3 takeaways from South Carolina's season finale loss to Clemson
South Carolina hung around with Clemson, but ultimately fell short in the Palmetto Bowl Saturday night.
The Gamecocks’ offense never got going, and it gave Clemson enough room to pull ahead late for the win. The loss leaves South Carolina a game short of reaching the requirements for bowl eligibility, but the Gamecocks could still get to a bowl game if there aren’t enough 6-6 teams.
Here are some takeaways from South Carolina’s final game of the season.
Clemson shuts down Spencer Rattler
Spencer Rattler has been outstanding this season, especially in front of a home crowd, but the Clemson defense was too much for the quarterback on Saturday.
He had just 112 yards and threw an interceptions, failing to find the endzone throughout the game. It was the fewest passing yards Rattler has had during his time at South Carolina.
Clemson brought the pressure all night, sacking Rattler twice as South Carolina’s offensive line once again proved to be a weak point for the team.
Run game goes stagnant
It was a stagnant offensive night all around, but especially on the ground for South Carolina.
The Gamecocks managed just 57 rushing yards and Clemson’s defensive line wrapped up anything that came its way. Mario Anderson, who has emerged as a solid option in the backfield for South Carolina, had just 35 yards on the game.
It didn’t help South Carolina’s case that Clemson racked up 6 tackles for loss on the night.
Early turnover sets the tone
There wasn’t a single moment that cost South Carolina the game, but a turnover on the opening drive seemed to set the tone.
Wide receiver Xavier Legette caught a pass on the second play of the game, but he fumbled, and Clemson recovered and took it to the house to score, giving the Tigers an early 7-0 lead.
That early turnover seemed to set the tone for the kind of day South Carolina was going to have and it never really recovered to gain momentum on offense. On the next drive, Rattler threw an interception, though Clemson didn’t capitalize.