Following a deflating loss at home to The Citadel, South Carolina must prepare for perhaps the best team in the nation: in-state rival Clemson.

The Gamecocks gave up a 56-yard touchdown run with about six minutes against Citadel, driving a stake into hopes for salvaging a broken season. Though a victory over Dabo Swinney and Clemson on Saturday would take some of the sting away, that outcome is unlikely.

South Carolina QB Perry Orth played well against Citadel, but the Gamecocks were unable to get anything going on the ground, rushing for just 72 yards on 25 attempts. Conversely, they allowed the Bulldogs to run rampant for 350 yards on 61 carries.

Should Clemson build an early lead, South Carolina will have to stop the run to keep the Tigers from killing the clock.

Pharoh Cooper will once again be the key for the Gamecocks. The star wide receiver caught 11 balls for 191 yards and a TD on Saturday and had a potential game-winning TD reception negated by a holding call.

Though the team failed to live up to departed coach Steve Spurrier’s standards, Cooper is one of the nation’s most-dangerous playmakers.

The Gamecocks defense needs to play the game of a lifetime to stop likely Heisman finalist Deshaun Watson. Clemson can beat teams on the ground and through the air. The Tigers rank 24th in passing offense and 27th in rushing. Watson is as dangerous with his feet as he is throwing the ball. He has a 5.4-yard average on 118 carries with 642 yards and six TDs.

Playing in Columbia increases South Carolina’s chances, if only slightly. If the Gamecocks can keep their fans excited, the home crowd could be a significant advantage.

With nothing but bragging rights at stake, the Gamecocks have the advantage of playing with little pressure while Clemson must win to keep its national championship hopes alive.