No. 13 South Carolina, Spurrier poised for history

Associated Press Modified: November 20, 2012 at 3:02 pm •  Published: November 20, 2012
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Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd is seventh national in total offense at 348 yards a game and leads the nation in point responsibility. He's thrown 33 touchdowns and rushed for eight more.

Spurrier knows a thing or two about offense and is very impressed.

"If they could have held on down there at Florida State that game, we'd be talking about these guys playing for the national championship," he said. "Tajh Boyd would be up for the Heisman Trophy."

The difference in Clemson's stretch run, coach Dabo Swinney said is Boyd's growth. He's better at managing the system, improved his running skills and maneuverability and makes fewer mistakes than other seasons.

"I don't know of a quarterback in the country playing better than Tajh Boyd," Swinney said. "I can't imagine a player who means more to his team than this guy."

The Gamecocks chances could hinge on a couple of lingering injuries. Quarterback Connor Shaw, who accounted for 317 yards in last year's game, won't practice much this week with a recurring foot problem. The injury could have kept him out of last week's game against Wofford had Shaw told the coaches how much it hurt.

"He kept saying he was alright and he'd finish out," Spurrier said.

Star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, already dealing with a foot problem, had an MRI that uncovered a bruise beneath a kneecap. Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward expected Clowney, third in SEC sacks, back in the lineup after missing the Wofford game.

If it's a rivalry week, count on a zinger from Spurrier. This time, the head ball coach played off Swinney's rant following last year's defeat that "Carolina is in Chapel Hill and USC is in California. The university in this state, always has been, always will be -- Clemson."

Spurrier said Tuesday those words didn't bother him much.

"I guess Dabo, I found out he loves Southern California and the University of North Carolina," Spurrier cracked. "That's the only thing I know about him."