South Carolina football closes out its season Saturday with the annual rivalry clash against Clemson. Despite this season’s woes, Gamecock athletics have put up a strong fight against the Tigers across the big three sports in the long history of the rivalry.
Here are some of Carolina’s best moments against Clemson:
Football: Top-10 matchup, 2013
The 2013 matchup was the first and only top-10 matchup in series history, with South Carolina ranked No. 10 and Clemson ranked No. 6. The Gamecocks turned three of Clemson’s turnovers into touchdowns in their 31-17 victory.
This win was South Carolina’s fifth in a row over Clemson, the Gamecocks’ longest win streak in the rivalry. It also brought South Carolina to an 18-game win streak at home and a 14-game win streak against non-conference opponents.
Senior quarterback Connor Shaw started for the 26th time that weekend and finished his career undefeated at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Football: A comeback victory, 2006
The Gamecocks pulled out a stunning comeback win over the No. 24 Tigers in their 2006 meeting. Clemson led 28-14 in the third quarter, but South Carolina rallied and put up 17 unanswered points with two touchdowns by sophomore running back Mike Davis and a field goal by sophomore kicker Ryan Succop.
Clemson hoped to tie the game with a 39-yard field goal attempt by senior kicker Jad Dean, but the kick went wide, leaving the Gamecocks to celebrate 31-28.
This comeback victory was South Carolina’s first against a ranked opponent that season and ended the four-game losing streak against Clemson.
Baseball: College World Series Semifinals, 2002
After losing the regular season series against Clemson, the Gamecocks found themselves with a chance to eliminate the Tigers in the semifinal round of the 2002 College World Series.
Blood ran hot as the in-state rivals faced off in their two games, complete with bat flips, brushback pitches and hats thrown out of the dugout. The Gamecocks dominated both games, securing a 12-4 win in game one and a 10-2 victory in game two.
Unfortunately, as the best-of-three format for the final round would not be installed until the following year, South Carolina ended up losing to Texas in the National Championship game.
Baseball: College World Series Semifinals, 2010
The Gamecocks and Tigers entered the semifinals in a similar situation to that of the 2002 College World Series, but this time, the season outcome was even sweeter.
In game one, sophomore pitcher Michael Roth made his first start of the season, throwing a three-hit complete game. Roth’s pitching performance was supported by an offense that posted five runs to top Clemson.
The next day, South Carolina clinched a 4-3 victory over Clemson in a close game two. These back-to-back wins took the Gamecocks to the national championship for the fourth time in school history, where they won their first title over UCLA 2-1.
Securing wins in each of the big three sports, 2010
2010 was a big year for South Carolina athletics, especially when facing Clemson.
The football team took down the Tigers 29-7 that year, going on to secure its first SEC East division title. The baseball team followed its elimination of Clemson by winning a national championship. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams secured victories over the Tigers in the first half of their 2010-2011 seasons. That season, Dawn Staley made her first postseason appearance as women’s basketball head coach in the 2011 Women's National Invitation Tournament.
This was the first season since 1994 the Gamecocks defeated Clemson in each big three sport in the same calendar year.
Honorable mention: Sigma Nu prank, 1961
During pregame warmups, members of South Carolina’s Sigma Nu fraternity pretended to be the Clemson football team to prank the visiting fans.
The Sigma Nus borrowed orange and purple uniforms from Orangeburg High School and asked Gamecock head coach Marvin Bass for permission to pull off the stunt. Bass granted them pregame field access and even use of the practice field in order to prepare.
On game day, the group ran out onto the field as if they were the Tigers, complete with an imitation of Clemson head coach Frank Howard. Deceived, the Clemson band began playing its fight song and the visiting crowd cheered. The impostor squad exaggeratedly botched the drills and did a dance in the end zone. Clemson fans’ anger over this mockery caused fights to break out before the game’s start and after its end.
The real Clemson football team didn’t get revenge for the prank, as South Carolina took a 21-14 victory that year.