Third-ranked Clemson dominated No. 24 South Carolina to the tune of a 34-10 victory on Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Tigers improved 11-1 on the season, while the Gamecocks fell to 8-4.
Here is a look back at how Clemson earned the victory:
The Tigers rolled over the Gamecocks and never trailed in the contest. Ryan Carter gave Clemson an early 7-0 lead when he intercepted a pass from Jake Bentley and returned it 12 yards for a touchdown midway through the first quarter. After Tavien Feaster added a 1-yard touchdown run at the 8:12 mark of the second quarter, Hunter Renfrow hauled in a 4-yard touchdown pass from Kelly Bryant late in the first half to give the Tigers a 20-0 lead entering the locker room (Alex Spence missed an extra point).
Clemson picked up right where it left off in the second half, starting with a 61-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown courtesy of Renfrow on the Tigers’ first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. Travis Etienne further blew the game open with a 5-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter that made the score 34-0.
South Carolina finally cracked the scoreboard with a 40-yard field goal from Parker White early in the fourth quarter. A garbage time touchdown by the Gamecocks with 2:45 left in the game provided the final margin.
What went right?
Clemson totaled 469 yards of offense while holding South Carolina to 207 yards, including just 81 yards rushing. The Tigers recorded 27 first downs to the Gamecocks’ 10 and averaged 5.7 yards per play.
Bryant completed 23-of-34 passes for 272 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Meanwhile, Clemson shut down Jake Bentley, who finished with just 126 yards passing and a touchdown with two interceptions.
Eleven different Clemson players caught a pass, led by Renfrow, who had four receptions for 75 yards and two scores. Freshman wide receiver Tee Higgins followed up his 178-yard performance against The Citadel last weekend with another strong performance, 84 yards receiving on three catches with a long of 40.
What went wrong?
Not much. Bryant threw an interception in Clemson territory in the fourth quarter that spoiled Clemson’s shutout bid, as South Carolina turned the turnover into a field goal. However, the points were virtually meaningless with Clemson already up by 34 points at that point.
Hunter Johnson also threw an interception after replacing Bryant in the fourth quarter, and South Carolina scored its only touchdown of the game late in the final period on a 38-yard pass from Bentley to Bryan Edwards.
It happened on the very first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. With Clemson already ahead 20-0, Renfrow made a spectacular play that deflated any hopes the Gamecocks had of a comeback.
The Clemson receiver caught a pass from Bryant before juking and jiving his way through South Carolina’s defense for a 61-yard touchdown. It put the Tigers up by 27 points at the 14:39 mark of the third quarter, and they never looked back.