CUTrevor 2021-12-29 21:12:18

Tigers extend 10-win season streak to 11 years, 3rd-longest ever and 3 behind FSU and Bama!

I'll have post-game interviews, notes and highlights posted in a bit!


First of all, just really appreciate the Cheez-It Bowl, all the people who worked so hard to make this a great experience. We had a blast. We had a great week. That is our eighth Bowl win in our last ten attempts. The reason is, because we got good players, but they got to buy into how we prepare. Those guys, they did an amazing job of just getting ready. We had great preparation in Clemson and we had great preparation down here, and we had a lot of fun, too. Just really proud of the team for getting ready. It was an awesome experience for us. Congratulations to Iowa State. That's a good football team. They were exactly who they have been all year. You just know it's going to come down to a possession. They are a scrappy team, but man, the credit belongs to our players. I don't know if y'all heard me out there, but we had 28 scholarship players unavailable tonight, 28. And, then two more, Booth and Skalski, they are pretty good. They go out, so 30. 30 scholarship players unavailable, and then some pretty good coaches that are no longer with us, and an AD sitting on the beach under an umbrella right now. That's a lot that's gone on around these guys in the last few weeks. I just couldn't be more proud of our staff. That's a lot of players, nine guys that went in a portal somewhere between September and whenever, and then 19 guys out with injury, and we had three guys in the COVID protocol. Most of them have been out all year. For these guys to just continue to hang in there, the coaches continue to hang in there, and just find a way, all kind of musical chairs up front. I'm just really proud of this team. To be sitting here 10-3, after starting 2-2 is just incredible. It just speaks to the leadership and the character of the young men in our program, the culture of our program, the heart of our coaching staff as well and the foundation that we have at Clemson. So man, it was just an amazing, amazing experience out there tonight. I appreciate our fans, an awesome crowd, and it was a great environment. Orlando is amazing. This is a great place to host a game. So just again, overall, awesome game. A lot of big plays in the game, ebbs and flows, and none bigger than the pick-six that we had and big touchdown by Shipley and a huge kick by Potter as well. Just proud of the team and the staff for getting it done. And 11 straight years of 10-plus wins, I mean, there's only a couple other teams in the history that's done that, so that's not easy to do. That's what we set out to do back in 2009 -- was to become a consistent winning program. Not going to win the National Championship every year. We're not going to win the league every year, and we are not going to the Playoff every year, but if we can be a consistent program on and off the field, then we'll have those special moments. The best thing about this team is all of the stuff that they had to deal with this year. We set a school record. 84 guys made a 3.0 or better. 84 guys. 29 graduates. A bunch with master's degrees. 84 guys with a 3.0 or better in the midst of our "worst" season in a long time. I'm thankful and grateful and just really proud of a great group of young men. Really proud of Mario [Goodrich]. I was talking to the team about Mario a week or so go about this young man, because he didn't get off to a good start. Like a lot of 18-year-olds, a little immature, not quite as focused, a little distracted, in my office a couple times when he didn't need to be in my office. Got my foot in his rear a few times and, you know -- but you don't know what you don't know. And now, here he is. First Team All-Conference. Had his best semester academically in his whole career, 3.46 GPA in the fall. He was voted team captain by his team. Going to the Senior Bowl. That's what is great about coaching, is seeing transformation, seeing young men buy in.\ He'd have probably been in the portal if the portal had been around in his sophomore year. But to be up here in this moment with this guy right now, he knows. This is a winner. He's equipped. He's equipped. Whoever gets Mario, man, this dude right here. He's a grown man, and he gets it and he's equipped because of what he's been through and because he hung in there. I'm just so proud. Nobody deserves it more than this guy. He's been amazing, and, again, to see him voted captain. Then DJ [Uiagalelei], what he's been through this year is going to make him better. His last four or five weeks. He's been at his best. He hasn't complained one time. Seven scholarship receivers. Who can survive that? Who can survive seven scholarship receivers out three games in a row and just keep finding a way? This guy here, he's got the heart of a champion, unbelievable character, and just really, really proud of him. We weren't very good around him early in the season. Because of that, his mistakes as a young player were magnified. Every young player at quarterback I have had has made mistakes, but we weren't quite as good around him as we were with those other guys. But, his process has been sped up because of that. His process of becoming a leader, his maturation, his toughness, his preparation, his attention, everything, man, I just am really proud of where he is and how he led and how he never flinched. He's been in a skillet, in a frying pan all season long. And I've been right there with him, and he hasn't flinched. He's a winner. Just appreciate his leadership. So wanted to make sure I said that about these two guys. 

