TigerNet Talk #62: One Play Can Last A Lifetime
As families across the state of South Carolina begin to gather for Thanksgiving,
there will certainly be talk of this weekend’s rivalry game in Clemson. The
Clemson - Carolina game is not only one of the longest uninterrupted rivalries
in college football; it is one of the most bitter and spirited. This game often
pits brother against brother, wife against husband, and in some cases you can
even find, parents verses children. In the landscape of college football,
rarely does a rivalry have the combination of longevity and closeness in
proximity to your adversary as we have in our state.
As a player, you know that if you make a big play in this game, your legacy
could be solidified. One mistake and you are remembered favorable by your
nemesis. The names Gore, Butler, Gardner, Whitehurst and Underwood will be
forever revered in Clemson and loathed at Williams-Brice. Those names sting
Gamecock fans the way the names Edwards, Hold, and Taneyhill conjure memories
of disappointment for the Tiger faithful.
In many ways, Clemson’s domination of this series is impressive. When you
evaluate the history of the rivalry, it’s hard to believe what Clemson has
accomplished. Consider that for the first 57 years, Clemson played in Columbia,
and still held a twelve game lead in the series. Over the next 48 games, Clemson
has gone 31-16-1 stretching their advantage to a nearly insurmountable
twenty-seven games. In fact, you have to be well over 40 years old to remember
the last time South Carolina won back to back games in the series. That history
seems to creep into the minds of Gamecock fans and players as kickoff gets
This is a rivalry that very few teams can match. In my opinion, the Clemson
– Carolina game is frequently passed over nationally as a top rivalry,
because rarely do both teams come in highly ranked by season’s end. This
year’s noon start on ESPN2 doesn’t exactly grab anyone outside of the
regions attention. It will be interesting to see how motivated these teams are
on Saturday considering the kickoff time. There is a lot riding on this game
for both teams, but sometimes knowing you are not on in primetime can diminish
an individual’s passion. I wouldn't expect that to happen in this one, because with one big play, you WILL be remembered forever in our state.
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