During ESPN’s College GameDay show this morning, ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit gave his thoughts on tonight’s game between Clemson (8-3) and South Carolina (6-5) at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.
Both Clemson (vs. Wake Forest) and South Carolina (vs. Auburn) are coming off of big conference wins at home, with the Tigers holding the then 10th-ranked Demon Deacons to a season-low point output in a 48-27 victory and the Gamecocks rallying from a 14-0 first quarter deficit to become bowl eligible with a 21-17 win over the SEC’s Tigers.
Herbstreit believes South Carolina will need to win the field position battle to help its offense, which ranks 102nd nationally in points per game (23.3), put up points against a Clemson defense ranked eighth nationally in scoring defense (16.4 points per game allowed).
“Another nasty rivalry, Clemson and South Carolina,” Herbstreit said. “The Tigers on the road. Last week, played great defense. Big celebration after they knocked off Wake Forest. Just reminding people that they’re still playing football. They’ve really improved over the year.
“South Carolina, also a huge win. They’re physical against the run. They’re going to have to create short field for their offense. They don’t have a lot of firepower on this offense. If they have any chance, they need a short field to be able to score.”
Herbstreit compared Gamecocks head coach Shane Beamer to Dabo Swinney earlier in his career and believes Beamer will be able to bring talent on board in time, but thinks his team is overmatched on this day heading into the matchup against a talented Tigers team.
“He’s outmanned. That’s the reality of where they are,” Herbstreit said. “But the culture and what he’s able to create, I think it’s very similar, actually, to a young Dabo — like the energy, family, trying to bring people in. He’s going to recruit incredibly well. They just don’t have the weapons today to compete with Clemson.”
The Clemson-South Carolina game is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. and will be televised on the SEC Network.
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