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Clemson Football

Clemson to Face Kentucky in 2023 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

December 3, 2023
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson Football and the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl announced today that Clemson will face Kentucky in the 2023 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. on Friday, Dec. 29. The contest is scheduled for a noon kickoff on ESPN.

Fans are encouraged to bookmark ClemsonTigers.com/Bowl for information on tickets, merchandise and more. The deadline for IPTAY donors to request tickets is 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, Dec. 7. Fans wishing to learn more about official Clemson travel packages for the postseason are encouraged to visit ClemsonSportsTravel.com. Fans can also visit the Clemson Tigers Store at ClemsonTigers.com to purchase official Clemson merchandise for bowl season and for the holiday season.

“My first ever bowl game as a coach was the 1993 Gator Bowl as a graduate assistant at Alabama and my first ever bowl game as a head coach was the Gator Bowl with Clemson at the end of the 2008 season, so this selection feels very full circle,” Head Coach Dabo Swinney said. “This is a great bowl with a great history and rich tradition in an area I’m super familiar with. It’s an area I’ve recruited, and I’ve got a lot of love for Duval County, especially with the Jags having three of our guys there.

“I also want to congratulate Kentucky on their selection and for having a great season so far. Coach Stoops is one of the best coaches in the business. The job he’s done at Kentucky has been phenomenal to watch, and I know it will be an incredibly competitive matchup.”

Clemson will make its 10th all-time Gator Bowl appearance, its most of any bowl in school history. Clemson’s Gator Bowl tradition dates to the Tigers’ perfect 11-0 season in 1948, as Southern Conference champion Clemson completed its undefeated season with a 24-23 win against Missouri in a matchup of College Football Hall of Fame coaches Frank Howard and Don Faurot.

A win in the contest would even Clemson’s all-time Gator Bowl record at 5-5, including victories to conclude the 1948, 1978, 1986 and 1989 seasons. This year’s game will represent Clemson’s first appearance in the annual postseason contest in Jacksonville since New Year’s Day in 2009 in what was Swinney’s first bowl game as head coach after being elevated to the head coaching position earlier that season.

The contest will be the 14th all-time game between Clemson and Kentucky dating to the programs’ first meeting as Southern Conference foes in 1925. Each of the last three meetings in the series have come in postseason play, with Clemson earning a 14-13 Peach Bowl win in 1993 and the teams splitting a pair of Music City Bowls in 2006 (a 28-20 Kentucky win) and 2009 (a 21-13 Clemson win).

The bowl berth extends Clemson’s school-record bowl streak to 19 years, the longest streak in the ACC and the fifth-longest streak in the country. Clemson's 19-year streak dates to its Champs Sports Bowl win against Colorado to close the 2005 season. Though Clemson did not make a bowl appearance in 2004, Clemson has been bowl eligible in 25 consecutive seasons, dating to a 1999 appearance in the Peach Bowl.

Clemson is riding a streak of 12 consecutive seasons with at least one postseason win, including conference championships, bowl games and national championship games. Clemson’s 12-year streak is the longest in FBS history, as the last season in which Clemson did not win at least one postseason game was in 2010.

Clemson is 11-8 in bowl games under Head Coach Dabo Swinney. With a win this year, Swinney can set an ACC record for career bowl victories as head coach of an ACC program, passing Bobby Bowden’s 11 bowl wins during Florida State’s ACC membership. Swinney will also become the first coach in ACC history to coach a team in 20 career bowl games as members of the conference.

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Clemson to Face Kentucky in 2023 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl

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