NOTEBOOK: It's Faerber Time

COLUMBIA, S.C. – For his entire Clemson football life, Nelson Faerber has toiled in anonymity as nothing more than a third-string wide receiver and occasional special teams player. Not any more.

Had it not been for the field goal of Mark Buchholz at the end of the game, Faerber would be the one most remembered by Clemson fans. His play was directly responsible for two Tiger touchdowns.

In the first quarter, Faerber blocked South Carolina's first punt attempt, which was ultimately scooped up by La'Donte Harris and returned 10 yards for a touchdown to give the Tigers a 10-0 lead with 6:01 left in the first quarter.

The junior even got word earlier in the week to Gamecocks punter Ryan Succop that he was going to block one of his kicks.

"During Thanksgiving break, (Clemson reserve receiver) Jeff Ogren was hanging out with (South Carolina reserve quarterback) Chris Smelley, who was hanging out with Succop, and I told him to tell Succop I was going to block one of his punts this game," Faerber said. "I told him to look out for number 83, and sure enough, first punt I went out there and it was right there for the taking."

Then just one quarter later, Faerber caught a four-yard pass for a touchdown that gave the Tigers a 17-7 lead with 5:52 left until half. It was his first touchdown of the season.

"It feels good to come out and prove what I can do," he said. "I believe in myself, my family believes in me and Coach (Dabo) Swinney believes in me. I was just waiting for the right opportunity. …

"Every week, you just sit and dream and think about this type of stuff. I knew I could do it and I'm glad I did."

GRISHAM TAKEN TO HOSPITAL: The reason Faerber got his chance to catch a touchdown pass is because two players earlier, starting receiver Tyler Grisham was hurt on a catch after receiving a blow to his chest.

The junior receiver was taken out the game and was later transported to the hospital due to internal bleeding. By the time the team got on the busses to head back to Clemson, it was believed that the bleeding had finally stopped and that it was most likely just a deep bruise.

More information will be known Sunday.

HARPER BATTLES: Speaking of injuries, Tigers quarterback Cullen Harper kept messing with his shoulder the entire game. It was very noticeable that it was bothering him, but he kept playing, nonetheless.

"They've got to check it out tomorrow," the junior said. "It feels a little different, but I think it will be alright."

When asked if it was aggravated by any hits he took during the game, he said no.

"It's just from last week and falling on it on that touchdown run," he said. "It was still kind of bothering me a little bit. We'll see what the deal is with it."

QUICK HITS: Harris' touchdown off the blocked punt was the first for a Clemson player since 2004, when Gaines Adams blocked one against Utah State and Bobby Williamson recovered it in the end zone. … It was also the first blocked punt for a touchdown against South Carolina since 1981, when Rod McSwain blocked a punt and Johnny Rembert recovered it in the end zone. …

Tailback James Davis rushed for 67 yards in the first half to become the third Clemson player surpass the 3,000-yard mark for his career. … Davis rushed for 122 yards, which gives him 3,058 for his career, which ties him with Travis Zachery for second place on the school's all-time list. Raymond Priester is first with 3,966. …

When Buchholz made his game-winning kick, it marked the first time a Clemson player scored on the last play of the game since David Treadwell made a 46-yard field goal to beat Georgia 31-28 in 1986 in Athens. … Receiver Aaron Kelly had nine catches for 134 yards to give him 84 catches on the year to break Rod Gardner's single-season record of 80 in 1999. ...

Expect the Tigers to either play in the Peach Bowl or the Gator Bowl.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I got down on my knees and prayed with the other guys before he even kicked it. I didn't see it, I had my head down. I just waited until the crowd started yelling, and I knew we had it," said tailback James Davis on the game-winning field goal. Top Stories