The 56-7 loss stung plenty for the South Carolina football team.
The way Clemson acted in the final minutes, including late timeouts and showboating, was a step too far, USC players said.
Multiple Gamecocks players directly expressed their displeasure at the way the Tigers finished out Saturday’s Palmetto Bowl. The word “classless” was thrown around, as several South Carolina players said this one will stick in their craws for a while.
“I feel like they kind of disrespected us at the end,” safety D.J. Smith said. “Holding the ball and doing all that showboating. I feel like it wasn’t really classy, but it is a rivalry game. It’s going to stick with all of us and we’re going to remember.”
Wide receiver Terry Googer was visibly upset coming off the field, having to be directed to the locker room before coming out to sing the alma mater.
“Classless is not a strong enough word to describe the actions!” Googer tweeted.
The Gamecocks were on the wrong end of a 56-7 score. Clemson started pulling starters with more than 18 minutes to go. The Tigers used back-to-back timeouts to give seniors and departing juniors a curtain call as the game wound down.
“That last couple minutes was pretty disrespectful,” tight end Hayden Hurst said. “We’ve got a year to think about that and let it sink in.”
Running back A.J. Turner said coach Will Muschamp in the postgame told the team he didn’t like what Clemson did. The redshirt freshman said the team resolved that this sort of loss could not happen again, as he stared across the field at the scoreboard with 56-7 still up.
“Whoever we get in the bowl game, we’ve just got to take our frustration out on them,” linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams said. “We’ve got to wait 365 days to get back at this team.
“We’re going to remember it.”