Clemson University Athletic Director Dan Radakovich gets off the bus before the game with NC State University at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C., September 25, 2021.

Ncaa Football Clemson At Nc State

Miami reportedly set to hire Clemson AD to same role

A busy month keeps getting busier for the Miami Hurricanes.

According to multiple reports Wednesday night, the school is set to hire Clemson’s Dan Radakovich as its athletic director. Radakovich has held the same role at Clemson since 2012, and the Tigers’ football team reached four national championship games and won two of those under his watch.

At Miami, Radakovich is expected to become one of the nation’s highest-paid athletic directors. The school plans to make the hiring official Thursday, ESPN reported.

Radakovich is no stranger to the university. He earned a master’s degree from there in 1982.

The report comes one day after Miami introduced Mario Cristobal as its new football coach. Cristobal, a Miami native who previously coached at Oregon, spoke optimistically about the Hurricanes’ future.

“Sky’s the limit,” Cristobal said. “It’s been done before with a lot less. Now it’s an opportunity to take it to a new level with a lot more. Let’s get this thing right.”

Before his stint with Clemson, Radakovich served as Georgia Tech’s athletic director from 2006 through 2012.

–Field Level Media

Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei (5) throws during the third quarter at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky Saturday, November 6, 2021.

Ncaa Football Clemson At Louisville

No. 23 Clemson seeks seventh straight win over South Carolina

After a one-year break due to COVID that interrupted one of the oldest rivalries in college football after 111 consecutive years, Clemson and South Carolina are eager to renew acquaintances on Saturday night in Columbia, S.C.

“We’re excited about the state championship being back in play,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “I think everyone missed it last year. It’s a long-standing tradition in college football. It will be a great game and a great environment.”

The Tigers (8-3) will look to continue their dominance in the rivalry. Clemson is seeking its seventh consecutive victory in the series, which it leads 71-42-4, and would tie for the longest winning streak (also by Clemson) in the series.

A Clemson victory also would make Swinney the first coach on either side to win seven straight games in the series, but Swinney has been impressed by what first-year head coach Shane Beamer has been able to accomplish in his initial campaign at South Carolina (6-5).

“They are playing physical, with a ton of effort and it’s a reflection of what Shane Beamer has done in a short amount of time,” Swinney said. “They are 5-1 at home. They have battled every week. They have found a little bit of an identity.”

That identity is a run-first offense. In last week’s win against Auburn, South Carolina got 99 yards rushing and a receiving touchdown from running back ZaQuandre White, who is averaging 6.9 yards per carry and has emerged as the primary threat in a backfield that also includes Kevin Harris, who’s rushed for 465 yards.

The Gamecocks defeated Florida and Auburn in two of their last three games, with the only loss a three-point defeat at Missouri. The win against Auburn clinched the program’s first six-win season and bowl opportunity since 2018.

Clemson, meanwhile, still has a slim but mathematical chance at a seventh straight Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. The Tigers, who cracked the College Football Playoff rankings for the first time this season at No. 23 on Tuesday, need a North Carolina victory against N.C. State on Friday night coupled with a Boston College upset of Wake Forest on Saturday to win the league’s Atlantic Division and a title-game berth.

“We’ve done all we can — we can’t waste any energy focusing on that,” Swinney said. “We just need to focus on winning the state championship.”

Clemson has lost 17 players this season due to season-ending injury or transfer, which helps explain why the Tigers won’t start a single senior on offense on Saturday and will start underclassmen at quarterback, running back and all three wide receiver positions.

“I think you could certainly make the case that he should be coach of the year in their conference with the injuries they’ve overcome all over the field,” Beamer said. “So many new faces going into the season, and to struggle by their standards a little bit earlier in the season, to just continue to get better each week, to be sitting here with eight wins…they are certainly peaking at the right time.”

