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Columbia, SC

Clemson grinds out gritty win over South Carolina

2 days ago
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Clemson defensive back Khalil Barnes scored his team's lone touchdown and kicker Jonathan Weitz made his three longest field goals of the year as Clemson won its fourth straight with a 16-7 victory over rival South Carolina on Saturday night.

Barnes, a freshman, jumped on a backwards pass thrown by Spencer Rattler that bounced off Xavier Legette's hands. The freshman scooped it up and went 42 yards for the touchdown 35 seconds into the game.

Weitz, called back to Clemson by coach Dabo Swinney in September, had his best game since the return, hitting from 50, 49 and 42 yards - all longer than his career-best of 41 coming in.

Clemson players planted the team flag in the Gamecocks logo at midfield after celebrating in front of their band and supporters as time ran out.

Following South Carolina's only TD, a 1-yard run by Luke Doty in the first quarter, it punted its next eight drives. The Gamecocks last chance ended when Rattler's pass to Doty on fourth down came up short with 3:19 to play.

Barnes also intercepted Rattler on the next South Carolina play.

Rattler ended 16-of-32 passing for a season-low 112 yards.

Weitz has had his up-and-down moments this year, including missing a 30-yarder late in a tie game with No. 5 Florida State that the Tigers eventually lost in overtime.

But he came up huge in this one, connecting on the 50-yard kick to put Clemson up for good, 10-7 before adding the others.


Clemson: This wasn't anything to brag about, but winning the rivalry game is always a satisfying way to end a regular season. The preseason favorites to win the ACC closed the year with four straight victories and can use this finish to springboard into next season.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks have a long and anxious wait to see if they'll play again. The extra practice time is essential for coach Shane Beamer to keep this team moving forward after going from eight wins in 2022 to just five this season.


Clemson will await to find out its bowl destination on Dec. 3.

South Carolina has a longshot chance at getting into a bowl game if there are not enough six-win teams to fill the 82 bowl slots.