COLUMBIA, S.C. – Clemson used a complete performance in closing out the 2021 regular season with a 30-0 win on the road against in-state rival South Carolina, the Tigers’ seventh consecutive win in the series. The Tigers shut out the Gamecocks (6-6) for the first time since 1989 and finished the regular season with a 9-3 record.
It was the fifth time Clemson’s defense held an opponent without a touchdown this season, as the Tigers held South Carolina to just 206 yards of offense and only 43 yards rushing on 20 carries. Clemson finished with five tackles for loss, two interceptions, a forced fumble, allowed just 3.3 yards per play, and held the Gamecocks to just four 3rd-down conversions in 16 attempts.
Offensively, Clemson rushed for 265 yards on 43 carries and scored all three touchdowns on the ground. Freshman Will Shipley led the way with 128 yards on 19 carries, his second straight game with more than 100 yards rushing. Kobe Pace added 58 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown, and Phil Mafah ran for 43 yards and a score. DJ Uiagalelei threw for 99 yards and ran for 33 more to improve to 1-0 as the starting quarterback against South Carolina.
The Tigers set the tone early, taking the opening possession seven plays and 73 yards for a score, as Shipley went 29 yards through the right side for his tenth touchdown of the season. Uiagalelei had a key 22-yard run on 3rd-and-11 that helped set up the score.
Two drives later, Andrew Booth Jr. gave Clemson the short field following an interception that would end with three points on a 29-yard field goal by B.T. Potter to extend the Tigers lead.
After another defensive three-and-out, Pace would pick up where he left off a week ago with a 34-yard run up the middle past several Gamecock defenders for his first touchdown of the game to make the score 17-0 Clemson with 12:10 to play in the second quarter.
Booth picked off his second pass with 3:17 to play in the quarter as he dove and caught the ball at the Clemson one-yard line.
Clemson outgained South Carolina 258-75, held the Gamecocks to just three first downs, and piled up 193 rushing yards in the first half.
The Tigers added to the lead on the first possession, with Potter connecting from 47 yards that hooked just inside the right upright, giving Clemson a 20-0 lead. The kick moved Potter into third on Clemson’s all-time scoring list with 332 points. Potter added a 49-yarder with 12:24 to play to extend the Clemson lead to 23-0.
Mafah ran up the middle from six yards out with 2:30 to play to become the third Clemson rusher to score on the day.
Clemson’s defense held one last time, keeping the Gamecocks out of the endzone on a final scramble as time expired.
At 9-3, Clemson will now await its bowl destination. This year marks Clemson’s 17th consecutive season playing in a bowl game and its 23rd consecutive season of bowl eligibility.