Clemson snapped its leading 40-game winning streak at home on Saturday, losing to rival South Carolina 31-30 in a error-filled performance that effectively eliminates the Tigers from College Football Playoff competition for the second straight season.
The home win record was an ACC record, the longest since Nebraska won 47 in a row from 1991 to 1997. Equally amazing was the way Clemson blew a 23-14 halftime lead.
According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Clemson (10-2) was 60-0 at home under Dabo Sweeney when it led by nine or more points in the first half.
Meanwhile, South Carolina has beaten back-to-back opponents, defeating Tennessee last week and now Clemson, its first victory in the rivalry game since 2013.
The No. 8 Tigers entered the game with an outside opportunity to make the playoffs, but the truth is, this team has hardly looked like a playoff contender all season. Again, quarterback DJ Uiagalelei He struggled, going 8 of 29 for 99 yards and 1 touchdown with 1 interception as South Carolina pestered him all game. The only thing Clemson was doing on offense was running back Will Shipleywho ran for 132 yards and a score.
But as the game trailed, South Carolina managed to pin Clemson deep several times and Uiagalelei failed to make many offenses.
Clemson had another chance to win the ball back late on, however Anthony Williams I fumbled a kick with 2 minutes left, with 5 seconds left. South Carolina recovered and held on to win. Clemson managed a total of 86 yards in the second half.
The Tigers had three turnovers in total and allowed South Carolina Spencer Rattler To make several big plays in the all-time passing game. Rattler threw for 360 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions.
Unlike other games this season when Uiagalelei struggled, Swinney chose to stick with him and not resort to backup. Kid Klopnik.
Swinney must now find a way to get his team to focus on what’s ahead: the ACC Championship game against North Carolina on Saturday. This is the first time since 2012 that both teams have entered the championship game without a loss, which takes some of the sparkle out of this matchup.
Clemson didn’t win an ACC title last year, so the Tigers will have a chance at a title. Although he has defended Uiagalelei at every turn, there will be legitimate questions he must answer about his quarterback status going forward.
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