CLEMSON, South Carolina (Ticker) -- South Carolina could not send Lou Holtz out a winner in what was likely his final regular season game.
Reggie Merriweather rushed for a career-high 125 yards and three touchdowns as Clemson defeated the Gamecocks, 29-7, in a game delayed nearly 10 minutes by a brawl late in the fourth quarter.
The 67-year-old Holtz told his team Thursday he would retire at the end of the year. Former Florida coach Steve Spurrier reportedly will replace Holtz and an announcement could come Monday.
Holtz ranks eighth on the all-time wins list with 249, but is just 33-37 at South Carolina.
The Tigers (6-5), who became bowl eligible, took control early, grabbing a 14-0 lead in the first 10 minutes on TD runs of three and seven yards by Merriweather.
South Carolina (6-5) closed to 14-7 on Syvelle Newton's 54-yard TD pass to Cory Boyd with eight minutes left in the second quarter. But the Tigers outscored the Gamecocks, 15-0, in the second half.
South Carolina could not avenge last season's embarrassing 63-17 loss to Clemson, losing to their state rival for the fifth time in six years.
Charlie Whitehurst completed 15-of-28 passes for 151 yards for Clemson, which rebounded from last week's surprising loss to Duke.
With five minutes remaining, a fight on the sidelines escalated, delaying the game until order was restored by police and security personnel.