Instant Analysis: South Carolina 31, Clemson 17

by - Staff Writer -

COLUMBIA – Same story, different year.

The Clemson Tigers looked poised to end the four-game losing skid to archrival South Carolina, but costly turnovers, untimely penalties and a failure to get off the field on third down derailed the bid.

South Carolina defeated Clemson 31-17 Saturday night in Williams-Brice for the fifth consecutive time.

It was over when: After a fumble by Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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, the Clemson defense forced the Gamecocks to punt only to have veteran return man Adam HumphriesAdam Humphries
Jr. Wide Receiver
#13 5-11, 190
Spartanburg, SC

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catch the punt in traffic and fumble the ball. The fumble gave the Gamecocks the ball on the Clemson 34-yard line and three plays later Pharoh Cooper dumped a short pass to Brandon Wilds that turned into a 26-yard touchdown, putting the Tigers in a 14-point deficit.

Game ball goes to: For the Tigers, the game ball has to go to senior running back Roderick McDowellRoderick McDowell
Gr. Running Back
#25 5-9, 195
Sumter, SC

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who did everything he could to will the Tigers to a victory. McDowell finished the night with 14 carries for 111 yard and two receptions for 31 yards. This was probably his best effort since the Georgia game to begin the season.

Stat of the game: The story of the night…Turnovers. Clemson had six and South Carolina had zero.

What it means for Clemson: The Tigers worst nightmare has just come true – losing five in a row to the Gamecocks. Clemson cost themselves the game with the turnovers. Clemson fans won’t be happy, but the Tigers sitting at 10-2 still have an outside chance at a BCS bowl with all of the upsets in college football. The Tigers have excelled on the field against every opponent except South Carolina and Florida State. Going forward, Clemson must fix that if they want to turn the quarter and become an elite program.

What it means for South Carolina: For the first time in the history of the rivalry, the Gamecocks have won five in a row – and by convincing fashion. They have limited the Tigers to 17 points or fewer in each of the five games. At the conclusion of the game, the Gamecocks will still be waiting to find out about their SEC title hopes, and without a berth in the SEC Championship Game, South Carolina will probably be spending the holidays in Florida for the Outback Bowl. But, they will take in the Florida sunshine knowing they have won five in a row.

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