When: Noon, Saturday
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium
Last week: No. 1 Clemson remained undefeated with a 33-13 win over Wake Forest. The Tigers jumped out to a 20-0 first quarter lead and cruised to the victory.
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Three story lines
Clemson opened this week as a 15 1/2 point favorite over South Carolina. The Tigers’ last double-digit win over USC in Columbia came in 2003. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is 2-5 against South Carolina and has never beaten the Gamecocks on the road.
It will be fun to watch South Carolina star receiver Pharoh Cooper go up against Clemson’s Mackensie Alexander, who is widely considered one of the top cornerbacks in the nation.
The Tigers have locked up a spot in the ACC title game against North Carolina. With a win over USC and the Tar Heels, Clemson will earn a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Three players to watch
Deshaun Watson – The Heisman Trophy candidate has led Clemson to more than 500 yards of offense in seven straight games. Watson is completing more than 70 percent of his passes and has thrown for 2,944 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Wayne Gallman – The running back missed Saturday’s game against Wake Forest, but should be ready to play this week. He topped the 1,000-yard mark in 10 games and has nine touchdowns, averaging 5.3 yards per carry.
Shaq Lawson – The defensive end is expected to be a first-round pick after this year. He has 19 tackles for loss to go along with 7.5 sacks and will provide a huge challenge for an offensive line that has struggled recently.
Clemson 42, South Carolina 27. As weird as it might sound, a loss to The Citadel might actually be good for South Carolina entering this weekend. Shawn Elliott will have his team ready to play its rival, at home, with an opportunity to ruin Clemson’s dream season. USC still has talent – Pharoh Cooper, Brandon Wilds, Jerell Adams, Skai Moore and others have played against the Tigers and had success in the past. This is also USC’s last game of the season and the last game for most, if not all, of Carolina’s coaching staff in Columbia. The Gamecocks will empty out the playbook and try everything they possibly can. Still, in the end, Clemson is too talented and has too many playmakers. I don’t see this game being the laugher that many people believe it will be, though.