By Will Vandervort.
Once again, in a big game where a good defense is one team’s strength and a good offense is the other team’s strength, the team with the good defense won the game.
South Carolina had its moments in Saturday’s Palmetto Bowl, but in the end Clemson’s defense proved to be too much for the Gamecocks. And it baffles me that anyone is surprised by the outcome or how dominant the Tigers’ defense was.
A big reason for the Gamecocks’ mastery over Clemson the last five years was their defense, especially in the previous three meetings. USC, with all that defensive talent, stumped the Tigers and it did not matter that Clemson had the most prolific three-year run from an offensive standpoint in the program’s history.
Clemson’s record-setting players on offense like Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins, Nuke Hopkins and Dwayne Allen did not matter in those South Carolina games because the Gamecocks had an elite level defense to offset them.