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Clemson football vs. South Carolina: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Tigers battle Gamecocks

Defensive lineman K.J. Henry #13 of the Clemson Tigers reacts as he runs off the field with teammates defensive end Xavier Kelly #22, safety Nolan Turner #24, and linebacker Jalen Williams #30 after the Tigers force a Furman Paladins fumble during the fourth quarter of the football game at Clemson Memorial Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
Defensive lineman K.J. Henry #13 of the Clemson Tigers reacts as he runs off the field with teammates defensive end Xavier Kelly #22, safety Nolan Turner #24, and linebacker Jalen Williams #30 after the Tigers force a Furman Paladins fumble during the fourth quarter of the football game at Clemson Memorial Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)

CLEMSON, S.C. – Second-ranked Clemson will try to put a cap on a perfect regular season - and move one step closer to a berth in the College Football Playoff - when it vies for a fifth consecutive win over visiting South Carolina on Saturday. The Tigers haven’t won five straight against the rival Gamecocks since putting together a seven-game streak from 1934-40.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Clemson -26.5

 

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The Tigers haven’t just been beating teams - they’ve been hammering them, winning six consecutive games by at least 20 points to match the longest such streak in program history. That’s quite the opposite of the Gamecocks’ recent stretch - prior to last week's 49-9 win over Chattanooga, they had five straight games decided by four points or fewer, which makes Clemson coach Dabo Swinney wary. "South Carolina, they’re 6-4, but man they had two really, really close losses that could have gone the other way and they’re sitting here at 8-2,” Swinney told reporters. “I think that’s who they are, a team that’s capable of playing with everybody they play with.” Clemson has won 14 straight at home, a streak that began with a 56-7 drubbing of the Gamecocks in 2016.

ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA (6-4)

The Gamecocks’ deep passing game has rounded into form lately, as Jake Bentley has a completed a pass of 50 or more yards in each of the last four contests, with a total of six over that span. They probably will need the passing game to have a big day against Clemson's dominant run defense, especially with leading rusher Rico Dowdle still slowed by an ankle injury. South Carolina’s defense has struggled to stop the run, allowing more than 230 yards on the ground four times this season - including 367 at Florida.

ABOUT CLEMSON (11-0)

The Tigers are one of two teams in the nation that ranks in the top 10 in both total offense (eighth) and total defense (second). The offense can hurt opponents multiple ways with freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who has passed for 2,095 yards with 21 touchdowns and four interceptions, and running back Travis Etienne, who tied the school record with his 17th rushing TD of the season last week. Clemson’s defense has not allowed a touchdown in eight quarters and has given up more than 312 total yards only once all season.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Clemson has won nine straight games in November.

2. The Tigers have scored at least 27 points in a school-record 12 consecutive contests and held seven straight opponents to 20 points or fewer.

3. South Carolina has dropped nine straight games against ranked opponents since beating Tennessee in 2016.

PREDICTION: Clemson 37, South Carolina 20

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