Mason Zandi and Will Muschamp come into Saturday’s Carolina-Clemson game from much different places.
Zandi, a senior offensive lineman for the Gamecocks, will be playing in this series for the last time. He’s been a South Carolina fan since he was a kid growing up in Chapin, and the Gamecocks are 1-2 against the Tigers during his playing career.
“All I wanted to do since I was 5 years old was play here, and I didn’t grow up with a great taste in my mouth about them guys up there,” Zandi said. “I didn’t get a chance to play last year because of an injury, so… We are going to prepare the right way, prepare our way and keep moving forward.”
Muschamp, the Gamecocks’ first-year coach, will be part of the Carolina-Clemson game for the first time.
“We are looking forward to being a part of it,” he said Saturday night after his team beat Western Carolina 44-31. “I know it’s important to our guys. They we were talking about it in the locker room just now.”
The Gamecocks (6-5) are the decided underdog against the No. 4 Tigers, who are playing to keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive. As of Sunday evening, Clemson (10-1) was a 24-point favorite.
“We have kept a little bit of an eye on them and they have had some close games,” South Carolina linebacker Jon Walton said. “We feel like we are going to go in there prepared just like every other game and take it the same.”
Clemson has won two in a row in the rivalry.
“I have seen a few of their games,” South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst said. “They are the No. 4 team in the country, so you have to give them credit. They are winning ballgames.”
South Carolina vs. Clemson
Who: South Carolina at Clemson
When: Saturday, Nov. 26, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson
Line: Clemson by 24