Dan Scott Prediction: Clemson at South Carolina


by - Correspondent -
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Is it the final regular season game already? My, how time flies. Well, one more game, one more pick. Clemson looking for win No. 9, USC win No. 7 and yours truly win No. 8. So, here it is:

WHEN CLEMSON HAS THE BALL

Conventional wisdom here says run the ball, run the ball, run the ball. And then, when USC is tired, run it some more. However, is anything conventional with either of these teams? Given the poor run defense the Gamecocks have displayed all season, running the ball will be the top priority. But if USC stacks the box, Tommy Bowden and Co. will have no problem throwing it as much as necessary. And this year, they can.

ADVANTAGE - CLEMSON

WHEN USC HAS THE BALL

A year ago the Tigers got zero rush on Blake Mitchell, and the embattled Gamecock quarterback picked them apart. With USC having offensive line issues, and Clemson's front four rushing the passer at a ridiculous clip the past couple of weeks, Mitchell could be in trouble. Rush him up the middle, those who watch him weekly say, and he is apt to make bad decisions with the football. Of course, if the Gamecocks can run effectively, they can slow down the pass rush. But Mitchell is the x-factor, and it says here he'll be harassed all night.

ADVANTAGE - CLEMSON

SPECIAL TEAMS

This category may come down to Succop vs. Buchholz. I'll take Succop at the moment.

ADVANTAGE - USC

INTANGIBLES

USC is coming off a week of rest. They need this win to guarantee a bowl appearance. But Clemson has won eight of nine at Williams-Brice.

ADVANTAGE - EVEN

BOTTOM LINE

I'm keeping a promise to a Gamecock caller to my radio show back in June during our on-air preseason picks. I told him then I was picking Clemson, partially because of the fact that USC hasn't won more than one game in a row in this series since 1968-70. If the Gamecocks win this year, I promised him I'd pick them regardless of circumstances in 2008. But this is 2007...

THE PICK

Clemson 41, USC 24

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