Clemson - Furman Game Capsule

When the Tigers and Paladins take the field this afternoon in Death Valley, it will mark the first time these two rivals have taken the field together since 1998. Clemson has won 27 straight games against Furman dating to a 0-0 tie between the two schools at Furman in 1937.

The Game: Furman (1-0) at Clemson (0-1) 5 PM at Memorial Stadium

TV Coverage: Charter Cable Channel 10 in Greenville

Radio Coverage :WCCP (104.9-FM, Clemson)

The Spread
Some outlets have the Tigers listed as 19 point favorites headed into today's 5 PM kickoff.

The Forecast
Expect a cool down from what we saw last Saturday as temperatures are expected to be in the mid 70's by kickoff. There is also a chance for showers later in the day due to a tropical system arriving from the south. For an up to the minute forecast, click here.

Series Record
The Tigers lead the overall series 39-10-4 and have won the last 27 games in a series that dates back to 1937. Clemson won the last game during the last year of the Tommy West era, 33-0 back in 1998.

Injuries
The Tigers will be without the services of WR Roscoe Crosby (personal) and OL Todd McClinton (out for the year) Saturday afternoon. RB Yusef Kelly sustained a back injury during Wednesday's practice and is listed as doubtful.

What to watch
The Tigers are coming off a dreadful performance in the running game, gaining 35 yards on 24 attempts against Georgia last weekend. Tommy Bowden will want to improve on those numbers this afternoon, so look for the Tigers to line up in the I-formation with Duane Coleman and Chad Jasmin early on.

Several changes are expected on the offensive line today, namely Roman Fry getting more playing time at left tackle. The entire line could see a serious "youth movement" should Bowden not get the production he wants early in the contest.

The quick passing game will also be a mainstay of the Clemson offense today. Watch Airese Currie, Derrick Hamilton and Kevin Youngblood on the quick-hitch patterns and bubble screens, as the Tigers try to use their team speed to overmatch the Paladins. Currie set a career high in receptions last week against Georgia with 7.

Defensively, LeRoy Hill led the Tigers with 16 tackles last week against Georgia, and he figures to be an important player once again in today's contest. Preseason All-American Justin Miller will also get the opportunity to rebound from a disappointing start to his sophomore campaign at the right cornerback spot, while Tye Hill and Toure Francis continue to battle it out for playing time at the left corner position.

Don't think that Furman won't go down without a fight, as 9 players on the roster were named to the All-Southern Conference first or second team. QB Bo Moore leads a balanced attack that will present problems for the Clemson defense should they establish some early momentum. Split end Brian Stone is a former Florida Gator that caught two touchdowns in last week's 24-7 victory over Elon.

The mental state of the Tigers has to be a concern headed into this game as Clemson has lost it's last two contests by a combined score of 85-15. If Tommy Bowden gets the opportunity to put a lot of points on the board, don't think he won't do it. This team needs a shot in the arm, and a confidence boost if it plans on rebounding from the season opening loss to the Georgia Bulldogs.

Whitehurst's Father Played for Furman
Furman and Clemson have had many common denominators over history dating to Halloween Day of 1896 when Furman was Clemson's first opponent in football.

The name Whitehurst can be added to that list of common factors. Clemson starting quarterback Charlie Whitehurst is the son of former Furman quarterback David Whitehurst. David was a four-year starter (38 total starts) at quarterback for the Paladins from 1973-76. Charlie started the last five games of the 2002 season as a freshman for Clemson, and will be making his second start of 2003 on Saturday against his father's old school.

David went on to play six years in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers, so any favorable comparison to his father is a positive for Charlie. Thus, it is interesting to do a "Tale of the Tape" on the collegiate careers of both Whitehursts on a per game basis. David played 39 games for Furman, but Charlie has played just 10 games so far for the Tigers.

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