#22 Clemson 38 Kentucky 35: With the Win


  • Clemson has now won at least one postseason game (conference championship, bowl game and/or national championship game) in 13 consecutive seasons, extending the longest streak on record in major college football history.
  • Clemson won nine games in a season for the 31st time in school history. It is Clemson’s 13th consecutive nine-win season and its 14th overall in Dabo Swinney’s 15 full seasons as head coach. 
  • Clemson and Alabama are the only programs in the country with active streaks of at least 13 consecutive seasons with at least nine wins.
  • Clemson tied Yale (13 straight from 1886-98) for the fourth-most consecutive nine-win seasons in major college football history, trailing only Nebraska (33 from 1969-2001), Alabama (16 from 2008-23) and Florida State (14 from 1987-2000).
  • Clemson won by scoring in the final two minutes of regulation for the first time since the 2019 Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State. The players responsible for the game-winning touchdown in that game — quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne — were both in attendance for the Gator Bowl.
  • Clemson’s 11-point deficit overcome was its largest in a bowl game since overcoming a 16-point deficit against Ohio State in that 2019 Fiesta Bowl win. It was Clemson’s largest fourth-quarter deficit overcome in a bowl game, surpassing its 10-point deficit overcome in the fourth quarter against Alabama to win the 2016 national championship.
  • Clemson evened its all-time Gator Bowl record at 5-5.
  • With his 12th career bowl win, Dabo Swinney broke Bobby Bowden’s ACC record (11) for the most career bowl wins leading an ACC program.
  • Clemson earned its sixth victory in its all-time series with Kentucky.
  • Clemson improved to 3-1 all-time in postseason games against Kentucky.
  • Clemson played its second straight SEC opponent and recorded its second win in that span to give the Tigers wins against SEC teams in consecutive games for the first time since the 2012 season finale against LSU and the 2013 season opener against Georgia. Clemson is in the midst of a three-game stretch against SEC teams across the 2023-24 seasons (South Carolina and Kentucky to end 2023 and Georgia to open 2024).
  • Clemson improved to 14-6 against SEC opponents since 2015. The Clemson win made Kentucky the sixth different SEC opponent defeated by Clemson in that span, joining Alabama, Auburn, LSU, South Carolina and Texas A&M.
  • Clemson improved to 21-12 in games at NFL stadiums under Swinney and 18-8 at NFL stadiums since 2015.
  • Clemson faced Kentucky Head Coach Mark Stoops for the first time and improved to 163-73-3 all-time (and 46-7 since 2011) when facing a coach for the first time.
  • Clemson improved to 3-0 against the Stoops family including postseason victories against Mark Stoops’ brother, Bob, in 2014 and 2015 during Bob’s tenure at Oklahoma.
  • Clemson improved to 131-18 against AP-unranked teams under Swinney and improved to 108-8 in those games since the start of the 2012 season.
  • Clemson’s senior class (40-12) became the 11th senior class in program history to earn 40 wins in a four-year span. Clemson’s seniors became the fifth active class in the country to accomplish the feat (Note: Notre Dame and Liberty’s classes can also reach 40 wins with a victory in their respective bowls).
  • Clemson improved to 80-6 when scoring first since 2015. Clemson was 5-1 in 2023 in games in which it scored first.
  • Clemson earned its first win of the year in a game in which it trailed at halftime. It was Clemson’s first win after trailing after two quarters since its 2022 win against Syracuse. Clemson trailed by 11 points in the fourth quarter in that contest just as it did in the Gator Bowl.
  • Clemson earned its 17th overall win in Swinney’s tenure when trailing at halftime and its 14th win in that span when trailing after three quarters.
  • Clemson now has a 131-8 record when totaling more first downs than its opponent since 2011.
  • Clemson improved to 78-4 record when winning the turnover margin since 2011.
  • Clemson improved to 38-1 since 2015 when intercepting multiple passes in a game.
  • Clemson has won 17 of its last 18 December games.
  • Clemson improved to 38-11 in one-possession games since 2011, the highest winning percentage in the country in one-score games in that span (.776).

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