Q. It's not often you see a defensive player getting a Player of the Game award like that. What does that say about your defense? And what lessons perhaps from Coach Swinney have you learned to get to that point? 

MARIO GOODRICH: It means a lot about our defense. Everyone counted our defense out, because they thought Coach V [Venables] was going. But, we have Wes [Goodwin] and Coach [Mickey] Conn, and they know what they are doing. They have been here awhile. Everybody just has faith in them. To go out there and play our hearts out meant a lot to us, and we wanted to leave it all out on the field for them. And the Coach Swinney question, it just means a lot. We have been through a lot. I was in his office a couple times, and I greatly appreciate him and the rest of the coaching staff just pushing me to become a better man on and off the field and just in my daily life, really. 

Q. What message do you think Mario's journey of staying at Clemson when he could have chosen to go somewhere else? 

DABO: I'm not a big fan of the easy way out. I can just tell you, if it had been around his sophomore year, he would have been in it [transfer portal]. Ain't no doubt. He's a perfect example of -- and not that there's not good, legit reasons from time to time, but he's a perfect example of what happens when you grow through adversity. You know, adversity is good for us and it makes you depend on God. Makes you dig deeper. And the biggest thing in our program, our goals are to graduate our players, to equip them and develop them as men, to have a good experience and win a championship. He's the epitome of all those things. He's equipped. He's developed, and he's transformed. Then learning to be committed to excellence in everything you do, not just football, not just having your identity in football. Football is so fleeting. If he's playing football at 27, he's an old man. College football should be about developing men. That's what I'm passionate about. That's what I've always been passionate about. That's what I'm going to always be passionate about. This is what coaching is all about to me. He's got an unbelievable family, and they have been pushing on their end and pushing on his end. But at the end of the day, you have to grow. Young people need guidance. Young people need accountability. But you have to have to buy into that. He's special, he really is. He went from the bottom of the accountability teams to the top, to being voted by his team as a captain, permanent captain. That's all you need to know. To me, there's no greater compliment than to be voted captain by your team, because they know. It's just awesome to see how he's grown and matured. Again, excellence in the classroom, excellence in his social life, excellence in his football, excellence in his preparation. When you are 18 and 19, most young 18- and 19-year-olds are usually irrational, emotional and usually not very mature. And they should be. But when you're 22 -- how old are you now? 

MARIO GOODRICH: 21. 22 in a week and a half. 

DABO: Thought you got here when you were 17. But when you're 22 years old, you have a different perspective on things. You have been through some stuff and you have made it through and it makes you a little more confident. When he has challenges – he will have more challenges along the way, but he is prepared. He is equipped to go deal with them, and he'll push right through. 

