Another long night for Gamecocks against Clemson
COLUMBIA — Jake Bentley and the South Carolina Gamecocks have seen this before.
After suffering through a humiliating 56-7 beatdown at Clemson last year, the Gamecocks were dominated in a 34-10 loss to the Tigers Saturday night.
Bentley, USC’s sophomore quarterback, told reporters over the summer that the Tigers would not beat the Gamecocks as badly this time around.
Well, it wasn’t a 49-point loss on the scoreboard, but the defeat was just as one-sided for the Gamecocks.
“We just didn’t play well that week,” Bentley said in an interview back in July. “We felt we got outworked. So our big thing is ‘never again’ will we be outworked.”
In that game, Bentley completed just 7 of 17 passes for 41 yards and an interception. On Saturday, he wasn’t much better. Bentley was 16 of 29 for 126 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Clemson’s first touchdown came on a Bentley interception by Ryan Carter, who returned it for the score.
Rivalry brings out chippy play
Emotions always seem to run high during rivalry games and Saturday’s matchup between the Gamecocks and Tigers was no different.
It was a chippy affair that saw physical play, some chippiness and even a few punches thrown on both sides.
South Carolina defensive back D.J. Smith and Clemson wide receiver T.J. Chase were both flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct in the first half, while linebacker Skai Moore was penalized for unnecessary roughness after tackling Kelly Bryant, as well.
The South Carolina student section appeared to tossed items onto the field, which got under the skin of Clemson coach Dabo Swinney.
Swinney argued with the referees and received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, which got one of the biggest ovations of the night from the Gamecocks faithful.
South Carolina freshman receiver Shi Smith was ruled out before kickoff. Smith was on the sidelines in his jersey and sweatpants.
Smith has had several minor injuries this year and tweaked a knee preparing for Clemson. Smith was the Gamecocks’ top slot receiver with 26 receptions for 350 yards and two touchdowns.
The plan was for Steve Spurrier to return to Williams-Brice Stadium this year for a brief on-field recognition, celebrating his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame (as a coach, after already being enshrined as a player).
Spurrier and USC were never able to work out the details this season. There was no word on if they would try again next year. ?
Clemson linebacker J.D. Davis, who started in place of the injured Tre Lamar, was injured in the first quarter.
That forced Clemson to go to its third-string option, James Skalski, who came in for the third series.
Ryan Carter’s first-quarter pick-six against the Gamecocks was the first time Clemson recorded an interception for a touchdown against South Carolina in 11 years, dating back to 2006.
The 12-yard return was also the shortest interception returned for a touchdown in Clemson history.
The previous mark was 15 yards.