The series dates to 1896 and the first year of football at Clemson, the fourth season for South Carolina. Clemson holds the advantage 63-37-4 since that first meeting in Columbia. Clemson has more wins over South Carolina than any other school and those victories represent nearly 10 percent of Clemson's all-time victory total (624). When Clemson won in 2004 it was Clemson's 600th all-time win.
•South Carolina won last year at Clemson, 31-28, but the Tigers have won four out of five, eight of 10 and 14 of the last 19 in the series. Since 1988, Clemson is 8-1 in games played in Columbia and 6-4 in games played in Clemson.
•This year's Clemson senior class has a 2-1 record against South Carolina. Clemson classes who have beaten South Carolina four consecutive years were the seniors of 1900, 1919, 1930, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1983, 1991, 2000 and 2005. In 2005 Charlie Whitehurst became the only quarterback for either team in the series to start four victories.
•This weekend's game will be played on the Saturday after Thanksgiving for the second year in a row, but just the second time since 1984. South Carolina has won each of the last two games that have been played the Saturday after Thanksgiving as they won that game in 1984, 22-21.
The 1978 game was also played the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a 41-23 Clemson win. Clemson has a 7-3 record against South Carolina when the game is played the Saturday after Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving Day. The only game played on Thanksgiving was the 1963 contest that was moved from the Saturday before Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving due to the death of President John F. Kennedy.
•The Gamecocks last won in Columbia in 2001 by a 20-15 score. That South Carolina victory ended a four-game winning streak for the Tigers.
•South Carolina has not beaten Clemson in consecutive years since a three-game winning streak in the 1968-70 era. They will have that opportunity on Saturday. Clemson has a 9-0 record in the series since 1970 when South Carolina is trying to win for the second straight year.
•Tommy Bowden is 6-2 against South Carolina in his previous eight games in this rivalry. All six of the wins have come against Lou Holtz and Steve Spurrier, coaches who have won a national championship and will be in the College Football Hall of Fame some day.
The 6-2 start is the best among Clemson coaches who have coached the Tigers for at least five years. Josh Cody (1927-30) had a perfect 4-0 record against South Carolina, the only Clemson coach with a perfect record in the rivalry game.
•Tommy Bowden has a better record (6-2) than all three of Clemson's former coaches in the college football Hall of Fame and Head Coach Danny Ford, who won a national championship at Clemson. John Heisman was 1-1 vs. the Gamecocks, Jess Neely was 6-3, and Frank Howard was 13-15-2. Ford was 7-3-1. Obviously, a victory for the Tigers on Saturday will give Bowden the same amount of wins over South Carolina as Ford had and he would have done it in three less seasons.
•Clemson enters this game with a #21 ranking by AP and 22 by ESPN/USA Today. The Tigers have a 16-6-2 record against South Carolina when it enters the contest ranked in the top 25, including a 5-2-1 record at Death Valley. South Carolina defeated a top 25 Clemson team last year (24th), and they also beat a top 25 Clemson team in 1996. That year a South Carolina team coached by Brad Scott beat the Tigers in Death Valley, 34-31.
South Carolina has not defeated a top 25 Clemson team in Columbia since 1987 when the Tigers entered that contest ranked eighth in the nation.
Clemson vs. South Carolina to Play for 99th Straight Year
The Clemson vs. South Carolina series ranks in a tie for 13th in college football history in terms of most played rivalries with 104 games played. The most played rivalry is the Minnesota vs. Wisconsin series, which had been played 116 times entering this year.
This will be the 99th consecutive year that Clemson and South Carolina have met on the gridiron, every year since 1909. It has moved into third place all time for longest uninterrupted series in college football history. The only active rivalries that are longer are the Kansas vs. Nebraska rivalry (active since 1906) and the Minnesota vs. Wisconsin rivalry (active since 1907).
Clemson Has Had Success in Columbia
Clemson has had success in Columbia over the years. The series was always played in Columbia until 1960. The game was played on Thursdays in conjunction with the South Carolina State Fair each October.
Clemson has an overall record of 48-29-3 in Columbia over the years, including a 29-17-2 mark in Williams-Brice Stadium. Clemson has been especially successful in Columbia since 1988. The Tigers are 8-1 in Columbia since then with the only loss coming in 2001.
