GAME: No. 18 Clemson (1-0, 0-0) at Boston College (1-0, 0-0) 3:30 PM
LOCATION: Alumni Stadium (44,500)
RADIO: 104.9 WCCP FM
SPREAD: Clemson by 2.5
COACHES: Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden is 53-33 (71-37 overall) in his eighth season with the Tigers. Boston College's Tom O'Brien is 67-42 in his nine seasons with the Eagles.
SERIES: Clemson holds a 7-6-2 advantage in the series with Boston College, a series that dates to the 1939 season and the January 1, 1940 Cotton Bowl.
BOSTON COLLEGE KEY PLAYER: QB Matt Ryan. Ryan threw 48 passes last week against Central Michigan. While he won't have to do that Saturday against Clemson, he's still an accurate passer that can beat just about any team in the league when called upon.
CLEMSON KEY PLAYER: LB Antonio Clay. With the loss of starting MIKE linebacker Anthony Waters, the Tigers need to find a new man in the middle. It could be Clay, who usually plays on the outside Still even if Clay remains outside, somebody from this unit has to step up with starters Tramaine Billie and Anthony Waters out..
INJURIES: Clemson- LB Tramaine Billie (ankle) out, LB Anthony Waters (ACL) out, OL JaMarcus Grant (foot) out, OL Roman Fry (knee) questionable, OL Nathan Bennett (ankle) questionable, DT Rashaad Jackson questionable. Boston College- QB Matt Ryan (ankle) questionable, DT B.J. Raji (supsension for first half).
CRAZY STAT OF THE WEEK: Approximately 4,500-5,000 Clemson fans are expected to be at Alumni Stadium for the game.
FORECAST: Temperatures are expected to reach the lower 80s under mostly sunny skies Saturday afternoon in Chesnut Hill.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "The team looks to me in so many different ways. Why would he not tell me to go to Boston? It's not like I went out to get a drug charge or something like that. There's certain things a coach can say to players and there's certain things a player can say to another player, so I guess he kind of needs me there for that. I take that as a compliment." - Senior LB Anthony Waters on traveling with the team to Boston College despite being out for the year with a torn ACL.
* Will Clemson Open It Up Against BC?
* Eagles Aware of Tigers' Potential
* Ryan Still Questionable for Saturday
* Quick Hits with Will Proctor
* CFN Preview & Prediction
* Waters Remains Positive
* Clemson Football Notebook
* Tigers Hold at No. 18
* What We are Hearing...
* Bowden Press Conference Notes
* Questions Looming over Linebackers
* Campbell's Role to Increase
* Clemson - Boston College Notes
WHAT TO WATCH: When Clemson has the Ball- The Tigers became stagnant offensively against the Eagles last season so it will be important for coordinator Rob Spence to try and open things up more this year. The onus obviously falls on QB Will Proctor, who needs to avoid early jitters that plagued him against Florida Atlantic. Clemson's trio in the backfield of James Davis, Reggie Merriweather and C.J. Spiller should find the running lanes bigger this season behind an offensive line that returns all five starters. BC defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani will utilize the zone blitz frequently this afternoon so another early key will be Clemson's ability to handle the pressure.
When Boston College has the Ball- The Eagles will try and establish the ground game with two strong backs L.V Whitworth and Andre Callendar, but QB Matt Ryan can also inflict damage with an accurate arm. Interestingly enough, Ryan threw 48 passes and the Eagles averaged just 3.2 yards per carry last week in a 31-24 win at Central Michigan. Defensively, the Tigers must find a replacement for LB Anthony Waters, who tore his ACL last week against Florida Alantic. Look for Kavell Conner and Cortney Vincent to step up. Also look out for LB Brian Toal, who lines up in the backfield in short yardage and goal line situations.
Special Teams- With all the focus on Clemson's punting game during the offseason, the Tigers didn't punt once against Florida Atlantic last week, so those questions still remain entering this week's game. Kicker Jad Dean missed an extra point and a short field goal, which is likely a little unsettling for coach Bowden. Boston College kicker Ryan Ohliger missed one of his two field goal attempts last week but will likely challenge Dean for top honors in the conference this year. Keep an eye on the return game where Clemson's Jacoby Ford and the Eagles' DeJuan Tribble both are explosive.
Intangibles- It's the first road game for starting quarterback Will Proctor. How will he respond? The Tigers have finished strong in each of the last three seasons but have traditionally started slow under Tommy Bowden. Will that trend finally come to an end this year?
PREDICTION: Clemson 19 Boston College 10
DON'T FORGET! The Tiger Pre-game Show will be broadcasting live Saturday morning from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM from Alumni Stadium in Chesnut Hill, MA. Tune in to 104.9 WCCP FM in upstate South Carolina or on the world wide web on wccpfm.com.
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