GAMEDAY College Football

South Carolina 31, Clemson 30

(AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman)

AP Sports Writer

CLEMSON, S.C. - Some teams would been content with a season-defining win over top-10 Tennessee. Not South Carolina and certainly not Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler.

South Carolina followed up its 63-38 stunner over the Vols last week with a 31-30 victory over No. 7 Clemson, ending the title chances of another College Football Playoff contender for a second straight week.

"We wanted more. We knew this was the biggest game of the season for us," said Rattler, who passed for 360 yards and two touchdowns. "These last two games will change the narrative for program history."

Saturday's game certainly turned a one-sided rivalry on its ear. South Carolina has played in the shadow of two-time national champion Clemson the past nine years, losing the past seven against the Tigers (10-2, 8-0 ACC, No. 8 CFP), who had been on a 40-game winning streak at home.

But the Gamecocks (8-4, 4-4 SEC) rallied from 14-0 down after 10 minutes to beat Clemson for the first time since 2013.

"Where's my trophy? Where's my trophy?" cornerback Cam Smith shouted of the silver-colored "Palmetto Bowl" honor that's finally coming back to Columbia.

South Carolina and Rattler, who threw for 438 yards and six touchdowns against Tennessee, ended any chance Clemson had at a playoff berth.

"We were the feel-good story in college football last week, but nobody thought we were good enough to win this game," Gamecocks coach Shane Beamer said.

Antwane Wells Jr. had nine catches for 131 yards, including touchdowns of 4 and 72 yards.

Clemson was looking to set a series record with its eighth in a row over South Carolina. And the Tigers were up 30-21 midway through the third period after Will Shipley's 11-yard burst to the end zone.

That's when Wells, the James Madison transfer, broke behind the defense for a 72-yard scoring catch two plays later.

After Clemson's three-and-out, Rattler moved the Gamecocks to the Tigers 10 before Jeter connected for a 35-yard kick to go 10 of 10 on the season.

Clemson had no answer after South Carolina took the lead. The Tigers managed only 15 yards on three series as DJ Uiagalelei went a combined 0-of-6 passing with an interception.

Clemson got the ball back a final time with 2:09 left, but Antonio Williams fumbled on a punt return and South Carolina's Nick Emmanwori recovered.

"It's a play here or there. It's a one-point game," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "There's a lot of things that are demoralizing when you don't win. Bottom line, South Carolina played better."

The Gamecocks went wild in celebration, rushing to the team's fans and band in Death Valley's West end zone.

Wells wrapped it up with his final catch for a first down with 1:04 left. Rattler took the final snap and heaved the ball high in the air in joy.

Rattler finished 25 of 39 passing with two interceptions, one of which linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. returned for a 35-yard TD.

Uiagalelei completed 8 of 29 passes for 99 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Shipley gained 132 yards with a scoring run.


South Carolina: The Gamecocks probably wish there was more left to the season. It's been a landmark regular season in Beamer's second season as coach, with wins over ranked Kentucky, vs. Texas A&M and against the seemingly CFP-bound Vols before beating rival Clemson.

Clemson: This was not the way the Tigers hoped to head into the ACC title game against North Carolina next week. Clemson needed to win out and defeat the Tar Heels for any chance to reach the College Football Playoff.


Swinney was asked if Uiagalelei's problems late against South Carolina might lead to more time for backup freshman passer Cade Klubnik. "We'll see," the coach said. Swinney and offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter thought about bringing Klubnik in against the Gamecocks but decided that Uiagalelei "was OK."


Part of the reason Clemson struggled with its comeback was Gamecocks punter Kai Kroeger, whose kicks were downed at the 2 and 3 to start consecutive fourth-quarter drives for the Tigers. Kroeger averaged 53.7 yards a punt on his seven attempts.

November 26, 2022

Scoring Summary
First Quarter SCarClem
Clem TD 12:15 Jeremiah Trotter Jr. 35 yd interception return (B.T. Potter kick) 0 7
Clem TD 5:52 DJ Uiagalelei 9 yd run (B.T. Potter kick) 0 14
Second Quarter SCarClem
SCar TD 13:59 Antwane Wells Jr. 4 yd pass from Spencer Rattler (Mitch Jeter kick) 7 14
Clem SF 10:05 Team safety 7 16
SCar TD 8:24 Spencer Rattler 4 yd run (Mitch Jeter kick) 14 16
Clem TD 6:14 Antonio Williams 11 yd pass from DJ Uiagalelei (B.T. Potter kick) 14 23
Third Quarter SCarClem
SCar TD 12:06 Jaheim Bell 2 yd run (Mitch Jeter kick) 21 23
Clem TD 4:35 Will Shipley 11 yd run (B.T. Potter kick) 21 30
SCar TD 3:45 Antwane Wells Jr. 72 yd pass from Spencer Rattler (Mitch Jeter kick) 28 30
Fourth Quarter SCarClem
SCar FG 10:54 Mitch Jeter 35 yd FG 31 30
Team Stats
  South Carolina Clemson
First downs 14 17
  Rushing 2 10
  Passing 11 5
  Penalty 1 2
3rd Down Efficiency 3-13, 23% 7-16, 44%
4th down efficiency 2-2, 100% 0-0, -%
Rushes-Yards 31-54 37-237
Passing Yards 360 99
Return Yards 75 98
Completions-Attempts-Int 25-39-2 8-29-1
Sacks-Yards Lost 3--11 1--6
Punts 7 9
Punts-Average 53.7 45.6
Fumbles Lost 0-0 2-2
Penalties - Yards 5-55 3-23
Time of Possession 32:57 27:03
South Carolina Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
S. Rattler 25 39 360 2 2
Clemson Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
D. Uiagalelei 8 29 99 1 1
South Carolina Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
J. Bell 9 29 3.2 1
M. Lloyd 11 16 1.5 0
J. Brooks 1 15 15.0 0
C. Beal-Smith 2 2 1.0 0
D. Joyner 1 -1 -1.0 0
S. Rattler 6 -5 -0.8 1
Clemson Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
W. Shipley 15 132 8.8 1
D. Uiagalelei 12 51 4.3 1
P. Mafah 7 42 6.0 0
K. Pace 2 8 4.0 0
A. Williams 1 4 4.0 0
South Carolina Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
A. Wells Jr. 9 131 14.6 2
J. McDowell 1 65 65.0 0
N. Adkins 4 62 15.5 0
J. Vann 2 56 28.0 0
J. Brooks 3 33 11.0 0
A. Stogner 1 5 5.0 0
A. Brown 2 3 1.5 0
M. Lloyd 1 3 3.0 0
J. Bell 2 2 1.0 0
Clemson Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
B. Collins 2 65 32.5 0
W. Shipley 2 13 6.5 0
A. Williams 2 11 5.5 1
J. Ngata 1 7 7.0 0
J. Briningstool 1 3 3.0 0
South Carolina Interceptions
Player Int Yards
M. Dial 1 0
Clemson Interceptions
Player Int Yards
J. Trotter Jr. 1 35
R. Mickens 1 0
South Carolina Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
K. Kroeger 7 376 53.7
Clemson Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
A. Swanson 8 362 45.3
D. Uiagalelei 1 48 48.0
South Carolina Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
A. Brown 2 33 16.5
Clemson Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
A. Williams 3 36 12.0
South Carolina Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
X. Legette 2 42 21.0
Clemson Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
W. Shipley 1 8 8.0
P. Mafah 0 19
South Carolina Missed FG
Player Length
Clemson Missed FG
Player Length