November 18, 1989….
The Tigers stormed into Williams Brice Stadium, scored on their first four possessions, and never looked back, as they shut the rival Gamecocks out 45-0. It was South Carolina’s worst loss in the series since 1900, and as it turned out, this would be Danny Ford’s last game against UofSC as Clemson head coach. It was a fitting finale for the illustrious Ford in the annual rivalry game.
Clemson RB Terry Allen led the way, rushing for 97 yards and 2 TDs, before reinjuring a knee that had been problematic for a part of the season. He had already missed two games and most of two others since originally injuring vs UVA a month earlier.
The very first play from scrimmage for the UofSC offense resulted in a turnover when QB Dickie DeMasi was picked off by Jerome Henderson and returned to the Clemson 46. Turns out, it was a sign of things to come.
The Gamecocks were held in check by a dominant performance by the Clemson defense. UofSC managed just 69 yards of offense and never got inside the Tigers 30 yard line. Meanwhile, behind a strong ground game, Clemson rolled up 302 yards.
It was the first time Clemson had shut the Gamecocks out since a 27-0 win back in 1959 and was their worst loss in the series since 1900, a 51-0 Tigers win. They’d finish the season at 6-4-1, missing out on a bowl game in head coach Sparky Woods first year at the helm following the death of Joe Morrison.
The Tigers would go on to finish up the season with a 27-7 win over West Virginia in the Gator Bowl, a game in which the Clemson D almost killed Major Harris. Clemson finished that season 10-2, ranked #12 in the AP Poll, and #11 in the Coaches Poll. Over their final three games of that season, Clemson allowed just 10 points total, and all three came away from Death Valley.
Check out The Danny Ford Show from that game here.
And that week’s Sparky Woods Show here.