CLEMSON, S.C. — Backup quarterback Dylan Thompson threw for three touchdowns, Jadeveon Clowney had 4½ sacks and No. 13 South Carolina won its fourth straight over 12th-ranked Clemson 27-17 Saturday as Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier became the school's victories leader.
Thompson got the call because Gamecocks starter Connor Shaw sprained his left foot last week against Wofford. The sophomore made the most of it with touchdown passes of 13 and 6 yards to Bruce Ellington and 34 yards to Ace Sanders.
The Tigers were grounded by Clowney, the standout defensive end who set South Carolina's single-season record with 13 sacks.
"We were very fortunate again," Spurrier said. "It seems like when we play Clemson, they don't play very well."
Spurrier won his 65th game in eight seasons, surpassing Rex Enright for the most by a South Carolina coach. Spurrier is the second coach to top the victories list at two SEC schools (Florida, South Carolina), joining the late Bear Bryant (Alabama, Kentucky).
The Gamecocks finished with 10 victories for a second straight season, a program first.
"That's sort of neat that it came against our instate rival," Spurrier said. "It's interesting some of my other so-called big numbers came against Georgia. To have this as No. 65 makes it special. The (game) ball's worth keeping, put it that way."
Clemson's offense and quarterback Tajh Boyd never got on track. The Tigers went in first in the ACC and sixth in the country with 535 yards a game. They finished with 328 in this one, 165 over the final three quarters.
Boyd was 11-of-24 for 183 yards and two crushing interceptions, the last setting up Thompson's clinching TD throw to Ellington with 4:17 to.
When it was over, South Carolina's players started their fans in the chant, "Four In A Row! Four In A Row!"
VA. TECH 17, VIRGINIA 14: Cody Journell kicked a 29-yard field goal with four seconds left, and the host Hokies beat their in-state rival to qualify for a bowl game for the 20th consecutive season and top the Cavaliers for the ninth straight time. Cornerback Antone Exum set up the winning drive when he intercepted Michael Rocco at the Virginia 36 with 3:21 left. Exum brought it to the 24, and Virginia inexplicably held on to two timeouts as the Hokies ran the clock down and positioned the ball. The Cavaliers used both timeouts to try to freeze Journell, to no avail.
VANDY 55, WAKE 21: Jordan Rodgers threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns and Zac Stacy ran for a season-high 180 yards and two scores for the visiting Commodores. Vanderbilt won its sixth straight game, its longest winning streak since 1955.
N.C. STATE 27, BC 10: Mike Glennon threw three touchdowns and David Amerson returned an interception for a score for the host Wolfpack. Glennon threw two touchdowns to Tobais Palmer within 51 seconds late in the third quarter.
UNC 45, MARYLAND 38: Bryn Renner tied a school record with five touchdown passes and Gio Bernard ran for 163 yards and a score for the host Tar Heels.