Q. How do you characterize the 2021 Clemson Tigers? 

DABO: I'm as proud of this team as the 15-0 team when we held up the trophy in -- wherever the heck we were, Santa Clara, wherever that was. I'm as proud of this team as I was that team. That team stayed healthy. We didn't have anywhere near the challenges that this team had. It's incredible what they had to deal with this year. Then you have criticism and negativity and all that crap, and they never flinched. They kept fighting. They kept the faith, and they finished. They finished. Just really, really proud of them. As I said earlier, man, I look at every team like one of your children, and if you have children, you know -- I have three boys, and they are all different. If you have any kids, they have different personalities and different journeys and different challenges. I love that about starting over every year, because you truly start over. Because it is, it's new leadership, new challenges, new struggles, new journey. Man, I love this team. Very similar to our 2014 team that we had. Actually, ironically, right here in this Bowl game -- that was one of my favorite teams as well. I have never judged a team based on a championship, never, ever. Because you know what, there's a lot of things that go into winning a championship. Just because you don't win the championship doesn't mean this team was any less committed than our 2018 team that won it all. This team was just as committed, just as passionate, unbelievable group. I judged him based on their commitment to excellence, how they handled themselves off the field, what type of teammates they are, how they respond, how we practice, the camaraderie and chemistry, the development of the leadership, their passion, their toughness. That's how I judge these teams. This team is right there with any team I've had. And yeah, wish we'd have won them all. We didn't. Sometimes you are not quite good enough. That's okay. But, they have laid it on the line every single week, and I'm just really, really proud of them. There's not many programs out there that could have done what this group did this year. 

Q. Another guy that's come under a lot of criticism, most of it undue, is Robbie Caldwell, and he gets Gatorade bath out there and a lot of love and seemed very emotional. Was there any significance to some of that? 

DABO: Yeah. Don't act like you don't know. I know you know. But I appreciate y'all kind of respecting the process with Robbie, because, man, he deserves it. He's coached -- I wrote his name down right here, so I appreciate you asking about him. That was a special moment on the field, and we had a special moment in the locker room. He's been coaching 40-something years. He's been leading young people. Man, I love Robbie Caldwell. He's 68, and, you know, this was his last on-the-field game tonight. The team has known that. Again, I'm sure y'all have probably known that, so I appreciate y'all and how y'all handled the process, allowing this to play out the way it has. But, man, he came here in 2011 and has had 11 straight 10-plus win seasons and a couple of National Championships and a bunch of ACC Championships and a bunch of big wins along the way. But he and I talked about this last year, and he really wanted to go one more year. And man, I am so thankful that he did, because there ain't many people that could have handled what we had to handle in that offensive line this year. It took a dang salty, savvy veteran like Robbie Caldwell to be able to hold it together the way we did this year with such chaos up front. I love him, he and his wife, Nora. He's not -- the good news is he's not going anywhere. He's going to transition off the field and going to run our high school relations and sophomore transition and work on some scouting as well. I'm really thankful that he's going to be with us. But, it's time, and he's excited about a new role and an opportunity to impact the team. So Thomas Austin will be moving into our offensive line job, and then Crowder is moving into Thomas's analyst role. And Brandon Thomas, who just retired from the Jaguars, is coming to be the offensive line grad assistant. We are going to have BT and big Thomas Austin taking the reins for Robbie Caldwell and going to be coaching those guys on the field. It's going to be a great transition, man. I'm super excited. We knew this was going to happen. That's why I went and got Thomas last year from Georgia State and brought him on in, so we could have a smooth transition. But just appreciate Robbie and who he is. He's an unbelievable person of character, will do anything. He'll pick up trash. He'll clean the bus. He'll wipe the tables down. Every year, when we go through job responsibilities and descriptions -- he always puts on there, look for work. This guy drove the bus at 16. He drove the bus -- can y'all imagine that? At 16 years old, he drove the bus, did the route, picked them up, brought the bus home at night, drove the bus to play baseball. He was the bus driver at 16 years old -- 15 years old. Yeah, it was a different planet. But. he's amazing. It was awesome being able to give him a game ball. 

Q. How nice was it to get him off to a good start as the defensive coordinator, and how do you feel like the defense will be moving forward under him? 

MARIO GOODRICH: It means a lot. Like Coach Swinney said, we had two weeks of good preparation when we were at Clemson and here. I just feel like all the guys bought in. They really respect him and Coach Conn. They just want to see -- they just want to see the next team do better. Like the seniors. We just -- we want to leave it all out there and make a statement for the next team that comes in. 

Q. Who was the one in the locker room -- 

DABO: Y'all got a show. It was right there. We were a little loud. 