The Tigers have won four in a row and six of their last seven games, including a dominating 48-27 victory against then-No. 10 Wake Forest last week in which Clemson had two 100-yard rushers and amassed 543 total yards in their most productive offensive output of the season.

Clemson’s defense, meanwhile, remains the team’s calling card. The Tigers rank first in the ACC and eighth nationally in scoring defense, allowing 16.4 points per game. Clemson had 10 tackles for loss and eight sacks against Wake Forest.

“Defensively, they’re fantastic,” Beamer said. “They’re all over the place. When you’re ranked in the top four in the country in sacks and tackles for loss, that’s pretty amazing.”

–Field Level Media

Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross (8) before the game at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York, Friday, October 15, 2021.

Ncaa Football Clemson At Syracuse

Clemson WR Justyn Ross to have surgery, enter draft

Clemson wideout Justyn Ross will have foot surgery and then prepare for the 2022 NFL Draft, Tigers coach Dabo Swinney confirmed Thursday.

Ross will not play Saturday when Clemson (7-3, 5-2 ACC) hosts No. 10 Wake Forest (9-1, 6-0). The Tigers finish the regular season at South Carolina on Nov. 27.

Ross leads Clemson with 46 receptions for 514 yards and three touchdowns.

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound redshirt junior has been dealing with a stress fracture in his foot throughout the season.

Ross, who missed the entire 2020 season after spinal fusion surgery, finishes his Clemson career with 159 catches for 2,389 yards and 20 touchdowns in 38 games.

As a 2018 freshman, Ross caught six passes for 153 yards with a 74-yard touchdown in the Tigers’ 44-16 defeat of Alabama in the national championship game.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2021; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA;  Wake Forest Demon Deacons quarterback Sam Hartman (10) smiles before the game against the Duke Blue Devils at Truist Field. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Seeking ACC Atlantic title, No. 10 Wake Forest clashes with Clemson

Wake Forest has a chance to clinch its first Atlantic Coast Conference Atlantic Division title since 2006 on Saturday when the 10th-ranked Demon Deacons head on the road to oppose longtime nemesis Clemson.

The Tigers, under coach Dabo Swinney, are 12-0 against the Demon Deacons. The average margin of victory over the past three years was 44.3 points.

“This certainly is a team we’ve struggled against in the past,” Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said. “We head down to Death Valley to play what’s been the most dominant programs in the ACC and one of the most dominant programs in the country over the last six to eight years.

“Obviously it would be a huge win for our program if we can find a way. They’ve certainly had our number.”

Wake Forest (9-1, 6-0 ACC) has produced some impressive numbers of its own this season. The Demon Deacons have one of highest-scoring offenses in the country, averaging 44.7 points per game — a figure that ranks second nationally only to Ohio State.

Quarterback Sam Hartman has been the catalyst, passing for 3,168 yards and 30 touchdowns against eight interceptions. His passing TD total ranks second in the ACC and eighth nationally.

“Offensively they’re a handful,” Swinney said. “Their quarterback is a savvy, relentless competitor, great leader. Their offensive line has a ton of cohesion and these are the best receivers that we’ve played all year. They lead the country in passes of 30-plus yards.”

Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei has struggled for much of the season. He has passed for 1,752 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions, and his 107.4 quarterback rating ranks last in the ACC.

The Tigers (7-3, 5-2 ACC) have been riddled with injuries, and that trend continued this week when Swinney announced that wide receiver Justyn Ross would miss the game with a foot injury. Ross is the team’s leading receiver with 46 receptions for 514 yards and three touchdowns.

“We don’t have a single senior starting for us with Ross out, and we only have two juniors starting for us,” Swinney said. “We’re still in a development stage. True freshmen at receiver, a freshman at tight end, a couple of freshman backs and a sophomore back.”

Despite the Tigers’ abundance of youth, they remain in contention for a seventh consecutive ACC championship. To accomplish that, they would have to defeat Wake Forest, then hope the Deacons lose at Boston College in their final game while North Carolina State loses one of its final two games against Syracuse and North Carolina.

