1984: The Year of Black Magic - Clemson

By Rixon Lane

To celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the first 10-win season in Gamecock football history, we will be recapping each of South Carolina's wins during the 1984 season. On November 24th, the Gamecocks traveled to Clemson to take on the Tigers.

Season Recap:

9/8/84 - vs. The Citadel - (W) 31-24

9/22/84 - vs. Duke - (W) 21-0

9/29/84 - vs. Georgia - (W) 17-10

10/6/84 - vs. Kansas State - (W) 49-17

10/13/84 - vs. Pittsburgh - (W) 45-21

10/20/84 - @ Notre Dame - (W) 36-32

10/27/84 - vs. East Carolina - (W) 42-20

11/3/84 - @ N.C. State - (W) 35-28

11/10/84 - vs. Florida State - (W) 38-26

11/17/84 - @ Navy - (L) 38-21

FIRST QUARTER: "Punts. So. Many. Punts."

South Carolina receives the opening kickoff and we promptly get three consecutive three-and-outs. Off to a scintillating start. 

Clemson starts to put a drive together. Facing third down from the Gamecock 39, James Seawright, who missed the Navy game due to an injury sustained in the FSU game, deflects a pass to force another punt. 

More punts. 

After a 28-yard punt, Clemson takes over at the Gamecock 41-yard line. Terrence Flagler finally starts the scoring with a 9-yard touchdown run off right tackle. Clemson takes a 7-0 lead, 1:46 to go in the first quarter. 

South Carolina takes over as the first quarter ends. Clemson holds a 7-0 advantage. 

SECOND QUARTER: "Hey look, some offense."

The Gamecocks drive to the Tiger 6, but back-to-back passes fall incomplete. Scott Hagler boots a 23-yard field goal to cut Clemson's lead to 7-3, 13:05 left in the half. 

Clemson answers with a big drive. Starting at their own 14, the Tigers drive 86 yards in 12 plays, aided by a 30-yard run from quarterback Mike Eppley. Tailback Stacey Driver finds the end zone from 1-yard out. 14-3 Clemson, 7:54 remaining in the second quarter. 

Three-and-out for the Gamecocks. Offense can't put anything together. 

South Carolina's defense forces a punt, but Thomas Dendy fumbles on the second play of the drive. Clemson's ball at South Carolina 37. 

Given another short field, the Tigers take advantage. This time, it's Steve Griffin scoring on the ground. 12-yard touchdown makes it 21-3 Clemson with 2:50 to go before halftime.

Gamecocks start at their own 17. Dendy redeems himself with a 51-yard run to the Clemson 11. The Tiger defense stiffens to force a field goal. Scott Hagler misses from 27 yards, but Clemson is penalized for running into the kicker. Clemson's issues with Gamecock kicks will be revisited later. The flag turns 4th-and-goal from the 10 into 4th-and-goal from the 5. The Gamecocks roll the dice and Quinton Lewis scores. 21-10 Clemson with 42 seconds on the clock. 

The Tigers run out the clock and head to the half with a 21-10 lead. 

THIRD QUARTER: "SsssAaaaFfffEeeeTtttYyyy"

Clemson opens the half with a punt. South Carolina answers with a punt that pins the Tigers at their own 10-yard line. 

Eppley drops back to pass and is dropped in the end zone by Tony Guyton and Willie McIntee for a safety. 21-12 Tigers, 12:25 left in the third quarter. 

South Carolina gets the ball back and has a chance to cut it to a one-score lead, but Hagler misses wide left on a 40-yard field goal. 

Teams trade punts.

Eppley tosses an interception to Bryant Gilliard and the Gamecocks take over at the Clemson 49. 

The third quarter ends with South Carolina trailing 21-12. 

FOURTH QUARTER: "The finale."

The Gamecocks can't take advantage of the turnover. Three-and-out. 

South Carolina's defense continues to play better when backed against the wall. Tigers drive to the Gamecock 39, but are forced to punt. 

The Gamecock converts a pair of third-down conversions, but Hold is stopped for a loss on 3rd-and-5 at the Clemson 21. Hagler salvages the drive with a 41-yard field goal. 21-15 Clemson with 7:19 to go. 

Once again, Clemson drives into Gamecock territory. On a crucial 3rd-and-1 from the Gamecock 47, Flagler is stopped by Gilliard for no gain. Tigers punt and South Carolina will start from their own 16. 

Hold fires a strike to Chris Wade for a 36-yard gain on third down to move South Carolina to the Clemson 45. Quinton Lewis goes left side for a pickup of 16, then Dendy goes right for 18. Facing first down at the Tiger 11, Hold keeps for a gain of 2. He then goes right for 7 yards and Clemson is called for a face mask. The Gamecocks have 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Hold keeps right and breaks the plain for the game-tying touchdown. Hagler misses the extra point, but Clemson is flagged for having 12 men on the field. Hagler drills his next attempt. 22-21 Gamecocks with 54 seconds to go. South Carolina has scored 19 unanswered points. 

The Tigers have one final chance, but after completing a 22-yard pass, Eppley throws four consecutive incomplete passes. 

Hold kneels to end the game. 

South Carolina 22 Clemson 21

P.S. Clemson ends the season at 7-4. The Tigers can't go to a bowl game because of probation for recruiting violations.