Keep it Simple

CLEMSON — It will be interesting to see how the Clemson Tigers attack N.C. State to open up ACC play this Saturday in Death Valley.

Will the Tigers (1-1) try to attack N.C. State early or play it safe and try to wear down a Wolfpack defense that has allowed 55 second half points in their first two games?

"I really haven't watched N.C. State's offense that much," Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said after Thursday's practice. "I don't know if they have turned the ball over or what."

Bowden isn't missing much. Through two games, the Wolfpack (1-1) rank last in the ACC in total offense (231.5), next to last in rushing offense (78.0), eighth in passing offense (153.5) and 10th in scoring offense (17.0).

And oh by the way, they have turned the ball over six times.

"If you put your defense out on the field way too much, that will wear them down towards the end," Bowden said.

Clemson will perhaps, especially in the first half, keep things conservative offensively considering it will start three freshmen – right tackle Landon Walker, right guard Mason Cloy and left guard David Smith – on the offensive line. Bowden even admitted Thursday things will be scaled back quite a bit Saturday in order to get those players enough time to build some confidence against a defensive line that has recorded an ACC best 8 sacks in two games.

"I'm anxious to see how we play this Saturday," Bowden said. "The competition is going to be different (than The Citadel). Different schemes than Alabama's, but the talent will not be that far off from Alabama."

INJURY UPDATE: Defensive end Ricky Sapp is listed as questionable for Saturday with a bruised knee. Bowden says his status for the game will be a game-time decision.

"It will literally be one of those things with him trying to put full pressure, cutting and all that stuff against a 300-pound body," Bowden said. "If he can't do it in pre-game, then he will not play."

Linebacker Brandon Maye, who is recovering from the flu, is probable.

Offensive lineman Chris Hairston will not play on the bruised knee he suffered in last Saturday night's moped accident.

Other injuries are Jamie Cumbie, DT, broken wrist, out; Rashaad Jackson, DT, knee, out; Terrence Ashe, WR, sprained ankle, out; and Barry Humphries, OG, knee, out. Top Stories