Clemson’s defense certainly is capable of doing its job. The Tigers lead the ACC and rank third nationally in scoring defense (15.3 points per game).

“I really think that this has been one of his best coaching jobs,” Clawson said of Swinney. “Sometimes when everything goes your way, things run themselves. This has not been a year when everything bounced their way, and you can tell he’s never lost his team. They’ve gotten better.

“They’ve won three in a row, so they have the longest winning streak in the ACC right now, they’ve won five of their last six. They’re still in the hunt for the ACC Atlantic, so again in my mind, this is another championship game and we’re going to a place where they’ve won 33 games in a row.”

Clemson hasn’t lost a game at Death Valley since a one-point loss to Pitt on Nov. 12, 2016 — a stretch that is the longest active home winning streak in the nation.

“This is a game of strength on strength,” Swinney said. “We’ve been really good on defense, they’ve been really, really good on offense.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2021; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers wide receiver E.J. Williams (6) is tackled by Connecticut Huskies defensive back Malik Dixon (31) during the first quarter at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson defense shuts down UConn in comfortable win

Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei passed for 241 yards and a touchdown as Clemson scored 44 unanswered points en route to a 44-7 victory against UConn Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C.

The Huskies got a 99-yard kickoff return by Brian Brewton to open the game, but that was about the only threat UConn could muster against the Clemson defense, which held the Huskies to 99 total yards.

Clemson (7-3), which was playing its first-ever game against UConn (1-9), won for the fifth time in six games, but continued to be plagued by injuries.

Wide receiver Justyn Ross watched the majority of the game from the sideline on crutches and with a boot on his left foot, back-up quarterback Taisun Phommachanh suffered a shoulder injury and exited in the first half after rushing for a touchdown, and linebacker James Skalski had to be helped off the field with an apparent knee injury in third quarter.

Clemson plays host to Wake Forest next week with an ACC Atlantic Division title potentially on the line. Clemson has won each of the last six Atlantic titles as well as six consecutive ACC Championship Games.

Uiagalelei, playing just one week after suffering a PCL sprain at Louisville, struggled at times but wound up completing 21 of 44 passes for a season-high in yards.

After spotting the Huskies a 7-0 lead on Brewton’s kickoff return, Clemson reeled off 30 straight points to forge a comfortable halftime lead. Placekicker B.T. Potter had three field goals, including two 49-yarders that rank as his season’s best, and Will Swinney — the eldest son of Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney — had a six-yard touchdown run on a fake field goal for the Tigers’ first touchdown of the day.

Clemson also got a three-yard touchdown run from Phommachanh and a 32-yard touchdown strike from Uiagalelei to freshman receiver Beaux Collins.

The Tigers tacked on two more scores in the second half — a two-yard run by Phil Mafah and a 25-yard pass from Billy Wiles to Jake Briningstool.

Clemson outgained the Huskies 476-99, limiting UConn to minus-17 yards rushing, six first downs and an 0-for-14 effort on third downs. The Tigers recorded nine tackles for loss, including six sacks.

UConn quarterback Jack Zergiotis completed 9 of 21 passes for 90 yards and two interceptions. The bright spot for the Huskies was Brewton, who totaled 216 all-purpose yards, including 190 on kickoff returns.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2021; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA;  Louisville Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham (3) looks to pass during the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Carter-Finley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Malik Cunningham, Louisville set to collide with Clemson

Another week, another “freak show” opponent for Clemson.

Just ask Tigers coach Dabo Swinney, whose team will hit the road to face Louisville and its quarterback, Malik Cunningham, on Saturday night.

“It seems like every single week I look up and we’re playing a freak show at quarterback,” Swinney said. “Their quarterback is another great player.”

The Tigers have faced Syracuse’s Garrett Shrader, Pitt’s Kenny Pickett and Florida State’s Jordan Travis over the past three games. Now Cunningham looms.

