After an extended layoff, Clemson is scheduled to return to action on Saturday, Nov. 28 when the Tigers welcome the Pittsburgh Panthers on Senior Day and Military Appreciation Day at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff in Death Valley is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET.
The contest will represent Clemson's first game action in 21 days. Clemson has often had similar (and longer) layoffs prior to postseason play, but the 21-day layoff is Clemson's longest between regular season games in a single season since 1918, when Clemson went 28 days between games against Georgia Tech and South Carolina. For more context on that 1918 campaign and other notable postponements in Clemson history.
Clemson's seniors are in the midst of a historic run at home. Clemson is attempting to extend its current school record by winning a 28th consecutive game at home and perhaps avenge its only home loss since 2014, a 43-42 loss to Pitt in 2016. In the last four years, Clemson's senior class is 26-0 in Death Valley, one victory away from tying the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Clemson seniors (27 wins each) for the most career wins at Memorial Stadium.
With a win this week, Clemson's senior class can become the first Clemson class ever to go undefeated in Death Valley since the facility's opening in 1942 and can become the first FBS senior class to post a perfect career record at home since the 2010 Boise State (26-0) and Oklahoma (25-0) seniors.
Though he is a junior in official eligibility, quarterback Trevor Lawrence is an academic senior and among those eligible to be honored on Senior Day. In his long-awaited return on Saturday, he will attempt to tie the school record with his 32nd career win as Clemson's starting quarterback.
Saturday's contest will feature two of college football's most disruptive defenses. Clemson has recorded 391 sacks and 1,034 tackles for loss since hiring Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables in 2012, the most in the nation in both categories. Over the last two seasons, Pitt and Clemson rank No. 1 and 2, respectively, in the country in both sacks and tackles for loss, with the two teams combining for 168 sacks and 392 tackles for loss in that span. Since the start of the 2019 season, both teams rank in the top three in SportSource Analytics "Defensive Mayhem" metric, which calculates the percentage of plays a defense generates a sack, tackle for loss, interception or fumble recovery. Clemson ranks first across 2019-20 (15.85), while Pitt ranks third (15.18).
What to Watch For:
- The 2020 Clemson seniors (26-0 at home from 2017-20) attempting to tie the school record for most home wins by a senior class held by the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seniors (27 each) and become the first Clemson class in the modern era to post a perfect four-year record at home. (Note: Clemson was undefeated at home in a four-year span from 1900-03 but only played a total of five home games in that four-year window).
- Clemson's seniors attempting to become the first FBS senior class to post a perfect career record at home since the 2010 Boise State (26-0) and Oklahoma (25-0) seniors.
- Clemson (5-0 at home in 2020) attempting to go undefeated at home for the sixth time in seven years. It would mark the school's first time accomplishing the feat (including ties) since 1935-41, when the team was 15-1-1 in its final seven seasons at Riggs Field prior to the opening of Memorial Stadium in 1942.
- Clemson attempting to win all its home games in four consecutive seasons for the first time under Head Coach Dabo Swinney.
- Clemson attempting to win its sixth home game this season to give the Tigers a 10-year streak of winning at least six games at Memorial Stadium. Clemson has already guaranteed itself a winning record at home for a 19th consecutive season.
- Clemson, which is a national-best 46-1 at home in the College Football Playoff era (since 2014), hosting Pittsburgh, which was responsible for Clemson’s lone home loss in that span (43-42 in 2016).
Clemson- Name your damn number, Pitt- 13
The Tigers are not riding the ROY bus this season, after the FSU debacle the Tigers are riding Grave Digger and it is the Panthers who are the unfortunate team in their way. This game will get sideways early, as Dabo and company make an emphatic statement that this team is one of the elite programs in college football.
Clemson 38, PItt 10
The long layoff could make for an unbalanced first half, but if the Tigers, who haven't played since Nov. 7 are relatively healthy, this won't be a four-quarter game. Protecting Lawrence is going to be the key for the Clemson offense. This Pitt defense leas the nation in sacks. The run game might continue to look lackluster, but in the end, Clemson will make more big plays than it allows and cruises in the second half.
Clemson 49 Pittsburgh 20
The Tigers finally get back on the wagon and shake off the cobwebs from the heartbreaker in South Bend. Clemson should be as close to full health as it has been all year. After sitting on that loss for what seems like an eternity, they take care of business on military appreciation day against the Panthers. With the win, the senior class leaves Clemson with a perfect record at home and a little retribution from the 2016 loss to Pittsburgh in Death Valley.
Clemson 45 Pitt 13
Trevor Lawrence is finally back and after more than a month away from the field the quarterback returns looking like he never left. Dabo Swinney is once again taking heat in the national media after his blunt comments regarding the cancellation of the FSU game and there is no coach in the country better at using that kind of stuff to motivate his team. The Tigers are well-rested, as close to healthy as they have been in some time and ready to get back on the field. This one is over before halftime.
Clemson 55 Pitt 6
Not that they needed it, but Clemson now has its rallying cry. After the postponement against Florida State and the criticism by some in the national media this Tiger team will have a new mission and woe be unto any team that gets in the way. Pitt will be the first casualty on Clemson's road toward another CFP berth