Freshman quarterback Charlie Whitehurst led Clemson to a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns as the Tigers scored a 27-20 comeback victory over arch rival South Carolina Saturday night in the 100th meeting between the schools. Clemson now leads the all-time series 60-36-4.
Whitehurst completed 27-38 passes for 287 yards and scored on an 11-yard touchdown run that started the Tiger comeback in the fourth quarter.
Clemson began a drive in the third quarter that stretched into Gamecock territory. Charlie Whitehurst completed a 21-yard pass to Airese Currie on 3rd and long at the beginning of the fourth quarter that gave the Tigers 1st-and-10 on the Gamecock 11. Clemson stalled on its next two plays and faced another 3rd-and-10. Gamecock safety Corey Jenkins came untouched on a blitz, but Clemson’s Whitehurst spun away and tiptoed down the sideline for an 11-yard touchdown run that tied the game at 20.
After the Clemson defense forced a three-and-out, the offense took over at its own 42. Whitehurst found Hamilton right away for a 32-yard gain then found Williamson for six yards to the Gamecock 31. After a run by Rambert, senior receiver Jackie Robinson collected a pass, spun out of a tackle and ran for a 30-yard gain to the 1-yard line. Rambert ran in his second touchdown as Clemson regained the lead, 27-20, with 9:38 remaining.
South Carolina drove to the Clemson 30-yard line but faced 4th-and-5. The Gamecocks then attempted a fake field goal, but the pass attempt was knocked down by Clemson linebacker Eric Sampson.
Clemson ran off the last 6:25 of the game, thanks in part to its success on third down. The Tigers converted six of eight third downs in the second half, including two conversions on the final drive, to preserve the 27-20 victory.
South Carolina started quickly in the second half, scoring on a 70-yard bomb to Troy Williamson on its second play. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty pushed the extra point attempt back 15 yards, but the attempt was converted to tie the game at 13.
Clemson countered with a 13-play, 50-yard drive, but Aaron Hunt’s 47-yard field goal attempt was wide right. South Carolina came back with another deep pass after cornerback Brian Mance went out of the game with an injury. Pinkins found Williamson for a 43-yard gain to the Tiger 14-yard line. Andrew Pinnock later scored from two yards out to give South Carolina a 20-13 lead with 3:04 remaining in the third quarter.
Aaron Hunt’s booted a pair of second-quarter field goals as Clemson took a 13-6 lead at halftime against South Carolina in the 100th contest between the two teams.
At the end of the first period, South Carolina was mounted a drive of its own and drove to the Clemson 19-yard line. Daniel Weaver eventually converted a 33-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter to bring the Gamecocks to within a point at 7-6.
Clemson got great starting position after a 26-yard kick return by Aaron Hunt’s kicked a 26-yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-6.
On first down from the Tiger 11-yard line, Whitehurst delivered a pass to Youngblood, who was immediately hit by safety Corey Jenkins. The hit jarred the ball loose and South Carolina’s Shawn Smith recovered on the 17 to give the Gamecocks possession. But the Tiger defense came up big and cornerback Brian Mance picked off a pass ion the endzone to stop the drive. It was the senior’s sixth interception of the season and 12th of his career.
Clemson added a score just before halftime for the ninth time this season. Whitehurst completed passes of 4, 13, 16, 13 and 5 yards to set up a 28-yard field goal by Hunt that put Clemson ahead 13-6 going into the locker room.
On the game’s first possession, the Gamecock defense stopped Clemson near midfield. On the ensuing possession facing 3rd-and-10 from their own 34-yard line, South Carolina quarterback Dondrial Pinkins found Troy Williamson for the first down and a late hit gave the Gamecocks a first down at the Clemson 33. On another 3rd-and-10, Pinkins hit Michael Ages for 17 yards. The Gamecocks drove inside the Tiger 10-yard line but settled for a 25-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.
With Clemson facing 3rd-and-long on its subsequent drive, quarterback Charlie Whitehurst found Derrick Hamilton, and a 10-yard run by Bernard Rambert got the Tigers to the Gamecock 4-yard line. One play later, Rambert walked into the endzone after a key block from fullback Chad Jasmin to put the Tigers on top 7-3.
Linebacker Eric Sampson makes the stop. Bernard Rambertlooks for running room. Whitehurst throws over the middle.
Yusef Kelly awaits the pass.
Nick Eason hits USC backup quarterback Erik Kimrey.
Eric Sampson knocks down the fake field goal attempt.
Charlie Whitehurst negotiates the sideline and goes in for the touchdown.
Yusef Kelly wears down the Gamecock defense at the end of thegame.
Senior Nick Eason celebrates the victory.
Tiger fans join in the celebration with the players.
March 14, 2019