Time: Noon ET
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC
Where to watch: ABC
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Clemson -14.5
FanDuel: Clemson -14.5
BetMGM: Clemson -14.5
Caesars: Clemson -14.5
South Carolina: 7-4
No. 8 Clemson: 10-1
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South Carolina - Clemson preview, analysis and prediction
South Carolina: won 63-38 vs. No. 5 Tennessee
Clemson: won 40-10 vs. Miami (FL)
It might be a matter of too little too late for the Clemson Tigers. Even if they were to win these next two games, and go on to win the ACC championship, there's still likely not making the College Football Playoff. Things would have to go haywire, like USC losing in the next two weeks or TCU somehow losing in the next two weeks. They would need to get some serious help along with taking care of their own business this week against the South Carolina Gamecocks, as well as the conference title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels in two weeks.
But I think we can look at Clemson definitively and say this might be the most frustrating era in the Dabo Swinney era. Think about it. Clemson had so much success with its star quarterbacks over the last half-decade that anything other than true success in a College Football Playoff or even the national championship was not considered successful. You look at last year and how they eventually came up short, and then you look at this year knowing they couldn't get the job done against Notre Dame and everything fell apart.
And of course, I do not want to discredit the improvement of quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei. he has certainly shown strides of improvement compared to last year when he was averaging 100 to 125 yards passing a game. He's not having horrendous showings throwing the football this year. Hell, even one of his biggest wins of the year came against Wake Forest and that was probably the best statistical output of his college career. But of course, Uiagalelei is no Deshaun Watson and he's no Trevor Lawrence. And those limitations are what separate him from being considered part of that great class. Clemson is ranked 8th in the country because of its defense, nothing else. And I think that's something we all need to accept.
And while I believe Clemson is going to win this game, and do so in a convincing fashion, we cannot discredit under any circumstance the impact that South Carolina has played on the college football landscape over the last couple of weeks. Because not only did South Carolina defeat Tennessee last week, they destroyed them even while Tennessee’s star quarterback Hendon Hooker was healthy. Before he tore his ACL, Tennessee was still getting run off the field.
I didn't want to believe under any circumstances that South Carolina would be coming into this game with Spencer Rattler having the best game of his career against one of the top teams in the country, and to have some inkling of thought that he could do it again this time against one of the best defenses in the country. But when you are coming off a game where you've thrown just only 7 incompletions while tossing 438 yards and six touchdowns, you'd have a hard time but convincing anybody that they couldn't do it again.
Do I think South Carolina finds a way to win this game? Not really. Would I be surprised in the least if it was a close game to where South Carolina could possibly cover with the 14 points that it's getting at most books? Given how things have shaped up the last few weeks, not really.
Clemson should find a way to win this game simply off the merit that it is a much better team and defense should ultimately win out in the end, like it has multiple times this year. But I do wonder in the back of my mind if South Carolina’s maligned quarterback has one more big game in him. Clemson by 13
Clemson is 3-11 ATS when the total is between 49.5 and 56 the last 3 seasons.
Clemson is 0-6 ATS after allowing 7 points or less in the first half in two straight games the last 3 seasons.
Clemson is 50-26 ATS following a cover as a double-digit favorite since 1992.
Passing: Spencer Rattler -- 2,420 yards, 14 TD, 9 INT
Rushing: Marshawn Lloyd -- 556 yards, 9 TD
Receiving: Antwane Wells Jr. -- 767 yards, 4 TD
Passing: D.J. Uiagalelei -- 2,412 yards, 21 TD, 6 INT
Rushing: Will Shipley -- 960 yards, 13 TD
Receiving: Antonio Williams -- 512 yards, 3 TD
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