Syracuse, N.Y. — Syracuse and Clemson’s thriller in Death Valley outdrew everyone as the most-watched game of the weekend.

The Tigers’ 27-21 victory peaked at nearly 5 million viewers and drew a 2.7 rating, according to Sports Media Watch, which tracks TV ratings through a variety of sources.

The game (4.75 million viewers) outdrew Texas-Oklahoma State (4.46 million) and Iowa-Ohio State (4.38 million) for the top spot.

The SU-Clemson game, which aired in front of a national TV audience in the noon window, snapped CBS and the SEC’s streak of five-straight top-rated games. CBS’s top game of the weekend was Ole Miss-LSU (3.86 million) in the afternoon 3:30 slot.

ABC’s primetime window featured Penn State’s annual “White Out” game against Minnesota. That game drew 3.54 million viewers.

Dramatic twists and turns of a nailbiter between two undefeated teams likely helped boost interest in the SU game.

For perspective, the SU-Clemson game outdrew the Clemson-Florida State night game the previous week on ABC (3.38 million). It would have been the third-most watched game that weekend behind Tennessee’s euphoric exorcism of Alabama (11.56 million) and Michigan’s brutal beatdown vs. Penn State (6.45 million).

Syracuse jumped out to a 21-7 lead, forced four turnovers and chased Clemson’s starting quarterback from the game. But the Tigers scored the final 20 points, including 17 in the final quarter, to escape with a win.

Syracuse was driving in Clemson territory in the final minute before an interception with 17 seconds remaining ended the game.

The No. 16 Orange (6-1, 3-1 ACC) returns to action Saturday with another nationally televised noon game on ABC against Notre Dame (4-3).


The school said Tuesday no more tickets are available for the general public.

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