Week 13: Clemson

Here we are at the end of the season again. I must say that I'm feeling better at this point of the year than I was last year after witnessing the loss to the Citadel in person, but I'm still not nearly as enthused as I was 3 years ago preparing to witness the Gamecocks' 5th win in a row over the team up north. Overall I'm thrilled with the direction the program is heading under Muschamp, but it's beyond obvious that this team has a long way to go to competing with Top 25 teams and getting 10+ wins a season.

The Gamecocks will have to play a perfect game to beat Clemson this year. While SC has a lot of young talent performing at a high level, but Clemson has some of the best talent in the country at the offensive skill positions and the best d-line the Gamecocks have faced all year. Despite that, I can't understand the point spread of 25.5. The Gamecocks haven't won or lost a game by more than 2 TDs all year. They have a surprisingly good defense that is in the top 10 in turnovers if I'm not mistaken, and have been great in the red-zone this year. Clemson on the other hand is turning the ball over a lot, with Deshaun Watson having thrown 13 picks (good enough for 2nd in the country). A lot of those turnovers have occurred in the red-zone. I'm expecting the Gamecocks to win the turnover battle, but I think they'll need to do so by 3 or more to keep this game competitive. Clemson hasn't played well at home and has everything to lose, while the Gamecocks haven't played well away and have nothing to lose. Clemson could certainly come out playing tight and struggle against an aggressive Gamecock team, but the talent and depth for Clemson will let them pull away from a close game late.

Prediction: USC 17 - Clemson 31