There is one reason why Clemson dominated South Carolina for a fourth straight season … it had a chip on its shoulder.
The Tigers got two touchdown passes from quarterback Kelly Bryant to wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, while the defense smothered the Gamecocks in a 34-10 victory at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia on Novemeber 25.
“We had a little chip on our shoulders just from hearing the stuff from last year and we will be ready for them next year when they come to the Valley,” Renfrow said.
That’s not good news for South Carolina, who has been dominated by the Tigers the last four years.
During its four-game winning streak over the Gamecocks, Clemson has averaged 40.5 points to South Carolina’s 16.5. The Tigers also have averaged 524 total yards to USC’s 291.
Clemson has won the four games by an average of 24 points.
This year, the Tigers totaled 469 yards and held South Carolina’s offense to 207 total yards. Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley threw for just 129 yards on 16-of-29 passing and was picked off two times.
Bentley of course claimed the Gamecocks (8-4) were equal to Clemson after last year’s 49-point loss in Clemson and he vowed they would not lose to Clemson like that again.
But that was not the case on Saturday as Clemson proved it was clearly the better team and program. The Tigers led 34-0 in the fourth quarter before the Gamecocks got two late scores after Clemson took out its starters.
Senior cornerback Ryan Carter even picked off Bentley in the first quarter and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown for the Tigers’ first score of the game.
Though the Tigers were up 20-0 at halftime, Travis Etienne took the opening kickoff to start the second half 39 yards and then on the next play Renfrow took a pass on the near sideline and weaved in and out of traffic for a 61-yard touchdown and a 27-0 lead at the time.
“Just from hearing them say ‘Never Again’ for so long, we just wanted to go out there and play well and finish the second half like we started the game,” Renfrow said.
The Clemson wide receiver admitted all the stuff being thrown on the field by the fans and the way the Gamecock players acted with some cheap shots on Saturday just added fuel to their fire. However, Clemson’s players handled it with their play on the field.
“Just the stuff being thrown, and that is just how they been,” the Clemson receiver said. “Just the things they have been saying on the field and I think we showed our class tonight as the game went along, and I’m proud of the guys for showing it.”
They are also proud they were able to allow their seniors to become the first senior class to go 4-0 against the Gamecocks since 2005.
“It feels amazing,” Clemson linebacker Dorian O’Daniel said. “I’m really proud of this senior class. To be able to leave and to say that we have not lost to Carolina is definitely something I take pride in.”
They especially take pride in the way they have done it.
“That is big. For me to go 4-0 and the rest of the seniors, we could not have ended it a better way,” Carter said. “It is just a testament to our preparation and what the guys have done who came before us. It is just big. This type of magnitude and to be 4-0 against South Carolina, not a lot of guys have done that and the seniors are extremely happy.”