Clemson ended its season Friday in a mostly empty Bank of America Stadium on the wrong end of a 31-26 score against South Florida. Not much went right for the Tigers offensively and the defense had one of its worst performances of the year. The result was a loss and the program’s first losing season in 12 years.
Kyle Parker’s final game in a Clemson uniform did not go well. Parker threw a costly interception in the first quarter that led to a Bulls field goal and then he was knocked out of the game just before the half when he broke his ribs trying to score on a goal line play. He finished the game 11-17 with 134 yards and two touchdowns.
Tajh Boyd replaced Parker in the second half and was ineffective until he led the offense to a couple of late touchdowns to make the score respectable and give the Tigers a crack at comeback. He finished 13-23 for 112 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Offensive coordinator Billy Napier thought Boyd did a pretty good job in what essentially was his first meaningful action of his career.
No one was shocked the Clemson offense struggled. What did come as a surprise was the play of the defense. While the unit didn’t play poorly, it was not the dominant force we’ve seen for most of the season. Granted the offense didn’t do much to help them out and twice the defense was forced to defend first and goal situations following interceptions. The Bulls scored 10 points on those two possessions.
Clemson finishes the year at 6-7. South Florida finishes at 8-5.