South Carolina’s defensive players talked to the media about the Clemson game Tuesday for the first time since they lost 56-7 to the Tigers. It was clear they had thought about it plenty since then though.
“Never again,” junior linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams said. “That is something we have been posting around the locker room, that we have been saying to ourselves. We never want to get beat like that again, so we have to do everything we need to do this offseason, everything that we have to do in the fall to not allow things like that to happen next year.”
The Gamecocks (6-6), who play South Florida (10-2) on Dec. 29 in the Birmingham Bowl, gave up 622 yards to Clemson on Nov. 26, suffering their second-largest margin of defeat in the series’ history. Watching the game film wasn’t fun, junior safety D.J. Smith said.
“It was hard to watch, obviously, losing your rival by 50 points,” he said. “We are going to sit in our gut, remember it for next year because they did us kind of wrong at the end by holding the ball and having Deshaun (Watson) come out (to be applauded by the crowd).”
USC plays the Tigers in Williams-Brice Stadium on Nov. 25 next year.
“It was a shock, but we moved on from it. It won’t happen again,” junior defensive lineman Dante Sawyer said. “It hasn’t been settled, we will worry about it next year when it comes around.”
After the game, Allen-Williams claimed a Clemson player directed a racial slur at a USC player during the game. Allen-Williams and rest of the team’s defensive players hadn’t been made available to the media since that night.
“I definitely do stand by it,” Allen-Williams said. “It happened, and that’s not something I want to talk about right now. I’m focused on South Florida right now.”
After that, he’ll start worrying about closing the gap with Clemson.
“As a rising senior, I am not going to allow myself to not work as hard as I possibly can to help me help my team,” he said. “That is something that we have in our head and that’s our motto, ‘Never again.’ ”