Please see page 6D for more pre-game coverage of the Gamecocks and Tigers, including notes, statistics, key matchups, quotes and more.
LOUISIANA-MONROE WARHAWKS (0-1, 0-0 SUN BELT) AT NO. 25 CLEMSON TIGERS (1-0, 1-0 ACC), 1 P.M.
• TV: None
• Radio: WRHI (1340 AM)
• Series record: 0-0
• Last game: First meeting
• Last week:Tulsa beat Louisiana-Monroe 35-17; Clemson beat Florida State 24-18
• Rankings: Clemson is 25th in the AP poll and received votes in the USA Today/coaches poll
• Tickets: Available at 1-800-CLEMSON
TIGERS' KEYS TO VICTORY
• RED BULL -- If Clemson is still tired from a short week of practice following an emotional win over Florida State, now's not the time to be sleepy. Chug a few energy drinks and get on the field.
• BE CAREFUL -- Get James Davis and C.J. Spiller their touches, but don't overdo it. Today is a chance to get ahead early and experiment with some plays that may be needed down the road.
• SHUFFLE -- With bumps and bruises to five starters last week -- nothing serious -- the Tigers don't need anybody else on the disabled list. Constant replacing on the lines should solve any problems.
The focus all preseason was getting past Florida State, an important game for national and conference implications. That goal was accomplished and now Clemson gears up for an easy three-game stretch. Obviously, Louisiana-Monroe can look at Appalachian State and say it's got a chance at the upset. That is a slight concern, but nothing the Tigers can't handle. Use Davis and Spiller to notch a few quick touchdowns, play clock control for the duration and keep working for Sept. 29.
TIGERS 55, WARHAWKS 10
SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS (1-0, 0-0 SEC) AT NO. 11 GEORGIA BULLDOGS (1-0, 0-0), 5:45 P.M.
• TV: ESPN2 (cable channel 28 in Rock Hill)
• Radio: WRHM (94.3 FM)
• Series record: 11-3 Georgia
• Last game: Georgia 18, USC 0, Sept. 9, 2006, at Columbia
• Last week: USC beat Louisiana-Lafayette 28-14; Georgia beat Oklahoma State 35-14
• Rankings: South Carolina received votes in each poll; Georgia is 11th in the AP poll and 12th in the USA Today/coaches poll
• Tickets: Sold out
GAMECOCKS' KEYS TO VICTORY
• TACKLE -- It wasn't so much that ULL gained 252 rushing yards last week, it was the majority of them were through broken tackles. Georgia likes to run and has the talent to do it, so the initial USC contact has got to be the final USC contact.
• BLOCK -- USC didn't give up any sacks last week, but quarterbacks Chris Smelley and Tommy Beecher were hit numerous times. Blake Mitchell is stepping in today with the reputation of running every other millenium, and USC's pieced-together line is going to have a massive challenge.
• YOUNG BLOOD -- The Bulldogs gave up 196 passing yards last week to Oklahoma State and are expecting to face another pass-happy approach. USC's got the speed in the youthful receiving corps, although not necessarily the experience -- so Mitchell must hit his receivers on short tosses and let them run.
We all know the winner of this game always has the better season, a trend that began in 1997. Georgia is a strong team but a rebuilding team while USC, according to coach Steve Spurrier, has the talent to challenge for the SEC title. Step 1 is today. Without a win over Georgia, the Gamecocks are in a big hole that only gets deeper with a trip to LSU in two weeks. Spurrier's verbal abuse all week about how his team was lousy against ULL is the perfect ammunition.
GAMECOCKS 20, BULLDOGS 18