That was played during the day. Clemson has not lost a night game in Columbia since 1987, winning night games in 1989, 1997, 2003 and 2005.
Clemson vs. South Carolina in Columbia Since 1988 (8-1)
Year - Time - CU-Opp
1989 - Night - 45-0
1991 - Day - 41-24
1993 - Day - 16-13
1995 - Day - 38-17
1997 - Night - 47-21
1999 - Day - 31-21
2001 - Day - 15-20
2003 - Night - 63-17
2005 - Night - 13-9
Throw out the Record Books?
We always hear the phrase, "You can throw out he record books when these two teams get together." While there have been some upsets in this series, usually the team with the better record comes away with the victory. The team entering the game with the better overall record has a 17-5-1 record in the series since 1981. That computes to 76.1 percent over a 26-year period. Three times during that era both teams had the same record.
However, the norm has been broken each of the last three years. In 2004, South Carolina had the better record entering the game at 6-4 compared to Clemson's 5-5, but the Tigers won the game, 29-7. In 2005, South Carolina had the upper hand with a 7-3 mark compared to the 6-4 for Clemson, but Clemson won the game, 13-9. Last year, Clemson had the better record at 8-3, while South Carolina is 6-5, but South Carolina won, 31-28.
The team with the better record entering this game won every year between 1997-2003. In 1996 the team with the worse record won. Current Clemson offensive coordinator and assistant head coach Brad Scott was the head coach for South Carolina in that game.
For the history of the series, Clemson has a 39-15-3 record when it enters the contest with the better record, a 71 winning percentage. Clemson has had the better record in 57 of the 104 previous meetings. The teams have had the same winning percentage entering the game nine times and Clemson has a 7-2 record in those situations.
Thus, Clemson is 46-17-3 (.720) against South Carolina over the years when the Tigers enter the game with at least the same record as South Carolina. Clemson has a 63-37-4 advantage in the series overall, so the Gamecocks have a 20-17-1 record in the series when they enter the game with the better record.
Top 10 Unusual Facts about the Clemson vs. South Carolina Series
10. One of the three coaches to win a bowl game will be on the sidelines for Saturday's game, but he will be in a Clemson coaching uniform. Brad Scott was the first South Carolina head coach to win a bowl game when he took the Gamecocks to victory in the 1994 Carquest Bowl over West Virginia. He is also the last coach to lead South Carolina to a victory at Clemson. That came in 1996, a 34-31 Gamecock victory. Scott had a 2-1 record in Clemson Memorial Stadium as South Carolina head coach between 1994-98.
9. The visiting team won seven consecutive years in games played between 1991-97.
8. Josh Cody had a 4-0 record for Clemson against South Carolina between 1927-30. He is the only coach in the series to have a perfect record, given a minimum of three games coached.
7. Paul Williams is the last player to letter for both schools. He lettered for Clemson in 1978 and for South Carolina in 1980.
6. A Clemson captain actually played for South Carolina. Cary Cox lettered for the Gamecocks in 1943. After the war, he enrolled at Clemson and served as captain for the Tigers in 1947. Cox died earlier this year.
5. Clemson had three touchdown plays of at least 76 yards against South Carolina in 2006, yet lost the game. Jacoby Ford scored on 76-yard touchdown pass, C.J. Spiller on a 80-yard run and Jock McKissic on a 82-yard interception return. It is the only game in Clemson history in which Clemson has had three scoring plays of at least 75 yards.
4. In 1948 and 1981 a blocked punt returned for a touchdown proved to be the pivotal play in a Clemson victory, victories that allowed Clemson to go on to an undefeated season. In both instances, the original line of scrimmage was the South Carolina 28-yard-line.
3. Willie Underwood had two interceptions to lead Clemson to victory over South Carolina in 1980. A starter for four years, the strong safety never had recorded an interception in any of his first 46 games as a Tiger, then had two against the Gamecocks in his 47th and final game.
2. In a placekicking career that spanned five years, Bob Paulling made 107 of 109 extra points. Both of his misses were at South Carolina, one in 1981 and one in 1983. He had a streak of 70 consecutive made extra points (second longest in Clemson history) in between the two miscues.
1. In the 30 games that Frank Howard coached at Clemson against South Carolina, Clemson scored 411 points and South Carolina scored 411 points.
NOTES: Tigers Travel to Columbia
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