'It was special': Swinney recalls Clemson's last meeting with Tennessee

It’s been nearly two decades since Clemson last met Tennessee on the football field, but Dabo Swinney remembers the teams’ most recent matchup well.

That’s because Clemson’s coach was involved.

Swinney wasn’t yet the Tigers’ head coach in 2004. That wouldn’t happen for another five years.

But Swinney was on the coaching staff when Clemson squared off against the Volunteers that January in the Peach Bowl.

The Tigers went into that game as significant underdogs. Clemson already had four losses going into that postseason while Tennessee,

 then coached by Phillip Fulmer, was a 10-win team ranked in the top 10,

which made the end result all the more memorable for Swinney, who was in his first season coaching receivers on Tommy Bowden’s staff at the time.

“It was special because it was a good way to start off my first year there at Clemson going on 20 years ago now,” Swinney said this week. “That’s what I remember.”

The Tigers shocked Tennessee, 27-14, with the help of a fast start and some trickeration.

With quarterback Charlie Whitehurst leading the offense, Clemson jumped out to a 10-0 lead before the teams started back and forth.

 A pair of touchdown passes from Casey Clausen helped keep Tennessee within a possession well into the second quarter.

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