Clemson’s football schedule begins, ends with SEC foes

Clemson will open and close the 2012 football season against SEC teams and will play host to four teams who won at least eight games in 2011 according to the 2012 schedule released by the Atlantic Coast Conference on Monday.

The Tigers open the 2012 season against Auburn in the Georgia Dome in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic. Clemson opens defense of its ACC championship at Florida State on September 22.

All kickoff times will be released at a later date. The Thursday game at Wake Forest on October 25 will be a night game.

Overall, Clemson will play seven games at home, four on the road and the Auburn game at the neutral site in Atlanta. Clemson will finish the season with three straight home games for just the third time since 1975. Clemson’s home schedule includes appearances by Georgia Tech (8-5), Virginia Tech (11-3), NC State (8-5) and South Carolina (11-2).

Clemson and Auburn will meet for the third straight season when the two schools with the same mascot face off at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic at the Georgia Dome. Auburn defeated Clemson at Auburn in overtime in 2010, on the way to the National Championship, while Clemson defeated Auburn last year, 38-24, at Clemson, a big boost to Clemson’s ACC Championship season run. Clemson’s victory last year broke a 14-game losing streak to Auburn and the Auburn Tigers 17-game overall winning streak, the longest in the nation at the time.

This will be just the second time in the last 10 years that Clemson has not opened the season at home. The only other time in that span was in 2008 when Clemson opened the season in Atlanta against Alabama.

Clemson will open its home schedule September 8 when Ball State comes to Clemson. The Cardinals are led by senior linebacker Travis Freeman, who ranked ninth in the nation in tackles last season.

Furman and Clemson will renew an old rivalry on September 15. The two schools played in the first game in Clemson history on October 31, 1896 in Greenville. This will be Furman’s first game against the Tigers since the 2007 season.

Clemson will open its ACC schedule September 22 in Tallahassee against Florida State. The winner of this game has won the Atlantic Division of the ACC each of the last three years. Clemson won last year at Clemson by a 35-30 score. The Tigers have won five of the last seven against the Seminoles.

The Tigers will head north the following weekend to face Boston College. Clemson has a 10-9-2 lead in the close series with the Eagles and has won just once in Boston since 1952. That victory came in 2008 in Coach Dabo Swinney’s first victory as Clemson head coach.

Clemson will have just one road game in the month of October. The Tigers open the month with a home game against league rival Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have beaten Clemson five of the last six meetings, but the Tigers did win the last time the two teams met in Death Valley, a 27-13 Clemson victory in 2010.

Clemson will have two weeks to prepare for Virginia Tech. The defending Coastal Division Champions come to Clemson October 20. The Tigers beat Virginia Tech twice last year, including a 38-10 victory in the ACC Championship game in Charlotte. This will be Virginia Tech’s first trip to Clemson since 2007.

Clemson will have just four days to prepare for Wake Forest, as the Tigers will meet the Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem, NC for an October 25 Thursday night game that will be televised nationally by ESPN.

The Tigers will play their final road game of the year on November 3 when they travel to Durham, NC to face Duke. It will be the first meeting between the two schools since 2008.

As stated above, Clemson’s last three games will be at home. Clemson will play host to Maryland on November 10. The schools played a wild 56-45 game in College Park last year that was won by the Tigers. Clemson will be looking to beat Maryland three in a row for the first time since the 1993-2000 era.

NC State will be looking for a win in Death Valley for the first time since 2002 when the Wolfpack come to Clemson for the final ACC regular season game. The Pack defeated Clemson 37-13 in Raleigh last year to end a seven-game winning streak for the Tigers in the series.

Clemson 2012 Football Schedule
Date – Opponent
Sept. 1 – #Auburn
Sept. 8 – BALL STATE
Sept. 15 – FURMAN
Sept. 22 – at Florida State
Sept. 29 – at Boston College
Oct. 6 – GEORGIA TECH
Oct. 13 – Open Date
Oct. 20 – VIRGINIA TECH
Oct. 25 – at Wake Forest
Nov. 3 – at Duke
Nov. 10 – MARYLAND
Nov. 17 – NC STATE
Nov. 24 – SOUTH CAROLINA
# – Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, at Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA

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