Game Capsule

CLEMSON - 24th ranked Clemson sqaures off with archrival South Carolina Saturday at noon. The series dates to 1896 and the first year of football at Clemson, the fourth season for South Carolina. Clemson holds the advantage 63-36-4 since that first meeting in Columbia.

GAME: South Carolina (6-5, 3-5 SEC) at No. 24 Clemson (8-3, 5-3 ACC) 12:00 PM

LOCATION: Memorial Stadium (81,474)

TV: ESPN (Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman and Rob Stone)

SPREAD: Clemson by 5.5

COACHES: Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden is 60-36 (78-40 overall) in his eighth season with the Tigers. South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is 13-10 (155-50-2 overall) in his second year with the Gamecocks. Spurrier is 1-3 lifetime against Clemson while Bowden is 6-1 against South Carolina.

SERIES: Clemson holds the advantage 63-36-4 since that first meeting in Columbia in 1896. Clemson has more wins over South Carolina than any other school and those victories represent over 10 percent of Clemson's all-time victory total (616). The last time the two teams met at Clemson (2004) Clemson was victorious 29-7. It was the 600th victory in Clemson football history. Clemson has also won four in a row, eight of nine and 14 of the last 18 in the series. Since 1988, Clemson is 8-1 in games played in Columbia and 6-3 in games played in Clemson.

INJURIES: Clemson- RB Demerick Chancellor (shoulder) out, OL Roman fry (ACL) out, LB Tramaine Billie (ankle) out, LB Anthony Waters (ACL) out, DT Etta Etta-Tawo (heart) out, Rendrick Taylor (arm) out, DE Brandon Cannon (knee) probable.South Carolina- S Brandon Isaac (shoulder) out, S Ty Erving (knee) out, S Nick Prochak (shoulder) out, DT Marque Hall (knee) out, OL Kevin Young (shoulder) out, OT Gurminder Thind (foot) out, DE Terrence Campbell (knee) out.

USC NOTES: South Carolina snapped a three-game losing streak by routing Middle Tennessee, 52-7, in the home finale last Saturday to improve their record to 6-5 on the season. They posted a 3-4 record at Williams-Brice Stadium, logging non-conference wins over Wofford, FAU and MTSU, but dropped four SEC games, all to ranked opponents – Georgia, Auburn, Tennessee and Arkansas. The Gamecocks rank eighth in the SEC and 55th in the country in scoring offense (24.6 ppg) and are fifth in the SEC and 21st in the country in scoring defense (16.3 ppg).

CLEMSON NOTES: C.J. Spiller leads all ACC freshmen in rushing (69.0), touchdowns (10) and allpurpose yardage (106.5) ... James Davis leads the ACC in rushing (101.40), is tied for fifth all-time among ACC single season leaders with 17 touchdowns rushing and is six yards shy of 2,000 for his career … Davis and Spiller have combined to rush for 1,874 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2006 … PK Jad Dean has made 51 of 65 field goals in his career and is 25th on the ACC career scoring list with 246 points … WR Chansi Stuckey has caught a pass in 29 straight games ... Will Proctor is second in the ACC in passing efficiency (133.1).

CLEMSON KEY PLAYER: CB C.J. Gaddis. Gaddis has the unenviable task of trying to cover South Carolina wide receiver Sydney Rice, one of the most explosive players in the country. The good news is Gaddis had little trouble shutting down a similar player in Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson. The bad news is the South Carolina passing attack appears to be clicking on all cylinders with Blake Mitchell back as the starting quarterback.

CRAZY STAT OF THE WEEK: The team entering the game with the better overall record has a 17-4-1 record in the series since 1981. That computes to 79.5 percent over a 25-year period. Three times during that era both teams had the same record. The norm has been broken each of the last two years, however. In 2004, South Carolina had the better record entering the game at 6-4 compared to Clemson's 5-5, but the Tigers won the game, 29-7. Last year, South Carolina had the upper hand with a 7-3 mark compared to the 6-4 for Clemson, but Clemson won the game, 13-9. This year Clemson has the better record at 8-3, while South Carolina is 6-5.

