2009 Clemson Tigers football team

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2009 Clemson Tigers football
Clemson Tigers logo.svg
ACC Atlantic Division champion
Music City Bowl champion
Music City Bowl, W 21–13 vs. Kentucky
Conference Atlantic Coast Conference
Division Atlantic Division
AP No. 24
2009 record 9–5 (6–2 ACC)
Head coach Dabo Swinney (1st full, 2nd overall season)
Offensive coordinator Billy Napier
Offensive scheme Multiple
Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele
Base defense 4–3
Home stadium Memorial Stadium
(Capacity: 81,500, grass)
← 2008
2010 →
2009 ACC football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
Atlantic Division
No. 24 Clemson x   6 2         9 5  
Boston College   5 3         8 5  
Florida State   4 4         7 6  
Wake Forest   3 5         5 7  
NC State   2 6         5 7  
Maryland   1 7         2 10  
Coastal Division
No. 13 Georgia Tech* x$   7 1         11 3  
No. 10 Virginia Tech   6 2         10 3  
No. 19 Miami   5 3         9 4  
North Carolina*   0 4         0 5  
Duke   3 5         5 7  
Virginia   2 6         3 9  
Championship: Georgia Tech 39, Clemson 34
December 5, 2009
  • $ – BCS representative as conference champion
  • North Carolina vacated 8 wins, including 4 ACC wins.
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2009 Clemson Tigers football team represented Clemson University in the 2009 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Tigers were led by head coach Dabo Swinney, who was in his first full season as head coach. The Tigers played their home games in Memorial Stadium. The Tigers won the ACC Atlantic Division, but after securing the title lost to in–state rival South Carolina in the Palmetto Bowl 34–17,[1] before losing for the second time in the season to Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game.[2] Clemson closed the season with a win over Kentucky in the Music City Bowl.


The Clemson Tigers take the field during the 2009 Music City Bowl.

In the Tiger's 40–24 victory over the Florida State Seminoles on November 7, 2009, running back C. J. Spiller and wide receiver Jacoby Ford became the leading all-purpose yardage duo in NCAA history (a record previously held by Marshall Faulk and Darnay Scott of San Diego State).

C. J. Spiller was named as one of the three finalists for the 2009 Doak Walker Award. Spiller, along with Mark Ingram of Alabama and Toby Gerhart of Stanford, was selected by a vote of the 130–member Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee. On December 2, 2009, Spiller was voted the 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year. The all-purpose threat was named as the league's top player following a vote of 40 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Spiller received 29 votes to outdistance Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt, who had eight. Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams, the league's rookie of the year, had two votes and Yellow Jackets defensive end Derrick Morgan had one. Spiller was the nation's only player this season to account for touchdowns five different ways – rushing, passing, receiving, and on kick and punt returns – and had passing, rushing and receiving TDs in one game, a victory against North Carolina State. He returned four kickoffs and a punt for scores this year and has eight total returns for TDs during his career. He scored at least once in every game this season while leading Clemson to the Atlantic Division title and a spot in the league title game against Georgia Tech. Spiller led the ACC with an average of nearly 184 all-purpose yards and was the league's fourth-leading rusher, averaging 76 yards. Spiller is the seventh Tiger to be named player of the year and the first since Michael Dean Perry in 1987.[3]

Incoming recruiting class[edit]

  • Malliciah Goodman (DE; Florence, South Carolina; West Florence HS)
  • J.K. Jay (OL; Greenville, South Carolina; Christ Church Episcopal School)
  • Jonathan Meeks (S; Rock Hill, South Carolina; Rock Hill HS)
  • Tyler Shatley (FB; Valdese, North Carolina; East Burke HS)
  • Brandon Thomas (OL; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Dorman HS)
  • Bryce McNeal (WR; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Breck HS)
  • Roderick McDowell (RB; Sumter, South Carolina; Sumter HS)
  • Tajh Boyd (QB; Hampton, Virginia; Phoebus HS)
  • Spencer Shuey (LB/DE; Charlotte, North Carolina; South Mecklenburg HS)
  • Quandon Christian (LB; Lake View, South Carolina; Lake View HS)
  • Corico Hawkins (LB; Milledgeville, Georgia; Baldwin HS)
  • Darell Smith (TE/BAN; Gadsen, Alabama; Gadsen City HS)
  • Taylor Ogle (QB; Gatlinburg, Tennessee; Gatlinburg-Pittman HS)
  • Octavius Lewis(SS;Orlando,FL Maynard Evans HS)


Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
NR = Not ranked. RV = Received votes. ( ) = First place votes.
Poll Pre 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Final 
AP NR NR NR RV NR NR NR NR RV RV 24 18 15 25 RV 24 
Harris Not released NR NR NR RV RV RV 25 19 17 RV RV Not released 
BCS Not released NR NR NR NR 23 18 NR NR Not released

#17 jersey[edit]

On July 25, it was announced that sophomore linebacker Stanley Hunter was forced to quit playing football due to medical reasons. Hunter, who led the 2008 team in fewest plays per tackle, was suffering from an increase in seizures due to epilepsy.[4] On August 18, Coach Swinney announced that several players would alternate wearing #17 during the season as a way to honor Stanley Hunter.[5]

List of Players wearing #17 during the season:

Three of the players who wore #17 (Korn, Diehl, and Dye) were also teammates with Hunter at James F. Byrnes High School in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Stanley Hunter remains a member of the Clemson team, serving as a student-coach this season for the Tigers.

