Whatever chance No. 6 Clemson had of making an at-large BCS bowl was probably ended tonight as in-state nemesis No. 10 South Carolina beat the Tigers for the fifth-straight time, 31-17, in Columbia.
With the win, the Gamecocks improved to 10-2 while Clemson fell to 10-2. South Carolina’s regular season is now over as Missouri’s victory over Texas A&M gives the Tigers the SEC East title.
As has usually been the case with South Carolina this year, Connor Shaw was The Man. The senior quarterback continued his fine season, throwing for 152 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 94 yards and a score. The Gamecocks didn’t gain a lot of yards — just 318 in all — but they took advantage of Tiger turnovers to win in solid fashion.
For Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, it was a rough ending to a fine career. He finished with 225 yards passing and rushed for one touchdown but he threw two fourth quarter interceptions that squelched any chance the Tigers had of coming back.
Can Clemson ever get over the hump? The Boyd Era was a very successful one, with three 10-win seasons, but until Dabo Swinney figures out how to beat South Carolina, the program will be seen as going sideways rather than progressing.
As for South Carolina, it can get to three-straight 11-win seasons with a victory in its bowl game, the first time that has happened in school history.
D’haquille Williams may have some additional explaining to do to NFL personnel if another report is accurate.
Monday night, Auburn announced that the star wide receiver had been dismissed from Gus Malzahn‘s football program. A day later, reports surfaced that Williams’ dismissal came after he went on a weekend “bar rampage” following one of his friends getting the heave-ho from a local drinking establishment over a dress-code issue. It was alleged that Williams had punched a pair of security guards, a bartender’s assistant and an unnamed patron of the bar.
The unnamed, however, now has a name.
According to the ABC affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., and a citing a source close to the AU program, Tigers center Xavier Dampeer‘s jaw was on the receiving end of one of Williams’ alleged punches. The website wrote that “Dampeer has been treated and released from East Alabama Medical Center, according to a worker at the hospital.”
Malzahn was asked Tuesday if any other Tiger players were involved in the incident. “I’m not going to get into any details,” the coach said according to al.com.
No charges have been filed in connection to the incident.
“We cannot file charges until the injured person(s) comes forward,” Auburn police chief Paul Register told the television station. “Unless an officer personally sees a fight, no arrests can be made.”
If Illinois is going to improve upon its solid 4-1 start to the 2015 season, it’ll have to do so without a significant cog in its offensive machinery.
On the official injury report release Thursday night, the Illini confirmed that Josh Ferguson has been ruled out of Saturday’s game against No. 22 Iowa. The decision is not exactly a surprise as Ferguson has been doubtful in the run-up to the road game against the Hawkeyes.
Ferguson sustained an injury to his right shoulder in the first quarter of last Saturday’s last-second win over Nebraska, and has been unable to practice at all this week.
Ferguson’s 381 rushing yards, three rushing touchdowns and 5.4 yards per carry are all tops on the team. He’s added 12 receptions for 28 yards and another touchdown coming out of the backfield.
With Ferguson sidelined, the bulk of the running-game load is expected to shift to Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Through five games, Vaughn is second on the Illini with 325 yards and a pair of touchdowns.