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Boulware Has a Unique Perspective on the Rivalry

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson junior linebacker is never at a loss for words—especially when it comes to South Carolina.

The Anderson, SC native understands how important this game is to the state of South Carolina and, moreover, the fans of the Tigers.

It's definitely a cool perspective," Boulware told the media. "Just because I experienced it as a fan coming to the games and growing up a Clemson fan, wishing my whole life I could be a part of that. Now that I'm actually here it's definitely cool..."

"We want to do it for (the fans) as well," Boulware said. "This game makes a person's year, or it breaks a person's year. There are some people that will be upset until next year if we do not win this game...The past five or six years they have owned this rivalry, but I think we are definitely starting to turn things around."

For Boulware, in particular, the rivalry has a special meaning. His brother, Garrett, was the starting catcher on the Tigers baseball team from 2012-2014. The Tigers lack of success against the Gamecock baseball team only added to hatred of all things garnet and black for the younger Boulware.

"It definitely made him mad. He despises South Carolina. When he was catching - he experienced their fans and their players. He did not really have any good experiences when he played them," Ben Boulware said. "Not because they won or lost but because of the environment, the fans ... it just wasn't a good time when he played them. Stuff always happened. So he does not like South Carolina at all. I have never heard any good things come from his mouth when he talks about South Carolina.

"I'm glad I haven't ever got to experience that really. My freshman year there is was pretty wild. It was a pretty crazy environment. Not because of they were doing anything wrong. It was just loud."

For Boulware and the rest of the Tigers even though they are not taking the Gamecocks lightly—understanding they are another goal on their way to the playoffs—Boulware admits he and the rest of the Tigers did enjoy the Gamecocks losing to The Citadel this past weekend.

"I found out before we were going out to stretch, and I just laughed really," Boulware said. "We were pretty happy in the locker room. The Citadel has had a good year. They are a good team. I guess (South Carolina) kind of looked forward to this week and they did not really prepare well for The Citadel."

All joking aside for Boulware and the Tigers, Boulware understands fully that the Gamecocks will be treating this game as their Super Bowl so the Tigers need to be ready for whatever heads their way.

"We know that teams are going to prepare against us differently than any other opponent just because we are the best team in the country," Boulware continued. "So, they are going to have to throw the kitchen sink at us and just do things differently. But we prepare for that.

"We know they are going to deviate a little bit from their game plan. At the end of the day, they are going to do what they do. They are going to do their DNA and what the coaches have taught them to do. But we are prepared for anything they throw at us."