THE TENUTA FACTOR: After a significant number of close games played between Clemson and Georgia Tech in recent years, save for the 2003 contest in Atlanta, Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden has plenty of respect for the Yellow Jackets' football program.
Especially defensive coordinator John Tenuta.
"The stats don't lie," he said. "He's got consistency at the I-A level. That's what you look for. They don't start a 300-pound defensive lineman. Not a 290-pound defensive lineman. They've got one guy over 280. They are quick. They can move but he's a multiple pressure guy. He's always going to bring pressure."
Georgia Tech enters Saturday's game ranked 21st in total defense (276 yards/game) and 9th in rushing defense (72 yards/game). The Yellow Jackets may be somewhat vulnerable through the air however, as they give up 204 yards passing per game, which is 72nd in the nation, just one spot ahead of Temple.
Last year, neither team could get anything going offensively as Georgia Tech won 10-9.
"Last time we played, nobody made plays. We didn't make a long run, nor a long catch," Bowden said. "Neither did they. They broke one long run that got them down there."
CHANSI STUCKEY UPDATE: Clemson Sports Information Director Tim Bourret said that wide receiver Chansi Stuckey is officially listed as doubtful for the Georgia Tech game Saturday.
Stuckey was in a yellow jersey for practice Sunday.
"We'll find out more tomorrow," Bowden said.
Stuckey was tied for the lead in the ACC with 25 receptions before breaking his foot (fifth metatarsal) the week of practice before Clemson played Wake Forest.
The Tigers will definitely be without the services of sophomore wide out Rendrick Taylor, who broke his arm against Wake Forest.
QUICK HITS: No. 12 Clemson has opened as a nine point favorite over No. 13 Georgia Tech. ... "I see one of those games that we traditionally play. Close game and low scoring," Bowden said. ... Bowden said that they have to "keep working at it" in regards in kickoff coverage and his plans for this week's practices. "We've got to get better. I've been a head coach 10 years and never had this kind of consistent type of problem," he said. ... Bowden also said that having ESPN GameDay at Clemson Saturday would be good for the program from a national perspective. "It's a pretty big deal," he said.
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