MARIO GOODRICH: Coach Swinney is in charge of the music. 

Q. Not trying to pick on the negatives, you obviously put together a phenomenal game, but start of the second quarter, Xavier Hutchinson ended up catching a 34-yard catch. You were able to recover and make the tackle, but what kind of happened there?

MARIO GOODRICH: We were in Cover 4. I just jumped outside. Got a little too heavy on his outside. He came back inside, and just made a good play. People make plays, and, luckily, we were able to stop him, and I think hold him to a field goal -- yeah, hold him to a field goal. But, our offense lived, lived another play. 

Q. This was a milestone win for you, number 150. That's a pretty big deal. Can you just elaborate on how you're feeling after all this? 

DABO: I can't even -- I really can't process that, to be honest with you, and I actually forgot until Woody reminded me after the game. I can't process that. But it's not about me. I mean, I've got 150 wins because of a bunch of great players, a bunch of great coaches, a bunch of great people and the good Lord. I try to do my part, but I can tell you this, I've got a lot of guys on our staff, former players, that were a part of the first win. It was pretty cool to be here tonight and be a part of the 150th win -- that was a pretty cool moment. Credit goes to the players. This game is about players. It's about players and players buying in. I'm incredibly blessed that I can't even really process that, but the same things that won the first game are the same things that won the game tonight, same exact things: Effort, toughness, physicality, no-quit attitude, discipline, belief in self and team, and just, you know, uncommon effort. I'm just really thankful. It's really cool to be a part of something like that. But again, I can go on and on about all the great players that we've had all the way back to that very first win November 1, 2008, at BC, to where we are right now in 2021. It's been an amazing blessing, amazing journey. And, you know, I know, good Lord willing, keeps breath in my body, we'll have a lot more to come. 

Q. DJ, what did you think about the way that Brandon Streeter prepared you for this game and what your offensive identity is going to look like going forward? 

DJ UIAGALELEI: Coach [Brandon] Streeter, man, I feel like we had a great week of practice the last two weeks, and didn't skip a beat with Coach Streeter being named offensive coordinator. Hats off to Coach Streeter. He's done an amazing job being offensive coordinator, and also excited to have him offensive coordinator being he's my quarterback coach. Being moved up to the offensive coordinator job, I know he's going to do an amazing job. We didn't miss a beat. He came in, he's brought energy, and he's done it his own way. That's the biggest thing, him coming in as our coordinator, coming in after someone that leaves like Coach Elliott, someone that was an amazing coordinator, after all these years that he's been, you don't want to be compared or you don't want to kind of be like that same person. You want to be able to have your own identity. Coach Streeter has been doing that. I'm super excited Coach Streeter is offensive coordinator, and I'm super excited for him. 

Q. Wanted to ask you about the interception. What was going through your mind, seemed like Purdy batted it forward. Were you surprised? 

MARIO GOODRICH: I thought he was going to catch it or something. I don't know what he was thinking honestly, but once he did, I was happy. I was excited. I started pointing -- saw my D-Linemen out front and shout-out to them and the linebackers, but happy to get one. 

Q. DJ, we heard Coach talk a lot about the importance of personal development on and off the field. How do you feel you've developed on and off the field this season for 2021? 

DJ UIAGALELEI: I felt like going through the season, my word for this year before this season even started was "faith." And to be able to pick that word, and just to be able to go through the whole season, after going through this season, I know exactly why that word, why God gave me that word. Faith is something that you don't know, you can't see, but you know you believe in your heart. Going through it, I know Jesus put me in this position to be able to go out there this season and put me through these trials and take me through these different struggles and just different challenges, and I thank Him for that. I accepted the challenge and he's made me a better person going through the season and learning the different life lessons going through it. It's made me a better person and I know exactly what He's did for me, so I'm thankful for that. 

Q. With this being your son's last game, just overall, what would be the one take away you hope he gets from his time at Clemson? 

