Saturday’s game will be the 119th all-time meeting between Clemson and South Carolina. Before the series was interrupted in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic, the teams had played every year from 1909-2019, which at the time was the second-longest active streak of consecutive years played in a rivalry in the nation.
The only longer consecutive rivalry at the time was Minnesota vs. Wisconsin, which had been played every year since 1907. Despite the interruption, at 118 games, the ClemsonSouth Carolina series entered 2022 tied for the 11th-most played rivalry in the FBS.
The Clemson vs. South Carolina series dates to 1896, the first year of football at Clemson and the fourth season for South Carolina. Clemson holds the advantage 72-42- 4 since that first meeting in Columbia, a game won by South Carolina, 12-6. Clemson’s first win took place the following year, an 18-6 victory in Columbia. Clemson broke a five-game losing streak to South Carolina in 2014 with a 35-17 win at Clemson. Deshaun Watson led the Tigers to the victory with 269 yards passing and 13 yards rushing. He threw for two scores and rushed for two more despite playing with a torn ACL.
A win this week would be Clemson’s eighth in a row in the series, which would break the longest streak in series history set from 1934-40 when the Tigers won seven in a row. Clemson has more wins (72) over South Carolina than any other opponent, and those victories represent 9.1 percent of Clemson’s all-time victory total (788).
Zach Lentz: The Clemson Tigers know what is at stake in this game, not only bragging rights or a historic eighth win in the series but also keeping their playoff hopes afloat. In order to do that, they understand that not only do they need to win the game but need style points to impress the committee–especially with only two weeks remaining to do so. Dabo Swinney knows what is at stake in this game, and the Tigers handle the Gamecocks in impressive fashion.
Clemson 41, South Carolina 17
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Brad Senkiw: They say you can throw out the record books in rivalry games but that simply hasn’t been the case in the Palmetto Bowl. Clemson wasn’t nearly at its best last season and the Tigers won 30-0 down in Columbia. This South Carolina team is a tick better than last season, but so is Clemson. That should even out, and as well as the Tiger defense is playing, it’s hard to go against them. The Gamecocks have a path to staying in this game. We all saw it last week against Tennessee. But it requires a fast start to build momentum. Clemson has been the better team when it comes to scripting its offense, but if the turnover bug continues, the Gamecocks can make this interesting. If it doesn’t, Clemson rolls. Turnovers are incredibly difficult to predict.
Clemson 35, South Carolina 22
Will Vandervort: The key to this game is simple. If the Tigers control the lines of scrimmage, then they should walk away with an 8th straight victory over the Gamecocks. Clemson is far and away superior to the Gamecocks on the lines of scrimmage. Look for the Tigers to try and control the game much like it did last year by running the football with Will Shipley, Phil Mafah and Kobe Pace. DJ Uiagalelei has to be effective in the run game, as well. On the defensive side, the Tigers must get pressure on USC quarterback Spencer Rattler. Pressure does affect the Gamecocks quarterback. Another key for Clemson is to take care of the football. The Tigers have turned the ball over 12 times the last four weeks. They must eliminate those mistakes against a USC team that feeds off its opponent’s mistakes.
Clemson 31, South Carolina 17
Jason Priester: While South Carolina’s blowout win over Tennessee has no doubt added a little spice to this game, one thing remains unchanged, and that is the fact that Clemson is just the more talented football team. The Tigers are the better team along the lines of scrimmage, particularly along the defensive line. Spencer Rattler won’t have the kind of time he did against the Volunteers, and with Clemson’s linebacker play being more consistent over the past couple of games, the run defense has been much improved in the wins over Louisville and Miami. On the offensive side, the Tigers just need to be better at protecting the football and cut out some of the turnovers. Do that and Clemson rolls to its record-setting eighth straight win over the Gamecocks.
Clemson 31 South Carolina 13