Always a huge game for both teams and their fans, Clemson's Tigers appear to the have the 'need factor' solidly on their side as they prepare for Saturday's rivalry showdown against South Carolina.
But it's not all-or-nothing for the Tigers, coach Dabo Swinney said during his news conference on Tuesday.
Asked about those who would consider the season a failure unless the Tigers end their three-year losing streak against the Gamecocks, Swinney said those who think in those terms have no appreciation for the process of winning.
"I think that's a sad way to think about things...People who say that just don't get it," Swinney said. "If you don't win this ballgame, you're incredibly disappointed. You have to live with it all year. But to say that if we don't win this one, we've not had a great year?
"It's hard to win 10 ballgames...If we play our best and give it our all, then I can live with whatever happens on the scoreboard."
Swinney said the Tigers are a far superior team to the one that lost to the Gamecocks last season in Columbia.
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"We're a better team than we were last year - a smarter team," he said. "We have a quarterback who understands it, our skill is more experienced, our line is improved, we've got running backs and a tight end who've all made plays. But there's no doubt that Tajh Boyd has been the difference. He's just a much better quarterback than he was at this time last year."
Swinney said the Gamecocks will present multiple challenges on both sides of the ball.
"They find ways to win games," he said. "They're big up front offensively, and their quarterback (Connor Shaw) was the difference in the game last year. He's a good scrambler with a great feel for the pocket, and he can make all the throws. And then he makes a lot of plays outside the pocket.
"Their wide-outs have gotten better all year, and both Ace Sanders and Bruce Ellington are electric. They're creative in how they get the ball to them, because what they do best is run with it.
"And their tight end (Justice Cunningham) has made unbelievable plays. He's been a force for them at critical times."
Defensively, Swinney said the Gamecocks are "as good as we've played, as good as we will play, as good as anybody will play."
"(Jadeveon) Clowney is a dynamic player, but one of the reason for his success is all those other guys around him," Swinney said. "Devin Taylor is seven feet tall and has been there forever. I think he grows an inch every year. Their whole front seven is outstanding.
"They want to be a one-safety team, and when you play a one-safety team, you have to win match-ups and make plays."
Swinney said the Tigers will need to "put it altogether and play our best game."
"They are what they are, and we are what we are," Swinney said. "It's all going to come down to execution. You coach guys up to be disciplined and react properly to what they see."