CLEMSON — South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier simultaneously agreed with and bashed Clemson coach Dabo Swinney on Monday during a rally in Columbia for injured Gamecocks star Marcus Lattimore.

Spurrier said Swinney’s praise of Lattimore’s character and work ethic was spot on, but added “when he talks about South Carolina it is (usually) a bunch of garbage, a bunch of BS.”

Spurrier added Clemson is “a school that used to beat us a lot that doesn’t beat us anymore.”

Swinney was asked what he thought of Spurrier’s comments Tuesday.

“Personally, I think he was trying to pay me a compliment,” Swinney said. “I know it was kind of a round about way of getting there. It would be like me telling my wife ‘I think you should wear this dress, it looks great on you. You don’t look near as fat in this dress.’ I’ll take it as a compliment. I think that is what he was trying to do.”

Critics said Spurrier’s barb drew attention away from the purpose of Monday’s rally for Lattimore, the junior running back who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Gamecocks’ victory over Tennessee on Saturday.

Spurrier drew criticism from Yahoo! columnist Dan Wetzel, who wrote: “Spurrier is what Spurrier is, his often unpleasant behavior is masked in one-liners, sound bites and lots of victories. Spurrier, 67 years old and long past the days of knowing better, got up and took the whole thing back into the gutter.”

South Carolina has a three-game winning streak against Clemson, but the Tigers still lead the series 65-40-4. This year’s game will be played at Clemson on Nov. 24.

Clemson to Sugar Bowl?

Swinney said his goal is to have his team be “nationally relevant” by the end of November. College football analyst Phil Steele thinks Clemson has a chance to be just that.

In Steele’s latest bowl projections released Tuesday, Steele has Clemson playing Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. The Sporting News also projected Clemson to play Georgia in the Sugar Bowl on Sunday.

Clemson has never played in back-to-back BCS bowl games (Orange, Sugar, Rose, Fiesta). The ACC has had only one at-large BCS team in its history, Virginia Tech last season.

Swinney said he was not concerned with Clemson’s weak strength of schedule and said the No. 10 Tigers (13th in BCS) are ranked right where they should be ranked.

Extra points:

Swinney said he was uncertain if Duke starting quarterback Sean Renfree Renfree (concussion) would be able to play Saturday. Clemson plays at Duke in a 7 p.m. game.

The last time Duke beat a team in the AP top 25 was in 1994 against Virginia.