GAME: Furman (1-1) at No. 20 Clemson (2-0, 1-0)
LOCATION: Clemson, S.C., Memorial Stadium (81,750)
TV: CSS (replay only)
COACHES: Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden is 62-38 (80-42 overall) in his ninth year at Clemson. Furman head coach Bobby Lamb is 44-20 in his sixth year with the Paladins. Bowden is 1-0 against Furman while Lamb is 0-1 against Clemson.
SERIES: Clemson leads the all-time series against Furman 40-10-4. The Tigers are 22-2 all-time against the Paladins at Memorial Stadium. The last Furman victory came in a 12-0 win in 1936.
CLEMSON KEY PLAYER: Cullen Harper. Harper remains the key player for Clemson's offense this week as the spotlight has somewhat shifted to the performance of back up Willy Korn. Right or wrong, Harper will continue to be under the microscope in the coming weeks if Korn sees an increased role and continues to play well.
FURMAN KEY PLAYER QB Renaldo Gray. Gray can put up big numbers in Furman's option attack on the ground or through the air. The Paladins will need a big afternoon from Gray to keep this game respectable.
FORECAST: A few clouds early then clearing. High near 86 degrees. Winds out of the north at five to 10 mph.
INJURIES: Clemson - RB Ray Ray McElrathbey (ACL) out. Furman - N/A.
SCARY STAT OF THE WEEK: Furman's last two games with FBS foes have been close affairs, including a 45-42 loss to North Carolina (2006) and 41-38 OT setback to Pittsburgh (2004).
* 3 Keys to Victory
* What We are Hearing...
* On the Record: Thomas Austin
* On the Record: Cullen Harper
* Freshman Tight End Surprises
* Misdirection Furman's Best Friend
* More Korn Please?
* Furman - Clemson Game Notes
* Tigers Inspecting the O-Line
* Furman - Clemson Depth Chart
* Monday Clemson Football Notebook
* Davis Talks Offense, the NFL, Korn
WHAT TO WATCH: When Clemson has the Ball - The Tigers are expecting to see plenty of schemes designed to bust their zone blocking scheme up front. So while it may be difficult to run Saturday, it serves as a good experience for facing future teams in the ACC that will likely use similar tactics. Again, the spotlight will be on QB Cullen Harper. Can he continue to keep the chains moving while putting points on the board and also look good doing it? Expect a similar offensive game plan similar to the Louisiana-Monroe game as Furman will stack the box, forcing Harper to the air early on.
When Furman has the Ball - The Paladins will use up to four different styles of offense to keep an aggressive Clemson defense on its heels all afternoon long. That means Renaldo Gray running the option and big fullback Jerome Felton getting more than his fair share of oportunities against Clemson's front seven. The Tigers must be more fundamentally sound with the basics of the game- especially tackling or else Furman could fill up the stat sheet by halftime.
Special Teams - The Tigers appear to have found their answer on field goals and kickoffs with Mark Buchholz. He's done everything he's been asked to do through the first two games. Punter Jimmy Maners has also performed well and the long-snapping issues of week appear to be a thing of the past. Furman's Scott Beckler drilled a 54-yard field goal against Presbyterian earlier this year which established a new school record.
Intangibles - The Paladins are coming off a tough loss to Hofstra but will be fired up to play their next door neighbor - Clemson. Make no mistake, there is enough talent and coaching at Furman to pull the upset, but it would take a perfect game to do it and the Tigers would have to turn the ball over a couple of times as well. For Clemson, it is imperative to get an early lead and not let up, otherwise this game could be uncomfortably close.
PREDICTION: Clemson 48 Furman 17
The Paladins will cause problems for Clemson early in the game, especially on offense, but after a normal week of practice for the first time this season, the Tigers should be much more rested and ready to play. Furman keeps it close halfway through the second quarter before Clemson takes over via the big play and a stiff defense.
PRE-GAME SHOW INFO: The Tiger Pre-game Show with Roy Philpott and Scott Rhymer will be broadcasting live Saturday morning from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM at the Lawn at Littlejohn. Tune in to 104.9 WCCP FM in upstate South Carolina or on the world wide web on wccpfm.com as we celebrate our 50th consecutive game broadcasting on location covering your Clemson Tigers.
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