Top 10 Plays from the Streak: No. 5

This week I'll be posting my favorite plays/moments from USC's five game winning streak over Clemson. Number 5 on the list is everything I hope for in a contact sport: a clean, brutally hard hit.

5. D.J. Swearinger's Hit on Andre Ellington (2012)

Dadgum! I can watch that all day. I've seen/heard more than a few people call D.J. Swearinger a "thug," and this play does not exactly help his cause to some folk.

But me? I think it sums him up as a football player as good as anything out there (with the exception of this sequence). For those who like the hit but not "The Flex," remember that this drive ended with a Brison Williams interception

Sure, D.J. had his fair share of personal fouls, but he could get away with it because he did nearly everything else the right way. Stay gold, JungleBoi. 

Previously on...
No. 10 - Dylan Thompson's 3rd-and-19 draw (2012)
No. 9 - Antonio Allen Pick 6 (2010)
No. 8 - Chaz Sutton's FF/FR (2013)
No. 7 - Ace Sanders TD Reception (2012)
No. 6 - DeVonte Holloman Interceptions (2009-2012)

Top 10 Plays from the Streak: No. 6

This week I'll be posting my favorite plays/moments from USC's five game winning streak over Clemson. Number 6 isn't just one play, so ignore my cheating and simply embrace the other #21 doing his thang.

6. DeVonte Holloman INTs (2009-2012)

Few things bum me out as much as what's happened to DeVonte Holloman this year. He will always be one of my favorite players I've ever watched, college or pro. Despite the way his career came to a sudden end, his transformation from a rangy, true freshman safety to a beastly NFL linebacker was as incredible as it was terrifying. 

What makes him my favorite player was his knack for the big play, especially against Clemson. The former Tommy Bowden commit really seemed to step his game up when playing the Tigers, picking off a pass in three of his four Palmetto Bowl games.

I'm sure he'd rather be on the field instead of USC's sidelines, but he'll always be remembered as a Tiger killer. 

Previously on...
No. 10 - Dylan Thompson's 3rd-and-19 draw
No. 9 - Antonio Allen Pick 6
No. 8 - Chaz Sutton's FF/FR
No. 7 - Ace Sanders TD Reception

Random "Palmetto Bowl" of the Day: 2001

Random "Palmetto Bowl" of the Day: 2001

The 2001 meeting between the Gamecocks and Tigers was the last chance for one of the most successful senior classes in South Carolina history. 

The Gamecocks had gone from 1-21 in 1998 and 1999 to an 8-4 season and a bowl win in 2000. Entering the season finale against the Tigers, South Carolina was 7-3 and aiming for back-to-back eight-win seasons for the first time since 1987-88.

However, South Carolina hadn't beaten Clemson since 1997 and was looking to avoid its first five-game losing streak to the Tigers since the 1930s. 85,000 were in attendance, the largest crowd ever to see a game at Williams-Brice Stadium at the time.

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Top 10 Plays from the Streak: No. 7

This week I'll be posting my favorite plays/moments from USC's five game winning streak over Clemson. Number 7 on the list is another play from 2012, but this time Dylan Thompson gets a little help from his #1 receiver.

7. Ace Sanders TD Reception (2013)

Dylan Thompson played the game of his life up to that point in USC's 27-17 victory over Clemson in 2012, but he had some help along the way.

Ace Sanders was such an electric player in his time at USC, but especially his junior season. When he wasn't making punt coverage teams look ridiculous, he was a pretty shifty receiver  in his own right. This play demonstrates that as well as Clemson's inability to have an answer for anything on Steve Spurrier's mind. Here he is, all 5'7" of him, up against three defenders and still manages to make them all look terrible.

That's why they call him Ace Sanders: Catch Detective (ok, one person called him that, once)

Previously on...
No. 10 - Dylan Thompson's 3rd-and-19 draw
No. 9 - Antonio Allen Pick 6
No. 8 - Chaz Sutton's FF/FR

Top 10 Plays from the Streak: No. 8

This week I'll be posting my favorite plays/moments from USC's five game winning streak over Clemson. Number 8 on the list goes to a redshirt senior playing his final home game.

8. Chaz Sutton Forces/Recovers Tajh Boyd Fumble (2013)

Chaz Sutton might not have had the senior year many had hoped playing opposite Jadeveon Clowney, but he saved one of his biggest plays for his final quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Sutton's play is all effort, as Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd looked to have secured a solid gain with his team still driving. Sutton actually backs off on this play, either playing a shallow zone or spying Boyd before he converges on the scrambling QB.

This play is as clutch as it gets, and the look on Boyd's face says it all.

Previously on...
No. 10 - Dylan Thompson's 3rd-and-19 draw
No. 9 - Antonio Allen Pick 6

Random "Palmetto Bowl" of the Day: 1987

Random "Palmetto Bowl" of the Day: 1987

The 1987 South Carolina-Clemson game was one of the most anticipated matchups in the history of the rivalry.

The Gamecocks entered the contest ranked 12th in the nation. Clemson boasted its own No. 8 ranking, giving the two school their highest combined ranking ever. The meeting was also just the second time that the Gamecocks and Tigers had faced off on national television. 

A win for South Carolina would give the program its fifth season ever with eight or more victories. 

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Top 10 Plays from the Streak: No. 9

This week I'll be posting my favorite plays/moments from USC's five game winning streak over Clemson. Number 9 on the list is my favorite kind of play from one of my favorite Gamecock greats.

9. Antonio Allen Pick 6 (2010)

I'm a sucker for a pick 6, as well as Antonio Allen. This one came in 2010, once again the setting is Clemson's version of Death Valley. 

I don't have much analysis to offer of the actual play, but I will say that few things can crush an opponent like a defensive score. Watching this over and over and over and over again really makes me miss #26, and I hope the Jets don't do to him what they do to most of their players (make them terrible).

The 2014 defense has some momentum for the first time all season, can they score in consecutive games?

Previously on...
No. 10 - Dylan Thompson's 3rd-an-19 draw

Top 10 Plays from the Streak: No. 10

This week I'll be posting my favorite plays/moments from USC's five game winning streak over Clemson. #10 on the list might not appear to be the sexiest pick, but it sure carried a lot of weight in what was another impressive Gamecocks' victory. 

10. Dylan Thompson 3rd-and-19 (2012)

I'm sure there were some nervous Gamecocks fans when it was announced that Connor Shaw would not start vs. Clemson in 2012. Sure, Dylan Thompson looked good against ECU, but this was a "whole new ballgame."

What followed was as embarrassing of a beatdown as any game in The Streak. Jadeveon Clowney had 4.5 sacks (more on him later in this list), Bruce Ellington had two TDs, and oh yeah, USC won the game convincingly without its starting QB or RB.

Although the game offered plenty of excitement, a harmless 3rd-and-19 is what really broke the Clemson spirit this time around. Only a couple plays later, Thompson hits Ellington in the endzone to make it 27-17.

Random "Palmetto Bowl" of the Day: 1965

Random "Palmetto Bowl" of the Day: 1965

The 1965 matchup between the Gamecocks and Tigers was one of the biggest in the history of the rivalry. For the first time ever, both South Carolina and Clemson entered the game with a shot at a conference championship.

Clemson needed a win to claim the ACC championship. South Carolina could earn a share of the conference title with Duke (who had defeated the Gamecocks earlier in the season) by beating the Tigers. The Gamecocks had never won any sort of championship in program history. 

South Carolina was also looking to win back-to-back games against the Tigers for the first time since 1953-54. 

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