Tigers, Gamecocks roll; Furman headed to playoffs

As excitement builds for next weekend’s rivalry game in Columbia, both Clemson and South Carolina found easy wins this week. At Memorial Stadium, the No. 7 Tigers (10-1) celebrated a 52-6 win over The Citadel (5-7). Senior quarterback Tajh Boyd threw for five touchdowns and 288 yards in the final home game of his career. Clemson didn’t score on its first possession, but made it to the end zone the next five times it touched the ball. Boyd had touchdown passes of 8, 9, 19, 24 and 30 yards. He ended the game with 102 passing TDs in his career and tied the Tigers record of five passing TDs in a game for the sixth time. Three times Boyd has thrown for five scores in the first half.

Meanwhile at Williams-Brice Stadium, Connor Shaw became the winningest starting quarterback in South Carolina history. Shaw passed for a touchdown and ran for a score in less than a quarter of work and No. 11 Gamecocks scored the most points in Steve Spurrier’s nine seasons as coach in a 70-10 victory over Coastal Carolina. Backup Dylan Thompson came in to pass for two touchdowns and run for a third. The Gamecocks (9-2) scored on their first six possessions and surpassed their output from a 69-24 win over Troy in 2010. And it came with South Carolina resting several starters for rival Clemson next Saturday night, including defensive linemen Jadeveon Clowney and Kelcy Quarles and the SEC’s leading rusher in Mike Davis. The Gamecocks could earn the SEC Eastern Division title Saturday night, should #24 Ole Miss upset Missouri.

The Furman Paladins are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. Reese Hannon threw for a career-high 326 yards, Andrej Suttles caught nine passes for 146 yards and the two connected for a score as Furman beat Wofford 27-14 to earn a share of the Southern Conference title. The Paladins got into the playoffs after Samford defeated Elon 33-32.