One game, in particular, interests me as worth investing in.
At first glance, the Gamecocks look like an odd bunch right now. After getting annihilated by Florida, they upset Tennessee in a massive blowout.
Clemson, meanwhile, is doing Clemson things. The Tigers are coming off two straight double-digit wins. They sit at 10-1 and are ranked eighth nationally.
For reasons that I will explain, you should play both spread and total for their game against in-state rival South Carolina.
Feel free to parlay both bets at an Online Sports Betting Site in order to maximize your profit.
South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Clemson Tigers
Saturday, November 26, 2022 – 12:00 PM EST at Memorial Stadium
One team has shown how to beat Clemson this year. Otherwise undefeated, the Tigers lost to Notre Dame 35-14. In that game, Clemson was outmatched physically by the Fighting Irish, who collectively formed a well-sized and strong squad.
While lining up repeatedly in heavy sets, they ran it down Clemson's throats. Defensively, Notre Dame held Clemson's rush attack sufficiently in check.
In asking ourselves whether South Carolina can remain competitive against Clemson, we will need to know whether the Gamecocks are physical enough to replicate Notre Dame's success to a sufficient extent that they can cover the spread.
Is Clemson Physical?
Before we examine South Carolina, we need to understand the extent to which Clemson is physical.
It turns out that the Tigers' loss to Notre Dame reveals rather that Notre Dame's physicality is exceptional than that their own physicality is deficient.
Joseph Ngata and Davis Allen
Physicality is pervasive in Clemson's offense. Clemson's second and third-leading pass catchers are both physical guys.
Second-leading pass-catcher wide receiver Joseph Ngata is 6-3, 215 pounds while third-leading pass-catcher tight end Davis Allen is 6-6, 250 pounds.
Ngata's physicality is not as blatantly obvious in his size as in Allen's case, but video footage reveals that Ngata reliably makes tough catches for which he uses his physicality by, for example, overcoming and releasing himself from press coverage. His physicality is also evident in his involvement in Clemson's rush attack.
In a similar vein, Allen thrives in contested catch situations and is an effective blocker because of his strength.
Clemson's Rush Attack
If Clemson's decision to recruit physical pass-catchers doesn't make it easy enough to recognize that they value physicality, then this recognition is certainly prompted by consideration of their rush attack.
The Tiger rush attack ranks 39th nationally largely thanks to Clemson's massive offensive line.
Whereas the center and right side of South Carolina's offensive line are occupied by players who barely, if they do, exceed 300 pounds, Clemson's center, right guard, and right tackle are 315 pounders.
Running back Will Shipley himself is someone who, as evident in his higher YPC averages in later quarters, improves his strength and physicality as a given game prolongs itself.
South Carolina's Run Defense
South Carolina's front 7 is small and undersized. This is a fact discernible from its players' size and weight figures. This fact is evident in South Carolina's problems against stronger rush attacks.
Arkansas, for example, displayed its physical advantages by rushing for 295 yards on 65 carries in its 14-point win over the Gamecocks.
More recently, Gamecocks' head coach Shane Beamer cited physicality as a major reason for Florida's victory; the Gators dominated South Carolina 38-6, largely because they used their strong offensive line to run for 374 yards on 54 carries
When facing South Carolina, teams are able to use their physicality to score a lot of points by thriving on the ground.
Led especially by an offensive line that is strong and physical throughout and by Shipley, Clemson will replicate Arkansas' and Florida's success.
Clemson's Physical Defense
Defensively, the Tigers are also very physical. When they faced a then-ranked 10th-ranked NC State team that wanted to be physical on offense, the Tigers limited their rush attack to 34 yards on 21 carries.
Again, Notre Dame's physicality is exceptional. Normally, Clemson's physicality suffices.
South Carolina's Offense vs. Clemson's Defense
South Carolina's rush attack depends especially on MarShawn Lloyd, who is easily their most productive and efficient running back.
But Lloyd is injured and is listed as 'questionable' for Saturday's game with a quadricep injury that has kept him out of his team's last 3 games.
Even if he does play, Lloyd's stats are buoyed largely by his performances against low-ranking run defenses and low-profile teams.
Clemson, however, ranks 8th nationally in run defense.
For offensive production, South Carolina will have to lean on quarterback Spencer Rattler, who has thrown more touchdowns than interceptions in all of two games this year: against lowly Vanderbilt and against Tennessee's nationally last-ranked pass defense.
Clemson will physically dominate on both sides of the ball, leading to a blowout in its favor.
As a bonus consideration, the recent results show that despite this game not being expected to be competitive, the Tigers are routinely heavy favorites against South Carolina; Clemson takes its rival opponent seriously.
The Tigers have won the last 5 games by 24 or more points. They will do so again, while South Carolina will just need to do a little bit of scoring in order to help the game go "Over."
With big-play talent in the form of leading receiver Antwane Wells Jr., with Rattler's willingness to sling it, and with Clemson's defensive weakness being its secondary, South Carolina can manage enough scores via its pass attack.
For residents of The Palmetto State looking to bet on this game, you can check out our top South Carolina betting sites.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.