Opponent Preview – Week 13 – South Carolina Gamecocks

The Tigers have strung together 3 straight wins in, arguably, their toughest stretch of the season and now rivalry week is here vs the South Carolina Gamecocks.  

Our feathered friends in the midlands are having a tough season, yet have some players who are having great seasons, if that makes sense.  

This game should be a fun one.  The trash talk has already started on social media, and the vitriol between the two fan bases is at an all-time high.  

Here is a look at everything you will need to know about the Tiger’s Week 13 Opponent:

South Carolina Gamecocks

School Location: Columbia, South Carolina

Time: 7:30 SEC Network

2023 Record – 5-6; (3-5 SEC)  Last Game: Win vs. Kentucky 17-14

5 Wins against: Furman, Mississippi State, Jacksonville State, Vanderbilt, Kentucky

6 Losses against: North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Missouri, Texas A&M

Head Coach: Shane Beamer – 3rd Season – 19-17 Overall – Previous: Oklahoma Asst. Head Coach

Coach Beamer, in his third season in Columbia has the fan base wrapped around his finger.  They love him there, he’s recruiting hard, he’s coaching hard and he reminds Clemson fans of Dabo Swinney a little bit.  His players love him and he is trying hard to build something there in the state capital.  The son of a legendary college football head coach who came up through the ranks with stints at Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Georgia and Oklahoma before landing his first head coaching job at South Carolina.  


Offensive Coordinator: Dowel Loggains – 1st year –  Previous: Arkansas TE Coach

Coach Loggains enters his first year at South Carolina replacing the often scrutinized Marcus Satterfield.  Loggains inherited Spencer Rattler, Juice Wells and Xavier Legette and not much else on the offensive side of the ball.  He’s been charged to change the offense to something that fits the talent on the roster.  With a bunch of injuries, notably to Wells, and others, he’s struggled in year one.  However, because of career years from Rattler and Legette, some of that is masked.  He will have to get some OL help going forward to make this offense a true power.

South Carolina is averaging 27.7 points per game (T-64th nationally) with 87.6 yards per game rushing (126th nationally) and 293.1 through the air (15th nationally) for an average of 380.7 yards of offense through 11 games, good enough for 68th nationally in total offense.

Here is a look at the projected starters for the South Carolina Gamecocks as well as their 2023 statistics:

QuarterbackSpencer RattlerRS Senior#790 rush, 88 yds net, 4 TDs259-367 70%, 3074 yds, 19 TDs, 7 Ints
Running BackMario Anderson (Newberry)RS Senior#24130 rush, 672 yds, 3 TDs19 rec. 151 yds, TD
Wide ReceiverNyck HarborFreshman#82 rush, 10 yds12 rec, 195 yds, TD
Wide ReceiverAhmarean Brown (Georgia Tech)RS Senior#102 rush, 1 yd25 rec, 256 yds, TD
Wide ReceiverXavier LegetteRS Senior#178 rush, -8 yds65 rec, 1187 yds, 7 TDs
Tight EndTrey KnoxRS Senior#136 rec. 312 yds, 2 TDs
Left TackleTree BabaladeFreshman#51
Left GuardJakai MooreRS Senior#55
CenterNick Gargiulo (Yale)Graduate#69
Right GuardTrovon BaughFreshman#78
Right TackleVershon LeeRS Junior#53


Defensive Coordinator: Clayton White – 3rd Year – Previous: Western Kentucky DC

Coach White came in with Coach Beamer three seasons ago and has had a steadily decent defense the entirety of his stint.  White runs more of a 3-4 hybrid style of defense utilizing a Nickleback in a true hybrid linebacker/rover/safety.    

The South Carolina defense has given up an average of 27.3 points through their first ten games (T-78th nationally).  They have given up an average of 143.1 yards per game on the ground (50th nationally) and 259.5 yards through the air (116th nationally).  Opponents are averaging a total of 402.6 yards per game (96th nationally). 


The Gamecocks are +5 in turnover margin through eleven games (T-23rd nationally), having thrown 7 interceptions and picking off 9 opposing passes, as well as having caused 7 fumbles and have lost 4 fumbles in the eleven games so far.  

Here is a look at the projected starters for the Gamecocks on defense along with some stats from the season:

Defensive EndBryan Thomas Jr.Sophomore#4622 tackles, 2 TFLs, sack
Defensive TackleTonka HemingwaySenior#9131 tackles, 4.5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, 2 FRs
Defensive TackleAlex HuntleyRS Junior#9529 tackles, 4 TFLs, 2 sacks, FR
Oustide LinebackerJordan Strachan (Georgia State)Graduate#719 tackles, 7 TFLs, 4 sacks
Middle LinebackerStone BlantonSophomore#5246 tackles, TFL, sack, Int, TD
Weakside LinebackerDebo WilliamsRS Junior#0102 tackles, 9 TFLs, sack, FR
CornerbackO’Donnell FortuneRS Junior#333 tackles, 2 Ints
Strong SafetyNick EmmanworiSophomore#2164 tackles, Int
Free SafetyDQ SmithSophomore#166 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, sack, Int, FR
NicklebackJalon KilgoreFreshman#2474 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, Int
CornerbackMarcellas Dial (Georgia Military College)RS Senior#634 tackles, TFL, sack

Special Teams 

Here is a list of the specialists for the Gamecocks along with statistics from the season so far:

KickerMitch JeterSenior#9812-14, long of 51 yds
PunterKai KrogerSenior#3954 punts, 43.3 yd avg, long of 60 yds
Punt ReturnerJalon KilgoreFreshman#246 returns, 6.7 yd avg, long of 15 yds
Kick ReturnerXavier LegetteRS Senior#179 returns, 19.2 yd avg, long of 28 yds


Spencer Rattler is having, arguably his best season of his career, and wide receiver Xavier Legette has thrust himself into early round NFL draft boards across that league.  Outside of those two pieces, the Gamecocks have really struggled this season, with their best win coming against Kentucky a week ago.  

Clemson has been hitting its stride late in the season with three straight victories at home.  Crazy things happen in rivalry games, none more so than last year’s surprising and disappointing 31-30 loss to our feathered friends in the midlands ruining an otherwise good year for the Tigers.

Here’s to hoping the Tigers right the ship in the rivalry game, and take back what has lived in Clemson, South Carolina for the better part of a century.  

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