Topic: On This Date: 2000 Clemson- 16 (25)South Carolina- 14
Replies: 10   Last Post: Nov 18, 2019, 10:12 AM by: 2000Alum
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On This Date: 2000 Clemson- 16 (25)South Carolina- 14

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Posted: Nov 18, 2019, 8:31 AM

Known affectionately to Clemson fans simply as "The Catch II", Rod Gardner & Aaron Hunt live in Tiger infamy

Except for the 10,000 or so South Carolina fans that had made the trip up from Columbia, there was an eerie silence in Clemson Memorial Stadium when tight end Tommy Hill fell on a Derek Watson fumble in the end zone to give the Gamecocks a 14-13 lead with 59 seconds to play.

For most of the 84,500 that were in attendance on that cold and damp evening, all had felt lost. But Clemson quarterback Woodrow Dantzler was not among them. As South Carolina set up to kick the football off, Dantlzer gathered the offense up and sent them a message.


“I told them that this is not about to happen,” he said to reporters afterwards. “We’re not going to let this happen to our seniors.”

It took a controversial catch from one of those seniors, All-American Rod Gardner, to make the 98th battle of the Palmetto State’s two biggest schools one of the best and most talked about games in this long-standing rivalry.

With only 19 seconds left, Dantzler led the Tigers back on the field following a timeout, while staring at a third down-and-12 situation from their own 42. When he took the shotgun snap, Dantzler rolled to his left, drawing the safety away from Gardner. He then stopped and threw a high, deep lop to the right.

Gardner, who got the decisive 29-yard touchdown the year before against the Gamecocks on a fourth-down play, ran a go-route down the far sideline. The Gamecocks had cornerback Andre Goodman underneath in coverage and safety Deandre Eiland deep as the ball went sailing through the air.

“It was in slow motion,” Gardner said. “I wasn’t even thinking about the defender. I just knew I had to make a play, and when it dropped into my hands, oh man.”

Everyone in the stadium held their collective breaths as Gardner leaped high to haul in the 50-yard pass, while falling backwards. When he settled to the ground, Clemson had the football at the South Carolina eight with 10 seconds left, and needed just a 25-yard Aaron Hunt field goal to win the game.

“I’m still trying to figure out what happened,” Dantzler said.

Hunt was true on his kick and Clemson celebrated into the night with a dramatic 16-14 victory.

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Best Is The Standard

you guys remember how cold it was that day?

Posted: Nov 18, 2019, 8:36 AM

it started at 3:30, and there was snow flurries around kickoff

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Best Is The Standard

I'd never seen that bottom picture before.

Posted: Nov 18, 2019, 9:15 AM

I didn't realize how close Goodman was to breaking that pass up. Gardner should have pushed him off.

Thanks for posting these "On This Date" posts. They're really enjoyable.


I will never forget that game.***

Posted: Nov 18, 2019, 9:19 AM

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There's something in these hills.

If it was really a "push" by Gardner, wouldn't the defenders

Posted: Nov 18, 2019, 9:23 AM

frantically complain to the officials?

Had a viewing party at my house and I couldn't bare to watch the final seconds. A nervous wreck, I went outside, until I heard someone scream, "he caught it, he caught it!!!!" I rushed back inside and watched the kick sail through the uprights.

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Exactly. Someone gets it***

Posted: Nov 18, 2019, 9:51 AM

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Best Is The Standard

Dude should have tackled Gardner. Can't let him make that

Posted: Nov 18, 2019, 9:36 AM

catch! He tried to mug him on the way down the field but Gardner and Dantzler made it happen!

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Someone posted a screen shot

Posted: Nov 18, 2019, 9:48 AM

around July 1 this year,showing Goodman holding down Gardner's
left arm. To reach up he had to
extend his arm. Of course that is picture published by news outlets.
Who cares. Such a blast to win. Most fun game against chickens I attended.

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Re: On This Date: 2000 Clemson- 16 (25)South Carolina- 14

Posted: Nov 18, 2019, 9:58 AM

It was my first date w my now wife of 17+ years.



I remember that! That was when the Coot defender quit

Posted: Nov 18, 2019, 10:03 AM

running and let Rod Gardner get open right at the end of the game! :) :) :)

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Re: On This Date: 2000 Clemson- 16 (25)South Carolina- 14

Posted: Nov 18, 2019, 10:12 AM

That was the last time I saw a game in Death Valley as a student. What a way to go out!!!

Thank you for sharing.


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