DABO: Man, you know, Will, these guys can tell you, Will loves every bit of it. Like, he loves mat drills; he loves practice; he loves Tiger walk; he loves weight room; he loves running in the summer. Like he loves every ounce and he has truly squeezed everything out of his experience here. The biggest thing is just belief in himself and just he's a grinder. He's a grinder. He started the last three games, took seven scholarship receivers to go down, but he hung in there. He became a starter his last three games, had a huge third down conversion, the 31st drive to lead us to points, and man, he's a great young man. He's won the Spiritual Leader Award voted on by his team in his time here. He's won the highest academic award in his time here. He's a great student. What I love most about Will is just he loves to work and that's probably -- I've said this a few times, like I said this on Senior Night, I got emotional, but my kids have grown up a lot different than me, a lot different than me. And that was a goal of mine, I want my kids to grow up different than me, but I also worried a little bit about, you know, I guess -- I guess I would say one of my best accomplishments in life is my kids. They have that same grit, that same work ethic, that same toughness, that same will to just be successful, even though, they have grown up different. I'm proud of that. So special night, special time. One of the greatest joys of my life has been the last five years watching my son just grind and just be a great teammate and do whatever you asked him to do. I've loved every second of it. I mean, he's stayed healthy. He's never missed a game. He's played -- he and [Will] Spiers and [James] Skalski have played in the most games in Clemson Football history. I can't imagine anybody has held for more points than Will. I'm thankful he was able to come and be a part of this program because it's so much more than just me, the people that pure into these players that shape them and develop them and I'm so thankful that he got that, and he will -- he will use it wisely as he moves forward with his life. And just all these seniors. Let me tell you something: Will is a senior -- Clemson is better, because these seniors were here. Our program is better because these seniors were here. And tonight, they passed the torch and what an unbelievable job they did in finishing. 

Q. What's ahead for you with your knee? And Coach, what kind of grade do you give your rookie coordinators in their first time out in the spotlight? 

DJ UIAGALELEI: Not sure right now. Probably have to sees it after the game, but for the most part, I think just PT [Physical Therapy], just continue to keep healthy and just rehab, I feel like that's the main thing right now. 

DABO: A plus. Because we just beat a good football team, and we had 30 scholarship players unavailable. I don't know what else you can ask. It's just amazing what these guys have been able to do. So really proud of Wes [Goodwin]. Mike Reed stepping in as special teams coordinator; Todd taking on a new role; Mickey stepping in with a different role as co-coordinator and Wes calling the plays and leading the room; those guys were awesome and did a tremendous job. We had one mistake down there on the touchdown, and I love the call, he brought the house, went after him and we had a young guy out there that thought he had inside help on Cover 0, so we'll get that right. But I just -- it was an awesome job. A couple unfortunate -- it was a tough call on the rough -- on the receiver, that was a tough one, but just made some good plays. Streeter was awesome. The art of coaching is taking what you have and trying to find a way. So, we found a way. But, we are going to get a lot of guys back. We're going to get -- 19 guys out with different injuries or whatever and then two more went out tonight. We have a lot coming back. We have some mid-years coming in and I thought the staff did an amazing job, truly. 

Q. You talked a lot about how consistent a program Clemson is and how that's allowed Clemson to achieve the milestones that it has. Looking forward, what needs to be fixed, and what's the focus for the off-season? 

DABO SWINNEY: Yeah, just get back to work. Start over. We have to go recruit. Obviously we have to fill a few holes and got to complete our '22 class. We have to get guys healthy. We have some surgeries and things like that. We have some guys coming off of surgeries. Take some time off. School starts on the 12th. Next team meeting will be the 14th. Our banquet will be the 15th. But just get everybody back, that's the No. 1 thing and complete our roster the way we need to. We have a few moving pieces. We have to go get a running back and we have to get another corner. We need another safety. We need another linebacker. So, we have kind of got a few holes on our roster. We have always gone into the summer and the season, we usually try to be around 80 to 82 and that's where we need to be. Then I usually will keep about three or four to take care of some guys that deserve it, like your starting snapper, you know, people like that. So got to complete our roster, get guys healthy and then get back to work. Then, we'll study everything from this season and kind of reset with new roles. Got to finish up some staff stuff that I got to get done. So got a lot to do but you know, just keep learning, keep growing.



