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OTD: 2000 (16)Clemson- 16 (25)UofSC- 14 "THE CATCH II"
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OTD: 2000 (16)Clemson- 16 (25)UofSC- 14 "THE CATCH II"

emoji_events [9]
Nov 18, 2021, 10:07 AM

Clemson, SC

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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Nov 18, 2021, 10:12 AM

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Still remember that one well! Crazy ending for sure!

Nov 18, 2021, 10:23 AM


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Re: Still remember that one well! Crazy ending for sure!

Nov 18, 2021, 10:26 AM

And the rest is history. Unfortunately, a short while later, the roof caved in for Tiger Football. Never again do I, or any Clemson fan, wish to go thru that again!!!

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that was my first clemson usuc game in person it was a

Nov 18, 2021, 10:55 AM

great game

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Re: OTD: 2000 (16)Clemson- 16 (25)UofSC- 14 "THE CATCH II"

Nov 18, 2021, 12:02 PM

I was watching that game in Sloan Street Tap Room. I told everyone the keep their heads up. We were not going to lose the game. The place erupted after the long pass and again after the kick.
It's great to be a Tiger... and it blows to be a Lamecock.
Go Tigers!!!

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"If a pig had a better personality, he would cease to be a filthy animal."

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