Turning Point: Gamecocks' relentless pressure pays off in game-turning interceptions

South Carolina's defensive front dominant in wrapping up victory over Tigers

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd runs for a first down near South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney during the first quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd runs for a first down near South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney during the first quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.

Pressure, pressure and more pressure.

Pressure inside, pressure outside.

It wore the Tigers down. Jadeveon Clowney alone took Tajh Boyd to the ground five times.

The pressure eventually paid off with a pair of hurried throws and interceptions that turned the game decisively in South Carolina's favor.

The first came late in the first half, as the Tigers, leading 14-10, attempted to answer a Gamecock score. Clemson moved into South Carolina territory via a 16-yard strike from Boyd to Jaron Brown and a third-and-one conversion keeper by Boyd.

But on first down from the South Carolina 47, Boyd was pressured from three sides and hit as he released a wobbly pass into the hands of Gamecock safety DeVonte Holloman.

After South Carolina opened the second half with an 85-yard scoring drive for a 17-14 lead, the teams swapped field goals late in the third quarter.

The Tigers had their chance at a momentum swing when Xavier Brewer ended a penalty-aided threat with an end zone interception, and Tigers got an offensive boost from a taunting penalty against D.J. Swearinger after a big hit on Andre Ellington.

But on third and seven from just inside Gamecock territory, the Tigers' protection pocket collapsed and Boyd tried to deliver an over-the-middle strike.

Instead, Brison Williams stepped into the path of the ball to end Clemson's last best chance.

The Gamecocks took care of their fourth quarter business with a 65-yard, 13-play drive that ate up 7:39 and put the finishing touch on a 27-17 victory.

© 2012 OrangeAndWhite.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features