  • Head Coach Dabo Swinney earned his 150th career win in his 14th season (including an interim stint in 2008) to move past Barry Switzer (149) for sole possession of the third-most wins through the first 15 seasons of a coaching career in FBS history.
  • Swinney joined Urban Meyer (165) and Bob Stoops (160) as the only coaches in FBS history to win 150 games in the first 15 seasons of a head coaching career.
  • Swinney earned his 150th career win in only his 186th career game as head coach. He became the sixth-fastest coach in FBS history to 150 wins, trailing only Urban Meyer (176), Gil Dobie (180), Barry Switzer (180), Fielding Yost (184) and Joe Paterno (184). Swinney is the fourth-fastest in the modern era.
  • Swinney joined Bobby Bowden as the only head coaches ever to lead an ACC program to 150 career wins. Of Bowden's 377 career wins, a conference-record 173 came during the Seminoles' membership in the ACC.
  • Swinney earned his 11th bowl victory to tie Bowden’s ACC record (11) for the most career bowl wins leading an ACC program.
  • Clemson won its 10th game of the season and has now recorded at least 10 wins for a school-record 11th consecutive season. Clemson became only the third program in history ever to post 11 consecutive 10-win seasons, joining Florida State (14 from 1987-2000) and Alabama (14 from 2008-21). Clemson is the first school to win 10 games in 11 straight seasons as a member of the ACC, as only the final nine of Florida State's 14-straight 10-win seasons came during the Seminoles' tenure in the ACC.
  • Clemson now has 18 seasons of 10 or more wins in school history, with 11 coming under Dabo Swinney.
  • Clemson won 10 games in a season in which it started 2-2 or worse for the second time in school history, joining the 2014 Tigers that rebounded from a 2-2 start through four games (and a 1-2 start through three games) to finish 10-3 with a bowl win in Orlando. Beyond the 2021 and 2014 teams, the only other Clemson team to reach even nine wins after starting .500 or worse through four games was its 2009 team, which started 2-2 and finished 9-5.
  • Clemson improved to 26-22 all-time in bowl contests, tying Nebraska and Ohio State for 10th-most bowl wins in FBS history.
  • Clemson improved to 3-1 all-time in the Cheez-It Bowl across the game's various monikers. Clemson lost to Texas Tech in the Tangerine Bowl in 2002 but defeated Colorado in the Champs Sports Bowl in 2005 and beat Oklahoma in the Russell Athletic Bowl in 2014.
  • Clemson improved to 6-4 all-time against teams in the Big 12 Conference at the time of the game, including winning its two most recent meetings in 2014 and 2015, both against Oklahoma in postseason play. Six of Clemson's nine games against the Big 12 prior to the Cheez-It Bowl came against teams no longer in the conference (two against Missouri, two against Texas A&M and one each against Colorado and Nebraska).
  • Clemson evened its all-time record against schools currently in the Big 12 Conference at 7-7. 
  • Clemson has now won at least one bowl game in eight of its last 10 seasons. The win made Clemson 10-4 in bowl games since 2012, including College Football Playoff National Championship Games.
  • Clemson won its 15th consecutive December game, dating to Clemson’s 2011 ACC Championship Game victory against Virginia Tech. Clemson (15-0) is one of three schools to be undefeated in December since 2011 with a minimum of five games played, a list that also includes Alabama (12-0) and Penn State (7-0) prior to their upcoming bowl games.
  • Clemson improved to 26-13 all-time in December games, including postseason play.
  • Clemson is now 66-4 when scoring first since 2015.
  • Clemson led 6-3 at halftime and has now won 96 of its last 98 games, including each of its last 59, when leading at halftime.
  • Clemson improved to 118-2 since 2011 when leading after three quarters.
  • Clemson now has a 116-2 record when totaling more first downs than its opponent since 2011.
  • Clemson has now won 97 of its last 98 games when holding teams under 23 points (dates to 2010), including 89 straight prior to a season-opening 10-3 loss to Georgia in 2021.
  • Clemson has now won 32 of its last 39 one-possession games since 2011, the highest winning percentage in the country in one-score games in that span.


