Game Capsule

CLEMSON - No. 21 Clemson faces off against S.C. State Saturday afternoon in Death Valley. Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM.

GAME: S.C. State (2-1) at No. 21 Clemson (2-1)

LOCATION: Memorial Stadium (81,500)

TV: ESPN 360

TIME: 1:00 PM EST

SPREAD: N/A

SERIES: This is the first ever matchup between S.C. State and Clemson on the gridiron.

COACHES: Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden is 71-43 (89-47 overall) in his 10th season in Tigertown. He has never faced S.C. State as a head coach. Bulldogs' head coach Buddy Pough is 49-22 at S.C. State (same overall) in his seventh year in Orangeburg.

S.C. STATE KEY PLAYER: RB Will Ford. The talk at practice this weekend in Clemson has centered around a number of S.C. State's skill players, but Ford's name comes up more than anybody else. He's not the biggest back in the world but he's fast and ultra-productive. Considering Clemson's issues at linebacker right now, he'll be a key player for the Bulldogs Saturday afternoon.

CLEMSON KEY PLAYER: LB Brandon Maye. Maye missed last weekend's ACC opener against N.C. State because of the flu, but he's expected to start Saturday at the MIKE linebacker position for the third time this season. The redshirt freshman and the rest of Clemson's linebackers for that matter, have to play at a higher level by making more fundamentally sound tackles and by driving ball carriers backwards. So far this year that hasn't happened and Clemson's defense has suffered mightily as a result.

INJURIES: Clemson: LB Brandon Maye (flu) probable, P Dawson Zimmerman (hamstring) questionable, DT Rashaad Jackson (quad) out, LB Scotty Cooper (flu) probable, OG Barry Humphries (knee) out, Terrence Ashe (ankle) out, DT Jamie Cumbie (out) wrist, OT Chris Hairston (knee) doubtful.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Then the Alabama game we are going to beat ourselves up until we have nothing left on that deal. That hurt any confidence we had. So we have to rebuild that somewhat. A great deal of athletics is the confidence you have. The coaches and the players, rightfully or wrongfully so, got beat up on that one. It takes players time to get confidence in themselves and the coaches. We just have to keep focusing on what's going on outside and focus on inside. It will all take care of itself. Somewhere down the line we will be where we all thought we would be." - Clemson Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning.

FORECAST: Fall will be in the air Saturday afternoon in Clemson with temperatures expected to be in the high 70s under partly cloudy skies. Winds will be out of the northwest at 5 to 10 mph. [ Updated Forecast ]

COVERAGE:
* Dan Scott Preview & Prediction
* Sapp Back at 100 Percent?
* BOWDEN: Tigers Get Physical
* Depth Chart
* Familiar Faces
* Tuesdays with Vic
* What We are Hearing...
* Tommy Bowden Press Conference
* Breaking Down the O-Line
* BOWDEN: Challenges Linebackers
* Diagnosing the ACC
* Monday Morning QB: More Questions
* Around the ACC
* Game Notes
* Thursday Practice Notebook
* Postgame access policy reviewed
* Harper has been Here Before

PREDICTION: Clemson 41 S.C. State 13
Tommy Bowden did his best imitation of Lou Holtz this week trying to build up the Bulldogs but don't be fooled- this one won't be close. Clemson plays its best game of the year by far and cruises to the win.

TIGER PRE-GAME SHOW INFO: The Tiger Pre-game Show with Roy Philpott and Scott Rhymer will be broadcasting live from Lawn at Littlejohn from 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM Saturday afternoon. Tune in to 104.9 WCCP FM in upstate South Carolina or on the world wide web at wccpfm.com as we celebrate our 66th consecutive game broadcasting on location covering your Clemson Tigers.

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