5 reasons Clemson gets the win over South Carolina

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Dabo Swinney and Clemson are back home this Saturday as the Tigers face off with rivals South Carolina in a big one in Death Valley. 

The No.8 Tigers are coming off a solid home win over Miami, where they performed up to expectation against a struggling Miami team. South Carolina is coming off a big win of their own as they put a beat down on former No.5 Tennessee in an upset victory. 

Clemson’s rivalry week matchup got much more interesting after the Gamecocks beat the Volunteers, as the Tigers are on the outside looking in of the College Football Playoffs. The Tigers must perform at a high-level Saturday to keep their playoff hopes alive. 

Here are five reasons why Clemson will walk away with a home win against rivals South Carolina:

Will Shipley and the running backs should have a huge day

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Clemson’s best offensive player is their starting running back, Will Shipley, and he should have a ton of opportunities to make plays against South Carolina. Statistically, the Gamecocks are one of the worst run defenses in the country, ranking No.110 in the country in rushing yards allowed. They allow nearly five yards a carry and 188 rushing yards a game. Though they haven’t allowed as many touchdowns as other struggling run defenses (18), Shipley has proven to have a knack for finding the end zone with 13 rushing touchdowns this season. Will Shipley should be in for a massive day this Saturday.

Clemson’s defensive line is going to dominate the battle up front

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The biggest advantage Clemson might have in this matchup is the battle up front between the Tigers’ defensive line and the Gamecocks’ offensive line. South Carolina’s offensive line has struggled against solid pass rushes this season, and Clemson is much more than just a solid group. The Tigers have top-tier future NFL talent on the defensive line, and while they haven’t always played that way, they are arguably the best defensive line unit in college football. I’m expecting a big performance out of this unit which should result in a long day for South Carolina starting quarterback Spencer Rattler.

DJ Uiagalelei will take advantage of his improvements on the ground

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Clemson will have to be effective on the ground to win this game and that goes beyond the Tigers’ running backs. Starting quarterback DJ Uiagalelei will have to continue to utilize his improved running abilities for the Tigers’ offense to play at a high level. When the team needed Uiagalelei to perfrom on the ground this season, he has and it has typically been in the closer games where we’ve seen the junior quarterback make a statement on the ground. With South Carolina struggling against the run this season, especially over the past few weeks, Uiagalelei’s improvements in the run game will make the Tigers offense that much more of a problem for the Gamecocks.

Clemson linebackers have been on a tear

Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Something that has seemingly flown under the radar this season is how well the Tigers’ linebackers have been performing. Especially over the last few weeks, linebackers Trenton Simpson, Barrett Carter, and Jeremiah Trotter Jr. have been playing excellent football. One week it’s Carter having a career day the next, it’s Trotter; all the while, Trenton Simpson is flying around the field and making plays that show you why he’s considered a near-lock for the first round of the 2023 NFL draft. Clemson’s defensive line is elite, but now that the Tigers’ linebackers are playing at such a high level, South Carolina’s offense may not even have an opportunity to exploit Clemson’s secondary.

Swinney and the Tigers are at home and have dominated this matchup

Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Not only has Clemson been dominant at home, but they have also been dominant in this matchup in recent history. The Tigers have won 40 straight at home, which is the largest home win streak in the country right now. While the Tigers haven’t lost at home in six years, they haven’t lost a game against the Gamecocks since 2013. While I do think Shane Beamer is a great coach, Clemson has the better coach, a more talented roster, and the best home-field advantage in college football right now. The Tigers seemingly have too many advantages heading into this matchup.

Story originally appeared on Clemson Wire



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