Matt Connolly

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: USC vs. Clemson


Deshaun Watson

He tied the Clemson single-game passing touchdowns record with six, and did so in less than three quarters. Watson completed 26 of 32 passes for 347 yards and six touchdowns. His last pass attempt came with 4:38 remaining in the third quarter.

Mike Williams

The junior scored touchdowns on three of his six catches, with all three scores coming in the first half. He finished with 100 receiving yards and made USC pay for trying to cover him one-on-one early in the game.

Ben Boulware

In his last game at Death Valley, the senior had seven tackles, with 2.5 tackles for loss and forced a fumble.

D.J. Smith

The South Carolina safety finished with a game-high 12 tackles, including 10 solo stops.


USC up front

The Gamecocks got whipped all night at the line of scrimmage. Clemson rushed for 250 yards, while USC had 111.

USC’s secondary

Clemson had receivers running open all night long and Watson didn’t miss them.

Early play calling by USC

The Gamecocks came out throwing on six of their first seven plays without giving Jake Bentley a chance to settle into the game. Bentley was playing in the toughest environment he’s played in during his young career and appeared rattled early on.

Deon Cain/Ray-Ray McCloud

The Clemson receivers didn’t play in the first quarter, and according to reports they were being disciplined. Cain dropped a touchdown in the first half and finished with two catches for 38 yards. McCloud had three catches for 32 yards and two carries for three yards.