The 2021 Clemson football team is looking to lift the College Football Playoff trophy for the first time in three years after falling short in last year’s semifinal game. En route to Clemson’s title aspirations, the Tigers will look to win their seventh consecutive ACC championship and make their seventh consecutive CFP appearance. This season's Tigers will rely on a mixture of experienced stars and an influx of new talent to maintain their status as one of college football’s premier programs.
Here is the complete 2021 Clemson football schedule, including opponents, results and players to watch.
2021 Clemson football schedule: Dates, times, TV channels, results
Here is the full, detailed schedule for Clemson’s 2021 football season.
|vs. No. 5 Georgia||Saturday, Sept. 04||7:30 p.m||ABC||Charlotte, NC|
|vs. South Carolina State||Saturday, Sept. 11||5 p.m.||ACC Network||Clemson, SC|
|vs. Georgia Tech||Saturday, Sept. 18||3:30 p.m.||ABC||Clemson, SC|
|at NC State||Saturday, Sept. 25||3:30 p.m.||ESPN||Raleigh, NC|
|vs. Boston College||Saturday, Oct. 2||7:30 p.m.||ACC Network||Clemson, SC|
|at Syracuse||Friday, Oct. 15||7 p.m.||ESPN||Syracuse, NY|
|at Pittsburgh||Saturday, Oct. 23||3:30||ESPN||Pittsburgh, PA|
|vs. Florida State||Saturday, Oct. 30||3:30||ESPN||Clemson, SC|
|at Louisville||Saturday, Nov. 6||TBA||TBA||Louisville, KY|
|vs. UConn||Saturday, Nov. 13||TBA||TBA||Clemson, SC|
|vs. Wake Forest||Saturday, Nov. 20||TBA||TBA||Clemson, SC|
|at South Carolina||Saturday, Nov. 27||TBA||TBA||Columbia, SC|
|TBD (ACC Championship)||Saturday, Dec. 4||4 p.m.||ABC or ESPN||Charlotte, NC|
SCOREBOARD: See scores from every college football game
The Tigers went 10-2 in 2020, advancing to the College Football Playoff for the sixth consecutive year before falling to Ohio State in the semifinal.
Here’s what happened in every game of Clemson’s 2020 schedule:
|Wake Forest||Saturday, Sept. 12||7:30 p.m.||Winston-Salem, NC||W||37-13|
|The Citadel||Saturday, Sept. 19||4 p.m.||Clemson, SC||W||49-0|
|Virginia||Saturday, Oct. 3||8 p.m.||Clemson, SC||W||41-23|
|Miami (FL)||Saturday, Oct. 10||7:30 p.m.||Clemson, SC||W||42-17|
|Georgia Tech||Saturday, Oct. 17||12 p.m.||Atlanta, GA||W||73-7|
|Syracuse||Saturday, Oct. 24||12 p.m.||Clemson, SC||W||47-21|
|Boston College||Saturday, Oct. 31||12 p.m.||Clemson, SC||W||34-28|
|Notre Dame||Saturday, Nov. 7||7:30 p.m.||Notre Dame, IN||L||47-40 (2OT)|
|Pittsburgh||Saturday, Nov. 28||3:30 p.m.||Clemson, SC||W||52-17|
|Virginia Tech||Saturday, Dec. 5||7:30 p.m.||Blacksburg, VA||W||45-10|
|Notre Dame (ACC Championship)||Saturday, Dec. 19||4 p.m.||Charlotte, NC||W||34-10|
|Ohio State (Sugar Bowl-CFP Semifinal)||Friday, Jan. 1||8 p.m.||New Orleans, LA||L||49-28|
Top returning players
The 2021 NFL Draft saw five Clemson players selected. Most notably quarterback Trevor Lawrence (1st overall) and running back Travis Ettiene (25th overall) were selected in the first round. Even with immense talent departing from the leading scoring offense and defense in the ACC, the Tigers should not fret. QB DJ Uiagalelei steps in after making two starts last year and showing flashes of promise. With experience in a primetime top-5 matchup already under his belt (at Notre Dame in 2020), Uiagalelei should be ready to go this fall.
Replacing Ettiene will be more difficult, but a committee approach led by senior RB Lyn-J Dixon will try to replicate his record-breaking success. The offense will receive a boost from WR Justyn Ross, returning after missing 2020 due to injury. Ross caught 112 passes for 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns during his first two seasons and is dynamic on the outside. Also in the wide receiver room, sophomore EJ Williams and junior Frank Ladson Jr. will look to capitalize on their tantalizing potential this fall.
There is talent throughout the defense as the Tigers landed six players on the preseason All-ACC first-team defense. LB James Skalski has always been consistent for Clemson. Skalski should have easier reads thanks to a deep defensive line that features players like DT Bryan Bresee and DE KJ Henry occupying blocks and getting after the quarterback. Elsewhere, after the transfer of Derion Kendrick in the secondary, CB Andrew Booth is looking to be another Clemson first-round cornerback with a successful season.
LATEST RANKINGS: Find out where the Tigers landed in this week's polls
Clemson landed at No. 3 in the AP preseason poll. Here’s that breakdown.
The Trevor Lawrence era is over, but the Clemson Tigers have a talented QB ready to fill his shoes in 5-star DJ Uiagalelei. In his two starts last year, Uiagalelei averaged 404 total yards and three touchdowns per game. The sophomore quarterback's stats should benefit from playmaking WR Justyn Ross's return after missing last season with a neck injury. Defensively, the trenches are a strength once again as DL Myles Murphy, Bryan Bresee, and Tyler Davis will strike fear in opposing offenses. Aided in the secondary by CB Andrew Booth and S Nolan Turner, Clemson will once again be one of the most talented teams in the country.
2021-22 College Football Playoff
The College Football Playoff era is entering its eighth season in the 2021-22 season. Last year, Alabama won its third CFP trophy while Clemson lost in the semifinal. Will Alabama add another title to its dynasty? Will Clemson dominate the ACC once again? Or can two teams outside of the Tide and Tigers play for a national championship for the first time since 2015?
Here are the dates and sites for the 2021 College Football Playoff semifinals and CFP national championship.
When are the College Football Playoff semifinals?
The CFP semifinals are set for Dec. 31, 2021. One semifinal is the Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. The other semifinal is the Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.
When is the 2021 College Football Playoff national championship?
The CFP national championship will kick off in 2022. The two winners of the semifinals will meet on the second Monday of January in Indianapolis on Jan. 10, 2020 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Below is a complete history of the College Football Playoff national championship game.
|YEAR (OF GAME)||GAME|
|2015||No. 4 Ohio State 42, No. 2 Oregon 20|
|2016||No. 2 Alabama 45, No. 1 Clemson 40|
|2017||No. 2 Clemson 35, No. 1 Alabama 31|
|2018||No. 4 Alabama 26, No. 3 Georgia 23|
|2019||No. 2 Clemson 44, No. 1 Alabama 16|
|2020||No. 1 LSU 42, No. 3 Clemson 25|
|2021||No. 1 Alabama 52, No. 3 Ohio State 24|
MORE: Programs with the most national championships
2021-2024 CFP national championship locations and dates
2022: Indianapolis (Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana) - Jan. 10
2023: Los Angeles (Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, Inglewood, California) - Jan. 9
2024: Houston (NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas) - Jan. 8