The South Carolina Gamecocks won the Battle for the Palmetto State on Saturday night, defeating the Clemson Tigers 27-17 in a tense game in Death Valley. The win gives South Carolina four straight wins over their in-state rivals, and three wins in their past four visits to Clemson.
The game started out at a frenetic pace, with three touchdowns being scored before the game hit the second quarter. Tajh Boyd scored on a spinning run from three yards out to open the scoring for the Tigers ,but the Gamecocks answered a few minutes later when Dylan Thompson hit Bruce Ellington from 13 yards out. However, Clemson would answer back quickly, with DeAndre Hopkins catching a 43 yard touchdown from Boyd.
The defenses would settle in, however, and South Carolina were the only ones able to punch through. Ace Saunders scored on a 31 yard touchdown pass from Thompson, and Ellington caught his second touchdown on a six yard pass with five minutes remaining.
Thompson started in place of Connor Shaw, who was hobbled with a foot injury. He played well, too, going 23-41 for 315 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Ellington finished with 78 receiving yards and two touchdowns, and Saunders had 118 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Tajh Boyd did not have a great night for the Tigers, going only 10-23 for 171 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He also ran for a touchdown. Sammy Watkins was largely absent, recording only three catches for 25 yards.
Box Score Hero: Dylan Thompson started only the second game of his career in extremely hostile territory, and came up with a huge game for the Gamecocks. He finished 23-41 for 315 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, while also running for 37 yards.
Rankings Ramifications: Even though both teams entered the game in the top 15, the outcome doesn't really affect the national picture that much. The Tigers still have a shot for a BCS bowl berth.
But Did They Cover? Clemson came into the game as a 6.5 point favorite, so they did not cover.
Next Week's Schedule: Both teams have finished their regular seasons.