At Clemson there’s the season, then there’s the South Carolina game

At Clemson there’s the season, then there’s the South Carolina game


At Clemson there’s the season, then there’s the South Carolina game


Next Saturday’s game at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, will be the 117th edition of the Clemson-South Carolina rivalry, which in recent years has become known as the Palmetto Bowl.

When the game kicks off at noon, the Tigers and Gamecocks will have met for the 111th consecutive year, the second longest uninterrupted series in the country.

“I don’t think they really like us,” Clemson right guard Gage Cervenka said. “I think the biggest thing is their student section’s throwing trash on us. That’s my most recent memory. I just love it, though. I really do. I just love going to that place because I just know they hate us, and the feeling is mutual. It really is. I’ll straight up say it.”

Cervenka is a native of South Carolina and grew up in Greenwood. Growing up as a Tiger fan, he has never liked the Gamecocks.

“I look forward to it every year, playing South Carolina,” he said. “I grew up an in-state guy, so I have to deal with this rivalry all year, every year when I was growing up. And I went through the hard times, those ‘fear the thumb’ and all that.

“We’re going for our sixth one, so I’m really excited about this game, though. Looking forward to it.”

No team in the series has won six games in a row since Clemson won seven straight games from 1934-’40, which is the longest winning streak by either team in the history of the rivalry.

Clemson has had a lot of big wins in the Clemson-Carolina series. Below is a list of the Tigers’ biggest wins, along with some of the heroes from those games.

1900: Clemson won 51-0 as part of a perfect 6-0 season under first-year head coach John Heisman.

1928: The Tigers won 32-0 in a battle of unbeatens. Both teams were 5-0 entering the game. Clemson went on to an 8-3 record, a season mark for wins in a season at the time.

1939: Banks McFadden led Clemson to a 27-0 victory, an important win in a 9-1 season that ended with a win over Boston College in the 1940 Cotton Bowl.

1948: Phil Prince blocks a field goal late in the game, leading to Clemson to a 13-7 victory that preserved an unbeaten sea­son. Clemson went on to a perfect 11-0 record.

1956: A 20th-ranked Clemson team downs South Carolina, 7-0, in an ACC rival game. The Tigers went on to win the ACC Championship.

1959: Clemson wins final Big Thursday game, 27-0, in Columbia behind Harvey White. Tigers went on to a 9-2 record and a No. 11 final ranking and the ACC title.

1960: Clemson wins first game between the two schools in Clemson, 12-2.

1967: Clemson wins, 23-12, in final game of season to clinch the ACC Championship. The last time Clemson won an ACC title by beating South Carolina in the final game.

1977: Jerry Butler’s catch in final seconds gave the Tigers’ a come-from-behind, 31-27, victory. The win sent Clemson to the Gator Bowl that year, its first bowl game in 18 years at the time.

1980: Clemson upsets 14th-ranked South Carolina, 27-6, behind Willie Underwood’s two interceptions and 17 tackles. South Carolina had Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers and had won at Michigan earlier in the year. South Carolina was 8-2 entering the game. The Tigers finished the year 6-5.

1981: Clemson closed out a perfect regular season on its way to a National Championship with a 29-13 victory over the Gamecocks.

1988: Clemson won battle of top 25 teams in Rodney Williams’ final home game, 29-10. Clemson then beat Oklahoma in the Citrus Bowl to finish season in top 10.

2000: Clemson wins in a battle of top 25 teams thanks to Rod Gardner’s 50-yard reception from Woody Dantzler in the final seconds, and a 25-yard field goal by Aaron Hunt with three seconds left.

2003: Clemson’s 63 points in a 63-17 victory are the most points scored against the Gamecocks and the largest margin of victory in the rivalry since 1900. Charlie Whitehurst threw for four touchdown passes and Chad Jasmin scored four.

2005: Clemson defeated 19th-ranked South Car­olina, 13-9, in Columbia, the only time it has beaten a top 20 South Carolina team in Columbia.

2007: Mark Buchholz booted a 35-yard field goal on the last play of the game to give Clemson a 23-21 victory, the only time Clemson has beaten South Carolina with a scoring play on the last play of the game.

2008: Dabo Swinney defeated South Carolina, 31-14, in his last game as interim head coach, a victory that assured him of retain­ing the position in a full-time capacity.

2014: Clemson ended a five-year drought in the series with a 35-17 victory at Clemson. Deshaun Watson played with a torn ACL but accounted for four touchdowns. Freshman Wayne Gallman rushed for 191 yards, the second most in Clemson history against the Gamecocks, and freshman Artavis Scott had seven receptions for 185 yards, the most receiving yards in history by a Clemson player against the Gamecocks.

2015: The Tigers capped their first undefeated regular season with a 37-32 victory in Columbia. Deshaun Watson accounted for three touchdowns in the win. He rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns, while throwing for 279 yards and another score.

2016: Deshaun Watson finished his Clemson career with a perfect 3-0 mark against the Gamecocks with a 56-7 victory at Memorial Stadium. In his last game at Death Valley, Watson tied his own record with 6 touchdown passes while becoming the first quarterback in the rivalry to toss six touchdowns. The Tigers’ 49-point margin of victory marked the largest by an ACC team over an SEC team. It surpassed the Tigers own mark of 46-points in their 63-17 win over the Gamecocks in 2003.

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