American Football Database
2009 Clemson Tigers football
ACC Atlantic Division Champions
Music City Bowl Champions
Music City Bowl vs. Kentucky, W 21–13
ConferenceAtlantic Coast Conference
APNo. 24
2009 record9–5 (6–2 ACC)
Head coachDabo Swinney
Offensive coordinatorBilly Napier
Offensive schemeVarious
Defensive coordinatorKevin Steele
Base defense4–3
Home stadiumMemorial Stadium
(Capacity: 81,500, grass)
← 2008
2010 →
2009 ACC football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
#24 Clemson x   6 2         9 5  
Boston College   5 3         8 5  
Florida State   4 4         7 6  
Wake Forest   3 5         5 7  
NC State   2 6         5 7  
Maryland   1 7         2 10  
#13 Georgia Tech* x   7 1         11 3  
#10 Virginia Tech   6 2         10 3  
#19 Miami   5 3         9 4  
North Carolina*   0 4         0 5  
Duke   3 5         5 7  
Virginia   2 6         3 9  
Championship: Georgia Tech 39, Clemson 34
December 5, 2009
† – BCS representative as champion
  • North Carolina vacated 8 wins, including 4 ACC wins.
    Also, Georgia Tech's ACC Championship Game victory was vacated by the NCAA on July 14, 2011.
    Rankings from AP Poll

The 2009 Clemson Tigers football team represented Clemson University in the 2009 college football season. The Tigers were led by head coach Dabo Swinney, who was in his first full season as head coach. The Tigers played their home games in Memorial Stadium. The Tigers won the ACC Atlantic Division, but after securing the title lost to in–state rival South Carolina in the Palmetto Bowl 34–17,[1] before losing for the second time in the season to Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game.[2] Clemson closed the season with a win over Kentucky in the Music City Bowl.


File:2009 Music City Bowl Clemson Tigers.JPG

The Clemson Tigers take the field during the 2009 Music City Bowl.

In the Tiger's 40–24 victory over the Florida State Seminoles on November 7, 2009, running back C.J. Spiller and wide receiver Jacoby Ford became the leading all-purpose yardage duo in NCAA history (a record previously held by Marshall Faulk and Darnay Scott of San Diego State).

C.J. Spiller was named as one of the three finalists for the 2009 Doak Walker Award. Spiller, along with Mark Ingram of Alabama and Toby Gerhart of Stanford, was selected by a vote of the 130–member Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee. On December 2, 2009, Spiller was voted the 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year. The all-purpose threat was named as the league's top player following a vote of 40 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. Spiller received 29 votes to outdistance Georgia Tech quarterback Josh Nesbitt, who had eight. Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams, the league's rookie of the year, had two votes and Yellow Jackets defensive end Derrick Morgan had one. Spiller was the nation's only player this season to account for touchdowns five different ways – rushing, passing, receiving, and on kick and punt returns – and had passing, rushing and receiving TDs in one game, a victory against North Carolina State. He returned four kickoffs and a punt for scores this year and has eight total returns for TDs during his career. He scored at least once in every game this season while leading Clemson to the Atlantic Division title and a spot in the league title game against Georgia Tech. Spiller led the ACC with an average of nearly 184 all-purpose yards and was the league's fourth-leading rusher, averaging 76 yards. Spiller is the seventh Tiger to be named player of the year and the first since Michael Dean Perry in 1987.[3]

Incoming recruiting class

  • Malliciah Goodman (DE; Florence, SC; West Florence HS)
  • J.K. Jay (OL; Greenville, SC; Christ Church Episcopal School)
  • Jonathan Meeks (S; Rock Hill, SC; Rock Hill HS)
  • Tyler Shatley (FB; Valdese, NC; East Burke HS)
  • Brandon Thomas (OL; Spartanburg, SC; Dorman HS)
  • Bryce McNeal (WR; Minneapolis, MN; Breck HS)
  • Roderick McDowell (RB; Sumter, SC; Sumter HS)
  • Tajh Boyd (QB; Hampton, VA; Phoebus HS)
  • Spencer Shuey (LB/DE; Charlotte, NC; South Mecklenburg HS)
  • Quandon Christian (LB; Lake View, SC; Lake View HS)
  • Corico Hawkins (LB; Milledgeville, GA; Baldwin HS)
  • Darell Smith (TE/BAN; Gadsen, AL; Gadsen City HS)
  • Taylor Ogle (QB; Gatlinburg, TN; Gatlinburg-Pittman HS)


Ranking Movement
Poll Week
Pre 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Final
AP NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR 24 18 15 25 NR 24
Harris Not released NR NR NR NR NR 25 19 17 NR NR
BCS Not released NR NR NR 23 18 NR NR

#17 jersey

On July 25, it was announced that sophomore linebacker Stanley Hunter was forced to quit playing football due to medical reasons. Hunter, who led the 2008 team in fewest plays per tackle, was suffering from an increase in seizures due to epilepsy.[4] On August 18, Coach Swinney announced that several players would alternate wearing #17 during the season as a way to honor Stanley Hunter.[5]

List of Players wearing #17 during the season:

  • LB Brandon Maye
  • QB Willy Korn
  • FB Chad Diehl
  • WR Xavier Dye
  • WR Marquan Jones
  • S DeAndre McDaniel
  • RB Jamie Harper
  • S Sadat Chambers
  • S Rashard Hall
  • CB Crezdon Butler
  • LB Kavell Conner
  • WR Jacoby Ford

Three of the players who will wear #17 (Korn, Diehl, and Dye) were also teammates with Hunter at James F. Byrnes High School in Spartanburg, SC. Stanley Hunter remains a member of the Clemson team, serving as a student-coach this season for the Tigers.

