News & Analysis

Jake Bentley will be key for South Carolina to upset Clemson

Nov 10, 2018; Gainesville, FL, USA;South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley (19) throws the ball against the Florida Gators during the first quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Clemson Tigers are two wins away from heading back to the College Football Playoff as they'll head to the ACC Championship Game in two weeks after playing host to their rival South Carolina this week. Clemson is riding high after cruising through their first 11 games this season, entering the contest against the Gamecocks with the nation's second-highest rated defense by PFF grades.

On the other side of the field, South Carolina has had an up-and-down year and are currently 6-4 with losses against Kentucky, Georgia, Florida and Texas A&M. Jake Bentley is currently having the highest-graded season of his career at 78.3 overall but may be facing his kryptonite, so to speak, in the Clemson Tigers. Bentley's two lowest-graded games have come against Clemson in each of the past two seasons.

This preview is brought to you by Eckrich, the Official Smoked Sausage of the College Football Playoff.

The keys to the matchup between South Carolina and Clemson:

– Deebo Samuel will have to find his form and keep racking up the yards after the catch, of which he has 426 yards after the catch

– Trevor Lawrence sports an 83.9 overall grade and has thrown for a 75.8% adjusted completion percentage

– Jake Bentley's two worst-graded games have come against Clemson in 2016 and 2017

– Rashad Fenton sees a passer rating of just 32.9 when targeted, the third-best in the SEC

– Clemson's defense is the second-highest graded unit in the country with a 96.0 overall mark

 

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