The South Carolina Gamecocks accomplished what few did not think was possible this year, defeating Dabo and Clemson in Death Valley, 31-30 on Saturday. In the final matchup of their November “Orange Crush” schedule, the Gamecocks used a solid offensive attack and special teams to come out on top in the annual rivalry.
The Gamecocks were led by QB Spencer Rattler who followed up his record-breaking performance against Tennessee with another masterful performance that is sure to make him a legend to the Gamecock nation. Rattler was 25 of 39 for 360 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target of the day was Antwane “Juice” Wells, who had nine receptions for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
As Dabo Swinney mentioned after the game “, it was a play here or there” that decided this football game, but for those watching, the game was not as close as the scoreboard indicated. The Gamecocks threw a pick-6 in the first half, gifting Clemson 7 points. Rattler would later throw an interception on the goal line after a beautiful 4th down conversion set them up for another score to pull within two before the half. This game very easily could have been out of hand shortly after halftime. Thankfully, the Gamecocks’ defense kept the offense in the game after their early miscues by winning the turnover battle. The defense intercepted DJ Uiagalelei and held him to less than 100 yards passing on the day. Special teams also played a considerable role in the game, recovering two fumbles. The defense only allowed Clemson 15 yards of offense in the 4th quarter.
It was the first victory for Shane Beamer as head coach of the Gamecocks and the program’s first victory in 7 years. The victory also ended a few streaks for the Clemson Tigers, ending Clemson’s 40-game home winning streak and 7th consecutive win in the series. The defeat was also Clemson’s first loss in a game that it led at halftime since 2016.
The Gamecocks are heading into this off-season with much momentum after winning back-to-back games against AP Top 10 teams in program history. They are also currently ranked 20th in the AP poll and are awaiting their bowl destination, most likely to be in sunny Florida in either the Gator or Citrus Bowl. While the off-season momentum will undoubtedly be excellent, it will also be an exciting off-season for the Gamecocks as word came out today that offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield will take the same position with Matt Rhule at Nebraska.
This comes as no surprise as he has worked alongside Rhule at every coaching stop Rhule has made in college and the pros, previously at Temple, Baylor and then moving to the Carolina Panthers. The Gamecocks should have their pick of the offensive coordinator “litter” as they are in much better shape now than two years ago when Shane Beamer took the job. Look for Arkansas’ Kendall Briles or TCU’s Garret Riley to get strong consideration for the job. However, the bowl selection and offensive coordinator decision shake out, and things are looking up in Columbia.