In big rivalry games like the one between Clemson and South Carolina, trash talk just comes with the territory especially on the field. But during Clemson’s 56-7 win over the Gamecocks this past Saturday in Death Valley, USC players were doing all the talking and the Tigers were doing the biting.
Just go back and watch Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams’ first-quarter catch on a slant pass from quarterback Deshaun Watson where he not only carried, but rolled South Carolina defenders all the way into the end zone for a touchdown.
“It looked pretty easy. All that smack they were talking, I’m glad he did that,” said Clemson running back Wayne Gallman on Monday. “Mike is about 225 pounds and it seemed like the defensive back he was going against was about 180, so I know when we work out he’s squatting more than that probably every day.”
Williams was the epitome of the saying “actions speak louder than words” during the Tigers’ dominant performance over South Carolina. After dragging the Carolina defenders around like rag dolls during Saturday night’s game, Williams became the first Tiger in the history of the rivalry to record three touchdown receptions. He finished with a total of six receptions for a team-high 100 yards.
“I have never seen anybody catch more balls than him in practice or in a game. It just has been effortless with him. When I was a freshman I got to see Sammy Watkins and them play,” Gallman said. “I wasn’t here when (DeAndre Hopkins) was here.
“Sammy probably is the fastest receiver I have seen here. Nuk just did everything, but Mike is just different. He is not the fastest but he will just beat you. If you are one-on-one he is going to beat you. “
Not being able to play South Carolina last season due to a neck injury, Williams made his presence known on Saturday. The junior finished the regular season with 79 catches for 1,114 yards and 10 touchdowns, the fourth most receiving yards in program history.
Gallman said Williams never let his injury discourage him from getting back on the field and making up for what he missed out on last season.
“Mike has always been a guy that doesn’t put himself before the team. He is just very encouraging. He is always having fun with the team. He really wasn’t one of those guys who felt sorry for the fact that he couldn’t play. He tried to push everybody and really help the wide receiver group,” Gallman said.
Walking off the field to an emotional standing ovation by Clemson fans in his last game in Memorial Stadium, Williams reminded everyone that actions really do speak louder than words.
–Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports