Clemson-South Carolina video rewind

When you watch a game at home or in the stadium, you miss stuff.

You're watching with eight or 83,000 of your closest friends, you're cooking, enjoying yourself, watching the wrong thing, and something important slips by.

This week, you might have been angry. Upset. Frustrated. You might have turned off the television in anger, or stalked to the parking lot early in a haze.

That's why I've been doing this feature – a weekly rewind of Clemson football, the good and the bad. It helps me pick things up, and I think it'll help you, too, even after games like Saturday's.

Without further ado, here's what I picked up from ESPN's broadcast of No.10 South Carolina 31, No.6 Clemson 17.

We begin midway through the first quarter, thanks to ESPN's overrun of the Baylor-TCU game. Your announcers are Mark Jones and Brock Huard, with Jessica Mendoza on sideline duty.

Clemson's first drive ended with Sammy Watkins' wide receiver pass being picked off by Brison Williams (it didn't look like Adam Humphries saw Williams), and the Gamecocks have driven to the Clemson 14.

Following a Corey Crawford offsides penalty, South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw does what he does best to Clemson – run the ball.

On second and goal, Shaw outraces Stephone Anthony and Crawford to the right corner of the end zone for a touchdown, completing a 17-play, 80-yard drive that sucked up 8:13 of clock.

"We said, how has (South Carolina) won four in a row against Dabo," Huard said. "Exactly like you're seeing on this drive, keeping that high-powered offense on the sidelines. Where they've been for nearly this entire first quarter."

Really nice job by Boyd to find Watkins in coverage with corner Victor Hampton and Williams up top as a spy for a 57-yard gain, making multiple tacklers miss before stepping out of bounds at the 14-yard line.

"You're looking at a top-10 pick in my opinion," Huard says. "It shows you right there, there are very few in college football with that kind of athleticism."

Boyd finishes the drive with an eight-yard crash for the game-tying touchdown.

"12 minutes in," Huard says, "and I think I can definitively say he's not scared."

Following a three-and-out that featured solid pressure by DeShawn Williams and Stephone Anthony, disaster strikes.

Adam Humphries is clearly signaling for a fair catch when Martavis Bryant can't get out of the way and runs by his right shoulder. The ball appears to hit Bryant and ricochet off Humphries' chest, with South Carolina recovering at the Clemson 39.

That's a dagger of a play, and the Tigers' second turnover of the night.

On third and 10 at the 39, Shaw sucks in the defense on the left side and takes off for a 15-yard gain. It looks so much like 2011 it's not funny.

And what a great throw by Shaw to Shaq Roland for a nine-yard touchdown. Nice coverage by Bashaud Breeland, but there wasn't much he could do to break up the pass as Roland dragged both feet in for the go-ahead score and a 14-7 lead.

Tough tightrope by Watkins on the left sideline on third and 12 deep on his own territory, but he comes up just short. So close, however, and solid effort.

Good job by Shaw finding Brandon Wilds over the middle on third and eight to convert at the USC 42.

And on another third and 10, just as Huard says "how important" it is for Clemson's defense to get off the field, Shaw does it again. He eludes Vic Beasley in the backfield and takes off into the left flat for a 14-yard gain. Looked like the only other defender in the vicinity was Martin Jenkins, and he was well-blocked.

Just for good measure, ESPN shows Dylan Thompson's crucial fourth-quarter run in 2012.

Venables is aggressive with Shaw early, running blitzes in zone and man coverage, but nothing seems to stick.

On the next third down, Shaw works on Korrin Wiggins with a perfectly-thrown pass to Bruce Ellington on the right sideline for a 29-yard gain.

Very good pursuit on another Shaw run by Crawford, who pulls him down for a two-yard gain.

Shaw tries the Tebow-esque jump pass, but he isn't Tebow, and the pass to Roland comes up short. Assist by the umpire in the way in the end zone, and South Carolina settles for a field goal and 17-7 lead.

Every time I see Watkins return a kick, I wonder why he wasn't more readily forgiven for his muffed punt against Georgia. He's explosive.

By the way, Rod McDowell is running hard when he has the opportunity, breaking off a 28-yard gain into USC territory.

Kelcy Quarles is impressive: he fights through a Ryan Norton hold for a sack of Boyd. Jadeveon Clowney forces the pocket to break down (not bad coverage by Brandon Thomas) for a sack on the next play, and Williams-Brice is loud again. On that play, Boyd seemed to go right into Clowney's clutches. He looks rattled on a third-down pass thrown at Watkins' feet.

On another South Carolina third down, Ellington victimizes Darius Robinson (who is having a solid game) for a basketball-like grab out of the air. Swinney looks visibly frustrated on the sideline. Great job by Vic Beasley to finally break free on third down and force a Shaw fumble – which bounces right back to him. Still, Clemson gets off the field at long last.

Very dangerous pass by Boyd to Watkins, but perfectly thrown into the hole of a zone for a 15-yard gain with three Gamecocks around him. Watkins jaws as he walks away.

South Carolina is getting consistent heat on Boyd – Kaiwan Lewis nails him for a loss. Boyd returns the favor on the next play, lowering his shoulder on a run that leaves Lewis down for a moment.

On third and 10 from the 30, Boyd finds McDowell open for a short screen and he does the rest for a long gain inside the USC 30 – and follows it with a 19-yard gain. Good block by Stanton Seckinger. Facing second and 7 at the USC 10, Boyd throws it away for an intentional grounding call. The spot? Highly questionable.

It appeared that Boyd threw it away at the 21, but the ball is spotted at the 29.

Boyd's subsequent run gets that yardage back – eight yards to the 21.

Looked like Boyd gave USC's Marquise Roberts a shove at the end of the play as well, igniting tempers.

Also, really questionable time management by Clemson at the end of the half- the timeout to set up Chandler Catanzaro's half-ending field goal was whistled with one second left.

Regardless, Catanzaro hits it, and cuts the lead to 17-10 at the half.

Swinney gives the referee a piece of his mind as he walks off the field.

Clemson's kick coverage has generally been pretty good, but giving up a 55-yard kickoff return to Pharoh Cooper is not the way you want to start the second half.

Clemson has done a very good job with shifty, powerful tailback Mike Davis, but South Carolina's playbook is deep. Ellington turns a covered wide receiver pass into an eight-yard gain.

And a really impressive job by Clemson's defensive line to stop Shaw on a fourth-and-1 sneak from the 21. He wasn't even close.

Not sure why Steve Spurrier went for it there, but Clemson will take it nonetheless.

It does little good, though, as Clemson goes three-and-out. Boyd clearly felt pressure.

I think Beasley just enjoys not facing an option team: he abuses Corey Robinson for a big sack of Shaw. On the next play, he draws a holding penalty (declined) on Robinson.

Does it surprise you that Ben Boulware drew a five-yard running into the kicker penalty? It shouldn't.

If Clemson has needed short yardage conversions, Boyd has delivered. Again and again.

Huard says Boyd is a top three-round pick, comparing him to the vein of mobile quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick and Andrew Luck.

On this series, Chad Morris seems determined to move the ball on the ground – and it works, with Boyd, McDowell and Watkins. The offense is gaining rhythm and confidence.

That said, as soon as Clemson passes, Clowney swim-moves past Thomas and delivers a massive hit. (And he does help Boyd up afterward).

ESPN's crew thinks Clemson should kick the field goal on fourth and 1 from the 29. Boyd is stuffed, but an offsides call on USC saves the Tigers' drive.

Also, nice of Bryant to join the action with a 19-yard gain on a skinny post to the USC 4.

McDowell hurtles into the end zone on a great run, and it's tied at 17 with three minutes left in the third quarter. Really impressive 15-play, 88-yard drive for Clemson.

Yet another Shaw draw on third and 13 sets up a fourth and 1 at the USC 34. Spurrier rolls the dice and decides to go for it – and after a timeout, tackle DeShawn Williams bites on the hard count.

Swinney is incensed, flinging his headset. Center Cody Waldrop raises his head to bait Williams.

So the drive moves on. Really smart pass interference by Robinson to save a sure touchdown deep to Roland, costing himself only a 15-yard penalty. Still, very nearly a great catch by Roland.

Another guy who quietly had a good night: defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. Solid all the way around.

The only person who can stop Shaw's runs? An official who impedes Shaw's draw, allowing Spencer Shuey to catch up with him.

Mike Davis – who Clemson has bottled up all night – finishes the drive with a two-yard touchdown and 24-17 lead with 11:47 to go.

Very impressive third-down run by Boyd to pick up 12 deep in his own territory and jump-start the ensuing drive.

And a really strong 22-yard run by McDowell to push the drive to the USC 34. He has run well all night long.

Just as Huard talks about "being patient" and "taking what's there," Boyd scrambles forward – and is stripped by Chaz Sutton. Boyd wanted extra yards, but didn't appear particularly careless with the ball. It was simply stripped away as he was going down.

Brutal turnover for Clemson, which was driving with good rhythm.

And following a strong defensive stand, Humphries compounds the mistake.

Just no excuse for Humphries to have the ball stripped from behind by Lewis on a punt return, with Quinton Smith recovering at the Clemson 34. A dagger beyond daggers at that point in the game, with under six minutes to play.

It should be no surprise that Shaw set his career high for rushes – 22 – on this night.

Clemson's fate is sealed with another third down play. Great execution by Cooper to throw a pop-pass to Wilds for a 26-yard touchdown and 31-17 lead with 3:44 to play.

Boyd, trying to make up lost time late, throws a pair of bad interceptions, but they're hardly the biggest mistakes anyone could make at that point in desperation mode.

This evening's outcome – another bitter disappointment in Columbia – was sealed far before that.

CUTigers.com Top Stories