Besides a blocked Greg Huegel field goal on its opening possession, Clemson did little wrong in the opening half as it rolled to a 35-0 lead over rival South Carolina.
Deshaun Watson completed 18 of 24 passes for 251 yards and four touchdowns. Watson threw touchdowns passes for 34, 19, 11 and 16 yards to Mike Williams and Jordan Leggett. Williams led the Tigers with six catches for 100 yards and three scores.
Williams became the first wide receiver at Clemson to catch three touchdown passes against USC, while Watson joined Charlie Whitehurst as the only Tiger quarterbacks to throw four touchdown passes against Carolina.
Running back Wayne Gallman had 16 carries for 82 yards and a touchdown. Clemson finished the opening half with 380 yards.
It just was not the Tigers’ offense that played well. The defense stuffed the Gamecocks, holding them to 52 total yards. Carolina did not pick up its first down until the three-minute mark of the second quarter. Clemson had a 24-3 edge in first downs.
Clemson held the Gamecocks to seven total yards in the opening quarter. The Tigers had 226 yards in the opening 15 minutes.
Clemson grabbed a 7-0 lead as Williams capped a 47-yard drive with a 34-yard touchdown reception from Watson with 11:08 to play in the quarter.
The Tigers quickly upped the lead to 14-0 on its next possession as Williams caught a slant pass from Watson and then carried three Gamecocks eight yards with him into the end zone with 5:52 to play in the quarter.
Leggett increased the lead to 21-0 with 2:05 to play in the first when he hauled in an 11-yard pass from Watson. Leggett’s touchdown came after the Gamecocks botched a fake punt, giving the Tigers the ball at the USC 32. Clemson needed just five plays to cash in on the good field position.
Gallman made the score 28-0 with 3:06 to go in the first half thanks to a nifty eight-yard run. That capped a 6-play, 45-yard drive for the Tigers.
Williams capped the scoring with a 16-yard touchdown reception from Watson. The drive covered 80 yards in six plays. Williams touchdown came with eight seconds to play in the half.
–Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports