Gamecocks Tame Tigers in the Palmetto Bowl

Dick Cox

November 29, 2022 at 10:06 am.

For the second consecutive week, the South Carolina Gamecocks took down a Top 10 team by going on the road and snapping Clemson’s 40-game home winning streak with a 31-30 win over the Tigers at Memorial Stadium. The loss eliminated Clemson from the College Football Playoff consideration.

The game opened with Clemson scoring two quick touchdowns to take a 14-point lead and everyone except the Gamecocks thought the game was going to be a blowout.

“We were the feel-good story in college football last week,” South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer said. “Nobody thought we were good enough to win this game. We were the team that just kind of caught lightning in a bottle last week, and no way they can come back and do it again. We just did our own College Football Playoff and came out pretty dang successful.”

Gamecock quarterback Spencer Rattler led the comeback throwing for 360 yards and two touchdowns. Rattler connected with Juice Wells Jr. for a 4-yard touchdown with 13:59 left in the second quarter to cut Clemson’s lead to 14-7.

Rattler recorded his third rushing touchdown of the season, a 4-yard scamper with 8:24 left in the second quarter. He connected with Wells again on a 72-yard touchdown pass with 3:45 left in the third quarter. It was the Gamecocks’ longest pass play of the season.

“All these Clemson fans were talking mess behind our bench,” Rattler said, smirking. “They didn’t say anything after.”

The Carolina specials teams were special once again with punter Kia Kroeger punting seven times for a 53.7 yards average per kick. He had a long punt of 63 yards and had five punts downed inside the 20-yard line giving the Tigers bad field possession to start their drives all afternoon. The special teams also forced two Clemson fumbles on kick returns.

Mitch Jeter remained perfect on field goals connecting on his tenth of the season, a 35-yarder with 10:54 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Gamecock defense locked down Clemson for the rest of game as the Tigers never crossed midfield in the final quarter.

South Carolina limited the Tigers offense to only 86 total yards, and only 13 yards passing in the second half.

Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei finished the game 8 for 29 passing for 99 yards with one touchdown throw and one interception.

Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney’s team was not up to the task of defeating the suddenly hot South Carolina Gamecocks.

“This is not a feeling we’ve had in a long, long time, but that’s our reality today,” Swinney said. “South Carolina earned it. Our field position was bad most of the game, and the turnovers caught up with us … we had some missed plays, some drops and some critical big plays (we gave up) on defense. It wasn’t our day.”

Carolina defeated Clemson for the first time since 2013 and the first time at Clemson since 2012. The Gamecocks defeated Top-10 opponents in consecutive weeks for the first time in school history.

The Gamecocks and the Tigers now wait to see which bowl in which they will be playing during the holidays.

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