Cunningham has rushed for 556 yards — the third-best total among ACC quarterbacks — and shares the league lead with 13 rushing touchdowns.

“This guy has played a lot of football and has a great skill set,” Swinney said. “He’s a problem with his legs and is an excellent passer.”

Clemson (5-3, 4-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) has fallen flat offensively this season, and its six-year reign atop the league is in jeopardy. The Tigers, who have lost three regular-season games for the first time since 2014, are coming off a 30-20 victory against Florida State, but they had to score 13 points in the final three minutes to pull out the win.

Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei has struggled, and the Tigers’ offense ranks last in the league in scoring at 21.3 points per game.

The Tigers’ ground game has shown signs of life, however, led by freshman running back Will Shipley. After missing a few games with a broken bone in his leg, Shipley has returned with a vengeance, rushing for 180 yards in his past two games and producing 358 all-purpose yards.

“Offensively they’ve not put up the numbers they’ve been used to putting up,” Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said. “They have a lot of new players on that side of the ball.

“They’re used to winning. This year they have not as well as they have in the past when you think about it because they were so dominant the past seven or eight years. This year they’ve had a lot of close games and they’ve lost a few. … They’re still one of the best defenses in the country.”

Clemson’s defense ranks tops in the ACC and third best nationally, allowing only 15.0 points per game, but Louisville (4-4, 2-3) and its potent offense could pose a challenge. The Cardinals are one of only seven teams nationally to average more than 200 yards on the ground and 245 yards through the air.

“They’re 4-4, but they’ve literally lost two games that were tied in the last minute against Virginia and Wake Forest,” said Swinney, whose teams are 6-0 all-time against Louisville. “They’re another team that’s way better than its record. They’re a 4-4 team, but they’re a handful. Satterfield has those guys playing hard.”

Satterfield is hoping that the Cardinals’ chances may be enhanced by fans packing into Cardinal Stadium.

“We need to have our fans to be here, to be loud, to be all engaged into the game, and it can be — we certainly can be that here,” the coach said. “We’ve been that way here. We have to encourage the fans to come out and support us.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 23, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Clemson Tigers quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei (5) passes the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson plans to keep cooking at home vs. Florida State

With the nation’s longest active home winning streak on the line, Clemson will play host to a surging Florida State team in an Atlantic Coast Conference game on Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers have won 31 consecutive games at Memorial Stadium, dating to the 2016 season and a 43-42 loss to Pitt. Clemson recovered to win the national championship that season.

Such a finish isn’t in the realm of possibility this time around for Clemson (4-3, 3-2 ACC), which has dropped from the polls after suffering three regular-season defeats for the first time since the 2014 season.

The Tigers still have a mathematical chance at a seventh consecutive ACC Championship, but can ill afford a loss against the Seminoles (3-4, 2-2), who are riding a three-game winning streak after an 0-4 start.

“They really have played a lot better,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “It’s a good football team across the board that’s way better than their record.”

Florida State has rebounded thanks to dual-threat quarterback Jordan Travis and a much-improved running game behind Jashaun Corbin and Treshaun Ward.

Travis has completed 38 of 55 pass attempts (69 percent) for 399 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions during the Seminoles’ three-game winning streak. He’s also rushed for 312 yards in the last three games, averaging 7.4 yards per carry.

“Their quarterback is the key,” Swinney said. “He has really settled them down. You can tell he’s a natural leader and he can flat-out beat you by himself.

“They’re taking advantage of his gifts. He’s a great scrambler. This kid is dangerous, hard to corral.”

Corbin and Ward, meanwhile, have combined for 444 yards on the ground during the winning streak.

Clemson, which is seeking a sixth consecutive victory against Florida State for the first time in series history, is struggling offensively. The Tigers are the lowest-scoring team in the ACC at 20 points per game and also rank last in the league in total offense at 321.3 yards per game.

