Dabo Swinney and Clemson are back home this Saturday when the Tigers take on rival South Carolina in Death Valley.

The No.8 Tigers pull off a solid home win against Miami where they lived up to expectations against a struggling Miami team. South Carolina pulls off a big win of their own as they defeat former No. 5 Tennessee with an upset win.

Clemson’s Rivalry Week matchup got a lot more interesting after the Gamecocks defeated the Volunteers as the Tigers look into the college football playoffs from the outside. The Tigers need to perform at a high level on Saturday to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Here are five reasons Clemson will walk away with a home win over rival South Carolina:

Will Shipley and the running backs should have a great day

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Clemson’s top offensive player is his starting running back, Will Shipley, and he should have plenty of opportunities to play against South Carolina. Statistically, the Gamecocks are one of the worst-run defenses in the country, ranking 110th in the country in allowed rushing yards. They allow nearly five yards per carry and 188 rushing yards per game. Though they haven’t conceded as many touchdowns as other struggling run defenses (18), Shipley has proven he has a knack for finding the end zone with 13 rushing touchdowns this season. Will Shipley should be in for a mighty day this Saturday.

Clemson’s defensive line will dominate the fight up front

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The biggest advantage Clemson could have in this duel is the battle up front between the Tigers’ defensive line and the Gamecocks’ offensive line. South Carolina’s offensive line has struggled with solid pass rushes this season, and Clemson is much more than just a solid group. The Tigers have high-ranking future NFL talent on the defensive line, and while they haven’t always played that way, they are arguably the best defensive line in college football. I’m expecting a great performance from this unit, which should make for a long day for beginning South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler.

DJ Uiagalelei will take advantage of his on-site improvements

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Clemson needs to be effective on the ground to win this game, and that goes beyond Tigers running backs. Starting quarterback DJ Uiagalelei will need to continue using his improved running skills for the Tigers’ offense to play at a high level. When the team needed Uiagalelei to play locally this season, he did, and it’s usually in the closer games that we’ve seen the junior quarterback make a statement locally. With South Carolina struggling on the run this season, especially in the last few weeks, Uiagalelelei’s improvements in run play will make the Tigers’ offense even more of a problem for the Gamecocks.

Clemson’s linebackers were in tears

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Something that has seemingly flown under the radar this season is how well the Tigers’ linebackers have performed. Linebackers Trenton Simpson, Barrett Carter and Jeremiah Trotter Jr. have all played excellent football, especially in the last few weeks. One week Carter has career day, the next it’s Trotter; Meanwhile, Trenton Simpson flies across the field making plays that show you why he’s near-suspended for the first round of the 2023 NFL draft. Clemson’s defensive line is elite, but now that the Tigers’ linebackers are playing at such a high level, South Carolina’s offense may not even have the opportunity to capitalize on Clemson’s secondary.

Swinney and the Tigers are at home and have dominated this duel

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Not only was Clemson dominant at home, but they were dominant in that duel in recent history. The Tigers have won 40 straight games at home, which is currently the greatest home winning streak in the country. While the Tigers haven’t lost at home in six years, they haven’t lost a game to the Gamecocks since 2013. While I think Shane Beamer is a great coach, Clemson has the better coach, a more talented roster, and the best home field field field advantage in college football to date. The Tigers seem to have too many advantages going into this duel.

Story originally appeared on Clemson Wire

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