#1 Clemson Tigers (11-0, 8-0 ACC) @ South Carolina Gamecocks (3-8,1-7 SEC)
Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia SC
Kickoff: 12:00. TV: ESPN
Saturday, the Clemson Tigers and the South Carolina Gamecocks will meet for the 113th time. The Tigers got a 35-17 win last year in Clemson, breaking SC’s 5 game winning streak. Clemson leads the overall series 66-42-4, and is looking to continue to restore dominance in the rivalry after the 5 game skid.
The Tigers also have more than just bragging rights on the line. Clemson enters the game ranked #1 in all the poles with an 11-0 record. A win Saturday would give Clemson it’s first 12-0 record since the 1981 season win the #1 Tigers claimed the National Championship with a win over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. Clemson is having a historic season, and will take on the North Carolina Tar Heels December 5 for the ACC Championship in Charlotte.
Winning the next 2 games would solidify a spot for Clemson in the 4 team playoff, and potentially let the Tigers keep their number 1 seed. South Carolina has had a historically terrible season. After a rough start, the Gamecocks were faced with the resignation of their coach Steve Spurrier midseason. Scott Elliot has taken over as interim, and led the Gamecocks to a win over Vanderbilt, but not much else. The low point of the season was last weekend when the Gamecocks dropped a 23-22 loss to FCS opponent the Citadel. The Citadel ran for 350 yards on the Gamecocks in the victory.
Last season, Clemson defeated the Gamecocks behind Deshaun Watson, who later revealed to have played the game on a torn ACL. Watson had surgery after the game and has been at full strength this season leading the Tigers to 11-0. The Tigers will be getting back some key players from injuries. Running back Wayne Gallman and Cornerback Mackensie Alexander both sat out of last weeks 33-13 win over Wake Forest with injuries they suffered in the previous week’s win over Syracuse. Coach Dabo Swinney said that both players could have played against Wake if needed and that they will play against South Carolina. Clemson enters the game as a 17 point favorite.