  • Clemson played its seventh one-possession game of the season, improving to 5-2 in those contests. It marked the eighth season in which Clemson played at least seven games decided by eight or fewer points, joining the 1958, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1985 and 2015 seasons (seven each) and 2016 season (eight).
  • Clemson faced Iowa State for the first time in school history. The Cyclones became the 107th different opponent faced by Clemson all-time. 
  • Clemson improved to 65-38-4 all-time in its first meeting with its 107 opponents, including a 16-1 mark in first meetings since 2003. Clemson has won 18 of its last 20 games when making its all-time debut against a new opponent.
  • Head Coach Dabo Swinney made his 18th bowl game appearance (including CFP National Championship Games) as head coach to tie Bobby Bowden’s ACC record (18) for the most career bowl appearances leading an ACC program. (Note: Only 18 of Bowden's 32 total career bowl appearances came during Florida State's years of ACC membership.)
  • Placekicker B.T. Potter hit 2-of-3 field goals and both of his extra point attempts for eight total points. 
  • Potter (21-of-26) finished the season having posted only the 11th 20-field-goal season in school history and Clemson’s first since 2015 (Greg Huegel, 27). 
  • Potter has now kicked multiple field goals in five consecutive games for the first time in his career. In the four games prior to the Cheez-It Bowl, Potter went 3-of-3 against Louisville, UConn and South Carolina and 2-for-2 against Wake Forest.
  • Potter added a 51-yard field goal in the second quarter, a season long.
  • Potter’s 51-yard field goal was one-yard shy of the Clemson bowl record for longest field goal, set by Potter himself two years ago against LSU (52 yards). He also added to his single-season (12) and career (26) school records for field goals of 40-plus yards.
  • With the 51-yarder, Potter added to his Clemson record for career field goals of 50 yards or more with the seventh of his career.
  • Including his eight points scored on Wednesday to reach the 100-point mark, Potter (101 in 2021) became the first player in Clemson history to score 100 points in three consecutive seasons. Potter scored 118 points in 2019 and 115 points in 2020 and reached the century mark for 2021 on a third-quarter PAT.
  • Potter will return next season having scored in 42 consecutive contests. He has scored in every game since earning the starting placekicking job prior to the 2019 season. He served as the team's kickoff specialist in 2018. 
  • Potter missed a 36-yard goal on the final play of the first half, ending a streak of 13 consecutive successful field goal attempts, one shy of Obed Ariri (14 straight in 1980) for the third-longest streak of consecutive field goals made in school history.
  • Running back Will Shipley finished with 18 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown and five receptions for 53 yards. Running back Kobe Pace finished with 12 carries for 51 yards and four receptions for 38 yards. 
  • Clemson received the opening kickoff and drove 69 yards in 15 plays, resulting in a 23-yard Potter field goal.
  • 8:08 elapsed during the opening drive, Clemson’s longest drive by time of the season. At the time, the 15-play drive also temporarily tied for the longest drive by plays for Clemson this season, matching a 15-play drive against UConn.
  • After scoring on its opening possession only once in its first eight games, Clemson finished the season having scored on its opening drive in each of its last five games.
  • Shipley recorded a career-long 19-yard reception on the game’s opening drive.
  • In the third quarter, Shipley recorded the game’s first touchdown on a 12-yard touchdown run.
  • On the touchdown run, Shipley (11) passed C.J. Spiller (10 in 2006) for sole possession of the second-most rushing touchdowns by a Clemson true freshman since 1972. His freshman total trailed only Travis Etienne’s 13 in 2017 in Clemson history.
  • Shipley’s touchdown run was the culmination of a 16-play, 79-yard drive, supplanting the opening drive and the drive against UConn as Clemson’s longest drive by plays this season and its most since a 16-play drive against Miami (Fla.) in 2020. Clemson finished with three drives of at least 14 plays. 
