Spurrier: Gamecocks always want to beat Clemson

By Rick Henry - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The regular seasons for Carolina and Clemson are down to one game, and it's a big one. The Tigers will host USC at Death Valley on Saturday, and the matchup is huge for both teams.
The Tigers (6-5) are looking to improve their bowl chances, and USC (8-3) is using the game as a tune-up for the Southeastern Conference Championship contest against Auburn. Speaking at his weekly news conference, USC head coach Steve Spurrier says his team is staying focused on Saturday -- even with the first SEC title game ever for the Gamecocks looming the next week.

Spurrier says the Gamecocks can show how much things have changed by beating Clemson and winning an SEC title in the same season. The Gamecocks are trying to win nine games in a season for just the third time in their history and beat Clemson twice in a row for the first time in 40 years.

Cornerback Stephon Gilmore says he expects to be back at practice Wednesday after suffering a blow to the head in last week's win over Troy.

Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney knows seven wins would look a lot better to bowl selection committees, as well as to potential recruits. Swinney says the biggest difference between last year's game and this year's game is South Carolina's balanced offense.

Swinney knows his defense will have to be prepared for a couple of good receivers, and of course Marcus Lattimore. Clemson's head coach says he got to know Lattimore during the recruiting process. He compared number 21 to former Clemson running back James Davis, and says he is not surprised about Lattimore's early success at all.

Spurrier has landed two of the state's best players over the past two seasons, and Swinney doesn't want to give the Gamecocks additional fuel for the latest group of prospects.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.