The elusive win

CLEMSON - Tajh Boyd can't quite put his finger on one specific thing that's gone wrong over the last few years.

According to Boyd, there's been a litany of issues for the Clemson when they've matched up with rival South Carolina.

"In the past few years, we just got out-competed, out-hustled, out-performed, out-coached, out-executed," Boyd said.

Well, that just about runs the gamut of possibilities.

"It's just, for us, we haven't gone out and played a good game," Boyd said. "Watching film, they've done some really good things. They've been a top 10 team as of late.

"For whatever reason, we just haven't gone out and performed like we're capable of performing. So, obviously, that's something we want to change, to play like we're capable of playing. And it's not necessarily so much about them, but about what we do, playing to our standard. That's what we want to do."

It certainly won't be easy. South Carolina [9-2, 6-2 SEC] is 10th in the country.

And the Gamecocks haven't lost a home game since 2011 when Auburn visited Columbia. Included in that 17-game home winning streak is a 34-13 win over Clemson in 2011.

Lately, beating South Carolina hasn't been easy for Clemson, wherever the archrivals play. The Tigers haven't beaten the Gamecocks since 2008.

"The senior class has really put together some great years, but this is something that we haven't been able to get done," Boyd said. "We've just got to find a way to get it done. That's all that really needs to be said about that. We've just got to go out and perform."

Boyd, admittedly, didn't perform well last year against South Carolina. He completed 11 of 24 passes for 182 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He also rushed for 26 yards and a score on 17 carries.

"Last year, when I watched the game this week, I missed some throws," Boyd said. "We just didn't do anything that we were accustomed to doing and performing to our capability."

He added, "There were some things in that game [while] watching that you forget about, but why would you do that in that situation? It's just some uncharacteristic things.

"You don't have to be perfect by any means, but you've got to go out there and you've got to play the game."

At Clemson, Boyd's appeared in 45 games, 38 of which he's started. Clemson has won 31 times with Boyd as the starting quarterback. With one more victory, he'll tie Rodney Williams for the most wins by a Clemson quarterback.

Boyd already owns the school record for BCS game starts by a Clemson quarterback. A win against South Carolina would all but guarantee that the number will jump to two.

"For us, right now, we've got a lot of things at stake," Boyd said. "We've got a lot of things we want to accomplish. This is one of the games in the way right here. We have to go out there and make sure we find a way to get it done."

The sanity of an entire fan-base depends on it.

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