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Food & Football: Hurricanes’ Guide to Tailgating Clemson Tigers

Good Food. Good Drinks. Good Football!

Pittsburgh v Miami Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

Canes fans…hello hello! I know the Pittsburgh Panthers loss hurt, and an undefeated season would have been great, but doesn’t it feel great to be playing on Championship weekend. Despite last week, everything still remains 60 minutes away for the Canes. Everyone playing today has something at stake. The Canes are playing for an ACC Championship and a spot in the College Football Playoff while other schools are playing solely for bowl eligibility (::cough Florida State Seminoles cough::). At 8PM ET, at a “neutral site” in Charlotte, North Carolina in the Bank of America Stadium, the Miami Hurricanes will take on the #1 Clemson Tigers.

Tailgate Talk: There are a few story lines for this game and I’ll hit on them briefly. First, the infamous 58-0 home loss in 2015. Whenever someone brings this up, I get happy because that was the turning point for this program. That Saturday I just wanted the beating to end, but on Sunday when news broke that ‘Ding Dong the Golden Tie [was] Gone’, it was a time to celebrate. Two years later, here we are. Next, is the injury bug. Simply put, how do the Canes manage with their starting RB Mark Walton, TE Christopher Herndon and WR Ahmmon Richards out for the year? Coach Richt will need to get uber creative in his play calling to keep the Tigers off balance. Lastly, the underdog story is back. Nobody outside of The Canes Family, and some within it, are giving the Canes a slim to none chance of winning. According to the experts, the Canes have a 25% chance to win. Before we get into the Game Meal, let’s learn a little about Clemson.

Clemson was founded in 1889 by Thomas and Anna Clemson. When Thomas died, he bequeathed his plantation property in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the state of South Carolina. Through the Morrill Act, similar to the Virginia Tech Hokies, the Clemson Agricultural College was opened as an all-male military school. In 1964 the college was renamed to Clemson University. Football began in 1896 when Coach Walter Riggs started the program and was the first head coach. Coach Riggs was an alumni and head football coach of the Auburn Tigers from 1893 – 1895. When he made the move from Auburn he took a few things with him that has become ingrained into the Clemson football program. First, he took their old practice jersey with him. The navy blue of Auburn had faded into a navy-purple color that was soon adopted as Clemson’s official color called Regalia. In addition to the jerseys, Coach Riggs also brought the Tiger mascot to Clemson.

CFP National Championship Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Food: For the Game Meal you have a few different food options. If you’re into hunting you can use the S.C. state animal, the deer, for a meal or the wild turkey, the state’s game bird, if you didn’t get enough during Thanksgiving. My suggestion, have some barbecue and indulge in South Carolina’s official state picnic cuisine. Whether you’re at the game or at home you can do it yourself, or go to your favorite spot or new place in Charlotte to get Carolina style BBQ. I went with the DIY grilled pulled pork.

Grilled Pulled Pork
Donovan Hutchins

Drink: The drink for today’s game is a combination of a few South Carolina elements. It’s an early start with College Game Day in the morning from the ACC Championship Game site until kickoff at night, so you will need something you can sip on all day. I suggest you combine the state fruit, the peach, and the state beverage, sweet tea, into a Peach Sweet Tea Sangria made with peach moonshine instead of brandy.

Peach Sweet Tea Sangria
Donovan Huthins

Be safe Canes Family and drink responsibly! For full recipes of this game and previous ones, see “2017 Hurricanes’ Cooking Guide

Let me know your food and drink choices for this game!