No. 2 Clemson Tigers (10-1 SU, 6-4-1 ATS) vs. South Carolina Gamecocks (8-3 SU, 7-3-1 ATS)
College Football Week 13
Date/Time: Saturday November 25th, 2017. 7:30PM (EST)
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium Columbia, S.C.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CLEM +14/SC -14
Over/Under Total: 46.5
One of the most heated and hated rivalries in the country will be rekindled this Saturday inside Williams-Brice Stadium when the South Carolina Gamecocks host the no. 2 Clemson Tigers in the Palmetto Bowl. The Tigers have won the last 3 in a row over the Gamecocks and will be 14 point favorites to continue that streak this weekend. However, South Carolina has shown an uncanny ability to compete this year and has surpassed all preseason expectations with an 8-3 overall record. For Clemson, College Football Playoffs implications remain on the line but the Gamecocks would love to be the team to put those hopes to bed.
Before the season began, South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley claimed that the Tigers were not that much better than us or better than us at all. Keep in mind, those comments come at a time where Clemson was coming off a National Championship and returning some of the best recruits in the country compared to South Carolina who was trying to build off Head Coach Will Muschamps 6-7 debut season in Columbia. Rest assured those comments have been at the forefront of this weeks talk between Clemson and South Carolina as hype builds for this Saturdays rivalry game. For South Carolina and Bentley, they have to prove they can compete against a Clemson team that blew them away last year 56-7.
The national consensus was that Clemson would regress this season as they looked to replace guys like Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams, and Wayne Gallman among others. However, Clemson has proven that they are equally as talented as any other major program in college football and the coaching staff has done a great job of getting the best of their talent. Clemson is no longer the pass-happy offense that stretched the field every down that they were last year with Watson behind center. They still run a spread offense but it focuses more heavily on running the football with Bryant, Travis Etienne, and Tavien Feaster. Collectively, Clemson has averaged 217 yards per game on the ground as a team which ranks 25th in the FBS. They still have a talent receiving corps and Bryant is capable of big passes down the field. However, they are more efficient running the football.
The reason Clemson has been able to maintain their success despite not putting up the gaudy numbers they did last year is because of the play of the defense. The Tigers defense is among the best in the nation yielding just 13.9 points per game (3rd in the FBS). The Clemson defensive front is most likely the very best group in the nation. They are solid against the run, cause disruption in the backfield, and ultimately get pressure on quarterbacks. Clemson ranks 2nd in college football with 39 total sacks on the year and their defense is the reason they hold a big advantage this weekend despite being on the road in a rivalry atmosphere.
For South Carolina, their stats never show up on paper. The offense ranks 104th averaging just 352 yards per game and the defense has been above average ranking 43rd allowing 366 yards per game. On paper, the Gamecocks should probably be worse than their 8-3 record suggests. However, they have done a good job of forcing turnovers and keeping teams out of the end zone which is the reason why I stated they find ways to compete. Jake Bentley is a solid quarterback that occasionally makes some bad decisions but still has a big time arm. Offensively, the Gamecocks have talent. WR Bryan Edwards and tight end Hayden Hurst present size along with matchup opportunities. However, the question remains will Bentley have time to throw against this Clemson defensive line that has wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks?
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I am a South Carolina fan but I think this game presents a bad matchup for the Gamecocks. Unless we get a tremendous effort from the offensive line, I expect Clemsons defense to dominate. The Gamecocks have also struggled with stopping the run at times this year against physical football teams. Therefore, I just cannot find cause backing them in this spot. Take Clemson -14. - Bet this game for FREE by taking advantage of a FAT 100% bonus up to $1000 at MyBookie! (Use Promo Code: PRDCT14)