The biggest football game in South Carolina history may take place next weekend when South Carolina plays in its first SEC Championship game, but for now the Gamecocks are only focusing on the latest chapter in their long history with in-state rival Clemson.
That rivalry will be renewed Saturday night in Clemson at 7 ET.
�You�re going to have to ask me that question next week,” said, Spurrier when asked about the Title game. “We�ve got Clemson this week, so I can�t talk about that game right now.�
While South Carolina is playing in the Championship game this year, and Clemson has had a disappointing season to this point, the roles were reversed last year. Clemson seemed the very likely favorite to win the game which was played just one week before the Tigers first ACC Championship game. The Gamecocks ran all over the Tigers, eventually winning 34-17 and basically saving their season. The Tigers will have the chance to make everything alright again with a win over Carolina.
“It is a huge rivalry,� Spurrier said. �We are just in different conferences. We are in the same situation they were in last year. We rank the most important game of the year the one we are playing that week. This week it�s the Clemson game. If it had been a close game against Troy, (running back) Marcus Lattimore may have carried it 40 times. We are going to do all we can to try to beat Clemson. One of our goals every year is to beat our in-state rival. They give a trophy (the Hardee’s Trophy) to the winner of this game, so it�s a huge game.�
A South Carolina win would give the Gamecocks their first two-game winning streak against the Tigers since 1969-70. Spurrier says he doesn’t like to concentrate on past games, just on how to win the next one. He’s expecting a battle.
�Their defense is very good, probably one of the best we�ve played against,� Spurrier said. �I think they lead the ACC in about every category. DaQuan Bowers is an All-American type defensive player.�
The Gamecocks remain relatively healthy. Cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Marty Markett were banged up against Troy but should be available for the game. Gilmore has a slight concussion, while Markett has a knee sprain.