No. 1 Clemson Tigers (11-0 SU, 5-6 ATS) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (3-8 SU, 5-6 ATS)
College Football Week 12
Date/Time: Saturday November 28th, 12:00PM EST
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium Columbia, S.C.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CLEM -17.5/USC +17.5
Over/Under Total: 55
The battle of the Palmetto State will take center stage early this Saturday when the no. 1 ranked Clemson Tigers travel into Columbia against their in-state rivals in the South Carolina Gamecocks. The Gamecocks once owned this rivalry just a few years ago winning 5 straight games under Coach Steve Spurrier before that streaked was snapped in Clemson last year. This season South Carolina has unraveled into a seemingly never ending downward spiral. Steve Spurrier stepped down midway through the season and when you thought things could not get any worse; South Carolina was upset by Citadel last week for the first time in 25 years. Sure a change is coming in Columbia, but the Gamecocks hope to turn back the hands in time for at least 1 weekend this Saturday when they battle the Tigers inside Williams-Brice Stadium.
Meanwhile on the other side of the state, things have never been better for Coach Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers. Clemson will enter this Saturday as 17.5 point favorites to capture their first undefeated season since their 1981 National Championship campaign. As long as they survive this weekends contest with South Carolina, they will have a showdown in the ACC Championship Game with North Carolina for a chance to advance to the College Football Playoffs. Currently, Clemson has been doing everything right to keep their momentum going. They are playing tough in the trenches especially on the defensive side of the football. Meanwhile, offensive the Tigers have an abundance of talent to go heels with any team in the nation.
I personally do not think that Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson gets enough credit for how he changes football games. Watson is the ultimate talent with the arm to launch it downfield with accuracy or tuck the ball away to make plays with his feet. Either way he is nearly impossible to defend or even simulate in preparation in practices. On the year, Watson has completed 70% passing for 2,944 yards with 29 touchdowns and 10 picks. The Tigers are loaded with talent at the receiving corps as well that will make them a nightmarish matchup against South Carolinas corners. Wide outs Artavis Scott and Charone Peake have combined for 1,183 yards and 9 touchdowns and both receivers should get plenty of opportunities down the field this Saturday.
While Clemsons passing attack will be tough to defend for South Carolina, I am more concerned about the Gamecocks inability to stop the run more than I am the pass. There is no question that Watson is extremely dangerous but running back Wayne Gallman could be the player to watch on Saturday. Gallman has rushed for 1,043 yards and 9 touchdowns this season with the majority of that total coming throughout the 2nd half of the season. Gallman missed last weeks game against Wake Forest with an ankle injury but he should be good to go this week which will be big for Clemson as they seek their 2nd straight win over South Carolina.
For the Gamecocks, they simply do not have any answers for their offensive woes which was just 1 part of the equation that contributed to last weeks 23-22 loss to the Citadel. South Carolina quarterback Perry Orth has been awful completing just 55% passing with 9 scores and 8 picks on the season. The South Carolina offense has not been able to run the ball either which has not helped matters. The only bright spot has been wide receiver Pharoh Cooper. Cooper is among the best talents in the SEC and is coming off an 11 catch 191 yard performance last week. Cooper has also caught a touchdown pass in each of the last 3 games. If you consider South Carolinas horrid play at the quarterback position, it is really surprising to see Cooper continue to strive and he will likely be South Carolinas only hope this Saturday.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I am a South Carolina fan but I do not believe the Gamecocks can contend with Clemson in this spot. There is simply too many holes in this team and Clemson will exploit those issues. Take Clemson -17.5
Bet this game at an online sportsbook where your credit card WILL work for deposits and where you’ll receive a giant 50% sign-up bonus up to $1000 in FREE cash! –> MyBookie!
Additional College Football Betting Previews