Clemson Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
Date and Time: Saturday, November 25, 2017, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC
Opening College Football Odds: Clemson -14
Clemson vs. South Carolina TV Coverage: ESPN
Dabo Swinney truly deserves some consideration for National Coach of the Year honors after what he has pulled off this season. He's turned Kelly Bryant into a superstar in the post-Deshaun Watson era, and his running game might be the most dangerous in the country.
Travis Etienne and Tavien Feaster don't get the ball in their hands a ton, but when they do, look the heck out! Etienne is averaging 7.7 yards per carry and has taken 11 of his 88 carries to the house this season while Feaster is averaging 6.7 yards per carry.
What isn't surprising about Clemson is the fact that the team ranks No. 3 in the nation in scoring defense at 13.9 points per game. The ACC schedule hasn't been all that tough, but when you consider the fact that an Auburn team that has scored 40+ points in eight of its first 11 games of the season was held out of the end zone in Death Valley earlier this season, that's proof of just how strong this unit is.
South Carolina has had a great season under Will Muschamp. At 8-3, the Gamecocks aren't quite good enough to play for the SEC title, but the fact that this team is likely heading to a New Year's Day bowl game is a great accomplishment.
Jake Bentley continues to be impressive this season. He isn't asked to do a heck of a lot for the Gamecocks' offense, but at 63.1 percent completions with a 15/9 TD/INT ratio, he represents as good of a quarterback as South Carolina has had for years.
Special teams could be relatively tricky for both of these teams.
The Gamecocks have made 12-of-24 field goal attempts this year, including just 2-of-12 from beyond 40 yards. That said, South Carolina has an excellent punting game with Joseph Charlton while Deebo Samuel is an electrifying kick returner.
Clemson has been through four kickers this season. Alex Spence has the job right now, but that's only because Greg Huegel, one of the top kickers in America, tore his ACL in the middle of the year. Spence is just 6-for-11 on field goals this year, and virtually all of them are from within 30 yards.
From outside of 30 yards this year, the Tigers are just 4-for-11 on the season.
Clemson vs. South Carolina Free Picks
South Carolina is going to be getting a lot of respect in this game, and it's probably earned that right at +14 at all of the best online sportsbooks.
However, the Gamecocks are overmatched in this game as they largely have been over the course of the last three years. South Carolina did cover in a 37-32 loss two years ago when this game was last played in Columbia, but last season's 56-7 loss and the 35-17 defeat in 2014 to the Tigers still rings in our minds.
All of the names are a little different in the Clemson uniforms, but the stark reality remains that this is the best team in the Palmetto State, and it isn't even all that close.
College Football ATS Pick: Clemson -14 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Clemson 42, South Carolina 21