools long before the Tigers and Gamecocks even played on the field.

Many notable games have been played, none more memorable than the game identified by one play. On that November evening in 1977, Clemson WR Jerry Butler made a diving, backwards, 20-yard touchdown reception on a pass from QB Steve Fuller with 49 seconds left in the fourth quarter to give Clemson the 31–27 victory in Columbia. This play is known as “The Catch” and is one of the most memorable plays in the rivalry. What a delightful, beautiful play and game. (Sorry for the poor quality of this video).

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