Despite the fact senior Bryson Allen-Williams has already been ruled out for Saturday’s game at second-ranked Clemson and defensive end D.J. Wonnum is listed as questionable and sophomore Aaron Sterling is banged up as well, South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp likes the matchup of his defensive line against Clemson’s offensive line.
“I think our defensive line, at times, we need to be more consistent with what we’re doing, but I like some matchups up front,” the Gamecocks head coach said earlier this week according to The Big Spur.com.
Muschamps’ comment are interesting considering the way Clemson has been playing along the line of scrimmage. Head coach Dabo Swinney feels is offensive line has found its rhythm and is starting to assert itself.
The Tigers (11-0) have allowed just one sack in the last four games and that one was not charged to the offensive line. Clemson ranks 4th in the country in tackles for loss allowed (39) and is 13th nationally in sacks given up with 13 in 11 games thus far.
Clemson is also 13th nationally at running the football (247.7 yards/game) and is second in the country in yards per carry at 6.6 yards per clip.
The Gamecocks (6-4) have not stopped the run all year. They allowed more than 300 against Florida two weeks ago and rank 92nd nationally against the run at 190.1 yards per carry. Opponents are averaging 4.46 per rush which ranks 79th nationally.
South Carolina ranks 79th in total defense at 409.9, just below Rutgers, who is No. 78 in total defense. In scoring defense, they rank 63th nationally, allowing 26.7 points per game.
In case you are wondering, the Tigers lead the ACC and rank fifth nationally in scoring at 44.7 points per game. They also averaged 520.5 yards per game, which ranks eighth nationally.
Clemson also has a 92.3 scoring percentage in the red zone.
It will be interesting to see how the Gamecocks defend all of the Tigers’ weapons and if Muschamp does see an advantage for his defensive line going up against Clemson’s O-Line.