Gamecock ’84 win made season even more special
It had arguably been one of the best seasons in South Carolina football history. The 1984 Gamecocks entered the contest with Clemson at 9-1. However, some of the excitement had been lost due in part to a loss to Navy the week before.
Quarterback Mike Hold, along with fellow quarterback Allen Mitchell, helped guide South Carolina to the outstanding record and believed the Navy loss might have actually been a good thing for the Gamecocks.
“I think because of the Navy loss, it made us focus. Had we beaten Navy, in hindsight, there might have been a stage for a letdown.”
Entering the Navy game, the Gamecocks were 9-0 and ranked No. 2. Unfortunately, South Carolina fell 38-21. However, with focus back on the season, the Gamecocks’ senior leadership led South Carolina into battle against the Clemson Tigers November 24.
Despite the claims the Gamecocks were focused on the game, Hold had to be concerned about his team when it fell into a 21-3 hole.
South Carolina fought back and had possession of the ball with just over three minutes remaining in the game only down by six points. The drive amassed 86 yards, and it was one play that Hold vividly remembers. It was a fourth-and- 10 that the Gamecocks converted when Hold connected with Chris Wade to pick up the first down and gain considerably more yards as South Carolina looked for the win.
Later in the drive, Hold found the end zone after keeping the ball on an option play. After a missed extra point was waved off due to a Clemson penalty, South Carolina kicker Scott Hagler made the extra point to give the Gamecocks a 22- 21 win.
South Carolina would go on to lose to Oklahoma State in the Gator Bowl to finish the season 10- 2 while Clemson finished with a 7- 4 record. Even with so many important wins during the 1984 season, it was the win over Clemson that made the season special for Hold.
“To go out and finish that season, to send those seniors off with a win at Death Valley was special. I don’t care if you are 1-10 or 10-1, if you don’t win that game, the season isn’t worth anything. It was part of that ’ 84 season mystique that made it even more special.”