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O'Rourke–McFadden Trophy

The O'Rourke–McFadden Trophy was created in 2008 by the Boston College Gridiron Club in order to honor the tradition at Clemson and Boston College to honor the legacy of Charlie O'Rourke and Banks McFadden, who played during the leather helmet era. The club plans to make this an annual presentation.


  • Trophy history 1
    • Namesakes 1.1
  • Series History 2
    • Game results 2.1
  • References 3

Trophy history

The Boston College Gridiron Club initiated the trophy to honor the relationship between Clemson and Boston College that goes back almost 70 years. The trophy was started to recognize the efforts of Tiger fans welcoming Boston College into the ACC. The trophy features two leather helmet replicas of those used by Charlie O’Rourke of Boston College and Banks McFadden of Clemson, when they competed against each other in the 1940 Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas, Texas. In addition to the trophy presentation, the Boston College Gridiron Club presents a replica leather helmet to the MVP of the winning school. The helmet will reflect the colors of the winning team.
Year Winner Score MVP Position
2008 Clemson 27-21 C. J. Spiller RB
2009 Clemson 25-7 Richard Jackson PK
2010 Boston College 16-10 Montel Harris RB
2011 Clemson 36-14 Chandler Catanzaro PK
2012 Clemson 45-31 Tajh Boyd QB
2013 Clemson 24-14 Vic Beasley DE


Charlie O’Rourke led Boston College from the quarterback position to a 26-3-2 record in his three years as the quarterback of the Eagles between 1938-40. One of those three losses was to McFadden and Clemson in the 1940 Cotton Bowl Classic. O'Rourke later went on to play quarterback and defensive back for the College Football Hall of Fame in 1972.

Banks McFadden led the Tigers to a 9-1 record in 1939 as the starting quarterback. He was an All-American in football and basketball at Clemson. The 1939 football team finished 12th in the final AP poll, Clemson’s first top 20 season on record, and the win over Boston College in the Cotton Bowl Classic was Clemson’s first bowl appearance. In the spring of 1939 he led Clemson to the Southern Conference Basketball championship. McFadden was Clemson’s first inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1959. McFadden was the #4 overall pick of the 1940 NFL Draft by the Brooklyn Dodgers. After one year in the NFL and a stint in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he returned to Clemson and held coaching positions in football, basketball and track. McFadden became the first coach in college basketball history to improve his conference wins in five consecutive seasons.

Series History

Clemson first met Boston College on the football field in the 1940 Cotton Bowl Classic, a 6-3 Tiger victory and the first ever bowl game for the Tigers. Over the next forty-three years, the teams met a total of thirteen times with Clemson winning six of eleven meetings.

In 2005, Boston College joined the Atlantic Coast Conference and was placed in the Atlantic Division. Since then, the divisional match-up has been played on an annual basis with Clemson holding a 5-4 advantage. As of 2013, Clemson leads the all-time series at 12-9-2.

Game results

Date Winner Score Location Attendance Series
January 1, 1940 Clemson
Cotton BowlDallas, TX
(1940 Cotton Bowl Classic)
CU 1-0
October 11, 1941 Clemson
Fenway ParkBoston, MA CU 2-0
October 10, 1942 Boston College
Fenway Park • Boston, MA CU 2-1
September 26, 1947 Boston College
Braves Field • Boston, MA Tied 2-2
October 29, 1948 Clemson
Braves Field • Boston, MA CU 3-2
November 5, 1949 Boston College
Memorial StadiumClemson, SC Tied 3-3
November 11, 1950 Clemson
Braves Field • Boston, MA CU 4-3
November 10, 1951 Clemson
Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC CU 5-3
October 31, 1952 Clemson
Braves Field • Boston, MA CU 6-3
September 26, 1953 Tie
Fenway Park • Boston, MA CU 6-3-1
November 22, 1958 Clemson
Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC CU 7-3-1
November 19, 1960 Boston College
Alumni StadiumChestnut Hill, MA CU 7-4-1
September 18, 1982 Tie
Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC
CU 7-4-2
September 10, 1983 Boston College
Alumni Stadium • Chestnut Hill, MA CU 7-5-2
September 24, 2005 Boston College
Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC
CU 7-6-2
September 9, 2006 Boston College
Alumni Stadium • Chestnut Hill, MA
Tied 7-7-2
November 17, 2007 Boston College
Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC
BC 8-7-2
November 1, 2008 Clemson
Alumni Stadium • Chestnut Hill, MA
Tied 8-8-2
September 19, 2009 Clemson
Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC
CU 9-8-2
October 30, 2010 Boston College
Alumni Stadium • Chestnut Hill, MA
Tied 9-9-2
October 8, 2011 Clemson
Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC
CU 10-9-2
September 30, 2012 Clemson
Alumni Stadium • Chestnut Hill, MA
CU 11-9-2
October 12, 2013 Clemson
Memorial Stadium • Clemson, SC
CU 12-9-2
October 18, 2014 Clemson
Alumni Stadium • Chestnut Hill, MA CU 13-9-2


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