Dan Scott: Duke vs Clemson Prediction

by - Correspondent -

When Clemson Has The Ball

The key here is simple. Score early and score often. Don't give Duke a chance to breathe. Any breakdowns in the offense early will only serve to give the Blue Devils a confidence boost, and quite honestly since Ted Roof took over as head coach they're playing confident enough as it is. The bottom line here is talent. Clemson's offensive line is coming together, the wide receivers are playing well as a group and quarterback Charlie Whitehurst is due for a monster game. By the way, has anyone else noticed the subtle, week-by-week improvement of tailback Duane Coleman?


When Duke Has The Ball

Duke's backfield tandem of Chris Douglas and Alex Wade has been very good in 2003, meaning Tiger defenders will face a challenge. If the Blue Devils have any chance in this game, they must control everything - tempo, time of possession, etc. - by running successfully. In the last two weeks Clemson has been both brilliant and horrific at stopping the run. If they're just above average today, it will be enough to stop the Dukies.


Special Teams

This is another area where an unexpected breakdown could lead to trouble if Clemson isn't careful. Fortunately, things seem to be under control, at least at the moment. With a good game, placekicker Aaron Hunt - already Clemson's career leading scorer - could put himself in a position to challenge for the ACC record. Right now, he's on a roll.



What Ted Roof has done in recent weeks is amazing, restoring both fun and pride into the Duke program at once. Tommy Bowden's best all around coaching job - from pregame preparation all the way through the fourth quarter surrender - came last week against Florida State. It couldn't have come at a better time.



Though Duke is improved, Clemson should win the game handily. However, a small crowd void of any atmosphere will make it seem like a Duke home game, and we all remember what nearly happened a year ago in Durham.


Clemson 37, Duke 17

Clemson vs. Duke Pregame Notes

Game: Clemson vs. Duke

Site: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC

Tickets: Available: Reserve at $29

High School gate $8 (at gate 11) at 11:00 AM

Kickoff: 1:00 PM

Special Day: Military Appreciation Day

Series Record: Clemson leads 31-15-1

Clemson Injury Situation:

- Airese Currie-Starting wide receiver, doubtful, sprained
ankle, bruised thigh

- Cedric Johnson-Starting offensive guard suffered bruised knee
in practice on Tuesday, probable

Lineup Notes
Tony Elliott will make his second career start at wide
receiver against Duke. He started the NC State game earlier this
year. Chad Jasmin will start at running back. It will be his first
start since the Georgia game. With Elliott and Jasmin in the
starting lineup it means all seven active graduate students on the
Clemson roster will start on Saturday. J.J. Howard, an eighth
graduate student on the roster who started the first six games of the
year, is out for the season with a torn ACL.

Other Notes
Clemson linebacker Leroy Hill ranks second in the
nation in tackles for loss per game and solo tackles per game. Tony
Elliott was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District III team
earlier this week.

Bowl Scouts
2 from the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

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