Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is impressed with what South Carolina coach Will Muschamp has done in his first season on the job.
Speaking during his weekly teleconference Sunday night, Swinney said getting the Gamecocks bowl eligible after a 3-9 season last year is quite an accomplishment.
“To come in year one and get them bowl eligible is a huge step in the right direction,” Swinney said. “You’re trying to create some momentum in your program, and I think they’ve certainly done that.”
You can throw out the records when USC and Clemson play, Swinney added.
Last season the Tigers were ranked No. 1 and undefeated while USC was 3-8. Clemson was tested in a 37-32 win.
“South Carolina-Clemson is always a tough game regardless,” Swinney said. “You can just look at last year. It really doesn’t matter what the records are and all that stuff.”
The Tigers have won two straight in the series after a run of five straight wins by the Gamecocks.
Swinney is proud of Clemson’s success against USC the past couple of years after struggling in the rivalry game for half a decade.
“As much success as we had the first few years, that was one thing we hadn’t done a good job of,” he said. “It’s certainly important to our program to do a better job at achieving that goal. You live with this one all year long.”
Swinney was asked if there is a chance Clemson will rest some of its starters in the game with the ACC championship on deck.
He laughed and responded, “You’re obviously not from South Carolina.”
South Carolina vs. Clemson
Who: South Carolina at Clemson
When: Saturday, Nov. 26, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson
Line: Clemson by 24