Senior Day couldn’t have gone much worse for Clemson losing a heartbreaker to Pitt that ended the nation’s longest home winning streak.
Clemson’s senior class is thankful for another opportunity to go out with a win at Death Valley being a loss.
“I don’t want to do that again. I definitely don’t want to leave on that note,” linebacker Ben Boulware said. “I definitely want to leave on a positive note. … That would have probably haunted me for a long time going out on my last game and getting smacked.”
Sophomore defensive lineman Christian Wilkins said the underclassmen are intent on sending the seniors out happy.
Never miss a local story.
“I was really upset about the Pitt game. I’m not a senior or anything, but I felt for the seniors,” Wilkins said. “I’m sure the seniors are going to play their hearts out. They bring it every game and every day. I’m sure now this time, to close it out right, they’re going to give it all they’ve got. From my standpoint, I’m going to do all I can to make sure the seniors are sent off right.”
If Clemson beats South Carolina, it would mark the Tigers’ third consecutive victory in the rivalry, which would be special for Jay Guillermo. The senior center was around to watch the Gamecocks win five in a row against Clemson.
“Any time you can get a win over your rival it’s awesome, but being able to come out and win the majority of the games against your rival is something special that not a lot of people have done,” he said.
Wilkins enjoys talking trash no matter the opponent, but he expects even more smack talk than normal on Saturday.
“We get into it a little bit pretty much every game, but there was a lot last year and I’m sure there will be this year too,” he said. “I love those games where it’s really intense. I’m a trash talker myself so I like those games when the other team is coming at me. It gives you a little more drive to shut them up.”
Coach Dabo Swinney has been impressed by USC sophomore guard Zack Bailey.
Bailey was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team last season and started every game this year.
“Bailey is as good an offensive lineman as we’ve seen. He is a great football player,” Swinney said. “He’s as good as I’ve seen all year on tape. He’s a big, strong, physical presence inside.”