By Rixon Lane
It had been nearly fifteen years since South Carolina had recorded back-to-back wins over Clemson when the teams squared off in 1947.
The Gamecocks entered "Big Thursday" with a 2-2 record, led by freshman phenom Bishop Strickland at tailback. Strickland had set the state record for points scored in his senior year of high school.
Meanwhile, the Tigers were led by All-American quarterback Bobby Gage and were one season away from an undefeated 11-0 campaign in 1948.
Strickland gave the Gamecocks a lead midway through the first quarter, taking a pitch and scampering 39 yards around left end for a touchdown. Clemson answered on the following possession, courtesy of a 66-yard run from Ray Matthews. The extra point was no good and South Carolina held a 7-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Strickland struck again on a crucial 4th-and-6. From the Tiger 19, Strickland ripped off a 17-yard run, which quarterback James "Droopy" Atwell converted into a touchdown on the next play. Once again, Clemson responded with a touchdown. Carol Cox connected with Oscar Thompson for a 12-yard score, but the Tigers missed another extra point, giving South Carolina a 14-12 lead at the half.
Both teams held in the third quarter and the Gamecocks entered the fourth quarter with a two-point advantage. South Carolina's defense came up big in the fourth quarter, as Bobby Giles picked off a Tiger pass and returned it to the Clemson 1-yard line. Giles plunged over the line on the next play to increase the Gamecock lead to 21-12.
The Tigers tried to rally late, scoring on a 1-yard run from Jim Reynolds, but South Carolina held on to a 21-19 victory and back-to-back wins over their arch-rival.