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Tigers host Wofford on Military Appreciation Day

Lucas Downs, Contributor
Clemson receiver Amari Rodgers (3) celebrates a touchdown against Boston College. 

One of the best Clemson traditions during football season is Military Appreciation Day, and on Saturday, the Tigers will renew this prestigious tradition when they host the Wofford Terriers.

The annual appreciation day is dedicated to honoring past and present military members and their families for the sacrifices made to keep this great country safe. Clemson is known for its military roots and holds one of the deepest military ties in the country. This heritage stems back to the creation of the university in 1889, with over 10,000 Clemson students serving in the armed forces over the university’s 130-year existence.

This Saturday will mark the 26th annual Military Appreciation Day, dating back to its inaugural edition in 1994 versus Georgia Tech. The annual dedication has been celebrated each year since and is normally played in the month of November or versus a university with rich military ties like Clemson. Under head coach Dabo Swinney, the Tigers have begun wearing all-purple uniforms for the game, the only game each season where the team does so. Clemson is 21-4 all-time on Military Appreciation Day, with the last loss coming in 2007 versus Virginia Tech.

The activities planned before the game include armed forces displays on Bowman Field, tributes to families of fallen soldiers during pregame festivities, a special parachute drop-in from the Special Forces Association, which will deliver the game ball, and a special flyover of four F-16s from the 169th Fighter Wing, 157th Fighter Squadron, and the South Carolina National Air Guard based at McEntire Joint National Guard base. The game activities will also include in-game and halftime presentations.

The game itself will feature a matchup of great tradition. The Tigers and Terriers have played 15 times, with Clemson holding a 12-3 lead in the series. The Tigers have won five in a row against Wofford dating back to 1940, with the last victory coming in the 2015 season opener. Clemson defeated Wofford 16-0 in its inaugural season in 1896.

The Terriers come into the matchup riding a 5-game winning streak, with its latest win coming in overtime versus Tennessee-Chattanooga. Wofford is currently tied with Furman for first place in the SOCON standings, looking to clinch their automatic berth into the FCS playoffs.

Clemson enters the game riding a nation-best 23-game win streak, extending its school record with a win last week against Boston College. The Tigers are 8-0 for the second consecutive season and fourth time in five years. With a win on Saturday, Clemson will tie its school record for most consecutive home wins with 21, a mark set previously from 2013-2016. The Tigers have only lost three home games since 2011, and currently have the second-best home win streak behind Alabama’s 31 straight home wins.

The Tigers should handle Wofford this weekend, which will help Clemson stay in the race for the College Football Playoff. Soon, the Tigers will enter Championship Phase and begin the hunt for their fifth consecutive playoff appearance. The game between Clemson and Wofford will kickoff at 4 p.m. on Saturday and will be televised by the ACC Network.

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