The second year of the Will Muschamp era in Columbia has largely been a success, but the regular season ended with a thud. Number three Clemson (11-1, 7-1 ACC) showed their championship material as they demolished South Carolina 34-10.
The Gamecocks picked up their points in the fourth quarter after the game was well out of hand. Their scoring was opened with a field goal coming off a Clemson interception close to the Clemson red zone. But even with being set up in that position, South Carolina could not capitalize and had to kick a field goal after gaining -1 yards and going three and out.
Jake Bentley threw a pick six on the Gamecocks’ second drive of the game to open the scoring and, by halftime, Muschamp’s squad would be down 20-0. The offense for South Carolina picked up only 99 yards in the first half and the longest drive covered 39 yards. Clemson, meanwhile, had back to back second quarter touchdown drives of 80 and 79 yards.
Throughout the majority of the game, Clemson was extremely efficient and played a clean game. Despite interceptions on their final two (non-victory formation) drives, the Tigers averaged 7.5 yards per passing attempt and just over four yards per carry. The rushing numbers do not pop off the page, but were enough to allow Clemson to extend drives sufficiently to control the game.
Clemson goes into next week’s ACC Championship game presumably at number one in the upcoming rankings with an inside track to the playoff.
South Carolina will be likely slotted into the SEC’s group of six bowls with a possible landing spot where their season began in Charlotte.