Clemson and South Carolina first played on the football field back in 1896 and since then the series has become one of the best and oldest in the country.
Saturday’s game at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia will be the 115th meeting between the two schools and the 109th consecutive year the two programs have played against one another, the second longest active streak in college football.
A lot of crazy things have happened during this time so here are 10 unusual facts about what we now call the Palmetto Bowl.
- Twenty-nine is an unusual number for a point total in football. Yet four times in the last 35 years the winner of the Clemson-South Carolina game has scored 29 points. That includes 2010 when South Carolina defeated Clemson 29-7. Clemson beat South Carolina by the same score in 2004. Clemson won 29-10 in 1988 and 29-13 in 1981.
- Charlie Whitehurst is the only starting quarterback to lead a team to four wins in the history of the series. He did that for the Tigers from 2002-‘05. Deshaun Watson would have had the opportunity to do it if he returned for his senior year this year, but he turned professional and is now with the Houston Texans.
- Josh Cody, who was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame this year, had a 4-0 record for Clemson against South Carolina from 1927-‘30. He is the only coach in the series to have a perfect record, given a minimum of three games coached.
- Paul Williams is the last player to letter for both schools. He lettered for Clemson in 1978 and for South Carolina in 1980.
- A Clemson captain actually played for South Carolina. Cary Cox lettered for the Gamecocks in 1943. After the second Great War, he enrolled at Clemson and served as captain for the Tigers in 1947. Cox died in 2008.
- Clemson had three touchdown plays of at least 76 yards against South Carolina in 2006, yet lost the game. Jacoby Ford scored on 76-yard touchdown pass, C.J. Spiller on an 80-yard run and Jock McKissic on an 82- yard interception return. It is the only game in Clemson history in which Clemson has had three scoring plays of at least 75 yards and lost the game.
- In 1948 and in 1981 a blocked punt returned for a touchdown proved to be the pivotal play in a Clemson victory, victories that allowed Clemson to go on to undefeated seasons. In both instances, the original line of scrimmage was the South Carolina 28-yard-line.
- Willie Underwood had two interceptions to lead Clemson to victory over South Carolina in 1980. A starter for four years, the strong safety never had recorded an interception in any of his first 46 games as a Tiger. He then had two against the Gamecocks in his 47th and final game. One of the thefts was a 37-yard return for a touchdown, the only touchdown of his career. The other set up Clemson’s go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter.
- In a placekicking career that spanned five years, Bob Paulling made 107 of 109 extra points. Both of his misses were at South Carolina, one in 1981 and one in 1983. He had a streak of 70 consecutive made extra points (second longest in Clemson history) in between the two miscues.
- In the 30 games that Frank Howard coached for Clemson against South Carolina, Clemson scored 411 points and South Carolina scored 411 points.