LOCATION: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C. (79,000)
RADIO: 104.9 WCCP FM
SPREAD: Clemson by 30
COACHES: Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden is 48-33 (66-37 overall) in his seventh season with the Tigers. Duke's Ted Roof is 5-19 in his second full season with the Blue Devils.
SERIES: Clemson holds a 32-16-1 lead in the series with Duke, including a 17-4-1 lead in games played in Death Valley. Duke defeated Clemson 16-13 last year thanks to a 53-yard field goal by Matt Brooks as time expired. Duke has not won at Clemson since a 34-17 victory over a Danny Ford's second Clemson team in 1980.
DUKE KEY PLAYER: CB John Talley. Talley, a native of Duncan, S.C. leads the Blue Devils' defense with five interceptions. That number is also tied for first nationally.
INJURIES: Clemson- RB James Davis (wrist) probable, QB Charlie Whitehurst (shoulder) probable, WR Kelvin Grant (ACL) out, DT Donnell Clark (knee) out, LS Nick Riddle (shoulder) questionable. Duke- RB Cedric Dargan (knee) out, WR Jomar Wright (knee) out.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "If Charlie is healthy and can practice, then he'll play. The biggest concern, from my perspective, is that it's a new offense. There's not a huge amount of separation in knowledge of the offense, but there is in game day experience (between Will and Charlie). And that's important." -- Head coach Tommy Bowden on the Tigers' quarterback situation for this weekend's game against Duke.
FORECAST: Temperatures are expected to reach the mid 70's under mostly sunny skies for Saturday's 1:00 PM kickoff. Winds will be out of the southwest at five to 10 mph.
* Richardson Angry with Tigers' Performance
* Roy's Picks: Week No. 10
* Roof Facing Uphill Climb
* Bowden Wednesday Comments
* Hard Work Pays Off for Hill
* Whitehurst Practices "Some"
* Life After Charlie
* Q&A with Will Proctor
* Bowden Says He's Learned His Lesson
* What We are Hearing...
* Whitehurst a Game Time Decision
* Tuesday Player Audio
* Tickets Available for Duke, Florida State
* Depth Chart
* Game Notes
WHAT TO WATCH: When Clemson has the Ball - Will Charlie Whitehurst play? That's the key question coming into Saturday's game against Duke. If he can't go (shoulder soreness), redshirt junior Will Proctor will make the first start of his college career. Proctor gives the Tigers more mobility at the quarterback position, but he has little gameday experience, attempting just 13 passes in three seasons. Freshman RB James Davis is expected to see more playing time this week after his left wrist continues to heal from a fracture suffered during the N.C. State game on Oct. 13. Both Davis and starter Reggie Merriweather could be in store for a big game considering the Blue Devils gave up 419 rushing yards in a 44-6 loss to Wake Forest last weekend. Duke ranks 83rd in the country in total defense, including a respectable 34th in defending the pass. DB John Talley has given up several big plays this season, but he is still among the conference's best ball-hawks, leading the nation in interceptions with five.
When Duke has the Ball- Duke played three quarterbacks against Wake Forest last weekend, none of which were effective. The Blue Devils average a lowly 93 yards passing per game, ranking next to last in Division I-A football in that category. It should come as no surprise that in five games this season, Duke has failed to score more than 10 points, including one shutout. With veteran TB Cedric Dargan out with an injury, Duke utilizes a three-man rotation at running back with Ronnie Drummer, Justin Boyle and Requan Boyette. The Blue Devils will use multiple formations and try to establish the ground game early against Clemson. Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning said earlier this week, "I'm trying to think of something Duke doesn't run (offensively)."
Special Teams- The Tigers' special teams were much-improved last weekend against Georgia Tech. Cole Chason boomed his last two punts, Aaron Kelly provided a boost in the return game with an 80-yard fourth quarter kickoff return, and Jad Dean connected on 3-of-4 field goal attempts. Dean now leads the nation in field goals made per game, averaging 2.5 per contest. Duke kicker Joe Surgan has only attempted four field goals on the season, making three, while punter Chris Sprague averages a respectable 41 yards per punt.
Intangibles- While the suspensions have not yet been formally announced, OL Nathan Bennett, CB Duane Coleman, and LB Maurice Nelson are expected to sit this game as due to last year's fight in the season finale against South Carolina. Clemson is also coming off another close loss. How will the team respond entering the final three games of the season? Can this team turn it around for one more stretch run again? The Tigers can't look ahead to next weekend's game against Florida State, or this game could be uncomfortably close through the first three quarters. Saturday is also Homecoming. Clemson has an overall record of 59-19-3 for its previous 81 Homecoming games, a .747 winning percentage. That includes a 29-3-2 record on Homecoming games since the 1971 season.
DON'T FORGET! The Tiger Pre-Game show will be broadcasting live Saturday morning from 7:00 AM to 10:00 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.
Head coach Ted Roof
QB Mike Schneider