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Boulware, defense bully ‘little brother’ South Carolina

Nov 26, 2016; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers linebacker Ben Boulware (10) celebrates after making a tackle during the second quarter against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson rolled over rival South Carolina, 56-7, on Saturday which showcased Deshaun Watson’s record breaking six touchdown passes, the most ever in one game for a quarterback in the history of the rivalry.

Watson was 26-of-31 for 347 yards and six touchdowns while receiver Mike Williams caught six balls for 100 yards and three touchdowns.

Even with all of the impressive performances on offense, the defense stole the show, limiting Jake Bentley and South Carolina to 218 yards and seven points.

After South Carolina called Clemson its “little brother” this past week, Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware and his defense were not happy.

“That just kind of annoyed me because we were trying to be mature and respectful in that situation” said Boulware, “South Carolina always has been and always will be the little brother.”

As if the Tigers (11-1) needed any more fuel to add to the fire to a rivalry game, Boulware took it personally while preparing.

“We knew they couldn’t play with us at any position, so we went out there and played the way we could,” he said. “We knew from day one that we would dominate and that’s exactly what we did.”

After the dominating win in his last game against South Carolina, Boulware said he’s done with being nice to the Gamecocks.

“I don’t have to play them anymore so I don’t have to be nice to them anymore” he said.

Boulware, always known as the emotional leader of the defense, gathered the team around him before his last game in Death Valley to lead them into battle.

“I kind of blacked out. I just said something to get them pumped up, get them focused on the game,” he said. “It was kind of the same thing in the second half when we were completely dominating them but I wanted us to put our foot on their throat and choke them out.”

Defensive coordinator Brent Venables was happy to see Boulware exit Death Valley on a high note.

“Not a better guy to get us ready emotional,” said Venables .“He did a terrific job of channeling that emotion in the right places.”

Venables said Boulware provides the team with a great balance of emotion at the right time, which could come in handy if the Tigers make a playoff run.

“Emotion is the great equalizer in this game, you can’t win by just being rah-rah,” he said. “I think there was a purpose to it that transcended through the rest of the defense.”

Clemson certainly did not hurt its playoff chances this week, and if it can beat Virginia Tech in Orlando, Florida next Saturday in the ACC Championship Game, Boulware thinks the Tigers are deserving of one of the four spots.

“We definitely feel like we are one of the better teams in the country and we hope they agree with how we feel,” he said.

 

— Photo Credit:  Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

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