In any other season, the Clemson football team would be gearing up for a game against in-state rival South Carolina this week. This season has been anything but normal though.
Instead, third-ranked Clemson is getting set to face Pitt in their home finale and the Tigers will have to wait another year before getting a chance to extend their winning streak over the Gamecocks to a record-tying seven games.
Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott says that surprisingly, with all the craziness going on while attempting to play a college football season in a pandemic, he really hasn't had much time to miss not having the rivalry game on the schedule.
"That finally came up today, because Thanksgiving and we're kind of programmed," Elliott said. "But to be honest with you, really hadn't thought about it, because this year has been completely different in every way. Everything is totally different so you're kind of used to the to the abnormal."
The Tigers are heading down the stretch looking to punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff for the sixth straight year, a stark contrast to what is happening in Columbia at the moment. South Carolina is just two weeks removed from firing head coach Will Muschamp, and with the Gamecocks sitting at just 2-6 with ninth-ranked Georgia coming to town this weekend, there seems to be more focus on the coaching search than there is with what is happening on the field.
Regardless, there will be no talk of how it's a rivalry game and how you can throw the record books out the window this year. And as unfortunate as that is, Elliott says he fully understands why the game isn't being played, despite how much it means to not only the players, but also the fans, as well as to the entire state.
"Obviously hate not being able to play those guys," Elliott said. "Because you look forward to that game. You know what it means to state, you know what it means to the players. But certainly understand the circumstances of why we're not playing that game.
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