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South Carolina Defeats In-State Rival Clemson For Fifth Straight Year

Although Mizzou quickly dashed their hopes to represent the SEC East in the conference championship next week, No. 10 South Carolina ended their regular season on a high note, defeating rival Clemson 31-17. After being largely dominated historically, this was the fifth consecutive victory for the Gamecocks over the Tigers.

It was Senior Day in Columbia and, as usual, no senior shined brighter for South Carolina than quarterback Connor Shaw. Coach Steve Spurrier called him “the best quarterback in school history” after the win, adding “he’s probably the difference maker completely for us.”

Shaw was characteristically efficient and mistake-free in his final game at Williams-Brice Stadium, throwing for 152 yards, rushing for another 94 and scoring two touchdowns. He improved to 26-5 as a starter and 17-0 in Columbia, having never lost a game in front of the hometown crowd.

Clemson senior Tajh Boyd, on the other hand, had a less than stellar night. Boyd was 19-of-27 for 225 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions. The turnovers were particularly crippling, given they both came within the final four minutes of the game on the final two drives for the Tigers.

Boyd’s interceptions certainly didn’t help his team’s chances, but he was far from the only offender. Junior wide receiver Sammy Watkins was picked off on a pass and Clemson also fumbled the ball three times, none of which were recovered.

South Carolina didn’t turn the ball over once, which was likely the difference in a game that had been very close through most of four quarters. Another difference maker was Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who sacked Boyd and was running wild on the field, particularly in the first half.

Overall, it was a fitting sendoff Shaw, Clowney and a number of other standout South Carolina players that are going to be missed by Gamecocks fans next season. Less likely to miss them? Clemson fans.

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