The ACC fun starts Saturday.
Big-dog Clemson visits the Carrier Dome. Orange-wearing Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins will use their burner speed against the (blue-wearing?) Orange.
I will be there to witness my hometown team, Syracuse, play its first game in the league I have been following since my college days at the University of Maryland. (That means I’ve loyally and avidly watched ACC teams since the ’70s.)
Let’s go back to Nov. 18, 1978, No. 11 Maryland hosting No. 12 Clemson at Byrd Stadium in College Park. I’m in the press box with my roommate and friend Greg TenEyck. He’s got the game story and I’m writing a sidebar for the campus daily, The Diamondback. The teams delivered fevered football to the overflowing crowd of 45,000-plus.
We witness Terps running back Steve Atkins busting through the line and outrunning everybody for a 98-yard TD to set an ACC record early in the fourth quarter. We see Tigers QB Steve Fuller connect with wide receiver Dwight Clark (think The Catch with the 49ers) to tie it 21-21. The Terps go ahead with a field goal. Then Fuller directs a 70-yard, game-winning drive capped by Lester Brown’s ground TD. Heck of a fourth quarter. Clemson goes to the Gator Bowl, and Maryland goes to the Sun Bowl.
My longtime friend Mike Waters and I will be at the cafe in Barnes & Noble on Erie Boulevard East in DeWitt, at 7 p.m. Thursday, to give Central New Yorkers the chance to purchase copies of our book “The Syracuse Fan’s Survival Guide to the ACC” to brush up on new league compatriots before that first ACC game. We’ll sign them. We’ll chat about football, basketball and ACC recollections like the one above. (Waters, the longtime basketball beat writer for the big daily, is a graduate of North Carolina a half-decade or so behind me.)
The kind folks at Barnes & Noble are excited about the night, and put the sign above out front to prove it.
Stop by and say hello as the Orange gears up for a new generation of traditions and big-game memories.
2 thoughts on “Saturday’s big game for Syracuse vs. Clemson brings back memories of Terps-Tigers, 1978”
Mark … when I see the year 1978 and Clemson football in the same paragraph, you do realize what comes to mind, right? Charlie Bauman … the Gator Bowl … and Wayne Woodrow Hayes. Oh, I can still see Woody “going for the ball” (aka throwing a punch) in my mind’s eye. Ouch.
Ouch, indeed. His overblown personality finally brought him down that sad day, my friend.