CLEMSON, SC (WIS) - Seven has been a lucky number for the Tigers over the last few years.
Each of the last three times Clemson has opened up the season 7-0 under head coach Dabo Swinney, they went onto claim the conference crown. This Saturday, Clemson aims for another 7-0 start as undefeated North Carolina State visits Tiger Town.
"It's an incredibly competitive game, for sure," said Swinney. "Both teams want to win. We have had some crazy stuff though."
Well, for starters, in 2013 Tigers lineman Isaiah Battle landed an uppercut.
“Oh my God,” gasped Swinney. “At the end of the game, he just lost his mind.”
Two years later, a Wolfpack coach shoved Deshaun Watson.
Then last year's game featured the bizarre laptop-gate and N.C. State's Bradley Chubb was stealing Tiger towels.
“And Dave sent me some Adidas towels back and apologized,” said Swinney. “I was like, ‘These are Adidas. They are not even our towels.' I guess Chubb got them hung up in his apartment, wherever he is.”
The good news is there are no hard feelings between Swinney and N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren.
"I get along fine with Dave," added Swinney. "It's just a very competitive game."
It's a showdown that has been one-sided in recent years. The Tigers have won six straight meetings in this ACC Atlantic battle, but the last two have come down to the final possession.
“They’re a good team,” said Swinney. “This is what it’s all about. You have two undefeated Power 5 teams in the same division. You can’t win this week. That’s for sure, but neither can they. The winner of this game has the opportunity to stay in control of their destiny. That’s really where you want to be. The loser is not out of it, but you got to hope something happens. We’re going to try to do everything we can to stay in control of our destiny and get off to a good start to the second half of our season.”
The winner moves into the driver’s seat in the Atlantic Division.
Game time Saturday is set for 3:30 p.m. in Death Valley.