5 most important games for Clemson Football in 2024

Conference games will be the key to reaching the College Football Playoff in 2024, but that doesn't mean rivalries or trap games can't derail an otherwise nice season.
Sep 23, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina, USA
Sep 23, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina, USA / Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
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No. 2: South Carolina at Clemson

I am not saying the second half of the regular season isn’t important, but a quick look shows the level of competition isn’t as fierce as the opening half.

Following the FSU game, the Tigers play at Wake Forest, host Virginia, host Louisville, at Virginia Tech, at Pittsburgh, and host The Citadel.

I’ve already mentioned that Virginia Tech will be a test, and I respect what Jeff Brohm did in Louisville in Year 1, but collectively that stretch isn’t as intimidating at first glance as the first five weeks of the season. The last game of the season doesn’t appear to be intimidating either, but it is the second most important, nonetheless.

While Clemson got the win last season against South Carolina (thank you Khalil Barnes!), they didn’t exactly look fantastic. The defense was good but the offense wasn’t able to maintain the momentum they had built in the previous three weeks.

This contest will be held in Death Valley, which gives the Tigers the advantage, but it is the first time they have played there since the Gamecocks grabbed a one-point win to ruin Clemson’s winning streak against their biggest rival and their home winning streak in the Valley.

SC looks improved at running back but they will be less experienced at quarterback. I like LaNorris Sellers but it would be a big ask to expect him to lead the offense with the same authority as the departed Spencer Rattler. There are also question marks surrounding most other positions. On paper, the Tigers should be a healthy favorite against the Gamecocks in Clemson.

No one will want to hear should of's or could of's, however. Clemson must defend its home field against South Carolina. End of story.

Next: Clemson at Florida State