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The University of South Carolina football team got “one for the thumb” in 2013 – defeating arch-rival Clemson University 31-17 to capture its fifth straight victory in the long-running series.

According to ESPN’s ACC football reporter Heather Dinich, Gamecock fans had better start warming up those thumbs on their other hand …

“South Carolina wins six in a row,” Dinich predicted last week. “If Clemson couldn’t beat South Carolina WITH Sammy Watkins and (Tajh) Boyd, why should we give them the benefit of the doubt without their record-setting quarterback, leading receiver and leading rusher?”

That’s a good point …

And while Dinich also points out that the Gamecocks are also losing their share of talent heading into next season (including Connor Shaw, Jadeveon Clowney, Bruce Ellington, Kelcy Quarles and Vic Hampton) “the difference is that South Carolina has continued to win in spite of previous losses like that.”

She’s right … which is one reason why ESPN’s SportsNation poll is currently leaning 56-44 percent in favor of another Gamecock victory.

South Carolina and Clemson meet in Death Valley on November 29. The Tigers hold an all-time 65-42-4 edge in the series – and prior to the Gamecocks’ current streak had won 10 of the prior 12 meetings and 25 of the previous 35.

Pic: Travis Bell Photography