NCAA Game Summary - South Carolina at Clemson|
(Saturday, November 24th)
Final Score: (13) South Carolina 27, (12) Clemson 17
Clemson, SC (Sports Network) - Dylan Thompson threw for 310 yards and three
touchdowns in a strong substitute start as No. 13 South Carolina continued its
recent success against in-state rival Clemson with a 27-17 decision over the
No. 12 Tigers at Memorial Stadium.
With regular quarterback Connor Shaw scratched due to a sprained left foot,
Thompson completed 23-of-41 passes with one interception to lift the Gamecocks
(10-2) to their fourth consecutive victory in the series between the Palmetto
Ace Sanders came through with 119 yards and a touchdown on six catches for
South Carolina, while Bruce Ellington hauled in two of Thompson's touchdown
throws in a historic triumph for Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier.
The win was Spurrier's 65th at the helm of the Gamecocks' program, moving him
past Rex Enright for most in school history.
South Carolina's defense aided the cause as well, limiting a powerful Clemson
attack that came in averaging 44.6 points and over 535 total yards per game to
a modest 328 yards and intercepting quarterback Tajh Boyd twice.
"I'm really, really proud of our defense," Spurrier said. "That's one of the
best offenses in the country, and we held them down fairly well, to 17 points.
Offensively, we did what we sort of needed to do as far as playing sort of
ugly. We ran for nothing and nothing and nothing and nothing, but we kept that
clock churning away."
Boyd finished an off-target 11-of-24 for 183 yards while recording a rushing
and passing touchdown for the Tigers (10-2), who saw a 13-game home winning
streak come to an end and lost for the first time in its last eight outings
"They disrupted our rhythm. We only got two plays in the third quarter and
their 86 plays to our 59 was huge," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "You have
to give them a lot of credit. Tonight was very disappointing. We played with
great effort but that third quarter drive was critical."
Clemson scored touchdowns on two of its first three possessions to take a 14-7
lead after one quarter, but the South Carolina defense stiffened and Thompson
engineered a pair of long scoring drives -- one prior to halftime and the
other after intermission -- to put the Gamecocks in front.
The sophomore was on point during a 12-play, 79-yard march that began with
South Carolina bottled back at its own six, making good on 5-of-6 pass
attempts for 53 yards and adding a key 19-yard scramble on third down.
A 17-yard strike from Thompson to Sanders later on put the Gamecocks in range
for Adam Yates' 29-yard field goal that cut the deficit to 14-10 late in the
Thompson was sharp as well during South Carolina's initial series of the
second half, firing a 31-yard bullet to Nick Jones to put his team into
Clemson territory and finding an open Sanders down the middle during a 3rd-
and-16 situation shortly afterward. The shifty wideout outraced the Tigers'
defense for a 34-yard touchdown that staked the Gamecocks to a 17-14 edge just
over three minutes into the third quarter.
After South Carolina forced a quick three-and-out on the ensuing drive, Yates
extended the margin to six points with a 43-yard kick with 6:56 remaining in
The field goal was set up by another clutch third-down conversion, with
Thompson hitting Kenny Miles for a 24-yard gain on 3rd-and-10 to move the
Gamecocks to the Clemson 25.
Clemson answered on its next touch, with Boyd hooking up with Jaron Brown for
38 yards to set up Chandler Catanzaro's 38-yard field goal that brought the
Tigers within 20-17.
Thompson was intercepted in the end zone by Xavier Brewer to stop a potential
scoring opportunity early in the fourth quarter, but South Carolina's Brison
Williams returned the favor by picking off a Boyd misread less than a minute
and a half later.
The Gamecocks would cash in this time, putting together a 13-play, 65-yard
jaunt that began with Mike Davis' 26-yard scamper and was extended by
Thompson's 20-yard scramble to the Clemson six on 3rd-and-19.
Three plays later, Thompson connected with Ellington for a 6-yard score to
give South Carolina a 10-point lead with 4:17 to go, and the defense would
make it stand by holding the Tigers without a first down the rest of the way.
Clemson's usually potent offense came out firing early on, with Boyd moving
the unit 85 yards on 16 plays on the Tigers' second drive and capping it off
with a 3-yard run for the game's first points.
South Carolina responded on its next trip, as Thompson went 4-for-4 for 56
yards and fired a 13-yard dart to Ellington near the back of the end zone to
knot the score at 7-7 with 1:46 left in the first quarter.
It would take Clemson a mere 24 seconds to break the deadlock, however.
Roderick McDowell broke free for a 32-yard run on the first play from
scrimmage after Ellington's score, and Boyd connected with DeAndre Hopkins for
a 43-yard touchdown on the subsequent play.
South Carolina's current four-game winning streak over the Tigers matches its
longest in the series, having also posted four straight victories between
1951-54 ... The game marked only the second time the teams had both been
ranked in the top-15, with the other coming in 1987 ... Clemson's last loss at
home also came at the hands of the Gamecocks, a 29-7 defeat back in 2010 ...
Boyd's touchdown pass to Hopkins was his 34th of the season, breaking his own
school record he set last year.
11/25 00:45:49 ET