Top 25 football facts about Gamecocks-Tigers rivalry

* This will be the 110th meeting between Clemson and South Carolina and the 104th consecutive year the two schools have met – the second longest active streak of consecutive years played in a rivalry in the nation. The only rivalry longer is Minnesota vs. Wisconsin at 106 games (including the game already played this year).

* The series dates to 1896 and the first year of football at Clemson, the fourth season for South Carolina. Clemson holds the advantage 65-40-4 since that first meeting in Columbia, a game won by South Carolina 12-6. Clemson’s first win took place the following year, an 18-6 victory in Columbia.

* Clemson (10-1) and Carolina (9-2) come in with a combined 19 wins, the most ever when the two teams have met, one win more than last year when both teams came in with 9-2 records. Prior to 2011, the high was 16 combined wins, accomplished four times.

* Clemson has won 61 percent of its games against South Carolina and has a .592 overall winning percentage in its history (667-449-45). 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 (667). When Clemson won in 2004 it was Clemson’s 600th all-time win.

* The two teams played in Columbia as part of Big Thursday every meeting until 1960. For the 57 Big Thursday games, Clemson had a 33-21-3 advantage. Since the teams have gone to a home and home schedule in 1960, Clemson has a 32-19-1 advantage. Clemson’s winning percentage is nearly identical home and away over that time. Clemson is 16-9-1 against South Carolina at home since 1960 and 16-10-0 in Columbia.

* South Carolina has beaten Clemson each of the last three years, the first time the Gamecocks have done that since the 1968-70 era when they won three straight. South Carolina has not beaten Clemson four straight games since 1951-54 era. Clemson only won one game in the series from 1945-54 (1-7-2). While South Carolina has won three in a row, Clemson has won six of the last 10 and 10 of the last 15.

* For the seventh time in the last eight years in this rivalry game, at least one of the teams comes into the game ranked among the nation’s top 25. This is the second-straight year that both teams enter the game ranked and just the fifth time overall. The Gamecocks have prevailed in three of the previous four contests when both teams were ranked, including last season’s 34-13 win in Columbia.

* The Clemson and South Carolina seniors of 1965 experienced four consecutive games decided by four points or less and that is the only time it has happened in the history of the series. Clemson won in 1962 (20-17) and 1963 (24-20), then South Carolina won in 1964 (7-3) and 1965 (17-16). But, even those players did not play in all four games. In 1962 freshmen were not eligible, so those 1965 seniors didn’t even dress for the 1962 game.

* South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is 3-1 against Clemson’s Dabo Swinney. The Tigers posted a win when the two coaches squared off for the first time in 2008, but Spurrier has had the better of it over the past three seasons, outscoring Clemson by a combined score of 97-37.

* The visiting team won seven years in a row between 1991-97.

* 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 the 30 games that Frank Howard coached at Clemson against South Carolina, Clemson scored 411 points and South Carolina scored 411 points.

* Clemson has an overall record of 49-31-3 in Columbia over the years, including a 30-19-2 mark in Williams-Brice Stadium. Clemson has been especially successful in Columbia since 1988. The Tigers are 9-3 in Columbia since then with the only losses coming in 2001, 2009 and 2011.

* This weekend’s game will be played on the Saturday after Thanksgiving for the seventh year in a row. Clemson has a 9-6 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 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

* Twenty-nine is an unusual number for a point total in football. Yet four times in the last 31 years the winner of the Clemson-South Carolina game has scored 29 points. That includes 2010 when South Carolina defeated Clemson 29-7. Clemson beat South Carolina by the same score in 2004. Clemson won 29-10 in 1988 and 29-13 in 1981.

* Former Conway High standout Buddy Gore’s 43-yard run in the third period of the 1967 game led to a Tiger touchdown, and was a momentum swaying play in Clemson’s vic­tory over the Gamecocks, a win that allowed Clemson to clinch a tie for the ACC champion­ship. That was the key run on this day that saw Gore become the first Clemson back in history to go over 1000 yards in a season and break Brian Piccolo’s ACC single season rushing record.

* Aynor High product and South Carolina senior center T.J. Johnson will make his 52nd consecutive start when he lines up against the Tigers. Johnson holds the school record for the most starts and games played in school history and is tied with Nevada offensive lineman Chris Barker, for the top spot among active Division I players.

* Charlie Whitehurst is the only starting quarterback to lead a team to four wins in the history of the series. He did that for the Tigers between 2002-05.

* Nine Gamecocks have participated in each of the last three games against Clemson and are trying to finish their careers with a perfect 4-0 mark against the Tigers. Those nine include Reginald Bowens, Justice Cunningham, DeVonte Holloman, T.J. Johnson, Kenny Miles, D.L. Moore, Quin Smith, D.J. Swearinger and Devin Taylor. Johnson is the only one of the group that has started in each of the previous three wins.

* Former Tigers coach 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.

* Paul Williams is the last player to letter for both schools. He lettered for Clemson in 1978 and for South Carolina in 1980.

* 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 in 2008.

* 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 an 80-yard run and Jock McKissic on an 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….and Clemson lost the game.

* In 1948 and 1981 a blocked punt returned for a touchdown proved to be the pivotal play for Clemson in 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.

* 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.

* 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.

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