Dan Scott: UNC - Clemson Prediction


by - Correspondent -
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OFFENSE

Let's see. Woody Dantzler has accounted for 935 yards and 10 touchdowns in Clemson's last two games, and has done so with a patchwork receiving corp. Today he gets Roscoe Crosby and Jackie Robinson back, which should give him even more weapons. It would be nice to see running back Travis Zachery have a breakout game to go along with Dantzler. The more effective the running attack, the slower the UNC pass rush. For the Tar Heels, quarterback Darian Durant returns to South Carolina for the first time since leaving for UNC. He has been a welcome addition to John Bunting's offense, which is consistently inconsistent with Ronald Curry at the helm.

ADVANTAGE: Clemson


DEFENSE

Good cover corners, fast linebackers and a solid defensive line led by Julius Peppers - North Carolina's defense is everything Clemson longs to be. The Tar Heels put together a good game plan that baffled Dantzler a year ago, and though the head coach and defensive coordinator are new, the architect of that scheme is still on staff. Clemson has been getting improved play out of its defensive front, but there's still a long way to go. Same with young cornerbacks Toure Francis and Ryan Hemby.

ADVANTAGE: North Carolina


SPECIAL TEAMS

Apparently the threat to the jobs of punter Wynn Kopp and kickoff specialist Tony Lazzara caught their attention, because both performed much better last week against N.C. State. Clemson's return game has been hit with far too many penalties in recent weeks. UNC's Lafferty (40 yards per punt) and Reed (7-10 field goals) are formidable, though Reed is just 1-3 on attempts over 40 yards.

ADVANTAGE: Even


COACHING

Tommy Bowden said earlier this week that John Bunting's best work so far is not losing his team after the brutal 0-3 start. Bowden and his staff, meanwhile, continue to come up with new, innovative calls on offense (see the throwback touchdown to tight end Ben Hall a week ago).

ADVANTAGE: Clemson


Much has been written about Clemson's offense matching up with North Carolina's defense today. But in truth, the key to the game very well could be how well the Tigers are able to stop the Tar Heel attack. The guess here is more of what we've seen recently - Clemson doing just enough.


THE PICK: Clemson 31, North Carolina 24





Clemson (4-1) vs. North Carolina (4-3) Pregame Notes

Date: October 20, 2001

Kickoff: 12:10 PM

Site: Clemson Memorial Stadium

Expected Attendance: 84,000

Ticket Availability: Reserved seats and adult tickets sold out. Tickets for students high school age and under available for
$6 on day of the game

Live TV: ESPN-2 (Mark Jones, Chris Speilman, Holly Rowe)

Series Record: Clemson leads 31-17-1

Last Meeting: Clemson 38, North Carolina 24 in 2000 at UNC

Last Meeting at Clemson Clemson 31, UNC 20 in 1999

Clemson Rankings: 13th in AP, 15th in USA Today



Clemson Injury Summary

*Kevin Youngblood (WR)-broken leg, out

*Marcus Houskin(FS)-broken neck, out

*Altroy Bodrick (LB)-torn ACL, out

*Joel Gardner (WR)-virus, out

*Tony Elliott (WR)-broken wrist, out

*Brian Mance (CB)-Family death, doubtful

*Jackie Robinson (WR)-broken jaw, probable

*Roscoe Crosby (WR)-bruised knee, probable

*Nick Eason, (DT)--sprained ankle, probable

*Kevin Johnson (CB)-broken rib, probable

*Jovon Bush (DT)-pulled groin, probable



Lineup News

Brian Mance's replacement in the starting lineup at
cornerback will be Toure Francis, an original walk-on now on
scholarship. It will be his second straight start, has he played in
place of Kevin Johnson against NC State. Joe Don Reames will take
Mance's replacement as the prime punt returner, while Derrick
Hamilton will be Mance's prime replacement on kickoff returns.



Other Notes

Clemson has won each of the last two games by double
digits. North Carolina has won at Clemson just once since 1980. That
was a 17-10 contest in 1997. Woodrow Dantzler was named the nation's
top player for the first half of the season by USATODAY.com and
CBSSportsline.com earlier this week. He was named National Player of
the Week for his 517-yard performance at NC State by Sporting News
Radio. Freshman receiver Derrick Hamilton needs just four receptions
to break Terry Smith's Clemson single season record of 34. Travis
Zachery has scored a touchdown in 13 consecutive games. Chad Carson
needs 11 tackles to pass former teammate Robert Carswell for seventh
place on Clemson's all-time tackle list. He needs 16 to pass Keith
Adams. This will be homecoming at Clemson and the Tigers are 26-2-2 on
homecoming since 1971. The Clemson men's basketball team will hold a
45-minute scrimmage Saturday morning prior to the football game
starting at 10:30 AM. Fans should enter the Coliseum at gates 2, 9 or
11.

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