Tigers have won six straight over South Carolina by an average of 25.3 points per game
COLUMBIA —If someone does not think beating South Carolina is every bit as important to Clemson as winning an ACC or national championship, they have not been paying attention to the last six seasons.
For the sixth straight season the third-ranked Tigers beat rival South Carolina thanks to a 38-3 beatdown at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia on Saturday. The defense held the Gamecocks to their fewest points and yards (174) in the rivalry since 1989, while the offense racked up 527 total yards and was 12 of 17 on third down.
The 35-point win was Clemson’s fourth consecutive win over the Gamecocks by 21 or more points, the most lopsided four-game stretch in the history of the rivalry which began in 1896.
“It’s important,” Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said, who played in the rivalry for Clemson from 2000-2002. “Number one, it is important to the fans on the outside. The fans in this state look forward to this game. We were on the other side of that for five years. You have to credit that (2014) team that got it turned with Deshaun (Watson) and that group.
“Now, to keep our head down and look up and be at six (straight wins). It is something we are very proud of.”
The Tigers’ six-game win streak over South Carolina comes on the heels of a five-game losing streak to the Gamecocks in the series. From 2009-’13, Clemson could not find an answer for their rivals. Then Watson did his magic in 2014 on a torn ACL and the Tigers have not looked back, gaining back control of a rivalry they have always felt belong to them.
After Saturday’s win, Clemson now has a 71-42-4 lead in the series, including a 30-13-1 mark over the Gamecocks since 1976.
“This is an important game to everybody in the state,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “I thought both teams handled themselves with great competitiveness and class out there today. But I am just proud of our guys. To win six of these in a row, I don’t think that has happened in 79 years or 80 years, that is a long time.
“I am just really proud of our team.”
During its six-game win streak over the Gamecocks, Clemson has won by an average of 25.3 points per game. Only one-game was somewhat competitive and that came in the 2015 in Columbia when the Tigers won 37-32. However, South Carolina scored a touchdown with seconds remaining to make the score seem closer than it actually was.
“You can win all of your games and lose to South Carolina, and some people will look at it as a bad year,” Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence said. “We were intentional about preparing for this week and not letting off (the gas pedal) at all. We had a good week of prep and I think it showed.”
And, once again, Clemson dominated its rivals to the south.
“It means a lot, but I feel like that’s what we’re supposed to do,” linebacker Isaiah Simmons said. “We don’t practice every day to come here and have an okay day. We come out to dominate each and every week.”
And Clemson has now dominated South Carolina six years in a row.
Order your shirt today to remember Clemson’s 38-3 win over South Carolina