USC - Clemson Pregame Notebook

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - The talk shows haven't been buzzing like normal, but don't let that
fool you. Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden said today's Clemson-South Carolina
meeting at Death Valley will be as intense as ever.

Even if both schools are wrapping up subpar regular seasons.

"My first year they were 0-10 and we were 5-5," Bowden said. "They didn't
have a bowl game or a winning season on the line and they played hard. It
will be very hot and emotional...There's something on the table for both of

For Clemson, a win means a 7-5 finish and an improved bowl bid. For the
Gamecocks, a victory means bowl eligibility.

"That adds more intensity than there already is," Bowden said. "Both of us,
coming off losses, will have similar obstacles to overcome this week."


Clemson will be trying to prevent something that hasn't happened in over 30
years - back-to-back South Carolina wins in the series.

The last time the Gamecocks pulled the trick was 1969-70, but Bowden isn't
harping on the gap in talks with his team.

"That would be way down the line (of priorities)," he said. "That's not as
much of a factor as finishing 7-5, beating your instate rival, things like



In eight games, freshman QB Charlie Whitehurst has thrown for 1,004 yards and
nine touchdowns and only two interceptions ... junior PK Aaron Hunt is sixth
on Clemson's all-time scoring list with 227 points ... Hunt has made 15 of 18
field goal attempts on the year and is second in the ACC in field goal
percentage (.833) and field goals made per game (1.5) ... CB Justin Miller
leads the ACC and is fifth nationally in interceptions per game (0.64) and is
bidding to become the fourth freshman to lead the ACC in interceptions ...
Miller leads all freshmen nationally with his seven interceptions ... Miller
is also averaging 37.5 yards on 10 kickoff returns ... Clemson leads the ACC
and is tied for fourth nationally with 19 interceptions.


The Gamecocks are sixth in the SEC in rushing offense (168.6 ypg) and seventh
in passing defense (177.8) ... USC is 3-1 this season when passing for more
yards than its opponents ... The Gamecocks are 6-10 all-time at home in
conference games ... USC averages only 11.3 offensive drives per game, lowest
in the SEC, but its' 2:31 average time per drive is tied for second highest
in the league ... The Gamecocks have had five games this year decided by ten
points or less. They are 3-2 in those games.

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