Steve Spurrier Outcoaches Dabo Swinney, Once Again

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Steve Spurrier Outcoaches Dabo Swinney, Once Again
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney (left) congratulates South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The chant, make that the taunt, started in the fourth quarter with South Carolina comfortably in front of Clemson by two touchdowns.

"Dabo, Dabo," taunted the Gamecock faithful.

South Carolina fans love Clemson coach Dabo Swinney once a year—when he's losing to Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks.

Swinney's now 1-5 against South Carolina and Spurrier and riding a five-game losing streak.

Once again, Spurrier outcoached Swinney with a better game plan and by making the necessary second-half adjustments that helped the Gamecocks pull away from a 17-17 tie to a 31-17 victory.

On a night when Clemson held South Carolina's running backs to little or no yardage, Spurrier let quarterback Connor Shaw become the running game.

"At halftime, our adjustment was we're going to have to move to the quarterback running game," said Shaw. "That's what we did and we executed it pretty well."

Shaw rushed 22 times for 94 yards, all but 32 yards of it in the second half.

In addition, the Gamecocks turned to wide receiver Pharoh Cooper to play quarterback in the Wildcat formation. Cooper rushed four times for 18 yards and also completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to tailback Brandon Wilds.

"We really got stymied running the ball," Spurrier said, "but fortunately, the quarterback draw got us out of the jam.

"Connor Shaw, best quarterback in school history. He's probably the difference-maker for us."

Defensively, South Carolina managed to do what it has done in every victory over the Tigers in the current five-game winning streak.

Turnovers once again were huge. South Carolina forced six on three interceptions and three  fumbles. Clemson failed to force a turnover.

During the five-game winning streak, South Carolina has outscored the Tigers 62-0 in points off turnovers.  

The Gamecocks also got pressure on the quarterback which in turn kept the ball out of the hands of Clemson's big playmakers at wide receiver.

South Carolina sacked Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd five times, one by Jadeveon Clowney.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Jadeveon Clowney (right) helped put the pressure on Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd.

"Every year we talk about the same thing," said Clowney, a junior who plans to leave for the NFL after this season. "We watch them play other teams and nobody really puts any pressure on him. We know if we contain him, give him some pressure, hit him a few times, he'll start to get jittery back there and throw some crazy balls. That's what he did."

Same old, same old for five straight years and Swinney and the Tigers have no answer for it.

Even Spurrier couldn't help but notice the similarities over the last five years.

"If you look at the stat sheet, they're all very similar," Spurrier said.

So don't be surprised if the Gamecocks stick with the same formula next year when they go for six in a row.

It's up to Swinney and the Tigers to do something about it.

 

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