A History of the Rivalry: Clemson and South Carolina

CU Athletic Communications

Saturday's game will be the 117th all-time meeting between Clemson and South Carolina. It will be the 111th consecutive year the two schools have met, as the teams have played every year since (and including) the 1909 season. That is the second-longest active streak of consecutive years played in a rivalry in the nation. The only rivalry longer is Minnesota vs. Wisconsin, as those teams will play for a 113th consecutive year (every year since and including 1907) on the same day. 

 The Clemson vs. South Carolina series dates to 1896, the first year of football at Clemson and the fourth season for South Carolina. Clemson holds the advantage 70-42- 4 since that first meeting in Columbia, a game won by South Carolina, 12-6. 

Clemson’s first win took place the following year, an 18-6 victory in Columbia. Clemson broke a five-game losing streak to South Carolina in 2014 with a 35-17 win at Clemson. Deshaun Watson led the Tigers to the victory with 269 yards passing and 13 yards rushing. He threw for two scores and rushed for two more despite playing with a torn ACL. 

With four wins since, Clemson opens Saturday's game with an active five-game winning streak in the series. If Clemson wins this Saturday, it will be the first time Clemson has beaten South Carolina six years in a row since 1934-40, when the Tigers won seven in a row. 

The 2019 senior class would become the 14th Clemson class to earn four consecutive wins against South Carolina, joining the seniors of 1900, 1919, 1930, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1983, 1991, 2000 and 2005 and 2017. 

In 2005, Charlie Whitehurst became the only quarterback for either team in the series to start four victories. Clemson has more wins (69) over South Carolina than any other opponent and those victories represent 9.3 percent of Clemson’s all-time victory total (740). Clemson’s 2004 victory in the series was the program's 600th all-time win. 

The two teams played in Columbia as part of "Big Thursday" every year through 1959. In the 57 Big Thursday games, Clemson recorded a 33-21-3 advantage. The teams have played 58 games since the last Big Thursday game in 1959 with a nearly identical record, 36-21-1, in favor of Clemson. Clemson is 18-10-1 in the series at Clemson since 1960 and 18-11-0 in the series in Columbia.

SERIES TIDBITS 

- Four Clemson quarterbacks have started and defeated South Carolina at least three times, Steve Fuller (1976- 78), Homer Jordan (1980-82), Charlie Whitehurst (2002-05) and Deshaun Watson (2014-16). Whitehurst is the only quarterback in the series to start four straight victories. 

- The visiting team won seven years in a row between 1991-97. - Clemson has a record of 51-32-3 in Columbia, including a 34-10 win in Columbia last year. 

- Clemson entered the game three years ago ranked No. 1 in the nation. It marked the first time either team was ranked No. 1 entering the contest. Clemson won, 37-32, in Columbia. 

- This weekend’s game will be played on the Saturday after Thanksgiving for the 13th year in a row. Clemson has a 13-8 record against South Carolina when the game is played the Saturday after Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving Day. The only game played on Thanksgiving was the 1963 contest that was moved from the Saturday before Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving due to the death of President John F. Kennedy. 

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