Gamecock Gamechangers

Gamecock Gamechangers

Each week Gamecock Anthem takes a look at the five key players and five biggest plays of each game. Today we take a look at the players of the game and plays of the game from Carolina's fourth straight victory over Clemson.

5. Brison Williams

Williams made on the biggest plays of the game in the fourth quarter. After South Carolina drove down the field, Dylan Thompson was sacked and then threw an interception. Down just 20-17 and all the momentum squarely on their side, Clemson began moving down the field for a game-tying field goal or retake the lead with a touchdown. Facing third and seven near midfield, Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd never saw Williams and threw it right to him. Williams returned it across midfield, but a holding penalty brought it back. Carolina would still go on to score the final touchdown on the ensuing drive.

4. Bruce Ellington

Bruce Ellington won the battle of Ellington's Saturday night, outperforming his cousin, Andre Ellington. Andre had a respectable 61 yards, but Bruce caught seven passes for 78 yards and a pair of scores. He caught the first and final touchdown pass of the game for Carolina, his second putting the game away late in the game.

3. Ace Sanders

Normally when a guy has a 100-yard game he is almost a player of the game lock. Sanders had six receptions for 118 yards and a spectacular 34-yard touchdown reception to give Carolina the lead for good on the opening drive of the second half, breaking the tackle of a Clemson defensive back at the 10 and raced into the end zone for the score. Despite his wonderful performance, there were two better.

2. Jadeveon Clowney

Clemson offensive lineman Dalton Freeman said that Clowney was not Superman earlier in the week, but he may have to change his opinion now. Clowney was a beast all night and made a strong case for the Bronko Nagurski Award with seven tackles and 4.5 sacks. He became South Carolina's all-time leader in sacks in a season in the game and will finish the regular season with 13 sacks. In almost every instance that would be good enough for Player of the Game, but...

Player of the Game

Dylan Thompson


How many people had a sinking feeling in their gut when they found out Dylan Thompson was going to start Saturday night due to Connor Shaw's injury? Thompson had some moments where he struggled and he was sacked four times, but no one knew he could do what he did at Clemson even against a struggling defense. Thompson was superb. He completed 23-of-41 passes for 315 yards and tied a career-high with three touchdown passes. He also rushed for 37 yards despite the four sacks including a key first down on a third and long to set up the final touchdown. Thompson will go down in Gamecock lore in this rivalry and instantly became a legend.

Plays of the Game

5. Holloman makes remarkable pick


Clemson had the ball following a second quarter Adam Yates field goal that trimmed the Tigers' lead to 14-10 late in the second quarter, Clemson had the ball and was in the midst of a drive that could stretch the lead before the half ended. After Boyd picked up a first down at the Carolina 47, Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris went for the deep ball. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Clowney beat his man and hit Boyd right as he released the ball. Boyd's pass never got close to the intended receiver and DeVonte Holloman sprinted back and made a spectacular diving interception to end the drive and keep the Gamecocks within striking distance heading to the second half.

4. Fitting ending

Jadeveon Clowney was all over the field all night, proving that he is the best defensive lineman in the country. With the game already over, Clowney provided a fitting ending to the game and a screen shot that will certainly make its way through the social media networks. Boyd scrambled and Clowney sacked him from behind to end the game. As Clowney got up, he barked something at Boyd, then came back for more as time expired.

3. Thompson to Ellington to ice it

South Carolina faced a third and goal from the the sixe. Thompson rolled right to set up one of the favorite plays of Spurrier with the tight end coming back across the other side of the field. That play was covered, but Thompson had all day to scan back across the field and find Ellington in the middle of the end zone for the score to crush the hopes of a Clemson victory.

2. Sanders breaks free to score

South Carolina received the kick to begin the second half and quickly drove down the field. A holding penalty looked like it kill the drive, but Thompson stepped up and hit Ace Sanders on the hash, who broke a tackle with three Tigers around him and sprinted into the endzone to give Carolina a 17-14 lead, a lead they would not relinquish.

Play of the game

1. Thompson "draws" one up


Dylan Thompson just had a long touchdown run of 19 yards called back on a holding penalty and South Carolina faced a third-and-19 from the 26. Steve Spurrier dialed up the quarterback draw play in an attempt to get closer for the field goal attempt. As Thompson took off running, the field opened up and he got some key blocking as he took it all the way to the six for 20 yards and a first down. Carolina would score three plays later to go up 27-17.

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