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South Carolina hosts Clemson for the first time in the Will Muschamp era.

South Carolina football: 2016 fourth quarter still fresh in the Gamecocks’ minds

Hale McGranahan

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The memory of what happened late in the Clemson game is still fresh on the minds of a few of the South Carolina football players who played in 2016.

Clemson’s offensive reserves were on the field with the score at 49-7 and less than seven minutes to play until coach Dabo Swinney took a timeout before the Tigers ran a third-and-7 play from South Carolina’s 27-yardline.

Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams, Artavis Scott, Wayne Gallman and Jordan Leggett were put back into the game. Three offensive linemen were on the field, so it was clear they had no plans to run a play.

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Swinney called another timeout before the play-clock expired. Clemson, of course, didn’t run a play with Watson and the rest of those stars, but the gesture wasn’t lost on South Carolina center Alan Knott.

“That kind of was not very good sportsmanship, in my opinion, but that’s fine,” Knott said. “We’re going to get our revenge on them this year.”

Safety D.J. Smith, now a senior like Knott, feels the same way.

“It’s kind of a motivation type deal. We see that score, 56-7,” Smith said, “And we’re thinking, ‘Man, we can’t have that again.’ Then, they called two timeouts. … We remember that. It’s in the back of our heads.”

Clemson (10-1), now the No. 2 team in the College Football Playoff, travels to Williams-Brice on Saturday to face South Carolina (8-3) at 7:30. The game will be carried on ESPN.

“We’re going to put forth great effort,” Knott said. “We’re going to be here at home. I know Willy-B is going to be lit. we’re going to be ready to go.”