Kenny McKinley's first reception of the game for four yards in the first quarter extended his streak of having caught at least one pass to 33 consecutive games.
McKinley's sixth pass reception of the game was his 75th of the season. That broke the season reception record set in 1986 by Sterling Sharpe.
McKinley finished with eight catches in the game increasing his season record total to 77 and his career total to 153, moving him into a fourth place tie with Jermale Kelly on South Carolina's all-time list.
McKinley's receiving yardage for the game was 125, the fourth time this season he has exceeded 100 receiving yards. His season receiving total is 968 yards.
Two touchdown receptions by McKinley increased his season total to nine and his career total to 15.
Three touchdown passes by Blake Mitchell increased his season total to 10 and his career touchdown pass total to 38. Two of Mitchell's scoring passes were to Kenny McKinley and one was to Dion Lecorn.
The announced attendance of 82,410 increased the total for seven home games in 2007 to 549,269, an average of 78,467 per game.
Emanuel Cook sacked Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper in the second quarter for his fourth sack of the season. The third quarter end zone interception and 34-yard return by Cook was the third interception of the season by Cook.
Eric Norwood sacked Cullen Harper in the fourth quarter, his team leading sixth sack of the season.
The fourth quarter touchdown reception by Dion Lecorn was his third touchdown reception of the season.
La Donte Harris scored a touchdown in the first half on a 10-yard blocked punt return. He became the first Clemson player to score a touchdown on a blocked punt since 2004 when Gaines Adams blocked a punt against Utah State and Bobby Williamson recovered in the endzone for a touchdown.
The punt was blocked by junior receiver Nelson Faerber. It was his first career blocked punt. Faerber later scored a touchdown in the first half on a four-yard pass reception from Cullen Harper. Faerber is from Chattahoochee High School in Duluth, GA. He played high school football with former Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. He was originally a walk-on but was put on scholarship prior to the 2006 season.
It marked the first time that Clemson scored a touchdown on a blocked punt return since 1981 when Rod McSwain blocked a punt and Johnny Rembert recovered in the endzone for a touchdown.
Entering tonight's game La Donte Harris and Nelson Faerber had scored a combined three touchdowns in their careers, two by Harris and one by Faerber. They had two touchdowns in the first half of tonight's game.
James Davis gained 67 yards in the first half and went over 3,000 yards for his career. He moved over the 3,000 yard mark on a five-yard run in the second period. Davis is just the third Clemson player in history to gain 3,000 yards in a career. Raymond Priester (3966) and Travis Zachery (3058) are the other two. Davis is just the second Tiger to reach 3000 yards by the end of his junior year. Priester had 3010 at the end of his junior year.
Davis finished the night with 122 yards rushing, his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the year and 12th of his career. He moved into second place on Clemson's career list in that category. Only Raymond Priestter has more with 15 100-yard games. Davis now has 992 rushing yards this season and obviously needs just eight rushing yards in a bowl game to reach 1000 for the second time in his career.
Mark Buchholz scored five points in the first half, a 48-yard field goal and two extra points. It gave him exactly 100 points for the season. He is just the third Clemson kicker to score 100 points in a season. He added two field goals in the second half and now has 106 points for the season. Chris Gardocki scored 107 in 1989, and Jad Dean scored 106 in 2005. He also tied the Clemson single season record for extra points with two tonight, giving him 46 for the season. He tied the record of 46 set by Jad Dean in 2006.
Mark Buchholz kicked a 35 yard field goal on the final play of the game to give Clemson a 23-21 victory. It was the first time a Clemson player scored on the last play of the game (0:00 left on the clock) since David Treadwell made a 46-yard field goal to beat Georgia 31-28 in 1986 in Athens. It was the latest game winning play for the Tigers against South Carolina in history. The previous latest game winning play for the Tigers against the Gamecocks took place in 2000 when Aaron Hunt scored a 25-yard field goal with three seconds left in a 16-14 Clemson win in Death Valley. The latest game winning play for Clemson in Columbia had been the 20-yard touchdown pass from Steve Fuller to Jerry Butler with 49 seconds left in 1977.
Aaron Kelly had nine receptions for 134 yards in this evening's game. He broke Rod Gardner's single season reception record in the process. He now has 84 catches for the season. The previous record was 80 by Rod Gardner in 1999. Kelly also went over the 1,000 yard mark in reception yardage. He now has 1045 receiving yards entering the bowl game. He had 4-70 receiving on the last drive, including a catch on fourth down.
Clemson rushed for 214 yards this evening. The Tigers are now 32-1 under Tommy Bowden when they rush for 200 yards.
When Clemson failed to score when it entered the red-zone in the third period (interception throw by Harper), it ended a streak of 24 consecutive scores (touchdown or field goal) by Clemson when it entered the red-zone.
Clemson receiver Tyler Grisham suffered an injury in his chest in the second period. He was taken to an area hospital and tests were negative. He is expected to return home to Clemson this evening.
Cullen Harper has now led the Tigers to nine wins in his first year as a starting quarter. It is the most wins for a starting quarterback in his first season at the helm since DeChane Cameron led the Tigers to 10 wins in 1990.
A bowl victory would give Clemson 10 wins for the first time since 1990.
Clemson red-shirt seniors Brandon Pilgrim and Tramaine Billie played in their third career victory in Columbia this evening. Both red-shirted even numbered seasons and played in wins in 2003, 2005 and 2007.
Tommy Bowden is now 7-2 in his career against South Carolina. He tied Danny Ford for second in Clemson history in wins over the Gamecocks. Ford was 7-3-1 between 1979-89. Frank Howard has the most wins with 13.