Gamecocks Claim Third Consecutive State Championship

South Carolina takes down Clemson 34-13

The South Carolina Gamecocks (10-2) defeated the Clemson Tigers (9-3) 34-13 Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium, giving the Gamecocks the first three game winning streak in the series since the late 1960s.

Connor Shaw rushed for over 100 yards and three for three touchdowns in the rout of the Tigers.

The Gamecocks defense sacked Tigers’ QB Tajh Boyd five times, limiting him to 11-of-29 passing, for 83 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

“We were hoping to play our best game of the year and we probably did,” said Spurrier.  “Defense was sensational all night; great effort.  Offensively we did enough good things here and there to run for over 200 yards and pass for the exact (same) amount.  That’s sort of our formula for winning.”

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney was disappointed by the way his team played Saturday, especially ahead of next week’s ACC Championship Game.

“Everything is coaching.  It is on me, simple as that.  It starts with me,” said Swinney.  “I love my players, they practice hard, prepare hard.  We are not doing a very good job of coaching right now, and that is on me.”

In the first half, both teams played pretty evenly, however Clemson had a hard time containing Shaw.  That changed in the second half.

Another key in this game was the less-than-stellar play from Clemson WR Sammy Watkins.  Watkins finished the game with four receptions for 39 yards.

Gamecocks’ Assistant Head Coach Ellis Johnson said that he did not believe the speedy freshman phenom was healthy.

The Gamecocks were successful on two of the three keys from this afternoon’s show.

The Gamecocks did allow a few big plays on special teams, including a blocked punt and a long return.  Grade:  C-

The Gamecocks did a good job of getting pressure on Boyd, and forcing him to make plays.  Grade:  B

The biggest key was controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.  The Gamecocks were able to get lots of pressure on Boyd, and opened up big holes in the running game for both Kenny Miles and Shaw.  Grade:  A-

The Gamecocks now wait to find out which bowl they might go to (shameless plug:  we’ll post our bowl predictions tomorrow night), but it is looking more like the Cotton Bowl.

Clemson plays in the ACC Championship Game next week against Virginia Tech for a chance to go to the Orange Bowl.

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