Late in the fourth quarter of Clemson’s dominant 56-7 win over South Carolina Saturday night, Tigers offensive upperclassmen Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams, Wayne Gallman, Artavis Scott, Jordan Leggett and Jay Guillermo were taken out of the game to a thunderous ovation.
The group of juniors that are expected to turn pro, as well as seniors, deserved it after going out in style with a record-breaking performance against the Gamecocks.
Clemson finished with 622 yards of offense, a record in a game against South Carolina, while the Tigers won by the largest margin of victory in the series since 1900.
“We know what this means to our fans,” Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said. “We had a great week of preparation. They blocked out all of the distractions and that’s why you were able to see them be balanced and have the best performance of the year offensively.”
Watson led the way for the Tigers with six passing touchdowns, all in the first three quarters. He became the first Clemson player to pass for five touchdowns against USC early in the third quarter, and added his sixth touchdown toss of the game with 4:38 left in the third.
“It’s special… It’s great to continue the memories here at Memorial Stadium,” Watson said. “I just wanted to do it one last time.”
Watson’s favorite target was Williams, who hauled in six passes for 100 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half.
USC tried to cover him one-on-one early, and he made the Gamecocks pay.
“We felt like watching on film we had the opportunity to go out there and put up those type of numbers, and that’s what we did,” Williams said. “I look forward to one-on-one. I feel like if a team is playing me one-on-one, they’re disrespecting me.”
Running back Wayne Gallman finished with 112 yards on 19 carries, while C.J. Fuller added 46 rushing yards.
The Tigers rushed for 250 yards on 54 attempts. Clemson outgained USC 622 to 218.