The Gamecocks are 6-4 against Clemson since Steve Spurrier came to Carolina and despite those four losses it has been a period of unprecedented fun in the rivalry. A huge part of that is obviously the 5-game win streak that Carolina enjoyed over the Tigers. But the relative success of both programs over the past several seasons as well as the personalities of the current head coaches has added extra energy to the rivalry. We can always count on Spurrier to throw a few jabs at the team from the upstate and we can count on Dabo to just say ridiculous things in general. The combination of those factors has led to a lot of fun rivalry moments over the past decade, so today we're counting down the ten best.
Before we get to the countdown, some honorable mentions for fun rivalry moments off the field over the past few years:
This vine, which is perfect.
That time that Clemson vandalized Williams-Brice and the the collective reaction from USC fans was laughter.
And of course, that time Clemson broke their own rock. (Yes, this technically didn't involve USC at all, but that's exactly why it's so great)
Now, without further ado, here are the ten best rivalry moments of the Spurrier Era:
10. Dylan Thompson converts 3rd and long in 2012
Carolina fans were understandably anxious about heading into enemy territory with a backup quarterback for the 2012 rivalry game. But Dylan Thompson did enough to lead the Gamecocks to victory, including scrambling for 20 yards for a key 3rd down conversion in the 4th quarter. A couple of plays later he hit Bruce Ellington for a touchdown that put the Gamecocks up 27-17 with less than five minutes left.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zO-L6T6uexs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
9. Melvin Ingram Sacks Tajh Boyd in 2011
It's fun to watch Tajh Boyd get sacked during a desperate attempt at a 4th quarter comeback, but it's even more fun when Melvin Ingram celebrates like this.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BOB1fVPlxZQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
8. Clemson misses the tying field goal in 2006
The first rivalry win of the Spurrier Era wasn't nearly as fun or dominant as the other five, but it didn't lack drama. With just under eight minutes left Ryan Succop made a field goal to put the Gamecocks up 31-28. The Tigers took seven and half minutes to go down the field and after losing yards on several plays in the red zone they missed the field goal to give the Gamecocks a victory.
7. Antonio Allen pick 6 in 2010
Clemson scored first in this game, but the Gamecocks completely shut down the Tigers for the remainder of the game and eventually won 29-7. Allen intercepting Kyle Parker and running it back to put the Gamecocks up by 19 in the third was one of the more entertaining ways that a Clemson drive was halted during this game. (The play is at about 2:10 in this highlight video)
6. Gilmore to Jeffery in 2009
This 39 yard pass midway through the 1st quarter of the game marked the beginning of Carolina's streak of dominance over the Tigers. It set up the tying touchdown and the Gamecocks didn't trail again in this game.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XvBJM7vMHrM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
5. Connor Shaw to Alshon Jeffery in 2011
This touchdown was a satisfying follow-up to a DeVonte Holloman interception of Tajh Boyd. Not only does this play have sentimental value as Jeffery's last TD in Williams-Brice, but it sealed a dominant 34-13 victory for the Gamecocks. In addition to being the third straight win over the Tigers, this victory gave the Gamecocks a 10-win regular season.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4i7GSLdA1Lk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
4. Tajh Boyd turns it over in the 4th quarter in 2013
Actually he did this three times, but this particular moment was the first turnover of the quarter. Chaz Sutton stripped the ball from Boyd with a little over eight minutes left in the game and the Gamecocks up just 24-17. It helped stifle Clemson's chance of coming back and kicked off the comedy of errors that was Clemson's 4th quarter. The Tigers would only touch the ball five more times after this play and three of those opportunities ended in a turnover.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0wnKk-odtnw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
3. DJ Swearinger hits Andre Ellington and flexes on him
This would be great, but not iconic if it were only the big hit. But DJ just standing over his fallen opponent and flexing pushes this moment way up the list. This play just sums up how the entire 5-game win streak against Clemson felt. It was ridiculous and satisfying and a little bit dumb, but above all it was fun.
<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JMGtpHoLu2I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
2. Pharoh Cooper to Brandon Wilds in 2013
This touchdown pass came with less than four minutes left in the game and put the Gamecocks up 31-17. It all but sealed Carolina's 5th consecutive victory over the Tigers, giving the Cocks their longest winning streak in the history of the rivalry.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GgaJ0LsLl-A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
1. Clowney sets the single game sack record at Memorial Stadium
From 2011-2013 there was really nothing quite as satisfying as watching Jadeveon Clowney terrorize opposing quarterbacks. Add to that the fact that Tajh Boyd was very successful and much-beloved by Clemson fans and that Clowney got to him so many times that he set a record in Clemson's own stadium, and this is really is a perfect moment for Carolina fans.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TsrBdnLV6Og" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Let us know in the comments whether we missed any big moments and if you agree with our ranking!