Boulware says South Carolina "has been and always will be little brother"


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Boulware didn't hold back in his postgame comments
Boulware didn't hold back in his postgame comments

CLEMSON – Big brother didn’t take little brother’s smack talk lightly.

Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware walked out of Clemson’s locker room following the Tigers’ 56-7 dismantling of South Carolina ready to let the world know who the big brother happens to be in the series between the state rivals.

Earlier in the week, South Carolina defender Chris Moody mentioned that all the pressure rested on Clemson’s shoulders because the Tigers are still trying to make the College Football Playoff, and along the way made a comment about “little brother” that didn’t sit well with the Clemson players.

“They’re the big-time team right now. We just have to come out and play our ball and the rest will take care of itself,” Moody said. “We’re bowl eligible and they’re trying to get to a playoff. We don’t really have that chance right now, so it’s big for them.

“There’s always excitement when you’re playing your rival. It’s like beating up your little brother. You want to go out and play well and show them that you came to play early.”

Boulware spent five minutes telling anyone who would listen his thoughts about the Gamecocks and the comment.

“It was huge. It kind of annoyed me because throughout the week we were being super respectful and we were giving them credit where credit was due,” Boulware said. “Then, they were trying to disrespect us saying our offensive line was finesse and saying we're the little brother. We ran for 200-plus yards. South Carolina has been and always will be little brother of this state. That kind of annoyed me. We were trying to be mature and respectful of the whole situation. I don't have to play them anymore so I don't have to be nice to them anymore. South Carolina is always the little brother and they always will be.”

He didn’t stop there, saying the Gamecocks were outclassed at every position on the field.

“We knew they weren't in our league and we knew they couldn't play with us at any position, so we went out there and played the way we knew we could,” he said. “It's definitely gratifying to see the fruit of your labor. We prepared a lot this week and we knew at every position they couldn't compete with us and we proved that today.”

Senior safety Jadar Johnson said the Gamecocks further inflamed the situation with a pregame scuffle.

“There’s no love there. There’s no love. We were just ready to play,” Johnson said. “We knew we were the better team and we wanted to come out here and dominate them and that’s what we did. We got into it a little bit pregame but they were being silly. All they did was make us mad and make us beat them even worse. We knew if we played to Clemson’s standard it would end up like that (56-7 score).”

Quarterback Deshaun Watson said the comments likened the beat down to a daddy beating his son.

“It was a little comment that they had - when they beat us it’s like beating their little brothers,” Watson said. “We’ve been saying all week that on our end it’s like a daddy beating a son - giving a son a whooping. We run this state. We’re 3-0 in the record. It’s been a long time coming since game one and the record speaks for itself.”

Center Jay Guillermo echoed the sentiments of his teammates, saying Clemson is second to no one.

"Normally we don't but whenever it's a rivalry game, it gets personal," Guillermo said. "I know that's been said plenty of times this week but you pay attention to it because that's them calling you out. That's them calling out your manhood. We don't take a backseat to anyone here at Clemson and never will. For someone to say we're their little brother and less than them, that don't fly with us. I think we proved them wrong."

Boulware said he didn’t know what caused the pregame scuffle, but also said it didn’t help South Carolina’s cause.

“I don't know. I was late to it. They were trying to run their mouths. They were trying to play a mind game with us and get in our head,” he said. “That's South Carolina so it doesn't surprise me.”

He didn’t stop there, saying he expected the Tigers to dominate.

“Absolutely. I knew watching film throughout the week,” Boulware said. “I could just tell that with the guys we had and how we were going to prepare. I know their quarterback is the savior of the world and they have a Heisman at every position, but that's not what it is. I don't have to be nice to them anymore. I don't have to be respectful. I'm never playing them again. We knew from day one that we were going to dominate and that's exactly what we did.”

Freshman quarterback Jake Bentley didn’t fare well in his first visit to Death Valley – he completed 7 of 17 passes for 41 yards before being pulled – and Boulware said he thinks Bentley will be a good player for the Gamecocks.

It just wouldn’t be on a cold Saturday night in Death Valley.

“Y'all watched the game. I don't remember seeing him much in the second half. He'll be a good player but he's a young kid,” Boulware said. “I know they were saying that they played at Florida and they were ready for this environment. Hell no, they weren't. Y'all watched the game at Florida and the stands weren't even full. They can say they were ready for the environment and they knew it was going to be loud, no they hell they weren't. They weren't ready for it at all. I don't think they were ready for it at any position was and it showed. He'll be a good player and they have a great future ahead but they weren't ready for Death Valley.”

Boulware made sure to let the media know – one final time – his thoughts on how the sibling rivalry shakes out.

“It was super fun to go out there and dominate your little brother like they were saying throughout the week,” he said. “To dominate them in all phases for all four quarters was super fun. It was kind of a redemption game for Senior Day, so we can go out on top. To go out on top against our little brother was awesome.”


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