As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity


by - Senior Writer -
Clemson sits atop the rivalry right now and it isn't even close.
Clemson sits atop the rivalry right now and it isn't even close.

If you were fortunate enough to be in Williams-Brice Stadium Saturday for the rivalry game against South Carolina, you might have noticed that the proceedings were a bit subdued. Maybe even weird. Let’s face it, the rivalry between the Tigers and the Gamecocks isn’t what it used to be.

The walk from the media lot to the media entrance at the stadium is usually a fun one, a small insight into the tailgating and traditions of Gamecock football. The lots are always full of raucous tailgaters and fans, with music set at a high volume and with large TVs tucked onto the tailgates of pickup trucks. What is normally noisy and boisterous was quiet.

Pregame even felt off. The students were late arriving, and Clemson’s much-anticipated “Walk of Champions” was anticlimactic. Just as the Tigers locked arm, the stadium PA started blasting “Sandstorm” to try and get the students worked up. A few students turned their backs, a few reacted in the usual manner, but most acted like they didn’t care.

Other than South Carolina stopping an early Clemson drive, neither side of the crowd seemed to get into the game. Let’s face it, the rivalry has lost its luster.

Yes, Clemson has won six in a row and that’s part of it. However, South Carolina won five in a row and the rivalry was as strong as ever. Why? Because Clemson was relevant on the national stage, winning the ACC Championship in 2011, beating LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl after the 2012 season and the Orange Bowl after the 2013 season. South Carolina isn’t on anyone’s radar.

Under Will Muschamp, the Gamecocks have been outscored 184-55 by the Tigers. There was 56-7 in Muschamp’s first season, but for whatever reason Saturday’s 38-3 romp felt like the teams have even more distance between them.

The Tigers played hard early but at times lacked focus. They still racked up over 500 yards of total offense and held South Carolina to just 174 total yards. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence gained 66 yards on just eight rushes, while South Carolina gained 69 yards on 29 rushes.

Taking a deeper look at the South Carolina offense – the Gamecocks only scoring drive made it as far as the Clemson 21-yard line. The Gamecocks called timeout on 3rd-and-9 and then ran a running play into the middle of the field to set up their lone score. As one media member put it, Muschamp was waving the white flag in the first half. The 21 was as close as South Carolina would get to the red zone.

That drive gained 75 yards on 15 plays. The other 38 plays (yes, the Gamecocks ran just 53 plays) garnered 99 yards.

Much of the garnet-clad crowd stayed through halftime but after the Tigers scored early in the third quarter, the aisles began to fill as the fans headed towards the exits. Many diehards hung around, not because they were waiting on some miraculous comeback, but more out of a love for their school and a sense of loyalty to the players.

To me, the talent gap is wider now than it was in 2015. Clemson is loaded across the board and will return players like Lawrence, Xavier Thomas, Justyn Ross and Lyn-J Dixon next season. The Tigers also have one of the nation’s top – if not THE top- recruiting classes coming on board. The talent gap will be even wider next season. And, with all due respect to Muschamp and his staff, the coaching gap is huge.

The Tigers are headed to the ACC Championship Game and a possible berth in the College Football Playoff for a fifth consecutive season, while the Gamecocks’ season is over. South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp made several moves on his staff Sunday and more are expected. He has to hold onto the headliners in his recruiting class and convince several other players to stick around. For the sake of the rivalry, I hope he gets it turned around.

Saturday was subdued and it lacked the usual passion and intensity. The rivalry just isn’t the same.

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Subject (Replies: 62) Author
spacer TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
TigerNet News
spacer Maybe for most fans...
BengalBilly
spacer Re: Maybe for most fans...
Bareftn
spacer I was very passionate about 6 in a row...
STERLING®
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
Oculus
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
1972 Tiger®
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
TWOPAWS
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
Bluedog51
spacer I like it like this.
TigerHawk76®
spacer Try living in Cootlumbia and be forced to listen to these
TIGERFANN
spacer 43 years living in Columbia. Last 20 or so the rivalry has
Tiggity®
spacer We are on a whole different level than the leg humpers, too.***
Rocky the Tiger®
spacer Re: Try living in Cootlumbia and be forced to listen to these
Generation4
spacer Re: Try living in Cootlumbia and be forced to listen to these
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Re: Try living in Cootlumbia and be forced to listen to these
HopefulTiger®
spacer Judging by their reaction for just beating UGA
T3Tiger
spacer 107.5 the big stupid C@ck station
TIGERFANN
spacer LSU is never going to get a chance to play Ohio State.***
ClemsonPoker489®
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
HopefulTiger®
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
crawdad64
spacer I don't think it can be any better than us winning every...
rudetiger
spacer How can you be around the program so long and
Neal in NC®
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
Deanster®
spacer But, but, but they beat Gawjaw
tigeron®
spacer ##### were convinced that they had us beat
tigerdrummer®
spacer Listening to uof6c fans talk about that game is hilarios...
BigCUFan®
spacer Re: ##### were convinced that they had us beat
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer I’ll take a 0-11 gamecock team every year over a good team.***
Clemson_Orange
spacer Can't believe it's going to take 2 more years
edoetsch®
spacer Yep, I like them BAD. I'm talking Prairie View A&M bad,
Fordtunate Son
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
JIMARTI®
spacer I am 100% okay with the state of this rivalry
grover173
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
westerntigerfan
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
ddclemson
spacer They can't lose enough or suck enough to suit me...nm*
JaxTiger857
spacer I'm Not Going To Feel Sorry For Chickenlina ---
Xander5000
spacer I'm Not Going To Feel Sorry For Chickenlina ---
Xander5000
spacer I'm Not Going To Feel Sorry For Chickenlina ---
Xander5000
spacer This isnt new. This "rivalry" has rarely been competitive
PioneerG
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
Mogambu®
spacer In their defense a noon kick helped a little
CU''90
spacer Re: In their defense a noon kick helped a little
Tobias27772
spacer toughest schedule???? no way
TIGERFANN
spacer Re: In their defense a noon kick helped a little
widhorse
spacer In 2017 SCAR was #23, had won 5 out of 6 (only L to UGA)
jtiger1®
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
66grad
spacer You know you’re at a good place in a “rivalry” when
tigerpathmd®
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
Tommypine
spacer For as long as I breathe
TigerStripe_6317
spacer A small part of me does
Bleedorange09
spacer You hope he turns it around? I don't! Rivalry be dam-ed.***
surroundedtiger
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
1cutigers76®
spacer Turn it around?
MayrettaTiger
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
Tigerdug23®
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
AfricanTiger
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
Valley Boy
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
Tigerdug23®
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
allorangeallthetime52®
spacer Waaah. No sorrow here. Their 5-bombs and “Keep Dabo” sealed it
97TigerPaw
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
Bluedog51
spacer Re: TNET: As the talent gap widens, the rivalry with South Carolina lacks passion and intensity
Lil Ole Tiger
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