Football

Gameday Guide: USC vs. Clemson TV info, depth charts and more

Carolina-Clemson: The Rivalry Continues

It's time for the annual Palmetto Bowl showdown between South Carolina and Clemson.
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It's time for the annual Palmetto Bowl showdown between South Carolina and Clemson.

South Carolina plays Clemson on Saturday, with a playoff spot, upset chance and plenty of pride in the balance. Here’s what you need to know about the game.

Game info

▪  Who: South Carolina (6-5) vs. Clemson (10-1)

▪  When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

▪  Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson (81,500)

▪  Series history: Clemson leads, 67–42–4. The Tigers have won two in a row after the Gamecocks took five consecutive games. Last season, a Clemson team that eventually reached the national title game topped a bad South Carolina team 37-32.

▪  TV: ESPN (Dave Pasch, play-by-play; Greg McElroy, analysis; Tom Luginbill, sideline)

▪  Radio: In the Columbia area, USC on 107.5 FM (USC radio affiliates); Clemson on 93.1 FM in Columbia area (Clemson radio affiliates)

▪  Satellite radio: Sirius 134/XM 201

▪  Line: Clemson by 24

▪  Weather: Mostly clear. Temperatures in upper 40s at kickoff and low 40s by end of game.

A few more things

The Tigers need this one to maintain their place in the driver’s seat for a college football playoff spot. That seems like the sort of thing a rival just might want to take away. South Carolina’s players said they’re just out for a win, but an upset’s impact would be far-reaching.

Another upset?

On the Gamecocks side, the biggest win in Will Muschamp’s first season was a home upset of Tennessee. Defeating this orange-clad foe on the road would be in a whole different stratosphere. The team has already done enough to count 2016 as a surprise, but the chance is there for an exclamation point.

Bad blood

The truth of rivalry games is that they can get weird. Underdogs over-perform, favorites can suddenly look vulnerable in ways that aren’t expected. This shouldn’t be seen as the average game when a 6-5 squad visits a 10-1 one. (Of course, sometimes the favorite just lays it on to prove a point.)

The teams, by the numbers

USC

CU

Points/Game

18.7

38.5

Opp. Points/Game

20.2

17.9

Yds Rushing/Game

140.5

165.6

Opp. Yds Rush/Game

198.5

129.3

Yds Pass/Game

206.7

333.1

Opp. Yds Pass/Game

189.1

186.8

Avg. Yds/Game

347.2

498.7

Opp. Total Yds/Game

387.6

316.1

South Carolina players to watch

1. Quarterback Jake Bentley wasn’t a world-beater against Western Carolina, but he was solid, didn’t get sacked and did some things with his legs. He faces a tall task against a fearsome Clemson defense and has thrown for 989 yards, six touchdowns and one interception.

2. Defensive lineman Darius English leads the team with nine sacks, but his unit’s challenge this week isn’t primarily about getting to the quarterback. A week after Western Carolina’s quarterback broke contain multiple times, they’ll have to have get a handle on Deshaun Watson.

3. Running back Rico Dowdle posted the sixth-best single-game rushing performance in program history against WCU, and he’ll have to deal with a Tigers front seven that has limited opponents to 3.5 yards per carry. Dowdle has run for 684 yards and six touchdowns in seven games this season.

Clemson players to watch

1. Quarterback Deshaun Watson hasn’t been the consistent force he was a season ago, but he’s still good. He’s thrown for 3,279 yards, 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions with a 147.8 rating, and run for 425 yards and four scores.

2. Running back Wayne Gallman returned to the land of the living with 161 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries against Wake Forest. That season-high puts him at 831 yards and 13 scores in a year where he’s averaged more than five yards a carry six times in 11 games.

3. Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence is still out there messing up offenses and doing things a freshman isn’t supposed to do. He’s fourth on the team with 66 tackles as an interior lineman, along with 61/2 tackles for loss, four sacks, two blocked kicks and 19 quarterback hurries.

Projected South Carolina depth chart

OFFENSE

WR – SAMUEL (Googer)

WR – EDWARDS (Banks)

LT – ZANDI (Park)

LG – BAILEY (Stanley or Park)

C – KNOTT (Helms)

RG – HELMS (Stanley)

RT – YOUNG (Camper)

TE – HURST (August)

TE – CROSBY (Pollard)

QB – BENTLEY (McIlwain)

RB – DOWDLE (Williams)

DEFENSE

DE – LEWIS (Sawyer)

DT – STALLWORTH (Griffin)

DT – JONES (Thomas)

DE – ENGLISH (Wonnum)

LB – WALTON (Bryant)

LB – HOLLOMAN (Brunson)

LB – ALLEN-WILLIAMS (Pittman)

CB – LAMMONS (Lammons)

S – SMITH (Elder)

S – MONTAC (Moody)

CB – KING (Fenton or Montac)

NICK – FENTON (Montac or Wilder or Diggs)

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK – FRY (Charlton)

P – KELLY (Charlton)

LS – DR. WILLIAMS (McGriff)

KR – SAMUEL (Fenton)

PR – LAMMONS (Samuel)

H – KELLY

Clemson depth chart

OFFENSE

WR – WILLIAMS (Cain)

WR – SCOTT (Thompson)

WR – RENFROW (McCloud)

LT – HYATT (Anchrum)

LG – HEARN (Simpson)

C – GUILLERMO (Falcinellli)

RG – CROWDER (Morris)

RT – POLLARD (Green, Fruhmorgen)

TE – LEGGETT (Williams or Richard or Smith)

QB – WATSON (Schuessler, Bryant)

RB – GALLMAN (Fuller or Choice or Feaster or Dye)

DEFENSE

DE – WILKINS (Yeargin)

DT – WATKINS (Huggins)

DT – LAWRENCE (Robinson)

DE – FERRELL (Bryant)

LB – O’DANIEL (Williams)

LB – JOSEPH (Lamar)

LB – BOULWARE (Davis)

CB – CARTER (Edmond)

S – JOHNSON (Wiggins)

S – SMITH (Wallace)

CB – TANKERSLEY (Fields, Mullen)

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK – HUEGEL (Spence)

P – TEASDALL (Renfrow)

LS – ESTES (Spence)

KR – SCOTT and FULLER (Feaster)

PR – SCOTT or McCLOUD

H – RYAN

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