Quarterback Mike Hold's one-yard run with 54 seconds left and Scott Hagler's second-chance extra point completed a dramatic rally and lifted ninth-ranked South Carolina to a 22-21 intrastate victory over host Clemson yesterday.
The Gamecocks, whose 10-1 record gives them the most regular-season victores in their history and a Gator Bowl berth against Oklahoma State, moved 84 yards in eight plays for the tying touchdown. Hold kept the drive going by passing 36 yards to Chris Wade.
Hold, getting his first start of the season, scored on a keeper to the right side. Hagler's first kick was wide, but a Clemson player failed to get to the sidelines in time and the Tigers were penalized for too many men on the field.
This time, Hagler's kick was good, setting a school record with 43 consecutive extra points.
South Carolina, which had not beaten Clemson since 1979, began its comeback from an 18-point deficit late in the second period on another second-chance play. Hagler missed a 27-yard field goal attempt, but Clemson was penalized for roughing him. The Gamecocks elected to go for a touchdown and Lewis went across from the five with 54 seconds left in the second period.
That sliced Clemson's lead to 21-10. South Carolina closed in with a safety in the third period and Hagler's 41-yard field goal midway through the final quarter. Hagler also kicked a 23-yard field goal for the Gamecocks' first points.
The loss ended Clemson's 25-game unbeaten streak at Memorial Stadium. The Tigers finished at 7-4, their poorest season since 1980. But Clemson's good news was that with the end of its season, its three years of probation -- two by the NCAA and an additional one by the ACC -- also ended.