Sports

The Brawl: Ten Years On

CAROLINA-CLEMSON MEET IN DEATH VALLEY ON ANNIVERSARY OF FIGHT By FITSNEWS  ||  The last time the University of South Carolina football team took the field with someone other than Steve Spurrier at the helm was November 20, 2004 – the 102nd meeting between the Gamecocks and their arch-rivals, the Clemson…

CAROLINA-CLEMSON MEET IN DEATH VALLEY ON ANNIVERSARY OF FIGHT

By FITSNEWS  ||  The last time the University of South Carolina football team took the field with someone other than Steve Spurrier at the helm was November 20, 2004 – the 102nd meeting between the Gamecocks and their arch-rivals, the Clemson Tigers.

It was a “down year” for both teams – with Gamecock head coach Lou Holtz struggling through his third straight mediocre season in Columbia (after winning back-to-back Outback bowls following the 2000 and 2001 seasons).  Meanwhile Tommy Bowden – whose Tigers were coming off a 9-4 season that included a Peach Bowl win over Tennessee – needed a victory over the Gamecocks just to become bowl eligible (and avoid Bowden’s first-ever losing season as a head coach).

Clemson got the win … but it wasn’t pretty.  In fact it was probably the ugliest win in Clemson history.  The on-field violence that erupted that afternoon in Death Valley at the tail end of Clemson’s 29-7 win didn’t just end one coaching career (and both teams’ seasons).  It put a permanent stain on this historic rivalry – which remains dominated by Clemson (65-42-4) despite a recent run of five straight wins by South Carolina.

In the official play-by-play of the game, a fourth-and-11 from the Clemson thirty-five yard line with 5:56 remaining in the fourth quarter went down as follows …

Syvelle Newton (USC) pass incomplete across the middle.; turnover on downs.

Of course what happened after the play didn’t make the box score.

Tensions – inflamed ever since South Carolina attempted to disrupt the Tigers’ ceremonial pre-game entrance – erupted.  After Newton was thrown hard to the ground by Clemson defensive lineman Bobby Williamson on the play (and punched in the head, too), South Carolina offensive lineman Chris White shoved Williamson.  Another Gamecock offensive lineman – Jabari Levey – also got involved in the scuffle.

Typically such skirmishes are broken up quickly – but this one wasn’t.

In a matter of seconds both benches cleared, with players exchanging blows up and down the field.  Among the most vicious hits?  A sucker punch from South Carolina running back Daccus Turman against Clemson’s Duane Coleman – and Clemson running back Yusef Kelly infamous foot to the head of a defenseless Gamecock.

“It was a fight,” Kelly said afterward. “Everybody knows things like that happen during a fight.”

After the brawl, Kelly paraded in front of the Clemson student section with a captured Gamecock helmet – tossing it jubilantly into the stands.

“They’ll have something to remember me by,” he said.

Indeed …

As the violence escalated, it took dozens of S.C. Highway Patrol and local Sheriff’s deputies several minutes to break up the fights and separate the players.  Things got so bad at one point that Jefferson-Pilot announcer Rick “Doc” Walker suggested the authorities use pepper spray to contain the violence.

“They need mace,” Walker said as punches flew between Tigers and Gamecocks in the stadium’s north end zone. “Now you gotta get the sauce in.”

Miraculously, the fight never spilled over into the crowd.

You can watch the melee in this clip (beginning at the 2:11:00 mark) …

(Click to play)

(Vid: Via)

Both teams surrendered bowl bids in the wake of the brawl.  And numerous players were forced to miss games the following season.  Also, both schools coordinated a hand-shaking ceremony between players prior to the kickoff of the 2005 game in an effort to promote better sportsmanship.

Fans mocked the ritual.

As for the rivalry (the third longest uninterrupted series in football), Clemson continued its domination of South Carolina during the first four years of the Spurrier era – taking three of four from the Gamecocks from 2005-08.  That prompted this website to declare the series a “Rivalry in Name Only.”

Which it was …

In recent years, Carolina-Clemson has been about the talent on the field – not low-brow extracurriculars.  Last year’s game was a Top Ten matchup, while the 2012 game was a Top 15 affair.  In 2011, both teams were ranked in the Top 20.  But the superstars who elevated their respective programs (notably South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney and Clemson’s Sammy Watkins) are playing on Sundays this year – taking the level of competition in the rivalry down a notch.

