It’s no secret in the Palmetto State– South Carolina and Clemson don’t like each other very much.
So as rivalry week kicks off leading into Saturday’s showdown between the schools at Memorial Stadium, it’s understandable that words will be flying between the Gamecocks and Tigers.
South Carolina offensive lineman Mason Zandi got things started on Saturday night after beating Western Carolina and shifting his focus to the Clemson game.
“It’s huge,” Zandi said when asked about playing in the rivalry game. “The difference between myself and perhaps a lot of guys is that I love this university and all I’ve wanted to do since I was five years old was to play here.
“I didn’t grow up with a great taste in my mouth about them guys up there. I didn’t get a chance to play last year because of an injury, so we’re going to prepare the right way.”
The Gamecocks won five consecutive games in the series from 2009-13, but Clemson has won the last two contests.
A point that Zandi scoffed at when asked about a potential shift in momentum in the series: “Things have changed?”
“Yeah, well, we’re going to prepare our way and come out and play Gamecock football.”
Will that be enough to knock off the nation’s No. 4 team at home? That remains to be seen in first-year coach Will Muschamp’s debut appearance in this rivalry game.
The good news is that the Gamecocks already secured their sixth win and became bowl eligible in advance of the contest.
You can watch Zandi’s comments here: