Hat Trick: Gamecocks win third straight over Tigers

A three-peat over their in-state rival is pretty rare for the Gamecocks. A 10-win season is even rarer, but this is shaping up to be a rare kind of year for South Carolina.

South Carolina’s dominant defense frustrated Tajh Boyd and No. 17 Clemson, and quarterback Connor Shaw hurt the Tigers with his legs and his arm as the No. 12 Gamecocks beat their in-state rival 34-13 on Saturday night in Columbia.

The Gamecocks (10-2) won three straight games in the series for the first time since 1968-70 and won 10 games for only the second season (1984).

The Tigers (9-3) will have to win next week’s ACC title game against Virginia Tech or a bowl game to reach 10 wins for the first time since 1990.

South Carolina took a quick 10-0 lead when Shaw dropped in a perfect pass to Bruce Ellington for a 49-yard touchdown, the longest completion of the sophomore quarterback’s career.

The mark didn’t last long, though, because Shaw hooked up for a 55-yard completion to tight end Rory Anderson in the third quarter, setting up a 2-yard touchdown pass to Anderson that extended the lead to 24-10.

Shaw finished with 210 passing yards and three touchdowns, and he added 108 yards and a touchdown on the ground. He is the third quarterback to top 100 yards rushing against Clemson this season, joining Maryland’s C.J. Brown and Georgia Tech’s Tevin Washington.

Boyd broke Cullen Harper’s single-season Clemson record with his 28th touchdown pass, a 9-yard strike to Dwayne Allen in the second quarter.

But Boyd and the Tigers’ offense did little else. They were held to a season-low 153 total yards – their previous low was 323 against Virginia Tech – and gave up five sacks.

The Gamecocks’ senior class, which played its final game at Williams-Brice Stadium, has won a school-record 33 games. The previous mark was 29 set by last year’s seniors.

South Carolina has won 13 consecutive regular-season, non-conference games.

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