Sophomore quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, who entered the season as a Heisman Trophy candidate, has only four touchdown passes against five interceptions and has the league’s lowest passing efficiency rating.

“They have playmakers on that side of the ball,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. “As you go back and look, they’ve had their shots, and whether it’s a dropped pass or a missed opportunity here or there, it has been a challenge for them at times. We’ve been through that as well. I know what that looks like. But they’re very explosive, very capable.”

Clemson, which is coming off a 27-17 loss at Pitt, will be without leading rusher Kobe Pace against the Seminoles. A sophomore who has gained 327 yards this season, Pace will be sidelined by COVID-19 protocol.

The Tigers also received more negative news on the injury front this week when starting guard Matt Bockhorst and tight end Braden Galloway were declared out for the rest of the season. Clemson has lost 11 players for the season due to injury, but Norvell remains wary of a Clemson unit that leads the ACC in scoring defense (14.6 ppg).

“They just don’t give up points — they’re phenomenal in the red zone,” Norvell said. “And they’re probably the best tackling team we’ve played this season. They’ve got a lot of experienced players. It’s going to be a challenge for us to sustain long drives.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2021; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers running back Kobe Pace (20) shoes a touchdown against the Boston College Eagles at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson RB Kobe Pace (COVID-19) to miss Florida State game

Clemson will be without its leading rusher Saturday against Florida State after sophomore Kobe Pace entered the COVID-19 protocol.

Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney announced Pace’s status on Tuesday.

Pace has rushed 60 times for a team-high 327 yards and three touchdowns in seven games (five starts) this season. He also has six catches for 77 yards.

He gained 75 yards on 18 carries and caught five passes for 26 yards with one touchdown in six games in 2020.

Clemson (4-3, 3-2 ACC) hosts the Seminoles (3-4, 2-2) on Saturday afternoon.

–Field Level Media

Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei talks with media in Clemson, S.C., October 18, 2021.

Clemson Football Interviews Clemson Quarterback D J Uiagalelei

Clemson finds itself as rare underdog against No. 23 Pitt

When Clemson plays at Pittsburgh for the first time in program history on Saturday, it will do so as an underdog in an Atlantic Coast Conference game for the first time since the 2016 season.

While Pitt (5-1, 2-0 ACC) has risen to No. 23 in the polls, unranked Clemson (4-2, 3-1), in turn, already has lost two regular-season games for the first time since 2014.

Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi, however, isn’t buying the perception that the Tigers are a mere shell of their former self.

“They’re obviously a great football team,” Narduzzi said. “I know they’re not tops in the country right now, but they are talented.

“They’re one of the top scoring defenses in the country. They’re playing fantastic. (Defensive coordinator Brent) Venables has really got them going on defense.”

Narduzzi is correct on that count. The Tigers are allowing a mere 12.5 points per game, which ranks second nationally, and have allowed only two rushing touchdowns this season.

While Clemson’s defensive prowess isn’t in question, the Tigers’ offense has struggled mightily.

Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, who stood out in his two starts a year ago, is completing just 55.7 percent of his passes and Clemson’s replacements at running back and wide receiver for Travis Etienne and Amari Rodgers, respectively, have been injury-plagued and have yet to establish themselves as consistent threats.

Uiagalelei has four touchdown passes and three interceptions this season. His efficiency rating of 106.9 ranks last in the ACC.

“The offense is missing Trevor Lawrence,” Narduzzi said. “But they’ve still got tons of players on the field who scare the heck out of you.”

Clemson’s offense stands in stark contrast to Pitt. The Panthers rank third nationally in scoring at 48.3 points per game, with quarterback Kenny Pickett the catalyst.

Pickett has emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the ACC, if not the nation. The fifth-year player ranks third nationally in passing efficiency and has 21 touchdown passes against one interception.

“He’s a rhythm thrower,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “You can’t sit there and let this guy get comfortable. He’s just too good. You just don’t fool that guy.”