For those of you keeping score at home, Dabo Swinney‘s No. 23 Tigers (8-3, 6-2 ACC) enter the game 4.5-point favorites over Spurrier’s unranked Gamecocks (6-5, 3-5 SEC).  Neither team is going to make the inaugural NCAA football playoff, but both teams are bowl eligible.  No longer a primetime draw with national implications, this year’s game is all about pride.

Which makes it not unlike the 2004 game …

***

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44 comments

9" November 24, 2014 at 11:50 am

I love history.

Reply
Toyota Kawaski November 24, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Clempson Football: Where History is All We have Left

Reply
CNSYD November 24, 2014 at 4:36 pm

USCe: Home of the perpetual preseason national championship.

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what a joke November 24, 2014 at 5:49 pm

The same could be said for Clemtech every year for the last 33 years. It was so long ago only taters can remember, well the ones that are either still alive or not suffering from dementia. Typical tater excuse “You see what happened is “we beat ourselves, but other than that we would have won” or “This is a National Champion team” -Dabo after a fluke win in the chick-fil-a bowl. Too bad they didn’t win either their division, conference or state even once since he claimed it. Thanks for the laugh. By the way, nice to see you out of hiding. I guess Sunday you will go back huh?

Reply
CNSYD November 24, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Exactly where is that USCe preseason national championship trophy room located? There must be one. Every August USCe wins it.

what a joke November 25, 2014 at 11:45 am

its right next to those preseason or August ones Dabo keeps claiming they deserve.

https://vine.co/v/hUDP9ei2unx.
just remember that same team he is talking about lost its division, conference, and state

might be garnet, but honest November 24, 2014 at 11:50 am

“Tensions – inflamed ever since South Carolina attempted to disrupt the Tigers’ ceremonial pre-game entrance”
Not even a factor because Clemson plans their entrance at WB to disrupt 2001 every year and that doesn’t start a fight.
I was at that game and the fight was started due to the cheap shot and kick by Williamson on Newton. Both teams darkened their own history there but it was started by Clemson.

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Frank Howard November 24, 2014 at 11:52 am

LOL!

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Will Folks aka Sic November 24, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Good point. Although in fairness that was the high point of Demetris Summers Carolina career …

Reply
might be garnet, but honest November 24, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Touché

Reply
one_big_dude November 24, 2014 at 11:57 am

As long as USC doesn’t stoop to clemmons’ level, all should be fine.

Reply
Sore Loser November 24, 2014 at 11:58 am

When I was a kid and we played a tough baseball game against assholes it was always S.O.P. to spit on your hand as the coaches forced you to line up and do the good sportsmanship thing by slapping hands.

Great kick btw.

Reply
happnes both way November 24, 2014 at 12:08 pm

I’m pretty sure you didn’t know that they did the same back to you. Gotta miss youth huh?

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Sore Loser November 24, 2014 at 12:13 pm

lol…yep, no doubt…I knew though…that’s how I learned it in the first place.

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happens both ways November 24, 2014 at 12:20 pm

lol

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Silvio Dante November 24, 2014 at 12:09 pm

“Great kick btw.”
Exactly what I said at the conclusion of the 2006 Carolina-Clemson game.

Reply
Toyota Kawaski November 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Great name has fit u well this last five soon to be 6 years.

Reply
Squishy123 November 24, 2014 at 4:27 pm

It’s better to scratch your balls first.

Reply
guest November 24, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Nobody outside of SC would even know Clemson exists except for the Woody Hayes incident.

Reply
TontoBubbaGoldstein November 24, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Nobody outside of SC would even know Clemson exists except for the Woody Hayes incident.

There was that National Championship…

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guest November 24, 2014 at 12:35 pm

The NCAA was really impressed with that AND Danny Ford.
How many violations?

Reply
TontoBubbaGoldstein November 24, 2014 at 12:52 pm

The NCAA was really impressed with that AND Danny Ford.
How many violations?

If you like your nonsequitur; you can keep your non sequitur.

Reply
CNSYD November 24, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Exactly how many violations was Danny Ford cited for by the NCAA?

