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At No. 8 Clemson, South Carolina seeks another Top 10 win

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NCAA Football: Tennessee at South Carolina

Nov 19, 2022; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) directs his offense against the Tennessee Volunteers in the second half at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Riding high after a big victory over then-ranked No. 5 Tennessee, South Carolina will aim for its second straight win over a Top 10 opponent when it visits No. 8 Clemson on Saturday.

Quarterback Spencer Rattler led the Gamecocks (7-4) to a 63-38 rout of the Volunteers. The transfer from Oklahoma had the best game of his South Carolina career as he passed for 438 yards and six touchdowns. His favorite target was Antwane Wells Jr., who caught 11 passes for 177 yards. Josh Vann and Jaheim Bell each caught two touchdown passes.

"Spencer was really, really accurate," South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said. "Our guys played with confidence. The offensive line played great and allowed Spencer to get comfortable back there as well. We fed off the energy of the crowd."

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney also was complimentary of Rattler ahead of this week's matchup, saying, "He's done a lot of great things and is a really talented player. He's got all the tools."

It was just the seventh time in program history that the Gamecocks beat a Top 5 team, their first such win since taking down No. 2 Georgia in double overtime in 2019.

The 63 points were the most produced by South Carolina in an Southeastern Conference game since 1995. In every way, it was a historic win.

But now South Carolina is set to face in-state rival Clemson (10-1). It's the second week in a row that the Gamecocks will have the opportunity to play spoiler against a team with aspirations of making the College Football Playoff, but they haven't beaten the Tigers since 2013. The Gamecocks have changed coaches twice since then.

"Excited for the 2022 chapter of that rivalry and looking forward to getting up there on Saturday," Beamer said. "(Clemson is) extremely talented, as you know. They are extremely well-coached, as you know. Offensively, they are playing really good football here, especially last week -- you could argue it was their best game."

Clemson has won two straight since taking its only loss of the season at Notre Dame on Nov. 5. The Tigers have since beaten Louisville and Miami -- both at home -- by a combined 45 points.

Last week, the Tigers held the Hurricanes to 98 total yards. Jeremiah Trotter Jr. had nine tackles for Clemson. On offense, the Tigers were powered by DJ Uiagalelei, who passed for 227 yards and ran for 89 while totaling three touchdowns.

Clemson has won seven straight against South Carolina. This will be the 119th meeting between the Tigers and the Gamecocks, with Clemson holding a 72-42-4 lead in the series.

The Tigers already have booked their ticket to the ACC championship game in Charlotte on Dec. 3, but Swinney seemed to think that Tennessee overlooked South Carolina as it peeked toward the playoff. He doesn't want his team to make that mistake.

"Next thing you know you forget you've got to go play," Swinney said. "I think you've just got to give all the credit to South Carolina. I think they just flat-out kicked (Tennessee's) butt."

Swinney said defensive tackle Bryan Bresee, who missed last week's game because of an illness, and wide receiver Beaux Collins, who has been out for two weeks due to a shoulder ailment, should be "ready to roll" against South Carolina. However, starting left guard Marcus Tate will miss the rest of the year with a knee injury.

--Field Level Media

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Hendon Hooker's fading Heisman Trophy odds took a hit with every touchdown Tennessee fell behind by at South Carolina on Saturday night. They officially ended when the senior quarterback suffered a season-ending torn ACL in his knee. Hooker was taken off the Heisman Trophy board at sportsbooks, leaving Ohio State's C.J. Stroud as the odds-on favorite. Stroud has one major regular-season hurdle left as Ohio State prepares to play host to Michigan on Saturday. However, even a loss to the Wolverines may not derail Stroud's path to the Heisman. He is the -120 favorite at DraftKings and -130 at BetMGM, where Stroud has been backed by 10.6 percent of the total tickets and 19.0 percent of the money. Those figures will likely rise significantly for as longs the sportsbooks continue to take new Heisman bets. The only other player within shouting distance at DraftKings is Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams at +1200. Now other player has shorter odds than Michigan running back Blake Corum at +1500. BetMGM is offering Williams at +125, followed by North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye at +700 and Corum at +1100. Williams, who dropped to +1100 following the Trojans' lone loss to the season, is now back as the second favorite while drawing 6.7 percent of the bets and 5.3 percent of the money. USC will play host to Notre Dame on Saturday ahead of a Pac-12 championship dates against Washington, Oregon or Utah. Stetson Bennett, the quarterback for No. 1 Georgia, remains a massive longshot at +8000 both sportsbooks. --Field Level Media

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