We always tell you how Clemson sports information director Tim Bourett is one of the best in the business, and we mean it. He truly is great at what he does. An example of his hardwork and knowledge can be seen below in the early notes of interest on this weekend’s USC-Clemson game he passed along to us over the weekend:
This is the 10th time Clemson has faced a top 25 South Carolina, the second year in a row. South Carolina was ranked 18th by AP and 17th by USA Today entering last year’s game at Clemson when the Gamecocks won 29-7. Ironically, Clemson is the school ranked 18th in AP and 17th in USA Today entering Saturday’s game.
South Carolina is 13th by AP and 14th by USA Today entering this game. Clemson is 4-5 against top 25 South Carolina teams in its history.
This will be the fifth time both schools have entered the game ranked in the top 25 of at least one of the polls. The schools have split those four games, 2-2. This is the first time both schools enter as ranked teams since 2000. Clemson was 16th in AP and South Carolina was 25th. Clemson won that game at Clemson, 16-14. This is the first time both schools are ranked entering a game in Columbia since 1987. Clemson was eighth and South Carolina 12th entering that contest, the only time in the history of the series both have been ranked in the top 15 entering the game. South Carolina won that game 20-7.
This will be the biggest game in the history of the Clemson vs. South Carolina rivalry when it comes to combined victories for the two programs entering the game. Both schools have a 9-2 record and this is the first time both have entered the rivalry game with at least nine wins. Only once have both schools entered the game with at last eight wins and that took place in 1988 when both were 8-2 entering the game at Clemson.
Both schools also combined for 16 wins entering the 1981 game, the 1984 game, and the 1987 contest. The two schools have split the six games when they combine for at least 15 wins entering the game.
Clemson and South Carolina have already combined for 18 wins this year, as both are 9-2 entering the game. This has already tied the record for wins for the two schools combined in the same season. Obviously that record will be broken Saturday night because someone has to win and the total will reach 19. The two schools also combined for 18 wins in 1981, 1987, and 1988.
This will be the ninth time in the history of the Clemson vs. South Carolina rivalry that both schools enter the game with the same record. It is the first time it has happened since the 1994 game when both schools were 5-5. South Carolina won that game 33-7 behind first year head coach Brad Scott, who now works in the Clemson football office as an assistant athletic director.
Clemson had won six straight games in the rivalry when both schools had the same record, before that 1994 contest. Clemson has a 6-2 edge when both schools enter with the same record.
It should be noted that the 1928 game is the only game in the series in which both teams were undefeated entering the game with at least four games played by both schools.
The Clemson vs. South Carolina game will have a 7:45 PM start in Columbia. The Tigers have not lost a night game in Columbia since 1987 when the two schools played at night for the first time. That year Clemson drove 93 yards for a touchdown on its first possession and never scored again in a 20-7 South Carolina victory.
But, that is the only victory for South Carolina against Clemson in a night game in Columbia. The Tigers have won five in a row at night in Columbia, including the most recent nocturnal meeting, a 23-21 Clemson victory on a 35- field goal by Mark Buchholz on the last play of the game.
Overall, Clemson has lost just two games in Columbia since 1987, a 20-15 South Carolina win in 2001 and a 34-17 Gamecocks win in 2009.
Fans will remember seeing highlights and pictures of the 1977 game that ended in the dark 31-27 in favor of Clemson thanks to Jerry Butler’s celebrated catch. But that game kicked off at 4:10 PM for ABC regional TV, the first regional television for the Clemson vs. South Carolina game.
Clemson will face a top 25 South Carolina team in Columbia this weekend. If Clemson can gain a victory it would give the Tigers a fourth win over a top 25 team (at time of game) this season. That would establish a school record for wins over top 25 teams in one season. Clemson has defeated three top 25 teams in a season six times previously; 1950, 1981, 1988, 1989, 2003 and 2005.
Earlier this year Clemson defeated Auburn, Florida State and Virginia Tech in consecutive weeks when all three were ranked in both polls. That marked the first time in ACC history a school defeated three opponents in three consecutive weeks who were ranked in both polls.
A win at South Carolina would also make this team the second in Clemson history to beat two ranked opponents on the road in the same year. The only other Clemson team to do it was the 1950 team under Frank Howard. That 9-0-1 Clemson team beat three top 20 teams on the road that year, at 17th ranked Missouri, at 17th ranked Wake Forest, and at 15th ranked Miami (FL) in the Orange Bowl.
The win at Virginia Tech this year was Clemson’s 21st road win over a ranked team in its history, but its first by 20 points. Clemson’s previous largest margin of victory over a ranked team on the road was 11 points, a 28-17 win at 19th ranked North Carolina in 1994, and a 34-23 win at 16th ranked Florida State in 1989.