Well, the day has finally arrived. The annual battle for the Palmetto State may not have the major bowl implications of the past few years, but it is safe to say this year's edition is just as important to these two teams.
On one hand, you have Clemson, desperate to snap an unprecedented 5 game losing streak to the Gamecocks and prove the ACC is more than a one team league. USC on the other hand can salvage what has been a largely disappointing season by beating the team up north.
The high noon kickoff means that Carolina and Clemson fans alike will need to start tailgating and trash talking early...as if that is going to be a problem for anyone.
How to witness
12:00 p.m. ET, Memorial Stadium (Clemson, SC)
Play-by-play: Steve Levy
Analysis: Kelly Stouffer
Sideline: Dawn Davenport
Channel: Gamecock IMG Sports Network
Play-by-play: Todd Ellis
Analysis: Tommy Suggs
Sideline: Langston Moore
Rankings and records: South Carolina is 6-5 (3-5) and is unranked in both the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll. Clemson is 8-3 (6-2), and is ranked 23rd in the AP Poll and 24th in the Coaches Poll.
Vegas: Clemson is a 4 point favorite.
Weather forecast: Upper 50's, Sunny.
What's at stake
Besides the normal stakes, like bragging rights and the upper hand in recruiting, this year's game again will determine what kind of bowl these two squads go to. A USC win would probably mean a half-decent SEC affiliated bowl, something that certainly seemed out of reach at the start of November.
Two big matchups
Clemson Wide Receivers vs. South Carolina Secondary: No matter who is at quarterback for Clemson today, getting the ball into their extremely talented wide receivers will be a major part of their attack. Unfortunately, Carolina fans have seen the gifted, but inexperienced corners make plenty of mistakes this season. A crucial mistake or two, especially in Death Valley, could be too much for USC to overcome.
Spurrier vs. Dabo: To say the HBC is in Dabo's head would be an understatement. At the beginning of Spurrier's tenure at South Carolina he made a point to somewhat downplay the Clemson game, saying that USC fans focused too heavily on only worrying about beating CU and not the rest of it's SEC brethren. If Dabo's nearly unthinkable countdown to Carolina locker room clock means anything, it's that Clemson's inability to consistently beat it's rival is completely consuming Dabo's thoughts.