Carolina Panthers wide receiver and former South Carolina sprinter Damiere Byrd one-upped ex-Clemson star Deshaun Watson on Wednesday – then took a good-natured jab at the Tigers and their fan base after Carolina’s 27-17 victory over Houston.
With a couple of thousand Clemson fans at Bank of America Stadium to see Watson’s NFL debut, it was Byrd who stole the spotlight with four catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
He was asked whether it felt good to silence the Clemson faithful.
“Definitely. The funny thing is you never really see that orange until you win a national championship,” Byrd said. “But it was good to be out there and have a good game like that.”
The Texans have five former Clemson players on their roster, but Byrd outscored them 12-6. Watson, a two-time Heisman finalist, had a solid showing, completing 15-of-25 passes for 179 yards and running three times for 24 yards and a touchdown.
Byrd, who also ran track for the Gamecocks, laughed when asked about his school pride.
“They only beat me one time,” he said.
Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, another Gamecock, praised the play of Watson but said he was glad to see Byrd step up.
“On the football field we (outscored the Clemson guys), but I don’t know about the stands. They definitely were out there,” Munnerlyn said. “But Byrd came up, he played big for us tonight, made some big-time plays.”