Dan Scott: NC State - Clemson Prediction
Just when you thought Clemson was sputtering, they drop 47 on Georgia Tech. Woody Dantzler finally had a breakout running game, but more importantly hit the big passes downfield at the most important times. The offensive line, too, had its best game of the season. N.C. State's scoring is down dramatically, and all reasons appear to point to the departure of wide receiver Koren Robinson to the NFL. Still, sophomore quarterback Phillip Rivers is dangerous.
The Tigers are giving up 360 yards per game, or 12 more on average than a year ago. Yet they made a pair of huge plays, one at the end of regulation and one in overtime, to give the offense a chance to beat Georgia Tech. Injuries continue to mount, and now it appears defensive tackle Nick Eason and cornerback Kevin Johnson won't start and may not play. Meanwhile, the Wolfpack is 17th in the nation in scoring defense (15.5 points per game) and 10th overall in pass defense (150 yards per game). Linebacker Levar Fisher, last season's conference Player of the Year, is back and wreaking havoc again. Another aggressive, up-the-field defense with great speed in the secondary.
ADVANTAGE: N.C. State
Clemson's punting and kickoff positions were opened up for competition in the past two weeks after subpar performances against Georgia Tech. Punter Wynn Kopp has averaged just 32 yards a kick in his last two outings. State punter Austin Herbert is averaging almost 38 yards per kick, while he and Adam Kiker are a perfect 5-5 in field goal attempts.
ADVANTAGE: N.C. State
Tommy Bowden and his staff did a wonderful job getting the Tigers ready to play Georgia Tech after a devastating loss to Virginia the previous week. Now how will the players react following a big win? Chuck Amato may sound like Joe Pesci, but many believe he has the Wolfpack on the right track, and in no way is that funny.
Bottom line here is momentum. State's defense aside, these two teams seem to generate points aplenty when they get together, and based on early returns the 'Pack will have trouble matching Clemson score-for-score.
THE PICK: Clemson 37, N.C. State 21
Clemson (3-1) vs. NC State (3-1) Pregame Notes
Date: October 13, 2001
Kickoff: 12:10 PM
Site: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC (51,500)
Expected Attendance: Sold Out
Clemson Fans: Clemson received and sold 4,000 tickets
Live TV: Jefferson Pilot (Steve Martin, Rick
Walker, Mike Hogewood)
Series Record: Clemson leads 43-25-1
Last Meeting: Clemson 34, NC State 27 at Clemson in 2000
Last Meeting at State NC State 35, Clemson 31
Clemson Rankings: 16th in AP, 18th in USA Today
Clemson Injury Summary
*Kevin Youngblood (WR)-broken leg, out
*Jackie Robinson (WR)-broken jaw, out
*Marcus Houskin(FS)-broken neck, out
*Altroy Bodrick (LB)-torn ACL, out
*Tony Elliott (WR)-broken wrist, out
*Roscoe Crosby (WR)-bruised knee, out
*Nick Eason, (DT)--sprained ankle, questionable
*T.J. Watkins(OT)-sprained ankle and knee, probable
*Kevin Johnson (CB)-broken rib, questionable
Lineup News: Kevin Johnson's replacement in the starting lineup at
cornerback will be Toure Francis, an original walk-on now on
scholarship. It will be his first start. If Nick Eason can't go,
first-year freshman Eric Coleman, who has played just two snaps all
year, will start at defensive tackle.
Other Notes: Each of the last four games of this series have been
decided by seven points or less. Each team has won two of those
games. Clemson quarterback Woodrow Dantzler needs just 57 yards
rushing to become the first quarterback in ACC history to reach 4000
yards passing and 2000 yards rushing in a career. He averages 63
yards a game on the ground over his career. He needs 429 yards of
total offense to become Clemson's career leader in that
categoryŠ.Travis Zachery needs just 30 yards rushing to move into
third place in Clemson history ahead of Terry Allen.