Clemson University

College football today

• TV: ESPN2 (cable channel 28 in Rock Hill)

• Radio: WRHI (1340AM, 94.3FM)

• Series record: 63-37-4 Clemson

• Last time: South Carolina 31, Clemson 28, Nov. 25, 2006, in Clemson

• Last week's result: Boston College beat Clemson 20-17; South Carolina was idle

• Rankings: Clemson is 21st in The Associated Press poll, 22nd in the USA Today/coaches poll and 22nd in the BCS standings.

• Tickets: Sold out

• Run. South Carolina's pass defense is banged-up but there's really no need to challenge it -- the Gamecocks' run defense is so bad that James Davis and C.J. Spiller ought to be able to pick holes at their leisure.

• Remember. As in, what happened last week. A grand shot at the ACC championship flew away as soon as Matt Ryan unleashed that 43-yard bomb, and the Tigers can at least re-claim some pride by winning their rivalry game.

• Pressure. Ricky Sapp and Dorell Scott have played Blake Mitchell before and know he won't run, standing in the pocket until he finds a man or gets hit. A unit that has 26 sacks ought to have a few more today, considering the Gamecocks' leaky protection and Mitchell's plant-footed status.

• Stand up in the first. Who knows what would have happened if USC had scored first in the past four games instead of having to try and come back? Spotting Clemson a quick touchdown or two will have the Gamecocks heading for their fifth straight loss.

• Pride. USC has a stadium full of home fans to please and are thinking of their season, which can still be saved with a win today. Clemson may be more talented but if USC wants it more ...

• Harper must go down. The Gamecocks won't get many interceptions of Cullen Harper and if they allow him to pick apart their defense, it's going to be a long day. If they get to him quickly and force him to run, they can set the tempo.

• Prediction: Clemson wins the matchups -- its offense is facing a shattered, injured defense and its pass defense is just as good as USC's, if not better. Clemson wins psychologically -- after blowing the division title in the span of nine seconds last week, the Tigers are trying to regroup with a big win and keep trying for a 10-win season. Clemson wins historically -- the Tigers own the series, they haven't lost two straight to USC since 1969-70 and they've won eight of the past 10, only losing in Columbia twice in the past 20 years.

But, because they've been playing SEC competition all season and they'll be facing a strong group that has only faced ACC and mid-major competition today, the Gamecocks win the game.