RANKING: No. 12
SERIES: Clemson leads 65-40-4
LAST YEAR: The Gamecocks won 34-13 victory at Williams-Brice Stadium. Querterback Connor Shaw completed 14-of-20 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 107 yards and another score. The USC defense held the Tigers to 153 total yards and piled up five sacks. With the win, the Gamecocks reached the 10-victory plateau for only the second time in school history. It was USC’s third straight win against Clemson, something that had not happened since 1968-70.
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COACH: Dabo Swinney. In his fifth season, Swinney has posted a 39-20 record, which includes a 1-3 mark against the Gamecocks. His 2011 team, which ended the season ranked No. 22 in the nation, won Clemson’s first ACC title since 1991.
QUICK TAKE: The Tigers defeated N.C. State 62-45 on Saturday — scoring 42 straight points at one stage — to reach 10 wins in the regular season for the first time since 1981. Quarterback Tajh Boyd threw for 426 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 103 yards and three more scores as he became the first player in ACC history to account for eight touchdowns in one game. Tailback Andre Ellington also posted 130 rushing yards, while receiver Sammy Watkins, who had a career-best 11 receptions, and tight end Brandon Ford had 110 and 101 receiving yards, respectively, against the Wolfpack.
TIGER ROARS: This season is the fourth in school history that Clemson has won at least 10 games in the regular season (1948, 1978 and 1981). With the N.C. State victory, Boyd became the seventh Clemson quarterback to win 20 starts. Clemson has scored at least 37 points in 10 straight games. The only game the Tigers failed to score at least 37 was the opening win over Auburn, 26-19. Clemson, which made 34 first-downs on a school-record 102 plays, tallied 754 yards of total offense, the second-highest total in school history, with 328 yards rushing and 426 yards passing against NC State. The Tigers are 64-0-1 when they record at 500 yards of total offense.
TIGERS TO WATCH
QB TAJH BOYD: The 6-1, 225-pound junior has completed 240-of-353 passes for 3,367 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also has rushed for 466 yards on 140 carries and eight more touchdowns.
RB ANDRE ELLINGTON: The 5-10, 195-pound senior has rushed for 959 yards and eight TDs on 186 carries.
WR DEANDRE HOPKINS: The 6-2, 205-pound junior has caught 68 passes for 1,171 yards and 15 touchdowns.
WR SAMMY WATKINS: The 6-1, 205-pound sophomore has caught 53 passes for 671 yards and three TDs despite playing eight games.
Compiled by Neil White