on January 1, 2009 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

A look back at Clemson’s bowl history (part 6)

The 1952 Gator Bowl

Miami 14, Clemson 0

When: Jan. 1, 1952

Where: Gator Bowl, Jacksonville Fla.

About the game: With a 7-2 record, Clemson accepted a bid to play Miami in the Gator Bowl. The matchup was a rematch from the year before when the Tigers beat Miami 15-14 in the 1951 Orange Bowl. Trailing 14-13 at the time, Clemson defensive guard Sterling Smith tackled Miami’s Frank Smith in the end zone for a fourth quarter safety to give the Tigers the victory.

What happened: It was a defensive struggle in Jacksonville as the Tigers managed just 233 total yards and turned the ball over five times, while the Hurricanes only recorded 174 yards of offense. But Miami got a first quarter touchdown from fullback Harry Mallios and then a second score in the second quarter to cap the scoring. The Hurricanes did not pick up a first down in the second half, but an NCAA bowl record four interceptions by Miami defensive back Jim Dooley and four Clemson turnovers inside the Miami 20 did the Tigers in.

What it meant: It was Clemson’s first bowl loss in four tries, but more importantly, the Tigers’ appearance in the Gator Bowl, along with Maryland’s trip to the Orange Bowl, meant the Tigers and Terrapins were banned from Southern Conference play for the 1952 season as punishment for not obeying the conference’s no bowl game rule. The results of the Southern Conference’s decision caused Clemson and Maryland, along with several other teams to leave the conference and form the ACC.

—Will Vandervort