  • Wide receiver Dacari Collins had a career-high-tying six receptions for 56 yards on six targets, all in the first half. Four of his six receptions were for first downs. 
  • Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei completed 21-of-32 passes for 187 yards. His 21 completions tied his season high set against Syracuse and UConn.
  • Cornerback Mario Goodrich recorded his second interception of the season, returning a batted Brock Purdy pass 18 yards for a touchdown. The interception was Goodrich’s fifth of his career and resulted in his first career touchdown at the collegiate level.
  • The defensive touchdown was Clemson’s second of the season, joining linebacker Barrett Carter’s fumble return touchdown against Florida State.
  • With its second defensive touchdown of the year, Clemson has now recorded multiple defensive touchdowns in 12 straight seasons. The last time Clemson had fewer than two defensive touchdowns in a season was 2009, Dabo Swinney's first full season as head coach, when the Tigers supplemented a single defensive touchdown with six special teams touchdowns. 
  • Goodrich’s interception return touchdown was Clemson’s first since 2019, when Derion Kendrick returned a Florida State interception 38 yards for a score.
  • Goodrich’s interception return touchdown was Clemson’s first in a bowl game since A.J. Terrell’s pick-six against Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game to end the 2018 season.
  • Goodrich helped seal the victory with a fourth-down forced fumble that left Iowa State short of the line to gain on the Cyclones’ final possession. It was Goodrich’s first career forced fumble on what was likely to be the final snap of his college career.
  • Clemson surrendered three points following a Clemson interception at its own 28-yard line in the third quarter. Clemson only allowed 27 points off turnovers this season. However, 21 of those points have come off of two pick-sixes and a strip-sack fumble return, so the Clemson defense has only surrendered three points on possessions following a Clemson turnover this season. Before the Cheez-It Bowl, the only offense to score following a Clemson turnover this year had been South Carolina State, which turned a Michel Dukes fumble at the Clemson 36 into a field goal. 
  • Clemson held Iowa State to 66 rushing yards, marking Clemson’s first time holding four straight opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards for the first time since a five-game streak to end 2010.
  • Defensive end K.J. Henry recorded Clemson’s only sack and ends the season having recorded at least a half-sack in four straight games for the first time in his career. His 4.5 sacks this season broke his single-season career high from 2020 (3.5). 
  • Punter Will Spiers, wide receiver/holder Will Swinney and linebacker James Skalski each played in their 69th career games to extend their school record for most career games played. Among accessible data and responses from FBS Sports Information Directors, the 69 games played by each member of the trio is believed to be a modern FBS record.
  • Spiers started his 69th game to add to his school and national record for career starts. Swinney's career total as Clemson's primary holder parallels Spiers' run as starting punter. 
  • Spiers placed three of his punts inside the 20, giving him 27 on the year and placing him one shy of Bradley Pinion's school record for punts downed inside the 20 in a single season (28 in 2014). His 108 career punts downed inside the 20 are Clemson's career record by a wide margin, leading No. 2 Dale Hatcher's 69 from 1981-84.
  • Four Tigers — OT Jordan McFaddenOL Walker ParksLB James Skalski and QB DJ Uiagalelei — started and became the only Clemson players to start every game this season on offense or defense. Every other Clemson offensive or defensive starter missed time or played as a reserve at some point in 2021.
  • Captains for the contest were Clemson’s elected permanent captains for the 2021 season: offensive lineman Matt Bockhorst (injured), wide receiver Will Brown, cornerback Mario Goodrich, wide receiver Justyn Ross (injured), linebacker James Skalski, linebacker Baylon Spector (injured), punter Will Spiers and safety Nolan Turner (injured).