By Gray Gardner.
COLUMBIA, SC – Clemson did Saturday night what only one other team in program history has ever done in losing to rival South Carolina for the third straight year, 34-13.
“This is obviously very disappointing. It is the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows when this is waht you do for a living. We are just really disappointed in how we played. Dropped a touchdown early, (gave up) sacks, we can’t proetect our quarterback. It is really disappointing and obviously that affects your ability to score. Defensively, the quarterback beat us, and that is the most disappointing thing to me coming out of this game, that we let the quarterback beat us. We knew exactly what they were going to do, and we couldn’t stop it,” said Swinney.
The loss was the Tigers’ second straight and third in the last four games after starting the season 8-0. The Gamecocks improved to 10-2 on the season. It is only the second time in Gamecock history that the football team has won 10 games in a season.
South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw marched the Gamecock offense downfield with ease for most of the game and finished with over 100 yards rushing 4 touchdowns.
The Gamecock offense finished with 421 total yards and maintained possession for just over 37 minutes, effectively keeping the ball out of the Tigers’ hands.
The Clemson defense was inept against the run and struggled with missed tackles again in the loss – a problem that has plagued the Tigers since week one. However, Kevin Steele’s defense made enough stops to give Clemson a chance before the game was out of hand.
Chad Morris’ offense was unable to get anything going against the top 5 ranked South Carolina defense, and finished the game with a meager 153 total yards.
Quarterback Tajh Boyd completed only 38% of his passes for 83 yards. Boyd was harassed by the Gamecocks’ front four all night long and threw an interception on top of being sacked several times.
“Not too much can be said, we just need to find a way to come out here and get wins. The thing is we have been having great practices. But when game time comes, everything changes. We have a big game coming up this week in the ACC Championship,” said Boyd.
Clemson will limp into Charlotte against the 5th ranked Virginia Tech Hokies in the ACC Championship Game next Saturday. The Tigers are now 9-3 on the season and 1-4 in their last four games.
The Clemson Insider will continue to release coverage from Clemson’s loss over the next several hours.