Tyrone Walker // The Post and Courier
Taylor Elliott (from left), Kat Albia and Joanna Murray watching the Clemson-USC game on television at Charleston Beer Works in downtown Charleston on Saturday.
The nice folks at O'Malley's were giving free shots to Gamecocks fans when Carolina scored, and to Tigers fans when Clemson scored.
So you can guess who was in better spirits early on in the annual rivalry.
"I'd like to say we're going to win," Enan Parezo said when the score was 10-0 Carolina. "But it's college football -- anything can happen."
Yes, it can. The only thing you can say for certain is that the big intrastate game is going to draw a lot of folks out to watch it in public.
Down King Street at Charleston Beer Works, Taylor Elliott, Joanna Murray and Kat Albia were watching the game in the same spot for the third year in a row. Pre-game, these Carolina fans were making some bold, and some safe, predictions.
"They are going to kick some butt -- hopefully," Murray said.
"Steve Spurrier is going to throw his visor a couple of times," Elliott said.
As the game got started with a quick Carolina score, the bars erupted in cheers from the garnet-clad, and worried looks from the folks in orange.
Anytime you add intense college football rivalry and alcohol, there's always the potential for a little roughing the pep squad. But things were mostly calm, even when Haley Kaelin delivered another pitcher to Elliott, Murray and Albia, while wearing a Clemson shirt.
"She brings us beer," Murray noted, "we don't talk smack to her."
"Yeah, we usually only fight with Florida fans," Albia confessed.
But not to worry, Kaelin was actually on their side.
"I'm actually not a Clemson fan," Kaelin said. "I went to Carolina. My sister went to Clemson. This was just a clean shirt."
Across the room, orange-clad Clemson alumni Wesley Hall and Lauren Rogers -- with a tiger paw pendant in her hair -- watched intensely as Carolina marched down the field.
"It'll probably be a low- scoring game," Hall said. Or so he hoped.
And back at O'Malley's, Hollis Tuma had to step away from the TV when Carolina took a 10-0 lead.
"I start crying when they lose," Tuma said. Did she think this would be one of those nights?
But football is a game of two halves. As Parezo noted, anything can happen in college football. If there's not a good second half, there's always next year.
And they will all be back out, watching again.
Reach Brian Hicks at 937-5561 or follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BriHicks_PandC.