Five takeaways from Clemson's revenge win over South Carolina (2024)

Five takeaways from Clemson's revenge win over South Carolina (1)

Alex Turri

November 26, 2023 7:00 am ET

Dabo Swinney and the Tigers got revenge for last season’s loss to South Carolina,taking down the Gameco*cks 16-7 on the roadat Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia; a great nice for the program and the fan base.

There was some good and some bad in the performance, with the Clemson offense struggling mightily and the Clemson defense carrying the offense to a win. Not every win will be incredibly impressive, and a win over your bitter rivals is tough to complain about.

This win had a lot to unpack, from a surprising MVP performance to a coach who has proven his worth this season. Here are five takeaways from Clemson’s revenge win over South Carolina.

Jonathan Weitz was Clemson's MVP

Five takeaways from Clemson's revenge win over South Carolina (2)

Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Weitz, are you kidding me! What a gutsy performance from Weitz, as he was the clear MVP of this game. Everyone knows Clemson’s struggles kicking the ball this season, and even with those struggles, Swinney opted to continue to put his faith in Weitz. That faith paid off Saturday in the win. Weitz looked like a completely different player against the Gameco*cks, hitting a 50, 49, and 42-yard field goal. Weitz deserves a lot of credit for this performance.

Clemson's defense produced another elite performance

Five takeaways from Clemson's revenge win over South Carolina (3)

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, it was another elite performance from the Clemson defense. This defense is one of the best in the country and they proved it week after week this season. It’s a shame that a defense this talented has more or less gone to waste, because they have been a ton of fun to watch. Defense produced the only Clemson touchdown, with freshman safety Khalil Barnes picking up a fumble and taking it for a 42-yard scoop and score. He added an interception on the Gameco*cks’ next offensive play.

Overall, the Clemson defense allowed 169 total yards, shutting down both the South Carolina pass game and run game. Gameco*cks’ starting quarterback Spencer rattler had no answers for this talented Clemson defense. Time after time this defense carries the offense to a win.

Wes Goodwin's improvement has been noticed and vital to the Tigers' turnaround this season

Five takeaways from Clemson's revenge win over South Carolina (4)

Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson’s defense has been phenomenal this season, and a lot of the credit for that needs to go to defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin. It has been a night and day difference regarding Goodwin and how this Clemson defense has been coached and performed. Goodwin struggled to make adjustments in his first season as DC, and the team suffered because of it. Goodwin has done an excellent job making adjustments this season and has this defense humming. Credit to Goodwin; he has been an incredibly valuable member of this coaching staff.

Cade Klubnik and the Clemson wide receivers had a brutal day

Five takeaways from Clemson's revenge win over South Carolina (5)

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson starting quarterback Cade Klubnik had looked improved over the last few weeks… we did not see that Klubnik was against the Gameco*cks. To call a spade a spade, South Carolina’s defense has not been good this season. They looked very good against this Clemson offense, which was partly due to the lack of strong play at quarterback and possibly even more so at wide receiver. Clemson’s wide receivers were a no-show today, failing to get open often and when, at points when they did, making some terrible drops. Offensive coordinator Garrett Riley did them no favors as well, coaching his first confusing play-calling performance in a few weeks. Overall, Clemson’s passing attack was tough to watch.

Clemson got sweet revenge, ending South Carolina's season

Five takeaways from Clemson's revenge win over South Carolina (6)

David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Rivalry week can go either way: well or not well. It went well for Clemson this time around. Last season’s 31-30 loss to the Gameco*cks was a brutal one that ended multiple Clemson streaks and helped keep the Tigers from another College Football Playoff appearance. It wasn’t the prettiest win from Clemson, but it was a way to respond after last season’s blunder. Swinney and his players showed a lot of heart in this win, and I know it feels great for them and the Clemson fan base. Sweet, sweet revenge: South Carolina is Clemson’s state!

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Five takeaways from Clemson's revenge win over South Carolina (2024)
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