South Carolina football: The most iconic moments in the Palmetto State rivalry

Jadeveon Clowney of the South Carolina Gamecocks (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Jadeveon Clowney of the South Carolina Gamecocks (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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A general view Williams-Brice Stadium. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /


The Catch II

Gamecock fans won’t like the most iconic moments, but these two catches are two of the most remembered plays in the series.

First, the latest version of “The Catch” (or the push off if you speak with Gamecock fans).

In the 2000 meeting between the schools, South Carolina looked to have a 14-13 win in Death Valley all but wrapped up. Cue Woody Dantzler and Rod Garnder.

With only 19 seconds left in the game, Clemson drew up a go route for their talented receiver. Dantzler rolled to his left and heaved a Hail Mary to Garnder, who got separation at the last second and hauled in the pass at the Gamecocks’ 10-yd line.

Clemson kicked go-ahead field goal shortly after to secure the 16-14 win. Was it pass interference or just a great play? You decide.

The Catch I

The original “Catch” came in the 1977 version of the rivalry.

Clemson entered the game at 7-2-1, looking for a bowl invite. The Gamecocks were 5-5, just hoping to dash the Tigers’ hopes of postseason play. It would be one of the most entertaining games in the series’ history.

Clemson held a 24-0 lead midway through the third quarter, but South Carolina stormed back with 27 consecutive points, taking its first lead with just under two minutes remaining.

Trailing 27-24, Clemson drove the length of the field, winding up at the Gamecocks’ 20-yd line with less than a minute to go. That’s when Tiger quarterback Steve Fuller rolled to his left (a familiar theme here) and tossed a laser to receiver Jerry Butler.

Butler leapt up making an incredible catch to give Clemson the lead and the win.

This was the first game in the rivalry to be broadcast on television, and it certainly proved to be a made-for-TV moment. “The Catch” still ranks as the most iconic play in the rivalry’s history.

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