Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams will head to the NFL after this season, and it won’t come a moment too soon for South Carolina.
The 6-foot-5 junior often got matched against South Carolina’s Jamarcus King in the first half of Saturday’s game in Death Valley. Williams showed the former No. 1 junior college prospect and former wide receiver he has more to learn.
Williams had six receptions before halftime, three for scores. On the first, he leapt over the 6-2 King. On the second, he caught a slant at the 8-yard line, then gave King a piggyback ride over the goal line.
“We rolled up on him several times,” Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp said. “We’ve always got to have an extra hat in the run right now. So You’re going to create some 1-on-1s.
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“He made some plays. He’s a really good player. Give him credit. ... We rolled up. We played zone. We did multiple things, obviously not very effective.”
Williams went for 100 yards in the half and helped his team to a 35-point lead.
King was also in coverage on Jordan Leggett’s first-quarter touchdown that made it 21-0.
Back in the game
It seemed as if freshman quarterback Brandon McIlwain’s season was over when a run-specific package for him was junked two games after Jake Bentley took over. But with Saturday’s game well out of reach, the quick passer from Pennsylvania got in some work.
South Carolina scored on his first drive of the second half, going 75 yards in five plays. That included a 19-yard strike to Hayden Hurst to open the drive.
Receiver to receiver
McIlwain’s drive was capped by a trick play, with wide receiver Deebo Samuel throwing a pass.
Samuel took a jet sweep handoff from McIlwain on the Clemson 33, drew the defense up and found teammate Bryan Edwards cutting across the field. Edwards did the rest of the work, tight-roping the sideline for the score.
▪ South Carolina wore black helmets and white jerseys and pants with garnet and black piping.
▪ Gamecock captains were Samuel, defensive end Marquavius Lewis, long snapper Drew Williams and offensive tackle Mason Zandi.
▪ South Carolina finished the first half with 52 total yards.
▪ Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson tied his career high and the school record with six touchdown passes. He gave way to Nick Schuessler with about 18 minutes to go. Watson finished 26-for-32 for 347 yards.
▪ Defensive lineman Ulric Jones blocked a first-quarter field goal. It was Jones’ second blocked field goal and the second block of the season for USC.
▪ Attendance was 81,542