Clemson (7-1) welcomes Pittsburgh (4-4) to town this weekend and you can bet the Panthers have every ounce of the Tigers' attention heading into the Senior Day 3:30 p.m. kickoff.
Safety Nolan Turner was a redshirt player when James Conner and his Panthers rolled into Death Valley and captured a thrilling 43-42 upset over the Tigers who were ranked second in the country at the time.
That was the last time Clemson dropped a game at home and the Tigers are fully focused on Pittsburgh this time. Tuner and other team leaders are doing their part to make sure there isn't another letdown this Saturday.
"That was my redshirt year when they came in on Senior Day and beat us," Turner said on Monday. "I remember that being a frustrating day especially in the locker room afterward and that was the last loss at home that we've had."
Clemson is 25-point favorites over the Panthers but the Tigers are not overlooking Pittsburgh and acknowledge they must live out the creed that it's the biggest game of the week--because it is the next one.
"I remember it like it was yesterday," Turner said. "We have to do what we need to do throughout the week to prepare and get ready and not have a day like that again."
As one of the team's leaders this season, he knows it is up to guys like him to stand up and make sure everyone stays focused and motivated this week leading into game day.
Looking back, Turner said it's remarkable that he could leave Clemson with just one home loss in his career. A testament not only to the home field advantage created in Death Valley but the high level of play sustained over the last several years.
"I guess it's pretty crazy but you know that's what we do. We expect to win each week," Turner said. "That's the work we put in and the preparation through the summer ultimately leads to the seven days we get in Death Valley, so every one of them is special."
Turner said Clemson is blessed to have enjoyed its recent success but he stressed how important it is for the younger guys coming up to never get too comfortable.
"We definitely talk to the younger guys that you can't get complacent with the wins we have and the success we've had because ultimately when you become complacent, bad things happen. We always have to be uncomfortable in our preparation and our work throughout the week getting ready for the game."