CLEMSON, S.C. -- James Davis ran for three touchdowns to lift Clemson to a 31-14 victory over South Carolina on Saturday, the Tigers' sixth win in the past seven games against its state rival.
Now, the Tigers (7-5) get to keep playing after qualifying for the postseason -- and maybe interim coach Dabo Swinney gets to hold on to the job a little longer.
Swinney took over on Oct. 13 when Tommy Bowden walked away with the Tigers' expected Atlantic Coast Conference title season in shambles.
Almost from the start, Swinney made every right move. None, though, was bigger than letting Clemson's best playmakers make the plays. That showed against South Carolina (7-5).
Davis powered his way to his 47th, 48th and 49th career touchdowns, one away from the school record.
C.J. Spiller had a dazzling 39-yard burst to set up Davis' first score.
In the second quarter, quarterback Cullen Harper was falling to his knees about to be sacked when he threw an on-target pass to Jacoby Ford for a 50-yard touchdown.
And don't forget Clemson's defense, which rattled passer Chris Smelley into four interceptions and outshone a South Carolina unit that had led the Southeastern Conference much of the year.
When Smelley threw his fourth interception with 4:25 to go, all Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier could do was stare onto the field.
It was two years ago after South Carolina's 31-28 victory here Spurrier said it was the kind of win he could build on. Instead, he fell to 1-3 against his state rivals.
Clemson fans celebrated and chanted "Da-Bo!" and "Da-Bo Swin-ney!" as the clock wound down on the 10th victory over their rivals in the past 12 seasons.
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