Here we take a look at some of the biggest plays the Tigers made all season. With so many big wins, it was a challenge to trim the list down to only five, so first let's start with the honorable mentions.
Jordan Leggett scores on frozen O-line screen pass at Miami
Jadar Johnson interception in red zone maintains 7-0 lead at Miami
Cordrea Tankersley's breathtaking INT in ACC Title Game
Now before we list the plays that made us cheer, it would only be complete if we listed the scars we gathered as we were completely and totally emotionally invested.
Alabama on-side kick recovery
Alabama kick-off return for TD to put Clemson out of reach
Dalvin Cook TD run in opening minute
I left out the links to those because it was just too painful to look them up on YouTube. Now, for the fun part. Remember, this is a purely subjective list of the positive Tiger plays throughout this season that have stuck with me and will become the outline of my memories of the special season that was 2015.
Discuss and debate in the comments section below.
5. Wayne Gallman Pulverizes App State Defender (0:32)
Clemson was already pulling away, but Wayne Gallman put the nail in the coffin. After a delayed handoff, Gallman tore through the center of the defense and met an App State defender at the goal line. Then he lowered his shoulder and blasted through the defender into the end zone. Not only did it put the game out of reach, but it sent a signal that Clemson had found themselves a premier bell cow RB for what would become a special season.
4. Gallman Breaks Loose to Clinch ACC Atlantic Division Title
The Clemson Tigers were hit with a right cross 0:45 into their game against FSU as Dalvin Cook broke off a long TD run to put the Seminoles on top. The Tigers settled in and fought back to eventually take a three-point lead late into the unbearably stressful game. Finally, Wayne Gallman broke free for a 25-yard TD run that broke the game open and broke free the grip Florida State had on the ACC.
3. Boulware and Lawson team up to stop Dalvin Cook on Fourth Down (1:45)
Nursing a three-point lead the Tigers had to stop FSU on fourth down to get the ball back with the lead. On a toss play to Dalvin Cook, Shaq Lawson made enough contact with the Seminole star RB to slow him down before Boulware bowled in to make the stop and end the Florida State drive. After three straight losses to Florida State, this huge defensive stop went a long way in putting the Tigers back atop the Atlantic Division.
2. Teasdall Connects with DT Wilkins on Fake Punt to Turn the Tide in the Orange Bowl
After flubbing an ill-advised (or more accurately, a not at all advised) fake punt in the ACC Championship game, Andy Teasdall got redemption in the Orange Bowl. The the Tigers trailing 3-7 in the second quarter and looking uncharacteristically lifeless, Dabo called the play that would light the spark. Teasdall rolls right before lobbed a pass over the defense to defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, who had slipped out from behind the play. The reception gave the Tigers a first down, but more importantly broke the tension and turned the momentum.
1. Clemson Stops Notre Dame Two-Point Conversion to Seal Victory
With the national spotlight and a driving rain upon them, Clemson put Notre Dame on their heels and entered the fourth quarter with a 21-3 lead. That's when Notre Dame stormed back to pull within two with a two-point conversation attempt that would send the game to overtime. With all the momentum favoring Notre Dame, Clemson found a way to get one last stop and gut out a rain soaked victory. The win gave the Tigers national credibility, moved them to 4-0, and began the College Football Playoff discussion.
It was during this game that I looked to the sky as rain drops pelted me and said aloud "this is what it's like to be elite." Clemson entered the national stage.