Well, that was something.
Fans hoping that this edition of the South Carolina/Clemson rivalry would be fairly close were in for a rude awakening as the Tigers absolutely walloped the Gamecocks 56-7 at Memorial Stadium. It was the most points scored by a team in the annual matchup since the Tigers’ 63-17 win at Williams-Brice Stadium in 2003 and Carolina’s second-worst loss to Clemson in the series’ history.
There isn’t really much to say about the game except that Clemson was the better team in all facets this evening, looking a far cry from the one that lost to Pitt on a last-second field goal a few weeks back. They had an answer for basically every offensive scheme the Gamecocks ran and were barely able to be stopped when they had the ball. Even when Carolina did make plays (namely a blocked field goal by Ulric Jones, an interception by Bryson Allen-Williams, and a 33-yard touchdown pass by Deebo Samuel to Bryan Edwards), they weren’t able to much with them due to the Tigers’ superior play.
Deshaun Watson was removed late in the 3rd in favor of the Tigers’ backup QB as he finished 26-32 for 347 yards and a school-record tying six touchdowns. Jake Bentley, pulled for Brandon McIlwain to start the second half, was just 7-17 for 47 yards and an interception. Clemson outgained the Gamecocks 622-218 (250-111 on the ground and 372-107 through the air), recorded 41 first downs (a school record) to Carolina’s 14, and ended the game with three sacks.
The Gamecocks are going bowling in a few weeks (the Birmingham Bowl is looking like a distinct possibility), but tonight proved that they still have a long way to go to get to their rival’s level. This was a master class by the Tigers, who looked every part a playoff team in this one.
Game Thread Roll Call