South Carolina 27, Clemson 17: The Good, Bad & Ugly
The Good: Gamecocks Rising to the Occasion
The Tigers may have had the upper hand early, with Tajh Boyd accounting for 2 TDs in the first quarter, but it was all South Carolina after that. Jadeveon Clowney almost single-handedly shut down the Clemson offense with 4.5 sacks, but it was backup QB Dylan Thompson who stole the show. Thompson only got the starting nod on Wednesday, due to an injury to Connor Shaw sustained against Wofford last week, but still managed to throw for 310 yards and 3 scores. He also chipped in with 38 yards on the ground.
The Bad: Tajh Boyd
Boyd had been the subject of a lot of Heisman talk with his sterling play since the loss to Florida State, and he was coming off the back of an 8-TD performance against North Carolina State. However, despite his bright start, he spent the rest of the evening running for his life from a fierce Gamecock pass rush, finishing with a pedestrian 183 yards and 1 TD, against 2 interceptions. His struggles, together with the loss, more than likely ended any realistic shot he had at the Heisman too.
The Ugly: Clemson's Defense
For a group of Tigers, they sure were toothless. The South Carolina offense had their way with Clemson, gaining 444 yards and holding possession for a mammoth 39:58. The Gamecocks converted 11 of 21 third downs and had scoring drives of 7,12,10,8 and 13 plays, and a 15-play drive that ended with a goal-line interception. The sloppy Tiger defense helped drives along with some untimely penalties and failed to make key stops, especially on third-and-long.