Preview: South Carolina at Clemson

When: 7:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 26, 2016
Where: Clemson Memorial Stadium, Clemson, South Carolina

The cliche says you can throw out the records when it comes time for rivalry games, but South Carolina would like to go a step further and toss out host Clemson’s playoff hopes when the Palmetto State rivals clash on Saturday. The third-ranked Tigers aim for their third straight victory over the Gamecocks as they try to move a step closer to punching their ticket to the four-team College Football Playoff. 

One reporter asked Clemson's Dabo Swinney whether or not his team would rest starters in anticipation of next week’s ACC championship game, a question that drew laughter from the Tigers’ coach. “You’re obviously not from South Carolina,” Swinney replied. The Tigers are fourth in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings and huge favorites this week, but they’re certainly not looking past a South Carolina team that has won four of its last five games. Clemson was ranked No. 1 and undefeated when the rivals met last season and barely escaped with a 37-32 victory over the three-win Gamecocks. 

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET. ESPN. LINE: Clemson -24

ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA (6-5): The Gamecocks have made huge strides defensively in coach Will Muschamp’s first year and are especially tough against the pass. The offense has turned around since freshmen Jake Bentley and Rico Dowdle moved into the starting lineup, and the latter racked up 226 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries in last week’s 44-31 win over Western Carolina. Bentley has not thrown a touchdown pass in the last two games, but he has six scoring tosses and just one interception in five contests since taking over as signal-caller.

ABOUT CLEMSON (10-1): After a sluggish start to the season, the Tigers’ offense has topped 450 total yards in seven straight games. Quarterback Deshaun Watson is dangerous running or passing, and Wayne Gallman broke out of a prolonged slump with 161 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries in last week’s 35-13 win at Wake Forest. Clemson ranks among the nation’s best in numerous defensive categories but has shown a weakness against strong running teams, although it was dominant in holding Wake Forest to 197 total yards a week ago.


1. Watson needs two touchdowns to join Tajh Boyd as the only players in Clemson history to account for 100 touchdowns – passing, rushing or receiving. 

2. Clemson has not won three straight in the series since 2002-05. 

3. South Carolina has forced three or more turnovers in four of its last five games and is tied for sixth in the nation with 24 takeaways. 

PREDICTION: Clemson 33, South Carolina 20

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
South Carolina 6-5 W1 20.4 22.0 5-2 1-3 5-5 0-0 3-5
Clemson 10-1 W1 38.5 17.9 5-1 5-0 8-1 0-0 7-1

Last Meeting

South Carolina Clemson
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/28/15 CLEM 37 SOCAR 32 402 181 221 515 236 279

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
SOCAR P. Orth 46.4 219 3 1
CLEM D. Watson 74.1 279 1 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
SOCAR L. Nunez 10 75 7.5 0
CLEM D. Watson 21 114 5.4 3
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
SOCAR D. Samuel 5 104 20.8 1
CLEM D. Cain 5 96 19.2 1
TDs Player TD
SOCAR S. Carson 2
CLEM D. Watson 3
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
SOCAR J. Bentley 66.2 989 6 1
CLEM D. Watson 66.4 3279 28 13
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
SOCAR R. Dowdle 116 684 5.9 6
CLEM W. Gallman 160 831 5.2 13
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
SOCAR D. Samuel 41 579 14.1 0
CLEM M. Williams 73 1014 13.9 7
TDs Player TD
SOCAR R. Dowdle 7
CLEM W. Gallman 13

Quickchart Matchup

South Carolina Off vs  Clemson Def
347.2 yards
316.1 yards
3.8 yards/rush
3.5 yards/rush
6.9 yards/attempt
5.9 yards/attempt
Clemson Off vs  South Carolina Def
498.7 yards
387.6 yards
4.5 yards/rush
4.9 yards/rush
7.9 yards/attempt
6.2 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

South Carolina Overall Clemson
6-5-0 W/L 10-1-0
5-5-1 ATS 5-6-0
3-8-0 O/U 5-6-0
20.4 Pts For 38.5
22.0 Pts Against 17.9
South Carolina A/H Clemson
1-3 W/L 5-1
1-2-1 ATS 3-3-0
0-4-0 O/U 2-4-0
11.0 Pts For 41.8
18.5 Pts Against 20.0
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