2016- Clemson v. Carolina
College football rivalry games are something that every college football fan looks forward to throughout the season. The Clemson vs. South Carolina football game is a long-standing tradition between these two rivaling schools from the Palmetto state going back 111 years. This rivalry is so extreme that it is a South Carolina state law that the Tigers and the Gamecocks MUST face off every year. That was the case on November 26, 2016. The two teams faced off in Death Valley for the last regular-season game for both teams. The Tigers had a rough start with a Greg Huegel’s 39-yard field goal being blocked by Ulric Jones, but the Gamecocks luck ran out when, starting quarterback, Jake Bentley’s pass was immediately intercepted by Jadar Johnson on the next play. Just three plays later, Clemson’s starting quarterback, Deshaun Watson completed a thirty-four-yard pass to Mike Williams to put the first seven points of the game on the board.
The Gamecocks then went three-and-out, setting the Tigers offense up for an eleven- play sixty-five-yard touchdown drive when Deshaun Watson completed yet another touchdown pass to Mike Williams to bring the score to 14-0. After a failed fourth-down attempt, the Clemson offense came back on the field and gained another seven points off an eleven-yard touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson to Jordan Leggett. That brought the score to 21-0 at the end of the first quarter where the Tigers only had two drives to not result in a touchdown. The Clemson offense staggered a bit at the start of the second quarter when Deshaun Watson’s pass was intercepted by Bryson Allen-Williams with nine-minutes left in the second quarter. The Gamecocks were unable to capitalize on the interception and were forced to punt the ball away, bringing the Tigers offense back onto the field for two minutes and fifteen seconds, before they exited the field again following Wayne Gallman’s eight-yard touchdown run. The Gamecocks came back onto the field for five plays before being forced to punt the ball. In just thirty-nine seconds Deshaun Watson and Mike Williams completed a sixteen-yard pass resulting in another seven points for the Tigers to close out the first half with a score of 35-0.
The Tigers got the ball to start the second half of the game and quickly came out and reasserted their dominance over South Carolina with a six-play drive for sixty-six yards that ended with Deshaun Watsons eighteen-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Fuller, bringing the score to a staggering 42-0. After forty- two unanswered points, and Jake Bentley being taken out of the game, Brandon Mcllwain brought the Gamecocks down the field, and Deebo Samuel completed a pass to Bryan Edwards for a thirty-three-yard touchdown. Those would be the only points South Carolina scored that game.
The Tigers came back on the field and took six minutes and forty-six seconds off the clock on a fourteen play, eighty-yard drive that ended in a three-yard touchdown pass from Deshaun Watson to Artavis Scott. This closed out the third quarter with a score of 49-7. The fourth-quarter started in the middle of the Gamecocks sixty-four-yard drive that ended with a fourth-down attempt that resulted in a loss of three-yards at Clemson’s thirty-two yard-line. Kelly Bryant came out for the Tiger’s last drive, which lasted seven minutes and six seconds resulting in Bryant rushing one yard, for the last touchdown of the game. The rivalry game ended with a final score of 56-7, the largest margin of victory in the 111 years the two teams have faced off. “Never again” was the motto taken up by the Gamecocks following the embarrassing loss. Since then the Gamecocks have yet to defeat the Tigers, but it is still a rivalry game that is on Gamecock and Tiger fans bucket lists to attend.