There’s only one thing Gamecocks and Tigers can agree on: dominance over Ohio State.
Let’s be honest about something: there isn’t much at all South Carolina and Clemson fans agree on. After all, the hatred between these two in-state rivals is so fierce that it nearly erupted in a full-scale war right in the streets of Columbia back in 1896. Rival football teams are just simply not expected to agree upon much. It’s just not going to happen, especially between a pair of rivals down in the Deep South, where football loyalties run stronger than anywhere else.
There is, however, one key fact South Carolina and Clemson fans share: dominance over Ohio State. On the other hand, the second-ranked Buckeyes are focused on their upcoming heated rivalry with their neighbors to the north. The annual Michigan-Ohio State game this Saturday will likely help decide the third-ever College Football Playoff. A couple of feuding southern schools have dominance over Ohio State? “So what?” the Buckeye faithful no doubt would cry, for instance.
Of course, whether Buckeye Nation cares or not, the fact of the matter remains the same: South Carolina and Clemson hold dominance over Ohio State.
1978 GATOR BOWL
The first time a South Carolina school took down the Buckeyes was back in 1978. The Clemson Tigers took down the Ohio State Buckeyes 17-15. A fight involving players as well as coaches broke out late in the game, which mirrored the 2004 Palmetto Bowl. Woody Hayes, the Buckeyes’ head coach, was fired immediately after.
2001 OUTBACK BOWL
23 years later, the Gamecocks shut Ohio State down to the tune of 28-7. Arguably, the Carolina defense won that game. However, It was Ryan Brewer, a native Ohioan who the Buckeyes hadn’t bothered to recruit, who was the big story that New Year’s Day. The running back netted three scores for his team. Ohio State’s coach John Cooper was forced out of his job immediately after. This sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
2002 OUTBACK BOWL
The Buckeyes would not find redemption in the next year’s rematch. The Gamecocks secured their program’s dominance over Ohio State with a last second field goal to win 31-28. The Buckeyes mounted an epic comeback in the final quarter and managed to tie, but an interception set Carolina up for the three points.
2014 ORANGE BOWL
It was a back-and-forth contest between the Tigers and Buckeyes. Even so, Clemson took home the win much in the same way as they had 36 years previously. Thankfully, no fight broke out this time as a Tiger defender intercepted the final pass of the game to preserve the 40-35 Tiger victory.