Roundtable: Favorite Clemson-South Carolina Memory
Jason Priester: During a time when bragging rights were basically the biggest thing to play for every season, my favorite memory is the game from 2000. After scoring a touchdown by recovering a fumble inside the end zone with a minute left, South Carolina led 14-13. Fans in Death Valley sat in stunned silence, momentarily forgetting how cold it was. Many started making their way for the exits. I started making the trek down from the top of the upper deck myself as Clemson faced a third-and-long from their own 42-yard line with under 30 seconds left. As I am walking down, Woody Dantzler heaves a long pass down the right sideline that Rod Gardner came down with at the Gamecock 10-yard line with just 10 seconds left. Aaron Hunt drilled the 25-yard field goal attempt to give Clemson a 16-14 win.
Christopher Hall: My favorite memory is the 2007 game in Columbia. Clemson raced out to 17-7 lead under the lights of Williams-Brice Stadium. However, momentum shifted down the stretch and South Carolina quarterback Blake Mitchell — one year removed from rallying the Gamecocks from a 28-14 deficit in Death Valley for a thrilling 31-28 triumph — again willed his team back into the game. Ryan Succop's PAT gave South Carolina its first lead of the game, 21-20, in the fourth quarter. After exchanging punts, Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper would lead the Tigers on a game-winning drive from their own 22-yard line with 1:40 left which culminated with a 35-yard March Buchholz field goal as time expired for the 23-21 victory.
Brad Senkiw: Mine isn't just one particular moment, it's a stretch of games. There was a time when the rivalry reached new heights and became relevant nationally. To no fault of Clemson's, that's simply not the case any longer, but from 2011-13, all three matchups featured two ranked teams. In 2013, both were top-10 in the country when they met for the first time ever. Now, all three went the Gamecocks' way, but the hype of the series has never been greater. Even in 2014, when South Carolina wasn't ranked, it still became a huge story as Clemson ended a five-game losing skid in the series behind Deshaun Watson playing (well) on a torn ACL. The Tigers have gone on to be super dominant, winning two of the last four national titles and six consecutive games over South Carolina, while the Gamecocks have lost 34 games the last five seasons.
Zach Lentz: To put a pin on one favorite memory, in arguably the greatest rivalry in college football, is a difficult task. But I have to say the 2000 game stands out in my mind. Trailing 14-13 after Derek Watson's fumble in the end zone was recovered by Thomas Hill with 59 seconds to play in the game, the Tigers appeared to be dead in the water. But there was still some heroics left for the Tigers. Woody Dantzler found Rod Gardner for a 50-yard reception to South Carolina’s 8 with 10 seconds remaining and Aaron Hunt nailed a 25-yard field goal with seven seconds in the game. It was the last time the goal posts would be torn down at Death Valley.
Travis Boland: My mom and I made the trip from Columbia to Memorial Stadium for the 1992 Carolina-Clemson game. It was my first road trip, and first time at Memorial Stadium. We sat in the endzone and watched Steve Taneyhill throw for almost 300 yards and two touchdowns. Brandon Bennett scored right in front of us with just under two minutes left to seal Carolina's victory.