It had all looked so easy for Clemson the last seven weeks. 700 yards here. 50-something points there. The Tigers’ offense was a machine as they mowed thru one ACC opponent after another. But that offense met its match Saturday night in Death Valley against a Jadeveon Clowney led USC defense.
After giving up an 85 yard touchdown drive on Clemson’s second possession of the game, USC allowed the nation’s sixth ranked offense only 240 more yards. To be truthful, the defense was aided by a hoggish offense that kept the ball for 40 minutes, but the defense did more than it’s part.
Such as holding Clemson to 5 of 12 on third down conversions; sacking quarterback Tajh Boyd 6 times; and limiting Sammy Watkins and Nuk Hopkins to a combined 5 catches for 80 yards, 43 of those on Hopkins’ touchdown catch.
Once again, Tiger coach Dabo Swinney heads into the post-season reeling from a loss to Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks.
“They certainly deserved to win the game. No doubt about that. It really was a story of two halves. Second half, just too many mistakes. I think the third quarter we only had seven plays. Guys played hard, battled hard, but again didn’t execute or plan to win.”
AUDIO: Swinney discusses the loss to USC [6:50]