When the Clemson Tigers made a trip to Raleigh last weekend, a later trip to a BCS bowl seemed like a very real possibility. Thanks to an embarrassing performance against N.C. State, that's no longer the case. The Battle of the Palmetto State is now very unlikely to have BCS implications unless the world tips over on its side and college football completely implodes. Clemson and the South Carolina Gamecocks are just playing for pride, which should be enough motivation in this rivalry.
Clemson blog Shakin The Southland has confidence that their wide receivers will be able to win one-on-one battles with South Carolina's defensive backs, especially if the Gamecocks fail to get pressure on Tahj Boyd.
South Carolina has shown both zone and man coverages extensively this fall. Their philosophy shifted towards more man as the season progressed. Carolina's DBs seem more comfortable with the simpler man concepts but have been susceptible. Obviously the key to man coverage is the ability to put pressure on the opposing QB and make him get rind of the football earlier rather than later. If Carolina chooses to play man (especially man-press) they will be susceptible to Clemson's speed and athleticism at the receiver spot, especially if Boyd has some time to throw.
South Carolina blog Garnet And Black Attack is also confident in their team's offense. Even with Marcus Lattimore injured, they like their team's ability to run the ball, especially with the zone-read option.
The Gamecocks looked very good running the zone read during the UT-UA-UF stretch. If we come out and establish the run out of the zone read, we should be able to move the ball. We'll also keep Clemson's offense off the field for extended periods of time, which will be a plus against an offense based on rhythm and wearing out the defense.
Game date, time: 7:45 pm ET, Saturday, November 26
Location: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, South Carolina
TV channel: ESPN/ESPN3
Spread: Gamecocks are favored by 3 points
Series history: Clemson leads the all-time series, 65-39-4
For further reading, news, discussion and more, visit Clemson Tigers blog Shakin The Southland and South Carolina Gamecocks blog Garnet And Black Attack. Here's the complete Week 13 college football TV schedule, and stay tuned to SB Nation's college football news hub for more.