Clemson at South Carolina

No. 14 Gamecocks stifle Clemson wire reports

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Connor Shaw threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score to lead No. 14 South Carolina to a 10-win season for the first time in 27 years and its third straight victory over No. 18 Clemson, 34-13 on Saturday night.

The Gamecocks (10-2) choked off Clemson's once-high scoring offense, holding the Tigers (9-3) to 153 yards and Atlantic Coast Conference passing leader Tajh Boyd to 83 yards through the air.

Clemson was part of the BCS title talk a month ago when it opened 8-0 and rose to No. 6 in the country. But it heads to the ACC championship game against Virginia Tech next week a shaky team after losing three of its past four.

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South Carolina's only other 10-victory season in 118 years of football came in 1984.

Shaw played like a polished leader instead of raw sophomore making his seventh start since taking over for dismissed senior Stephen Garcia. Shaw's 15-yard touchdown run just before halftime put the Gamecocks ahead for good, 17-10. He increased the margin in the third quarter on a 2-yard scoring pass to Rory Anderson.

He was 14 of 20 passing for 210 yards and rushed for 107 to lead the Gamecocks.

"I think my confidence is boosting game by game," Shaw said.

Shaw cemented his place in this landmark rivalry win with an 18-yard strike to star wideout Alshon Jeffery, which sent most of the 83,422 at Williams-Brice Stadium into hysterics.

And they couldn't think of a better way to end the regular season.

"Historically, Clemson has owned this series," South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said. "They don't own us now."

In a state without major pro sports teams, this was supposed to be South Carolina's time in the spotlight. Instead, the Tigers bounced back from their first losing season in 12 years in 2010 to open 8-0 and push their way into the national championship conversation.

Boyd was a rising Heisman Trophy contender who threw for 24 TDs and three interceptions during that undefeated run. But he and the Tigers high-flying offense have crash landed since as Boyd's thrown seven interceptions his past four games.

He did break Clemson's single-season mark with his 28th touchdown pass, a first-half scoring throw to Dwayne Allen.

Still, it wasn't close to enough to keep up with South Carolina's defense. Boyd was sacked five times and was most always scrambling away to avoid even more. Clemson's offensive yards were a season low as was Boyd's production. His previous low was 204 passing yards in a 23-3 win at Virginia Tech.

The Tigers get another chance at a 10th win -- and an ACC title -- at Bank of America Stadium next week against the Hokies. But both those goals seem like pipe dreams the way Clemson's playing now.

The Gamecocks hadn't won three straight in the rivalry since 1968-70. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney will play in his second conference title game in the past three years, but fell to 1-3 against the Gamecocks and Spurrier.

Both Clemson and South Carolina came in looking for a 10th win, a program landmark neither had achieved in decades. The Tigers hadn't gotten there since 1990, the tail end of its decade of dominance in the ACC.

Spurrier had been on a high the previous couple of weeks since the Gamecocks finished Southeastern Conference play with their best mark ever, 6-2, and had defeated its five other Eastern Division opponents, including Georgia, Florida and Tennessee. It wasn't enough to get them back to the title game, though, overtaken by Georgia's run of seven straight league games.

Spurrier set the sport on its ear in the 1990s with his "Fun-n-Gun" offense at Florida. These days, he's become comfortable if not downright giddy about his team's grind-it-out mentality.

"There's nothing wrong with the way we're playing, if you can run the ball decently, you got a chance to score some points and you got a defense like we got," Spurrier said.

The Gamecocks will await the chance for a 11th win, something they've never done, when the bowl bids are finalized on Dec. 4. Representatives from the Sugar, Citrus, Outback, Gator and Chick-fil-A bowls were on hand.

"I think we might wind up back in Atlanta," Spurrier said of the home of the Chick-fil-A Bowl. "That's just a guess."

The Gamecocks fell to Florida State, 26-19, in Atlanta last season.

Clemson's offense continued its struggles of recent weeks. The Tigers went three-and-out its first two series and didn't get a first down until 12 seconds remained in the opening quarter.

South Carolina freshman defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was held out the first quarter for an undisclosed violation of team rules. He returned in the second quarter and pressured Boyd several times.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Connor Shaw throws for 210 yards on 14 of 20 passing and runs for another 107 to lead the 14th-ranked Gamecocks. (Getty Images)
Connor Shaw throws for 210 yards on 14 of 20 passing and runs for another 107 to lead the 14th-ranked Gamecocks. (Getty Images)

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Scoring Summary
SCJay Wooten 47 yd FG
SCBruce Ellington 49 yd pass from Connor Shaw (Jay Wooten kick)
CLEMDwayne Allen 9 yd pass from Tajh Boyd (Chandler Catanzaro kick)
CLEMChandler Catanzaro 32 yd FG
SCConnor Shaw 15 yd run (Jay Wooten kick)
SCRory Anderson 2 yd pass from Connor Shaw (Jay Wooten kick)
CLEMChandler Catanzaro 40 yd FG
SCJay Wooten 37 yd FG
SCAlshon Jeffery 18 yd pass from Connor Shaw (Jay Wooten kick)
Team Stats
First Downs1219
Third Down Efficiency6-178-18
Fourth Down Efficiency1-22-2
Plays-Net Yards60-15373-420
Passing Yds83210
Kick Return Yds14922
Punt Return Yds300
Time of Poss.22:4337:17
Individual Stats
CLEM: Andre Ellington 13-66, Mike Bellamy 3-19, Sammy Watkins 2-9, D.J. Howard 1--1, Tajh Boyd 11--23
SC: Connor Shaw 19-107, Kenny Miles 21-71, Brandon Wilds 7-24, Damiere Byrd 3-19, Team 3--11
CLEM: Tajh Boyd 11-29-83-1, DeAndre Hopkins 0-1-0-0
SC: Connor Shaw 14-20-210-0
CLEM: Sammy Watkins 4-39, DeAndre Hopkins 3-24, Andre Ellington 2-5, Dwayne Allen 1-9, Jaron Brown 1-6
SC: Bruce Ellington 3-71, Kenny Miles 3-26, Rory Anderson 2-57, Alshon Jeffery 2-29, Justice Cunningham 1-16, Ace Sanders 1-7, D.L. Moore 1-4, Brandon Wilds 1-0
Clemson1st Atlantic Coast Atlantic7-114-1
South Carolina5th SEC East3-56-7

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