South Carolina Review

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South Carolina Review

The latest chapter in the rivalry with Clemson and South Carolina featured a bunch of different storylines, but in the end this was another Deshaun Watson Show.

This was a tale of two different halves. In the first half, Clemson's defense held the Gamecocks to a late field goal. The Tigers offense turned the ball over a couple of times but came alive in the second quarter with a Watson touchdown run and a brilliant touchdown pass to Deon Cain.

The second half was a track meet where both defenses had a hard time, and the Tigers kept letting the Gamecocks back in the game.

South Carolina tried everything. Wide splits on the offensive line, three quarterbacks, trick formations on their punt team and safeties playing 15 yards off of the ball to prevent the big play. In the end, it was too much Watson, especially on third down where Clemson converted nine of 13 third downs.

Watson went 20-of-27 through the air for 279 yards and one touchdown and had 21 carries for 114 yards and three touchdowns. In two games against South Carolina, Watson is 34-of-46 for 548 yards and three touchdowns and has 26 carries for 127 yards and five touchdowns. He has 675 yards and eight touchdowns in the two wins.

Cain caught a touchdown in his fifth consecutive game and had five receptions for 96 yards.

Clemson outgained South Carolina 515-402. The Tigers had the passing advantage 279-221 and in the running game 236-181.

The Tigers had two 18-point leads in the second half but turned the ball over again, letting the Gamecocks pull to within three points at 28-25. Watson then went back to work on a ten play, 75-yard drive that featured three third down conversions.

Like so many rivalry games, the big names like Watson, Gallman, Goodson and Lawson played well. However, like most games in this rivalry, other role players stepped up. I think Adrian Baker, C.J. Fuller, Germone Hopper and Trevion Thompson stepped up with big plays that helped the cause.

It was not a pretty game due to three fumbles, the defense allowing chunk plays and a missed extra point. The Gamecocks had 207 yards on six plays. However, it was a win on the road against the arch rival. It also meant the Tigers ended the regular season with a perfect 12-0 record.

This was Clemson’s 50th all-time victory over South Carolina in Columbia. That includes a 31-20-2 mark in games played in Williams-Brice Stadium. Clemson has a 50-32-3 lead in the series in games played in Columbia and a 67-42-4 lead overall.

I will remember this one for many reasons. As many as 25,000-plus Clemson fans packed Williams-Brice like I have never seen before. The Gamecocks tried throw back helmets and a pre-game cheer from Marcus Lattimore. The student body' chanted, "F___ You Dabo" and kept their tradition of throwing things at Clemson players. But the lasting memory of this one will be Watson continuing his domination of South Carolina.

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