S. Carolina 21, Clemson 21
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) _ David Treadwell kicked a 31-yard field goal with 2:50 left as No. 19 Clemson rallied to tie South Carolina 21-21 in college football Saturday.
After the game, the Tigers, 7-2-2, accepted an invitation to the Gator Bowl against Stanford. Stanford, 7-2, could not accept a bid until after its game with California later Saturday.
The Gator Bowl will be held on Dec. 27 and will be shown on CBS.
″I know you’re not real happy now, but time will take care of that,″ Gator Bowl representative Henry Beckwith told Clemson Coach Danny Ford.
Ford said the Tigers would ″naturally″ accept the invitation.
″It’s not normally the kind of dressing room we’d like to have to accept the bowl game, of course, after a tie, but we want to have the opportunity to come back ... and to improve our football team,″ Ford said.
The tie was the second in as many weeks for the Tigers, who rallied last week to tie Maryland 17-17 to clinch the Atlantic Coast Conference title.
Donnell Woolford returned a 30-yard punt 12 yards to the Gamecock 48 to set up the Tigers’ final drive that forged the first tie between the two teams since a 14-14 finish in 1950.
The march was sparked by Rodney Williams teaming up with a leaping Ricardo Hooper for a 29-yard pass reception on third down and 13 yards to go from the Clemson 49.
But three runs gained just nine yards before Treadwell came on to boot his second field goal.
The Gamecocks, who finish 3-6-2, drove to the Clemson 24, but on fourth down and three Scott Hagler’s 41-yard field goal was wide left with 30 seconds left.
Rusty Seyle was way short on a 62-yard field goal for Clemson as time ran out in the 84th meeting between the two arch-rivals.
South Carolina grabbed a 21-18 halftime lead that was highlighted by the longest TD play of the year for the Gamecocks and the first scoring toss to wide receiver this season by the Tigers.
The Gamecocks were behind 15-14 when Todd Ellis dumped a pass to Sterling Sharpe, who caught the ball about 10 yards from the line of scrimmage and turned it into a 72-yard TD. It was South Carolina’s longest score of the year.
Williams hit Terrance Roulhac for a 35-yard touchdown later in the half, the first TD by a Clemson wide receiver in 1986.
South Carolina wiped out an 8-0 first-quarter deficit and grabbed a three- point halftime lead.
The Tigers opened the game with a quick touchdown, thanks to Roulhac’s 75- yard return of the opening kickoff.
Two plays later, Tracy Johnson bulled over from a yard out for a 6-0 lead with 13:35 left. Todd Schonhar, who holds on extra points, turned a bad snap into a two-point conversion when he hit Jim Riggs with a pass.
But the Gamecocks cut the lead to 8-7 when Harold Green capped a 45-yard drive with a 1-yard run with 8:38 left.
The Gamecocks took the lead for the first time when safety Brad Edwards returned an interception 61 yards with 14:02 left in the second period. The TD came after Schonhar bobbled the snap on a 51-yard field goal attempt and had his pass picked off.
Clemson came right back, though, driving 70 yards in 10 plays to retake the lead at 15-14 on the 35-yard scoring pass from Williams to Roulhac with 11:13 left. Roulhac and cornerback Robert Robinson ran into each other at about the 10. Robinson fell down, leaving Roulhac free in the end zone.
Sharpe twisted away from safety Gene Beasley and then outraced the rest of the Clemson defense to make it 21-15 with 11:13 left.
Treadwell’s 37-yard field goal with 13 seconds to go cut the lead to 21-18 at the half.