Game Capsule

The Clemson Tigers look to improve to 4-3 on the season when they face the winless Temple Owls Saturday afternoon in Death Valley.

GAME: Temple (0-7) at Clemson (3-3, 2-3) 12:40 PM

LOCATION: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C. (77,381)

TV: Comcast (only available in Philadelphia, PA)

RADIO: 104.9 WCCP FM

SPREAD: Clemson by 36.5.

COACHES: Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden is 47-32 in his seventh season with the Tigers. Temple head coach Bobby Wallace is 19-67 in his eighth season with the Owls. Wallace has already announced that this will be his last year as the head coach at Temple.

SERIES: Clemson and Temple have met just once previously - September 21, 1991 and resulted in a 37-7 Tiger victory. Clemson's defense that year led nation in rushing defense, was fourth in total defense and 10th in scoring defense, and it enhanced its numbers that day when it held Temple to just 89 yards rushing in 46 attempts.

TEMPLE KEY PLAYER: RB Umar Ferguson. Ferguson is a serviceable back that averages a respectable 81 yards per game this year. He put up 95 yards against Maryland, 85 against Miami, and 132 at Bowling Green.

INJURIES: Clemson- TE Cole Downer (spleen) out; RB James Davis (wrist) out; WR Kelvin Grant (ACL) out. Temple- N/A.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think that we've got some leadership on this team that can keep these guys going. We had a good week at practice. Hopefully we can come out here and jump on them quick and get a win." -- Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst on facing winless Temple.

FORECAST: Temperatures are expected to be in the mid 70's under partly cloudy skies for Saturday's kickoff against Temple. There is also a 40% chance of rain. Winds will be out of the northwest at 9 mph.

COVERAGE:
* Wednesday Clemson Football Notebook
* Kelly Continues Strong Run
* Spence Optimistic
* Clemson vs. Temple Tickets Available
* Stuckey So Close ...
* Koenning Expects More
* What We are Hearing...
* Tuesday Player Audio
* Tommy Bowden's Tuesday Press Conference
* Monday Clemson Football Notebook
* Depth Chart
* Game Notes

WHAT TO WATCH: When Clemson has the Ball - Temple has trouble defending just about anything, ranking 93rd in the country against the run, and 96th against the pass, so the Tigers should be able to pick the Owls' poison Saturday. With freshman running back James Davis out of the picture Saturday (left wrist), expect Reggie Merriweather and Kyle Browning to see extensive playing time, with walk-on Paul Macko coming in later on. And what about back up QB Will Proctor? Proctor, who should step in for Charlie Whitehurst next year, doesn't have much gameday experience under his belt as a redshirt junior. Saturday would be a good time to get him, as well as several other younger players on the team, more playing time to prepare for next season.

When Temple has the Ball- This game is all about Clemson getting healthy on both sides of the ball and getting younger players in the game. On defense, the goal is simple: prevent big plays, keep Temple off the scoreboard, and create turnovers. The Tigers must key on RB Umar Ferguson. Don't laugh, he actually has respectable numbers against quality competition this season. Also, true freshman QB Joe DeSanzo saw his first college action last week against Miami, completing 10 of 20 for 96 yards. He could start instead of fifth-year senior Mike McGann. Look for Clemson freshmen LB Antonio Clay, LB Josh Miller and CB Haydrian Lewis to double or triple their snap totals on the year in this game.

Special Teams - Aaron Kelly and Tyler Grisham will be utilized on kick off returns to help spark a unit that currently ranks 69th in the country. Jad Dean missed a field goal against N.C. State, but he's still one of the most consistent kickers in the country, missing just two field goal attempts (51 and 37 yards) on the year. The Tigers continue to struggle with their punting, ranking 112th in the country. Walk-on Jimmy Manners may see playing time in place of Cole Chason. Temple is dreadful with most of its special teams, ranking 117th in punt returns, 115 in net punting, and 96th on kickoff returns.

Intangibles - Five players are expected to miss Saturday's game due to suspension, including starters Nathan Bennett, Roman Fry, and Anthony Waters. How will the younger players who will step in for these players respond? In addition, coming off a 31-10 blasting of N.C. State, it's important for Clemson to maintain momentum Saturday afternoon. That means getting a big lead in the first half by playing well on both sides of the ball so that some of they younger players on the team can gain valuable gameday experience. Temple has played one of the most brutal schedules in the nation, including games against Miami, Minnesota, Arizona State, and Wisconsin, so the Owls may not be intimidated in a loud environment.

DON'T FORGET! The Tiger Pre-Game show will be broadcasting live Saturday morning from 6:40 AM to 9:40 AM, with the last two hours coming to you live from the Lawn at Littlejohn. Tune in to 104.9 WCCP FM in upstate South Carolina or on the world wide web on wccpfm.com.


RB Umar Ferguson



QB Mike McGann



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