The head coaches for both the Clemson Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks spoke Tuesday about how their teams were preparing for the annual rivalry game.
The Gamecocks will head to Death Valley to face the fourth ranked Tigers on Saturday.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said there can be more pressure for winning the rivalry game, which has been dubbed the Palmetto Bowl, than any other game.
“We have the season, and then we have South Carolina... it's one you live with all year,” Swinney stated during his news conference in Clemson.
Swinney said the Gamecocks have been building momentum, especially since putting Jacob Bentley in as the starting quarterback.
“He’s a young player but he really has the whole package for them,” Swinney said of the rival quarterback, who is the son of South Carolina assistant Coach Bobby Bentley.
Swinney also said South Carolina has a solid offensive line and two tight ends that he is concerned about.
While the stats point toward a Clemson win this year, Swinney said big games can turn out a lot differently than they look like they will on paper.
“We get in games like this, there’s a lot that can happen,” Swinney cautioned. “We’ve seen it a million times over the years.”
South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp said in his news conference that Clemson’s quarterback Deshaun Watson was a huge concern.
The coach commended Clemson for being “very explosive offensively,” and added that Wayne Gallman was a player he really likes.
Muschamp promised the Gamecocks would play hard, fast, and physical. “Everything you expect to see in a rivalry game,” the coach said, adding that the focus would be on winning downs and winning possessions. “That’s going to help us win the game.”
Kickoff for the Palmetto Bowl is set for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.
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