Dating back to 1896, the Gamecock/Tiger tradition runs deep. One of the most historic and rivaled match-ups in college football history, the annual meeting now has an official name.
“From ‘Big Thursday’ to ‘The Palmetto Bowl,’ there is so much history and tradition to showcase about this rivalry,” said South Carolina Director of Athletics Ray Tanner. “The Palmetto Bowl gives this rivalry an identity that highlights the State of South Carolina and the accomplishments of these outstanding institutions.”
This could easily be the most anticipated game of the year for South Carolina fans.
“This is one of the premier games every year in college football, and it’s a great opportunity for our institutions to increase exposure to the State of South Carolina and all the great people here,” Clemson Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich said. “To name this game The Palmetto Bowl hopefully adds to the identity of this great rivalry.”
Behind all of the hype and build up to the big day, South Carolina (6-5, 3-5 SEC) has been preparing over the past couple of days before the big Thanksgiving holiday for the Clemson Tigers (8-3, 6-2 ACC).
Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward has made a couple of changes over the past couple of weeks and confirmed a couple of spots on the field for his defense.
Clemson’s quarterback situation is unsound at the moment, and head coach Dabo Swinney said in his press conference on Tuesday the team is taking it day by day. The trick is, Cole Stoudt and Deshaun Watson have two different styles of play. Not knowing exactly if Watson will be at 100 percent for Clemson this Saturday, Ward says he has to prepare his unit for either QB.
"You have to be concerned with (Deshaun) Watson because he can run the football," said Ward. "Not that they won't run it with (Cole) Stoudt. I think he'll run the ball some too, but they'll run it a lot more with Watson playing quarterback."
The defense has done a tremendous job the past couple of games of executing plays ont he field, and Ward says this week should be no different.
"The guys take pride in the state rivalry," said Ward. "We try to execute better and create some turnovers that have helped us. We'll try to do the same on Saturday. We'll have to create some turnovers, especially because they've got a great defense. We've got to give our offense an opportunity with the football if we can."
On the offensive side of things, quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus said it best:
“Well, they are the number one defense in the country,right?” “So, I would imagine they will play their defense.”
Mangus also says the Tiger team is experienced but doesn’t expect them to play a lot different than they have been against other opponents.
"The experience always helps its just the same reason why I feel pretty good about having a 5th year quarterback.”
Head coach Steve Spurrier weighed in on his thoughts about the big orange rivalry. The HBC will be coaching in his 400th game on Saturday, and he has a pretty strong feeling the Gamecocks have a chance to pull another ‘W’ out.