Everyone loves a good rivalry in college sports!
While the Tigers look to stack up their wins, South Carolina needs a win on Saturday to be bowl-eligible. They’re currently 5-6 on the season and have had a very up-and-down year.
The Gamecocks currently have a lower than 50% chance of playing another game after this one.
South Carolina is sitting at +7 at home against the Tigers, totaling at 52.
However, Clemson and South Carolina are both on a three-game winning streak. Could this game be closer than the betting lines imply?
Let’s break down the Clemson–South Carolina rivalry game for Week 13 in college football.
Day/Time: Location: Williams-Brice Stadium
Clemson–South Carolina Rivalry Trends
Although Clemson has covered in three straight games, the Tigers are just 5-6 against the spread this season. Clemson’s gone 6-1 at home, but they’re just 1-3 on the road.
Against South Carolina, Clemson will hit the road again, which isn’t ideal.
Meanwhile, the total has hit the Under in six of 11 games for the Tigers.
On the other hand, South Carolina has covered its last two games. They’re now sitting at 6-5 against the spread this season. But like Clemson, the Under has hit in six of 11 games this season.
The Gamecocks have struggled away from home. However, they’re 5-1 at home, making this game super intriguing against Clemson.
The Gamecocks earned a 31-30 win against Clemson as 14-point underdogs last year. That was the first time South Carolina beat Clemson since 2013.
Will Shipley’s Future
Clemson’s star running back has a decision to make. Will Shipley has rushed for 718 yards on 141 attempts. He has five touchdowns and earned 5.1 yards per carry this year.
But he might not be with Clemson next season.
Shipley’s only a junior. Therefore, he’s got more eligibility. But he can either choose to go into the NFL Draft, stay with Clemson, or transfer out.
Shipley earned his degree in three years and participated in last Saturday’s Senior Day festivities.
Plus, Phil Mahfah has earned 149 carries for 805 yards and nine touchdowns. Mafah has taken from Shipley’s load, and that could force Shipley to transfer if he doesn’t go into the NFL.
South Carolina’s Defense Has Come Alive
The South Carolina Gamecocks earned a win over Kentucky last week, 17-14, to allow themselves to play in the postseason.
South Carolina’s 5-6 on the year. But six wins would give them eligibility to play in a bowl game. With three straight wins, all they need is one more against Clemson.
The South Carolina defense has allowed only 20 points in the last eight quarters against SEC teams. They stepped up while the offense was sluggish last weekend and deserve some recognition for pushing through in that game against the Wildcats.
The three-game win streak has been with South Carolina at home. Another home game at Clemson is undoubtedly intriguing. This defense will need to step up again.
Can South Carolina Earn Another Upset?
The Clemson Tigers have scored 30.3 points per game, averaging 222.4 yards in the air and 169.7 yards on the ground. Realistically, the offense relies heavily on the ground game.
The Tigers have two of the best runners in the ACC. We talked about it above. Will Shipley and Phil Mafah have combined for over 1,500 yards on the ground, averaging over five yards a carry.
However, South Carolina isn’t terrible against the run. The defense has allowed 145.8 yards per game on the ground. They’ve been worse in the passing game, where teams have averaged over 256 yards a game.
Meanwhile, South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler is the better quarterback than Clemson’s Cade Klubnik. He’s thrown 19 touchdowns and just seven interceptions while compiling over 3,000 yards passing.
Rattler isn’t playing behind an excellent pass protection. But Klubnik isn’t either. Both teams have a significant pass rush. But Rattler can make more plays.
He’s got Xavier Legette, who has earned 65 catches for 1,187 yards and seven touchdowns. While Clemson has a very good secondary, defending Legette is difficult.
He’s added at least six catches in the last three games. He’s also scored four touchdowns in the previous three games, with 431 yards receiving.
If South Carolina’s defense plays like it did last weekend against Kentucky, the Gamecocks have a legitimate chance at earning another upset. The Tigers have been just as inconsistent as South Carolina. But we love that South Carolina is the home team in this rivalry matchup.
The fans will be in their seats despite just five wins this season.
The college football schedule was brutal for South Carolina at the beginning of the year. They had a lot of road games. Now they’re stacking wins at home. So, while some of the Gamecocks’ NCAA mens football scores weren’t impressive, they also weren’t dealt the best hand in terms of scheduling.
This Clemson–South Carolina rivalry is always really fun. That’s why we think this game will be close. Grab the NCAAF betting odds with South Carolina at +7. Make sure to get that +7 for this matchup. Don’t settle for +6.5.