September 26, 2016 …
The 11-Win Clemson Tigers faced off against the 6-6 University of South Carolina, with Clemson hoping to make a strong push toward the College Football Playoff. The Gamecocks were looking to break their rival’s consecutive win streak over them, and end their hopes of making it to the playoffs.
Deshaun Watson led his team to victory in dominating fashion, winning 56-7 in his final home game of his Clemson career. Watson tied his career high with six touchdowns, and he also tallied 347 yards and only one interception.
The game started off sloppy, with a punt from the Gamecocks and a missed field goal from the Tigers, but the poor performance didn’t last long. On the second drive for the Tigers, Watson had a huge 34-yard pass to Mike Williams for the first touchdown of the game.
The Tigers would continue to score on their next two possessions, with another Mike Williams touchdown and a Watson pass to Jordan Leggett for the Tigers to take a 21-0 lead.
To end the first half, the Tigers had two possessions that were dominated by the run game. Wayne Gallman ran for 26 yards in a drive and also scored the touchdown, with Watson and Ray Ray McCloud also helping with the run game. The half would end with a 16-yard touchdown to Mike Williams, his third touchdown of the game and Watson’s fourth.
Score at halftime: Clemson 35, South Carolina 0.
The Tigers started off the second half firing, with a 66-yard drive ending with a touchdown from Watson to C.J. Fuller. The Gamecocks had a response coming out of halftime however, driving 75 yards on the Tigers and ending with Deebo Samuel throwing a 33-yard touchdown to Bryan Edwards. The Tigers didn’t lose the momentum though, with the next possession being an 80-yard drive and a 3-yard touchdown pass to Artavis Scott.
After going up 42-7, the Tigers took Watson out and put Nick Schuessler in. He took his offense down the field and Kelly Bryant took over to score the touchdown, making the final score 56-7.
Wayne Gallman led the game in rushing with 112 yards in 19 carries with one touchdown. Backup running back C.J. Fuller ended with 46 yards rushing, Watson ended with 19 yards on the ground.
In the air, Mike Williams led the way with 100 yards and three touchdowns on six receptions. Scott had the most receptions with eight, and had 77 yards to go with that.
The Clemson defense dominated, being led by Ben Boulware. Boulware totaled two sacks and seven total tackles. Dexter Lawrence had the only other sack for the Tigers, and Jadar Johnson had an interception in the game as well.
This win for the Tigers helped keep the momentum rolling on their way to their first national championship since 1981. This would lead to more seasons of success for the Tigers, and lead to another disappointing season for the Gamecocks.