#6 jersey[edit]

Cornerback Chris Chancellor, whose normal number is #38, wore #6, the normal number of wide receiver Jacoby Ford, for the Miami game. (Under college football rules, two or more players on a team can wear the same number as long as only one is on the field at a time.) Chancellor, a native of Miami, made the change with the blessing of both Ford and Swinney in memory of his former high school teammate Jasper Howard, a cornerback who wore #6 for Connecticut and was murdered in the early morning of October 18 following UConn's game against Louisville.[6]

#28 jersey[edit]

At the end of the season, Head Coach Dabo Swinney announced that they would retire the #28 jersey worn by C. J. Spiller at a ceremony when the Tigers play Maryland at home on Oct. 16, 2010.


Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 5 6:00 p.m. Middle Tennessee* Memorial StadiumClemson, SC (Hall of Fame Day / Youth Day) ESPN360 W 37–14   78,371[7]
September 10 7:30 p.m. at No. 13 Georgia Tech Bobby Dodd StadiumAtlanta, GA (Rivalry) ESPN L 27–30   52,029[7]
September 19 12:00 p.m. Boston College Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC (O'Rourke–McFadden Trophy / Family Weekend) Raycom W 25–7   77,362[7]
September 26 3:30 p.m. No. 14 TCU* Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC (Football Reunion Weekend) ESPN360 L 10–14   71,869[7]
October 3 12:00 p.m. at Maryland Byrd StadiumCollege Park, MD ESPNU L 21–24   46,243[7]
October 17 12:00 p.m. Wake Forest Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC (IPTAY Day) Raycom W 38–3   74,298[7]
October 24 3:30 p.m. at No. 10 Miami (FL) Land Shark StadiumMiami Gardens, FL ABC/ESPN W 40–37 OT  43,778[7]
October 31 1:30 p.m. Coastal Carolina*dagger Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC ESPN360 W 49–3   74,429[7]
November 7 7:45 p.m. Florida State Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC (Rivalry/Solid Orange Day) ESPN W 40–24   76,656[7]
November 14 12:00 p.m. at NC State Carter–Finley StadiumRaleigh, NC (Textile Bowl) Raycom W 43–23   57,583[7]
November 21 3:30 p.m. Virginia No. 19 Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC (Military Appreciation Day) ABC/ESPN W 34–21   77,568[7]
November 28 12:00 p.m. at South Carolina* No. 16 Williams-Brice StadiumColumbia, SC (Rivalry) ESPN L 17–34   80,574[7]
December 5 8:00 p.m. vs. No. 12 Georgia Tech No. 25 Raymond James StadiumTampa, FL (ACC Championship) ESPN L 34–39   57,227[7]
December 27 7:30 p.m. vs. Kentucky LP FieldNashville, TN (Music City Bowl) ESPN W 21–13   57,280[7]
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.

Depth chart[edit]

These are the starters, primary backups, and key reserves as of September 2009.

Coaching staff[edit]

  • Dabo Swinney – Head Coach
  • Billy Napier – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
  • Kevin Steele – Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
  • Charlie Harbison – Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
  • Danny Pearman – Assistant Head Coach/Tackles & Tight Ends
  • Brad Scott – Associate Head Coach/Offensive Guards and Centers
  • Dan Brooks – Defensive Tackles
  • Andre Powell – Running Backs/Special Teams
  • Chris Rumph – Defensive Ends
  • Jeff Scott – Recruiting Coordinator/Wide Receivers

2010 NFL draft[edit]

Clemson had five players selected in the 2010 NFL draft. C. J. Spiller went in the first round as the ninth overall pick.

Player Team Round Pick # Position
C. J. Spiller Buffalo Bills 1st 9th RB
Jacoby Ford Oakland Raiders 4th 108th WR
Ricky Sapp Philadelphia Eagles 5th 143th DE
Crezdon Butler Pittsburgh Steelers 5th 164th DB
Kavell Conner Indianapolis Colts 7th 240th LB


  1. ^ South Carolina Dominates Clemson, 34–17
  2. ^ Yellow Jackets' late touchdown sinks Tigers for ACC crown
  3. ^ "C. J. Spiller Named 2009 ACC Player of the Year". Atlantic Coast Conference. December 2, 2009. Retrieved December 2, 2009. 
  4. ^ Melton, Kevin (July 25, 2009). "Clemson's Stanley Hunter forced to quit football". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Archived from the original on October 3, 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Clemson Football Practice Report: Day 13". Clemson Athletics. Archived from the original on October 3, 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Chancellor to wear No. 6 as tribute". ESPN. Associated Press. October 20, 2009. Archived from the original on October 23, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "2010 Clemson Football Media Guide" (PDF). Clemson University. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 24, 2011. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/clem/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/depth-chart.pdf