Reply
. November 24, 2014 at 2:35 pm
. November 24, 2014 at 2:40 pm

in case that didn’t give you the link this is what it said:
Institution: Clemson University
Sport: Football

Date: November 22, 1982

Violation Sumary: Improper entertainment, financial aid and transportation; extra benefits; improper recruiting contact, employment, entertainment, inducements, lodging and transportation; tryout; excessive number of official visits; unethical conduct; certification of compliance.

CNSYD November 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm

If all these were directly attributable to Ford, then he would have received a show cause citation. He did not. Obviously there were no “black marks” when Arkansas hired him.

CNSYD November 24, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Really? I looked at your link. It is rather interesting that you don’t scroll down far before the name of USCe appears. There were no violations linked to Danny Ford by name and none by position. Thus your math is bogus.

. November 24, 2014 at 3:15 pm

it appears you are full of shit as not a single thing is found for a school USCe.

CNSYD November 24, 2014 at 4:35 pm

It was some place in Columbia, SC never to be confused with the REAL USC.

. November 25, 2014 at 9:14 am

Is it that team that keeps whipping Dabo’s ass since he says he doesn’t know where it is? Maybe the ass clown should get a map

CNSYD November 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Outside of SC, when you say Carolina people mean UNC. When you say USC they think Southern Cal.

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tater tot November 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Outside of SC when you say Clemson people say “who is ‘Clem’ and why do I care about his son?”.

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Toyota Kawaski November 24, 2014 at 4:23 pm

cnSTD have we not cured u yet? Ready to see your team fold like that cheap tent u will be living in by Thursday with the rest of the Necks down in Lot 69?

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CNSYD November 24, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Is that the lot at the fairgrounds next to Willy Brice where an esteemed chicken fan was nailing some gal for all to see? I am sure you saw the video.

Reply
RHood2 November 25, 2014 at 12:02 am

I did not know Dabo had dittoheafs who parrot back what he says and do not think for themselves.

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sparklecity November 28, 2014 at 9:59 pm

That says a lot about the University of South Carolina and its reputation within the world of “higher education”

No disagreement from me on your posting!!!!!!

That’s why I ALWAYS differentiate between University of North Carolina and the “supposedly” University of South Carolina.

I NEVER say/post “Carolina” because I would not want to besmirch/associate the University of North Carolina with that second rate chicken-shit college in Columbia,SC

Reply
Bible Thumper November 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm

I did not attend a Clemson game for two years after that embarrassment.

Reply
Gametiger November 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm

“No longer a primetime draw with national implications…”.
Really? Since when has this game ever had national implications?
Stick to whatever it is you do Fits, which is clearly not sports reporting.

Reply
VoiceofReason November 24, 2014 at 4:08 pm

You idiots are up and running again. Don’t you ever tire from this. This is especially true of you who think you know anything about CU. The people who do in and out of this state laugh at how stupid you are.

Reply
VoiceofTruth November 24, 2014 at 5:42 pm

Yet here you again are for everyone laugh. We have already schooled you on the “high standards of the ACC” with “pay for play”, “no show classes”, whats happening at Notre Dame, Miami (nuff said), and the 13 violations in 1982 at clemtech (since you people only want to talk about the past). You are the one that makes us look good, so thanks for speaking!

Reply
Jim Sweet November 24, 2014 at 7:54 pm

I love that video! We won the ball game and he fight you soft coot bitches. we own that ass and will beat it again cum saturday night.

Reply
Flagler November 24, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Don’t send Flowers to your mother.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein November 25, 2014 at 9:07 am

Don’t send Flowers to your mother.

Ahhhh memories…

From roughly the same time period:

George Rogers: Gamecocks Play With A Loaded 38.*

….

So did George Rogers dad…

*Roger’s jersey number.

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sparklecity November 28, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Fuck a bunch of college and professional football is what I say.

It appears to me that “FITS” is attempting to talk up a fight without his ass really being part of the potential fight and then Saturday or Sunday pontificate on the proceedings

I wouldn’t give a rats ass if one side actually killed the other side. It would be more honest and forthright because all college and professional football has become is a variation of Roman bread and circus anyway. Hell, I’d even pay for it to be on Pay TV

Go all out and kill each other and not be fake about it

End the hypocrisy that college and professional football in the United States has become!!!!!!!

Reply

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