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More than 8.1 million people watched Clemson University’s 38-35 victory over Georgia on ABC last weekend – earning the game a 5.0 Nielsen rating. That’s the highest opening weekend rating since Notre Dame played Georgia Tech in 2006 (earning a 5.6 rating).

The Clemson-Georgia game easily outdistanced the ratings drawn by Alabama-Virginia Tech (3.1) and Rice-Texas A&M (2.9).

Last year Clemson played in four of the top eight highest-rated games involving teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference – including the Tigers come-from-behind win over LSU in the Chick-fil-A bowl.

That contest was watched by 8.6 million viewers and drew a 4.8 rating.

Given the weakness of its schedule, Clemson probably won’t draw big television ratings again until October 19 – when it welcomes No. 10 Florida State to Death Valley. That game is officially a sellout, by the way.