Clemson came up just short in its effort to repeat as champions of the ACC's Atlantic Division, and South Carolina came up a little short in its push to get back to the SEC championship game.
Still, this is a meeting of two teams with a combined record of 19-3 when the Tigers and Gamecocks meet for the 110th time in the Palmetto Bowl, Saturday night at Death Valley (7 pm ET, ESPN).
The point spread, which has held steady with Clemson at -4 in most sportsbooks tracked by OddsShark.com, indicates that these teams are evenly matched, despite the 5-1 ATS (against the spread) edge enjoyed by the Gamecocks over the past six meetings.
South Carolina started off this season 6-0, with wins over Vandy and Georgia. But injuries began to take a toll, and the 'Cocks lost two straight at LSU and at Florida. Since then, though, Carolina has won three straight, beating Tennessee, Arkansas and, last week, Wofford, 24-7.
At 6-2 in conference play, the Gamecocks finished in third place in the SEC East—a game behind the Bulldogs and Gators.
Clemson, meanwhile, started 3-0 this season, then lost at Florida State, 49-37.
The Tigers haven't lost since.
Along the way, they've put up at least 38 points in every game and hit the 45-point mark five times in their last seven games. Last week, Clemson beat North Carolina State 62-48.
At 7-1 in ACC play, the Tigers tied with the Seminoles for the top spot in the Atlantic Division but lost out on the berth in the conference championship game because of the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Statistically speaking, South Carolina has scored 41 touchdowns this season, allowed 22 TDs and out-rushed opponents by a 144-117 YPG margin.
Clemson, meanwhile, has scored 61 TDs, allowed 33 and out-rushed foes 204-163.
On the injury front, the Gamecocks are playing without RB Marcus Lattimore, who's out for the season with that terrible knee injury.
South Carolina has won its last three games in this series by an average score of 32-12. Last year, the Gamecocks held the Tigers to just 153 yards of offense on their way to a 34-13 victory in Columbia.
Free Pick: South Carolina has beaten Clemson three times in a row, but we figure it's about time that streak came to an end.
We'll take the Tigers minus the points. (courtesy of PickShark.com)
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