#6 jersey

Cornerback Chris Chancellor, whose normal number is #38, wore #6, the normal number of wide receiver Jacoby Ford, for the Miami game. (Under college football rules, two or more players on a team can wear the same number as long as only one is on the field at a time.) Chancellor, a native of Miami, made the change with the blessing of both Ford and Swinney in memory of his former high school teammate Jasper Howard, a cornerback who wore #6 for Connecticut and was murdered in the early morning of October 18 following UConn's game against Louisville.[6]

#28 jersey

At the end of the season, Head Coach Dabo Swinney announced that they would retire the #28 jersey worn by C.J. Spiller at a ceremony when the Tigers play Maryland at home on Oct. 16, 2010.


Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
April 11* 1:00 PM Orange vs. White Memorial StadiumClemson, SC (Spring Game) CSS  White 30–13   24,000
Regular Season
September 5* 6:00 PM Middle Tennessee Memorial StadiumClemson, SC (Hall of Fame Day / Youth Day) ESPN360 W 37–14   78,371[7]
September 10 7:30 PM at #13 Georgia Tech Bobby Dodd StadiumAtlanta, GA (Clemson – Georgia Tech rivalry) ESPN L 27–30   52,029[7]
September 19 12:00 PM Boston College Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC (O'Rourke–McFadden Trophy / Family Weekend) Raycom W 25–7   77,362[7]
September 26* 3:30 PM #14 TCU Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC (Football Reunion Weekend) ESPN360 L 10–14   71,869[7]
October 3 12:00 PM at Maryland Byrd StadiumCollege Park, MD ESPNU L 21–24   46,243[7]
October 17 12:00 PM Wake Forest Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC (IPTAY Day) Raycom W 38–3   74,298[7]
October 24 3:30 PM at #10 Miami Land Shark StadiumMiami Gardens, FL ABC W 40–37 OT  43,778[7]
October 31*† 1:30 PM Coastal Carolina Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC (Homecoming) ESPN360 W 49–3   74,429[7]
November 7 7:45 PM Florida State Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC (Solid Orange Day) ESPN W 40–24   76,656[7]
November 14 12:00 PM at N.C. State Carter-Finley StadiumRaleigh, NC (Textile Bowl) Raycom W 43–23   57,583[7]
November 21 3:30 PM Virginia #19 Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC (Military Appreciation Day) ABC W 34–21   77,568[7]
November 28* 12:00 PM at South Carolina #16 Williams-Brice StadiumColumbia, SC (Carolina-Clemson Rivalry) ESPN L 17–34   80,574[7]
Post Season
December 5 8:00 PM vs. #12 Georgia Tech Raymond James StadiumTampa, FL (ACC Championship) ESPN L 34–39   57,227[7]
December 27 7:30 PM vs. Kentucky LP FieldNashville, TN (Music City Bowl) ESPN W 21–13   57,280[7]
*Non-Conference Game. Homecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game. All times are in Eastern Time.

Depth chart

These are the starters, primary backups, and key reserves as of September 2009.

Defensive Starters

Crezdon Butler
Byron Maxwell

Chris Chancellor
Coty Sensabaugh
Offensive Starters
Jacoby Ford
Marquan Jones
Chris Hairston Thomas Austin Dalton Freeman Antoine McClain Landon Walker
Cory Lambert Matt Saunders Mason Cloy Wilson Norris David Smith
Michael Palmer
Dwayne Allen
Xavier Dye
Brandon Clear
Kyle Parker
Willy Korn
Key Reserves
RB Andre Ellington
WR Terrance Ashe
WR Jaron Brown
DE Andre Branch
FS Sadat Chambers
DB Xavier Brewer
DT Rennie Moore
TE Durrell Barry
C.J. Spiller
Jamie Harper
Rendrick Taylor
Chad Diehl
Special Teams
PK Richard Jackson
PK Spencer Benton
P Dawson Zimmerman
P Richard Jackson
KR C.J. Spiller
PR Jacoby Ford
LS Matt Skinner
H Michael Wade

Coaching staff

  • Dabo Swinney – Head Coach
  • Billy Napier – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
  • Kevin Steele – Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
  • Charlie Harbison – Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
  • Danny Pearman – Assistant Head Coach/Tackles & Tight Ends
  • Brad Scott – Associate Head Coach/Offensive Guards and Centers
  • Dan Brooks – Defensive Tackles
  • Andre Powell – Running Backs/Special Teams
  • Chris Rumph – Defensive Ends
  • Jeff Scott – Recruiting Coordinator/Wide Receivers