COLUMBIA — South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw’s first quarter pass to Bruce Ellington was the longest completion of his career.
That it went for a 49-yard score against Clemson made it even sweeter for Shaw, who began the season as starter, lost his job after the first game and then regained it when Stephen Garcia was dismissed from the team.
On third and six, Shaw dropped back to pass and found the speedy Ellington. He caught it in stride at the goal line for an easy touchdown, the first scoring reception of his career.
Shaw added a 15-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to put the Gamecocks ahead 17-10 at halftime en route to a 34-13 victory.
RECORD EFFORT: Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd broke the school’s record for most touchdown passes with his 9-yard toss to Dwayne Allen in the second quarter.
It was the 28th touchdown pass of the season for Boyd, who shared the record Cullen Harper set in 2007.
The touchdown pass also established Boyd as the single-season leader in total touchdowns with 32 for the year (28 passing, four rushing). He shared the mark with former quarterback Woody Dantzler.
INJURY UPDATE: Both teams came into Saturday night’s game with injuries to key freshmen. Clemson’s Sammy Watkins, who suffered a shoulder sprain against Wake Forest and missed the N.C. State game, was cleared to play and started, catching four passes for 39 yards.
South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney, who suffered a concussion against The Citadel, was cleared to play but forced to sit out the first quarter for reportedly violating a team rule. Clowney saw his first action late in the second quarter and was credited with hurrying Boyd near the goal line.
SENIOR SALUTE: South Carolina’s senior class has won more games than any other group in school history. The group of 16 players were honored before playing their final game Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium.
South Carolina has won 33 games since 2008 and won the 2010 SEC Eastern Division championship.
The outgoing seniors are Antonio Allen, Eric Baker, Jason Barnes, Terrence Campbell, Josh Hinch, Melvin Ingram, Marty Markett, Byron McKnight, Kenny Miles, Kyle Nunn, Rodney Paulk, Travian Robertson, Joey Scribner-Howard, Rokevious Watkins, C.C. Whitlock and Jay Wooten.