Two words that describe the Carolina-Clemson rivalry perfectly. For Gamecock fans, there’s nothing more satisfying than beating the Tigers on the gridiron.
With kickoff looming, let’s revisit some of the great memories of the Gamecocks taking down the Tigers on the football field:
1992: Taneyhill Becomes A Legend
The 1992 season was full of twist and turns for the Gamecocks. After starting the season 0-5, head coach Sparky Woods knew he had to make a change under center.
Insert Steve Taneyhill, a high flying freshman from the state of Pennsylvania with a mullet and a cocky attitude to match.
Taneyhill cemented his legend, leading South Carolina to a 24-13 win over Clemson in Death Valley.
His “home-run swing” celebration and “signing of the Tiger Paw” are still regarded as two of the most iconic images of the rivalry.
2013: “Chaos at Williams-Brice, chaos!”
By far my personal favorite memory in the rival and probably one of the peaks of my South Carolina fandom.
South Carolina sealed it’s fifth straight win over the Tigers with a play call only the evil genius Steve Spurrier could have come up with.
Pharaoh Cooper motioned behind center, taking the direct snap and hitting Brandon Wilds out of the backfield for the 26 yard touchdown.
The Gamecocks had done it. USC had beaten Clemson five straight times.
I remember leaving Williams-Brice that night thinking we would never lose to those guys again. Glorious times.
2006: “Wide Left”
Jad Dean. Without a doubt one of my favorite Tigers of all time.
In a game that turned out to be one of the all time classics, South Carolina battled back before eventually taking the lead late in the ballgame.
Questionable play-calling made the Tigers settle for a 39 yard field goal attempt.
Dean’s try missed wide left and the Gamecocks fans went into a frenzy.
It was Steve Spurrier’s first win over CU and my first time experiencing a win over that team from the Upstate.
2012: “The Hit”
I know, I know. Technically, Jadeveon Clowney’s hit is technically know as “The Hit”.
However, in this rivalry, no hit has ever been as remember (or as celebrated) as the blow that former Gamecocks safety D.J. Swearinger laid on Andre Ellington.
Ellington took the handoff around the edge and looked to break into the second level.
In classic Swearinger fashion, D.J. absolutely laid him out (in what was a clean hit by the way).
The hit did draw a penalty flag but set the tone for what was to come, as South Carolina reeled off its fourth straight win over the Tigers, 27-17.
However, one could argue the tone was set in pre-game warmups by Jungleboiswagg himself.
1984: “Hold That Tiger”
Another iconic image that still stands out in the minds of Gamecock fans: QB Mike Hold literally holding the ball out to William “The Refrigerator” Perry with time running off the clock.
Arguably the greatest USC football team pre-2010, the ’84 team found a way to bounce back from a terrible loss at Navy to beat Clemson 22-21 in Death Valley.
It was the Tigers first home loss in 27 straight home games and gave Carolina its 10th win of that season.
What are some other great memories that I may have missed? Let’s hear your thoughts.
P.S. Cheers to more great memories coming our way sooner rather than later.