Virginia - Clemson Game Capsule

The Virginia Cavaliers come to Death Valley Saturday afternoon for a Homecoming tilt with the Clemson Tigers. A crowd of close to 80,000 is expected to the see the game.

The Game: Virginia (3-1, 3-0 ACC) at Clemson (3-2, 1-1 ACC)

Location: Clemson, South Carolina, Memorial Stadium (81,473)

TV Coverage: Jefferson Pilot

Radio Coverage: 104.9 WCCP FM

Spread: Virginia is favored by 4.5 over Clemson.

Coaches: Tommy Bowden is 32-22 (50-26 overall) in his fifth season at Clemson while Virginia's Al Groh is 18-13 (44-53 overall) in his third year in Charlottesville.

CUTigers Game Coverage
* Q&A with J.J. Howard
* 5 Keys to Crushing the Cavs
* Q&A with Kevin Youngblood
* ACC Game Previews
* Press Conference Player Audio
* Al Groh Comments on Clemson
* Tommy Bowden Press Conference Quotes
* Q&A with Charlie Whitehurst
* Q&A with Tony Elliott
* Clemson - Virginia News & Notes

The Forecast: Temperatures are expected to be in the lower to mid 70's with a 50% chance of rain showers at kickoff. Winds are expected to be from the northeast at 9 mph.

The Series: Clemson holds a commanding 34-7-1 lead in the series with Virginia, but the Cavaliers hold 7-5-1 advantage since 1990, including a 22-17 victory at Charlottesville last year, and a 26-24 win at Clemson in 2001. Virginia has never beaten Clemson three years in a row. Clemson has gained at least 400 yards total offense in each of the last two years against Virginia, yet lost both games.

Injury Update: For the first time all season, injuries will impact the Clemson Tigers in a serious way. QB Charlie Whitehurst is questionable (ankle), LB Eric Sampson doubtful (ankle), WR Airese Currie is doubtful (ankle), DE Khaleed Vaughn is out (knee), and CB Toure Francis is questionable (ankle).

What to Watch: Clemson has essentially outgained the Cavs in each of the last two seasons in terms of yards, but has lost both contests. The Tigers can and will, move the football against Virginia, but they must capitalize on scoring opportunities in the redzone by scoring touchdowns. QB Charlie Whitehurst could be limited, should he not be able to go, redshirt freshman Chansi Stuckey will get the call. Head coach Tommy Bowden has devised two game plans, one for each quarterback.

Defensively, the Tigers will have their hands full trying to stop a balanced attack. Clemson must stop ACC Player of the Year QB Matt Schaub, who appears to be hitting his stide after missing several games with an injury, while at the same time limit RB Wali Lundy from eating up chunks of yards on the ground. Lundy is 21st in the nation in rushing yards per game with a 102.4 average and has gone over 100 yards in his last 3 games, and 6 of his 9 overall.

Schaub, who missed two games with a shoulder injury (including a 31-7 loss at South Carolina) completed 19-of-22 passes for 284 yards and 2 touchdowns against North Carolina last week. One of Schaub's favorite targets is big TE Heath Miller, who brought in 7 catches for 94 yards two weeks ago against Wake Forest. Incidentally, all 7 passes were either for a first down or a touchdown.

On special teams, Virginia has one of the hottest kickers in the nation in sophomore Conner Hughes. Hughes as nailed all 17 of his extra points and is a perfect 8-for-8 on field goals, including a long of 53 yards and a game-winning 38-yard field goal against Wake Forest with 10 seconds left in the game.

Interesting Note: Tommy Bowden will decide during pregame warm-ups whether Duane Coleman or Yusef Kelly will start at running back. Regardless of who appears on the Tigers' first offensive possession, Kelly should help an offensive line that is still a work in progress by forcing the action and hitting the hole with authority.

National Rankings: Virginia is ranked 24th by USA Today and 25th by AP. Virginia will be just the third ranked team to play Clemson on Homecoming since 1971. Previous two were Duke in 1988 (ranked 22nd) and Georgia Tech (1996, ranked 22nd). Clemson won both games.

Don't Forget: The Tiger Pregame show brought to you by will be broadcasting live on the Lawn at Littlejohn from 7-9 AM Saturday morning. Stop by and pick up free t-shirts and CUTigers Magazines! Top Stories