For the sixth year in a row, the Clemson Tigers have won the Palmetto Bowl, defeating their rival, the South Carolina Gamecocks. In a dominating performance, the Tigers won 38-3 on the Gamecocks home turf in Columbia, South Carolina.
At the beginning of the year, Clemson’s football team sets five goals for the season, one of them being beating the University of South Carolina. The rivalry between these two teams is real and intense, as is evident in the fact that the whole week prior to their game is referred to as “hate week.” In the past, games played at South Carolina have been somewhat unsafe, as Carolina’s student section has been known to throw trash among other things on the field and towards Clemson players. However, both teams seemed to play with class and sportsmanship in today’s matchup.
Because the two schools have such a heated rivalry, it is very rare for a player to transfer from one school to the other. Therefore, seeing Tavien Feaster wearing a Gamecocks jersey looked strange for many Clemson fans, as last year he was wearing orange. Despite the change of uniform, Feaster will always be a Tiger. After the game, multiple Clemson players gathered with Feaster for a photo. Feaster lead South Carolina in rushing, finishing the game with 47 yards.
The Gamecocks were not able to produce a lot of offense, as they only had 174 total yards at the end of the game. Their quarterback, Ryan Hilinski, was not able to do a whole lot either thanks to the Tigers’ relentless defense, featuring Isiah Simmons. Hilinski only completed 16 of 27 passes and looked to be banged up at various points in the game. Clemson’s defense produced one interception, two sacks, and five tackles for a loss.
Chase Brice took over once again for the majority of the fourth quarter, as Clemson had a comfortable 38 to 3 lead. Trevor Lawrence had a solid showing, as he ran for 66 yards which was more Lyn-J Dixon and Travis Etienne who had 60 and 51 respectively. Lawrence threw multiple perfect passes to Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross for big gains throughout the game, especially in the first half. The most impressive of these passes came early in the game when Lawrence threw a bomb 65 yards down the field to Higgins for the first touchdown of the game. With 18 consecutive completions, Lawrence was able to break the school record for most consecutive completed passes and tie the ACC single game record.
Beating the Gamecocks is never a bad way to end the regular season, especially when the Tigers did so by 35 points. Now, the Tigers look to play the Virginia Cavaliers next Saturday in the ACC Championship at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, South Carolina.