Dan Scott: Clemson-Temple Prediction


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Last year it was the Thursday night curse which bit the dust when Clemson spanked N.C. State in Raleigh. This year, so far anyway, the infernal Demons which caused so much grief for the Tigers at Groves Stadium have been exorcised.


Is this, indeed, a special year in the making? Not only for the Tigers themselves, but is this a bounce-back campaign for the Magic Helmet? After a two year downward spiral, have we returned to the glory days that was a 16-4 stretch over 2002-2003?


Who knows. Maybe I just got lucky. Maybe it was the assist from the kid. Time will tell.


All I know is it's time for this week's pick:


Clemson (5-1) vs. Temple (0-6) in Charlotte



When Clemson Has The Ball

Tommy Bowden was adamant this week during his press conference. He's not holding anything back against Temple to save for next Saturday's matchup with Georgia Tech. He's going out to win, he said, and will do whatever it takes. Well, this is Temple, maybe the single worst Division I-A football program in the past 50 years. Look for a steady diet of James Davis, C.J. Spiller, Reggie Merriweather and Demerrick Chancellor on the ground. Clemson's rushing numbers could approach Herculean heights Thursday night. Will Proctor will throw just enough to keep his arm loose.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson


When Temple Has The Ball

Here is head coach Al Golden's quandry: Do you try and run the football against a Clemson defense which has been solid in that category all season? Or do you open up the playbook and come out throwing, exposing your quarterback to a suddenly-monstrous Gaines Adams and his mates on the defensive line? Either way, it promises to be a long night for the Owls. Vic Koening has the Tiger 'D' playing at a high level, and the best part is the unit seems to get better every week. Pick the correct number of turnovers the Tigers force, win a prize.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson


Special Teams

This is one week where even the recurring problems the Tigers have had in kick coverage and place kicking can't cost them the game (at least one wouldn't think so). However, if all goes true to form and Clemson puts up big numbers offensively, that coverage unit will get plenty of live practice which can be put to good use for next week's matchup with the Yellow Jackets. As for Dean, he continues to be his own worst enemy from a mental standpoint. Kickers are like that. Perhaps this is a game he can quit thinking and start kicking again.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson


Coaching

Again, Bowden and his staff seem to be in a nice groove right now. Golden has a task ahead of him that many people wouldn't wish upon their worst enemy.
ADVANTAGE - Clemson


BOTTOM LINE

For the fourth time in as many opportunities against an overmatched team, watch for Clemson to drop half a hundred on the Owls. For this one, no need to consult the kid.


THE PICK

Clemson 55, Temple 3

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