Clemson has enjoyed recent success against Pickett, holding him to two touchdowns while intercepting him five times in the Tigers’ most recent two games against the Panthers.

Pickett’s favorite target is Jordan Addison, who leads the ACC with nine touchdown receptions and ranks second in the league with 97.7 receiving yards per game.

“They’re throwing the ball all over the place,” Venables said. “And they’re averaging just under 80 plays per game. So they’re going to present quite a challenge.”

Pitt is the last team to deal Clemson a home loss at Memorial Stadium, topping the Tigers 43-42 midway through the 2016 season. The Tigers, however, went on to win the national championship that season.

The Tigers have since dominated both meetings against Pitt, winning 42-10 in the 2018 ACC Championship Game and 52-17 last season at Clemson.

“We’re playing them for the fourth time in seven seasons,” Narduzzi said. “It feels like they’re in our division.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 9, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader (16) avoids Wake Forest Demon Deacons defensive back Luke Masterson (12) during the second half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Unranked but hardly toothless, Clemson visits Syracuse on Friday

Despite the fact that Clemson has lost two regular-season games and has been dropped from the Top 25 for the first time since 2014, Syracuse coach Dino Babers scoffs at the notion that the Tigers are anything less than formidable.

“What have they got — about 150 stars over there?” said Babers, whose team plays host to Clemson in a nationally televised game Friday night on ESPN. “And now you’re saying that they’re no good? That’s the Clemson Tigers over there, man. Come on. Sheesh.

“Clemson has the best personnel in the conference. Clemson always has the best personnel in the conference. If it’s going to change, it’s going to take a while.”

Clemson (3-2, 2-1 ACC) has lost to two ranked teams — a 10-3 decision to now-top-ranked Georgia on Sept. 4 and a 27-21 double-overtime defeat at No. 22 N.C. State on Sept. 25.

Syracuse (3-3, 0-2) remains winless in league play, but their two setbacks have both been by three points, including a 40-37 overtime loss against unbeaten Wake Forest on Saturday.

“They’re not much different than us — they’re two plays from being 5-1,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “We’re talking about last-play, overtime games that have gone down to the wire.

“Syracuse is a team that’s playing really tough on both sides of the ball. They’ve got a lot of experience. We’re trying to accomplish something we haven’t done, and that’s win on the road this year. It’s a huge challenge, a tough place to play.”

Swinney knows that all too well. In 2017, Syracuse stunned a No. 2-ranked Clemson team 27-24 on a Friday night in the Carrier Dome, prompting a post-game visit to the Orange locker room from Swinney.

“Last time we beat them he came in and spoke to the team, which I thought was really cool,” Babers said. “Our relationship is good. I think he does it the right way. I like his values. I like what his kids stand for. You can see he does a good job of raising young men.”

The Tigers’ loss of quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne as well as their top two receivers to the NFL has led to some offensive struggles this season. Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, who shined in two games as a replacement for Lawrence last season, has struggled, ranking last in the ACC in passing efficiency.

Clemson’s offense ranks last in the ACC in scoring at 20.0 points per game, but the Tigers’ defense is first in the league, allowing only 11.5 points per game.

That defense could be challenged by the Orange, who have an emerging star in running back Sean Tucker, who leads the nation in all-purpose yards with 165.8 per game.

“He’s special,” Swinney said. “He’s explosive, he’s fast, got great vision and power in the hole, got great change of direction.”

Swinney said he also is impressed by Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader, who accounted for 338 yards of total offense — 160 passing with two TDs and 178 rushing with another touchdown in the overtime loss to Wake Forest.

“This guy can run,” Swinney said of the transfer from Mississippi State, who became the starter just three weeks ago. “Sometimes I think they just tell everybody to go deep and then he just runs. He’s breaking tackles. If you’re not on point with this guy, it’s 40 yards, because he can run away from you.”

–Field Level Media