After Clemson found out that their chance to play in the ACC Championship Game was over on Friday, their focus was even more geared towards winning the Palmetto Bowl and finishing the regular season with their seventh straight over the Gamecocks.
Many expected the Tigers to win but not many thought it would turn out quite the way it did.
- Not having Xavier Thomas didn’t hamper Brent Venables defense in any way.
- Was really impressed with how DJ Uiagalelei and the Clemson offense came out and once again established the running game. That is the key to having success seeing how injury depleted the offense is currently.
- Two three and outs and the first of two interceptions for Andrew Booth Jr in the first quarter. That’s how you set the tone in a rivalry game.
- Clemson’s offense bogged down at times. That’s been something that has happened a lot this season and while it was frustrating to watch at times, it’s easy to understand why the staff went very conservative.
- The first quarter stats alone showed just how one sided the game was in the beginning. Even those who thought the Tigers would win big probably didn’t see it starting the way it did. One of those gaudy stats was that South Carolina didn’t even have a first down in the quarter.
- Will Shipley and Kobe Pace once again got off to hot starts in the game but it was even more impressive to see the offensive line opening up holes for them. The interior was particularly good, especially Mason Trotter, who looks far more comfortable at center rather than guard.
- That crowd came in ready to pop. The opening touchdown drive followed by the three and out took the fans in attendance completely out of it and they never were a factor. Early in the third quarter, fans were starting to leave in droves.
- BT Potter showed how important he has been to this team this season with three huge field goals. The second of them was really impressive. It came from 47 yards out and looked like a sure miss until it curved inside the right upright beautifully. He wasn’t done there, though. His third came in the fourth quarter from 49 yards out and was not nearly as close as the second one.
- And let’s mot forget that goose egg. Clemson shutout the Gamecocks for the first time since 1989, making Swinney the first head coach in the series to win seven straight and giving the Tigers 23 shutout wins over their rival.
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