CLEMSON, SC — Barrett Carter, a Georgia native, heard about the Clemson-South Carolina rivalry, but he didn’t realize just how intense it was until he starred in it.
Carter’s first taste of the rivalry wasn’t pleasant, as he and his teammates were greeted roughly by Gamecock fans as they took the field at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia ahead of last year’s game.
“When you get there and go to the warm-up and people throw things at you, you’re like, ‘Oh, shoot! That’s how big,'” said the Clemson linebacker.
The Tigers (10-1) and Gamecocks (7-4) are scheduled to meet for the 119th Time this Saturday when Clemson hosts No. 9 USC for a lunchtime kick-off at Memorial Stadium.
“You see a lot of stuff in the facility, like entire walls dedicated to the rivalry,” Carter said. “Well, I really didn’t think it was that intense. After last year, this really opened my eyes. As if this were the real thing. It runs. It’s serious. I had no idea.”
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Former Tiger Mike Williams opens in South Carolina
While many in the state of South Carolina are busy eating their turkey, the third-placed Clemson Tigers will be thinking about chicken as they prepare for their annual post-Thanksgiving matchup with the South Carolina Gamecocks. As the Tigers and Gamecocks prepare for their game on Saturday (noon, ESPN), former Clemson, Lake Marion Gator and current Los Angeles Charger Mike Williams will watch as the Tigers take on the Gamecocks from the comfort of their own homes.
The Clemson-Carolina rivalry began in 1896 and is one of the oldest rivalries in college football. The dislike between the two schools recedes before Clemson even opened its doors.
Clemson was founded as a land-grant college in 1889 while taking over the agricultural department of the University of South Carolina. When Clemson opened its doors in 1893, South Carolina was forced to relinquish its university status and was demoted back to college status.
The people of Colombia didn’t take too kindly to losing their status and so the rivalry was born.
As for the players, they try not to get too involved in what’s happening off the field during the game, but they know how much it means to the fans on both sides.
“This is our rival. We’re not going to do it like any other game. It’s a championship game,” Carter said. “So we’re not going into it like it’s a normal game. Obviously they’re making a big profit, so we’re trying to just go in and do the business and just take care of them.
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