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Tigers fall to Gamecocks as Clemson’s streaks end

Katie Bradham, Senior Photographer

Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (5) pushes through South Carolina defenders for a 9-yard touchdown run in the first quarter of the Tigers’ game against the Gamecocks in Memorial Stadium on Nov. 26, 2022.

Clemson lost its 40-home game win streak and a seven-game win streak against South Carolina on Saturday, falling to the Gamecocks 31-30 at Memorial Stadium. 
While Clemson has performed better in the second half in some games this season, that was not the case in this rivalry matchup.
The first points for the Tigers came on a 35-yard pick six by linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr., who intercepted Spencer Rattler on the Gamecocks’ second offensive drive of the game. The score gave the Tigers an early 7-0 lead, which DJ Uiagalelei extended to 14-0 on a 9-yard rushing TD shortly after. 
From then on out, Clemson’s offense struggled to sustain drives which allowed the Gamecocks to surge back. 
Up 16-7, Clemson running back Phil Mafah lost a fumble during a kickoff return in the second quarter. South Carolina was then able to respond and score its second touchdown, making it a 16-14 game. 
The Tigers were up 23-14 at the half. However, less than three minutes into the second half, the Gamecocks made it a two-point game. With 10:54 remaining in the fourth quarter, South Carolina took a 31-30 lead that the Gamecocks held for the remainder of the game. 
With pressure on Clemson’s offense to respond in the second half, the unit did everything but, accruing only 86 total yards after halftime. As for the two teams’ passing offenses, Clemson finished with just 99 passing yards compared to the Gamecocks’ 360. 
The Tigers’ secondary seemed to struggle for the entirety of the game, and when R.J. Mickens was ejected from the game due to a targeting call, it certainly did not help. 
At the end of the game, the Tigers faced a glimmer of hope. As they were receiving the ball for the last time, wide receiver Antonio Williams fumbled the ball on the punt return, sealing the win for the Gamecocks. 
After the game, head coach Dabo Swinney displayed his belief that Clemson simply got outplayed.
“We had plenty of opportunities and did not capitalize,” Swinney said. 
The Tigers are looking ahead to their ACC Championship game and hope to make improvements before facing the Tar Heels on Saturday, Dec. 3. 

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Anne Marie Lessig
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