The Game: Clemson (4-2, 2-1 ACC) at North Carolina State (4-3, 1-2 ACC) at 7:45 PM
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina's Carter-Finley Stadium (51,500), Carter-Finley Information
TV Coverage: ESPN National Broadcast
Radio Coverage: 104.9 WCCP FM
Spread: N.C. State is favored by 5 over Clemson.
Coaches: Tommy Bowden is 33-22 (51-26 overall) in his fifth season at Clemson while NC State's Chuck Amato is 30-15 in his fourth season as a head coach in Raleigh.
CUTigers Game Coverage
* Q&A with Charlie Whitehurst
* Q&A with Curtis Baham
* Clemson - N.C. State News & Notes
* Q&A with Tommy Sharpe
* 5 Keys to Whipping the Wolfpack
* Tommy Bowden's Press Conference
* Q&A with Justin Miller
* Tiger Pregame Show Invades Raleigh
The Forecast: Temperatures are expected to be in the mid to lower 60's Thursday evening with winds from the west at 6 mph.
The Series: Overall, Clemson has a 44-26-1 lead in the series, including an 18-11 record in games played at Clemson. The Tigers are 15-11 against NC State in games played in Death Valley. Clemson is 11-1-1 against NC State in neutral site games and 15-14 in games at Raleigh over the years, including a 45-37 victory in 2001, the last time the two teams met at NC State. NC State has a 10-7 lead in games played in Carter-Finley Stadium.
Injury Update: For the second consecutive game, injuries will impact the Clemson Tigers in a serious way. LB Eric Sampson is doubtful (ankle), WR Airese Currie is out (ankle), DE Khaleed Vaughn is probable (knee), and DE J.J. Howard is out for the year (knee).
For the Wolfpack, a whole host of players won't be playing Thursday night. OT Chris Colmer is out, WR Sterling Hicks is out, and three more starters, including offensive guard Ricky Fowler, defensive end Renaldo Moses and cornerback Lamont Reid. Freshman James Martin is expected to start in place of Moses at right defensive end, veteran Greg Golden will move from left to right cornerback and either A.J. Davis or Dovonte Edwards will start at the other corner position. Reserve RB Josh Brown is also out.
What to watch: When Clemson has the ball, they'll be facing the nation's 116th (116 out of 117) ranked pass defense. Those stats could be a little misleading as N.C. State has jumped ahead of the competition early in the game on multiple occasions and also faced pass-happy teams in Texas Tech and North Carolina.
It will be extremely important for the Tigers to continue to build on last week's success in the running game. Duane Coleman will likely get the start, but don't be surprised to see a healthy dose of Yusef Kelly before the game is over.
Defensively, the Tigers must find a way to limit the effectiveness of State running back T.A. McLendon, one of the most dangerous backs in the ACC. You have to figure that 4th year quarterback Philip Rivers and leading wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery will will get their share of big plays, but it will be important to limit the effectiveness of the Wolfpack rushing attack if Clemson is going to have a chance to pull the upset.
From an intangibles standpoint, both Tommy Bowden and Chuck Amato like to reach deep into their bags of tricks. From trick plays to unusual formations to unusual gameplans...anything is possible. Amato got the best of Bowden when his team stuck it to the Tigers on the ground last season and dominated Clemson on special teams.
Don't Forget: The Tiger Pregame show brought to you by CUTigers.com will be broadcasting live at Playmakers in Raleigh, only one mile from Carter-Finley Stadium from 2-4:30 Thursday afternoon. Stop by and pick up free t-shirts and CUTigers Magazines!
Clemson - N.C. State Game Capsule
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