In its biggest game, South Carolina’s football team might have been a little too hyped.
And that manifested itself in yellow flags.
USC committed back-to-back penalties as it gave up the second touchdown of the night. The second was a late hit by Skai Moore, chucking Tigers quarterback Kelly Bryant after he went out of bounds.
It came only a few minutes after D.J. Smith got into it with a Clemson player, earning offsetting unsportsmanlike calls. In the third quarter, South Carolina corner Rashad Fenton extended a drive with a personal foul after a third-down stop.
“We hurt ourselves,” defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth said. “With penalties, just, we talk about being smart, making smart plays. We hurt ourselves.”
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney also got flagged for losing his cool following objects being thrown from the stands.
It was on a night that already had tensions running high. There was some post-play chippiness, including shoving as the teams went to the locker room. South Carolina fans were asked repeatedly over the PA system to not throw things onto the field.
After the game, Ray Tanner deemed it “unacceptable,” noting it was a small group throwing things. He said it will be addressed.
▪ USC quarterback Jake Bentley struggled mightily in the opening half. He connected on 8 of 15 passes for only 42 yards. He also threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown on what looked like a miscomunication.
▪ Keisean Nixon, a reserve who was in junior college last season, snagged his second interception of the season with the game out of reach.
▪ The Gamecocks were without top slot receiver Shi Smith. He missed the end of the Wofford game. Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp said he hurt his ankle. Tight end Kyle Markway, who had not dressed since the Missouri game, was in pads and dressed out. Gamecocks running back A.J. Turner exited the game early and did not return.
▪ South Carolina captains were Jake Bentley, Skai Moore, Taylor Stallworth and Hayden Hurst. One of Clemson’s captain’s was Marcus Edmonds, who attended Lower Richland High.
▪ South Carolina won the toss for the 10th time in 12 games. They’ve taken the ball every time.
▪ Former USC quarterback Connor Shaw and baseball third baseman Christian Walker were celebrity starters.