USC used an efficient offense and a seek and destroy defense in defeating Clemson 34-13 Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia before a season high home crowd of 83,422. It’s the Gamecocks third straight win over their arch-rival, the first time they’ve accomplished that since 1968-70. The Gamecocks also reached the 40 win mark in the 109 game series. The Tigers lead the series 65-40-4.
The Gamecocks led 10-0 at the end of the opening quarter, only the second time all season they had scored first in a game. Clemson tied the game at ten in the second quarter, but USC scored a late second quarter touchdown for a 17-10 halftime lead. That was more than enough as the Gamecock defense dominated the Tigers all night holding them to a season low 153 total yards.
Gamecock quarterback Connor Shaw accounted for four touchdowns, three passing and one running. He threw for 210 yards and rushed for 107 yards.
USC finishes the regular season at 10-2, just the second time in school history the Gamecocks have won ten games. Clemson falls to 9-3. The Tigers will play Virginia Tech in Charlotte next Saturday for the ACC Championship.
USC post game notes:
- Freshman wide receiver Bruce Ellington caught his first touchdown pass as a Gamecock on a 49-yard strike from Connor Shawon Carolina’s second drive of the game. The pass was the longest of both Ellington and Shaw’s careers. Ellington finished the game with three catches for 71 yards, setting a career high in yardage.
- Junior running back Kenny Mileswent for a 28-yard scamper in the second quarter, tying his career long, which dates back to the Chick-fil-A Bowl vs. Florida State (12/31/10). Miles gained 71 yards for the game, which was his highest mark of the season.
- Shaw logged 107 yards rushing on the night, marking a career high and the first time a South Carolina quarterback has gone over the century mark since Sept 14, 2002, when Corey Jenkinsran for 101 yards vs. Georgia. The sophomore quarterback was responsible for four touchdowns on the night, rushing for one (seventh of season) and throwing for three (12 for season). His three passing touchdowns mark back-to-back weeks with a trio of passing scores.
- Freshman tight end Rory Andersoncaught a career-long 55-yard pass from Shaw, who broke his previous career long of a 49-yard pass on the play set earlier in the game. The long pass play set up Anderson’s third score of the year on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Shaw that put the Gamecocks up 24-10 in the third quarter.
- Junior wide receiver Alshon Jeffery caught his seventh touchdown of the season late in the fourth quarter to put the Gamecocks up 34-13. Jeffery finished the game with two catches for 29 yards, moving him up to sixth place (2,894) on the All-Time SEC Career Reception Yardage list. The junior wide receiver’s 18-yard touchdown was the 22nd of his career, putting him one touchdown reception behind the career leader, Kenny McKinley(23).
- The Garnet and Black offense went 2-2 on fourth downs and 4-4 in red zone scoring for the game. The offensive unit gained 420 yards on the night, the fourth time this year the Gamecocks have gained over 400 yards in a game.
- Junior tight end Justice Cunningham’sreception for 16 yards set a season long for him.
- Senior place kicker Jay Wooten’s 47-yard field goal and Shaw’s 49-yard touchdown pass to Ellington marked the first time that Carolina has scored twice in the first quarter since Nov. 27, 2010, against Clemson.
- Senior defensive lineman Melvin Ingrampicked up two sacks in the game, giving him a team leading 8.5 sacks on the year. His pair of sacks resulted in a total loss of 19 yards. Ingram was also credited with five tackles and a quarterback hurry in the game.
- Junior safety DeVonte Holloman picked up his first interception of the year late in the fourth quarter. Holloman returned the ball 26 yards and set up the 18-yard Alshon Jefferytouchdown.
- Senior Antonio Allenled the team in tackles for the fourth time this year with his seven stops on the night.
- Junior defensive end Devin Taylor was credited with his fifth sack of the year, and freshman Jadeveon Clowneylogged his sixth sack of the year.
- Senior Travian Robertsoncollected his second sack of the year and was credited with two quarterback hurries in the game.
- The Gamecock defense held Clemson to 153 yards of total offense on the night, marking the third time this season that they have held an opponent under 200 yards of offense.
- Clemson’s blocked punt in the second quarter was the first given up by the Gamecocks since playing Clemson on Nov. 29, 2008.
- Senior place kicker Jay Wooten was 2-2 on field goals in the game (47, 37) marking the second time this season that he has scored twice for the Gamecocks.
- With the win, South Carolina moves to 10-2 on the year, marking just the second time the Gamecocks have reached the 10-win mark in their history. The Gamecocks have a chance to win their 11th game for the first time ever in the upcoming bowl game. Tonight’s win also gives the Gamecocks 19 wins over the past two seasons, extending their record for wins in back to back years.
- The Gamecocks have now beaten Clemson for three straight years for the first time since 1968-70. The win over the Tigers now extends South Carolina’s regular season non-conference winning streak to 12 games.
- Tonight’s attendance was 83,422, logging the highest mark of the season, and the 14th highest in Williams-Brice Stadium history.