FORECAST: A chilly morning will give way to warm conditions in the afternoon under mostly sunny skies. High of 69F. Winds light and variable. (weather.com)

COVERAGE:
* The Tiger Report
* Proctor Legacy Will Be Determined Saturday
* Remember When? The Catch II
* Depth Chart
* Remember When? 1988 Clemson-Carolina
* What We are Hearing ...
* Bowden Press Conference Notes
* Clemson - Carolina Tuesday Notebook
* Monday Practice Report
* Spotlight on Gaddis vs. Rice Matchup
* Remember When? 1980 Clemson-Carolina
* Remember When? The Catch
* Tigers Turn Attention to South Carolina

WHAT TO WATCH: When Clemson has the Ball - The Tigers were once the top scoring offense in the country before taking a slide starting with a 24-7 loss to Virginia Tech in late October. South Carolina's defensive line is overmatched at the line of scrimmage, which should create running lanes for James Davis and C.J. Spiller. The key for Clemson will be to capitalize on big play opportunities by putting touchdowns on the board. The Gamecock secondary uses man free coverage, meaning many of Clemson's short routes may not be available to QB Will Proctor. Proctor must be able to make sound decisions and accurate throws downfield to keep the Gamecocks' defense honest. Otherwise expect eight men in the box as the Gamecocks key in on Clemson's ground attack.

When South Carolina has the Ball- Head coach Steve Spurrier, who is known for playing musical chairs at quarterback, has done so to perfection this year. Saturday, expect to see Blake Mitchell back in the pocket as the redshirt junior appears to be making all the right reads and throws in Spurrier's offense. Mitchell has completed over 70 percent of his passes for over 870 yards and six touchdowns in his last 10 quarters of play. The biggest key for South Carolina's offense may be red zone production as the team has struggled against quality competition for most of the year. Running backs Mike Davis and Cory Boyd give South Carolina a solid 1-2 punch. WR Sidney Rice is one of the most explosive athletes in the country and will draw constant attention from the Clemson secondary, which will stay in zone coverage for most, if not all of the game. South Carolina must find a way to neutralize DE Gaines Adams and Clemson's interior defensive line, which wreaked havoc on the Gamecocks last year. Also, don't fall asleep on WR Kenny McKinley, who has over 700 yards receiving and is a proven playmaker if Rice is consistently double-teamed.

Special Teams- South Carolina boasts one of the top kickers in the country in Ryan Succop, although several breakdowns in the kicking game ultimately cost the Gamecocks an upset win at No. 3 Florida. For the season, Succop has hit on 14-of-17 field goal attempts, including a career-long 55-yarder against Vanderbilt. Clemson's Jad Dean has rebounded nicely after a mid-season to slump and is now 15-of-19 for the season. Succop also handles South Carolina's punting game (43.8 yards/punt). The Gamecocks have punted just 27 times in 11 games, the fewest number in the SEC. Clemson's Cole Chason is averaging 40.7 yards/punt.

Intangibles- Mentally, the Tigers always seem to make the plays needed to win this game, but South Carolina has built a good deal of confidence after staying competitive with every team on the 2006 schedule, including nationally ranked Auburn, Tennessee, Arkansas and Florida. Meanwhile Clemson stormed out to a 7-1 start, only to finish with two losses in its last three games. The Tigers do have the luxury of coming of their only off-week of the season- which should help the team's psyche while also helping get their legs back. Interestingly enough, the Gamecocks have won more games in Death Valley during the last 20 years (3) than in Columbia (2).

THE BOTTOM LINE: Clemson wins if it controls the line of scrimmage and James Davis and C.J. Spiller combine for over 200 yards rushing and three touchdowns. South Carolina wins if Blake Mitchell has all day to pick apart Clemson's zone coverage and the Gamecock defense stiffens in the red zone.

PREDICTION Clemson 27 South Carolina 23

DON'T FORGET! The Tiger Pre-game Show will be broadcasting live Saturday afternoon from 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM from the Lawn at Littlejohn. Tune in to 104.9 WCCP FM in upstate South Carolina or on the world wide web on wccpfm.com.

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