Focus is on Clemson

Published Nov. 22, 2010 2:23 p.m. ET

By Wes Mitchell
November 22, 2010

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

"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

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.