By PETE IACOBELLIAP Sports activities Author
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – When a championship is within the steadiness, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is aware of he can rely on Hunter Renfrow.
The receiver had a pair of landing catches because the fourth-ranked Tigers received their fourth straight over rival South Carolina 34-10 on Saturday night time. The victory saved Clemson on observe for a 3rd consecutive journey to the School Soccer Playoff.
Renfrow, the one-time walk-on, had a Four-yard landing seize to place the Tigers up 20-Zero at halftime. He opened the third quarter with a twisting, 61-yard catch and run that thwarted any hopes of a Gamecocks’ comeback.
It was Renfrow’s third profession multiple-TD sport – the opposite two have been Clemson’s nationwide championship contests in opposition to Alabama.
“It is simply that point of 12 months,” Swinney mentioned, chuckling. “He simply comes up large.”
Renfrow’s had that knack because the 5-foot-11 junior arrived on campus with desires of enjoying main faculty soccer. He made a reputation for himself in opposition to Alabama after the 2015 season with a pair of touchdowns in Clemson’s 45-40 loss.
A 12 months later, Renfrow as soon as extra bedeviled the Crimson Tide and had the game-winning, 2-yard TD catch with a second to go within the Tigers’ 35-31 win. He was tied for the workforce lead with 46 catches coming into the South Carolina sport Saturday night time, however his solely landing reception got here final week in a 61-Three blowout of Citadel.
He was joyful together with his position Saturday because the Tigers (11-1, No. Three CFP) continued their stranglehold on the Palmetto State’s most cared-about sporting occasion.
“I am simply so happy with the best way we performed, the best way we got here into this setting,” Renfrow mentioned. “Protection helped us out early and acquired an enormous rating.”
The win was the 100th in Clemson coach Dabo Swinney’s profession. And mixed with the CFP’s high groups – Alabama and Miami – dropping this weekend, the Tigers solidified their place among the many high 4 heading into the Atlantic Coast Convention title sport subsequent week.
The Tigers entered the sport cautious of a rejuvenated South Carolina (Eight-Four, No. 24 CFP), which completed second within the Southeastern Convention East and had its most victories in a season in 4 years. However Clemson’s protection bottled up the Gamecocks and quarterback Jake Bentley for a second consecutive season.
Fittingly, cornerback Ryan Carter opened Clemson’s scoring with a 12-yard pick-six on Bentley’s dangerous throw close to his objective line.
South Carolina managed simply 99 yards within the first half and 207 for the sport, its lowest complete this season.
Whereas he Gamecocks struggled, Clemson QB Bryant accomplished 23 of 34 passes for 272 yards, his most since throwing for 316 yards in opposition to Louisville on Sept. 16.
Bentley completed 16 of 29 for 126 yards, two interceptions and a 38-yard TD go to Bryan Edwards late within the fourth quarter. Bentley handed for simply 41 yards in opposition to the Tigers in a 56-7 loss in 2016.
Muschamp mentioned his workforce didn’t deal with the second.
“Once you lose like that to your archrival,” he mentioned, “it is not a variety of enjoyable.”
Clemson: The Tigers placed on one other large present away from dwelling, including to earlier wins at Louisville (47-21), Virginia Tech (31-17) and North Carolina State (38-31) this season. The flexibility to win on the highway ought to serve them properly enjoying away from dwelling within the ACC title sport and the School Soccer Playoff.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks have made large strides this season, however are nonetheless no match for Clemson’s dominant program which has outscored Will Muschamp’s workforce 90-17 in his two years on the job.
South Carolina Will Muschamp and his gamers didn’t remorse their motto, “By no means once more,” which arose a short while after the Gamecocks 56-7 battering to Clemson final 12 months. “We did not play in addition to we wished to,” quarterback Jake Bentley mentioned, “however we’re by no means once more going to cease competing and enjoying as laborious as we are able to and we confirmed that tonight.”
DABO SAID WHAT?
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was known as for an unsportsmanlike penalty after apparently yelling at officers a bit too usually with language that was a little bit too salty. The penalty got here as Swinney wandered too far onto the sector following Renfrow’s Four-yard landing catch within the second quarter. Swinney was upset that followers close to the tip zone have been tossing water bottles and particles on the sector. He wished officers to penalize South Carolina. “That is what I believed,” he mentioned. “However I acquired a flag. Ought to have saved my mouth shut. ”
Clemson will play Miami within the Atlantic Coast Convention championship sport on Dec. 2.
South Carolina awaits its bowl vacation spot to be introduced Dec. Three.
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