Wake Forest - Clemson Preview


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON - The first game of the rest of Clemson's season kicks off today at
Death Valley. Whether the second half of the year is any better than the
first is anyone's guess.


Despite looking brilliant at times, the Tigers' offense has been consistently
inconsistent for a good portion of the season, a problem that reached epic
proportions in last Saturday's 22-17 loss at Virginia. The Cavaliers'
react-rather-than-attack style of defense allowed Clemson to move the ball up
and down the field, but frustrated Tommy Bowden's team when it came time to
score points.


Today, Clemson (3-3, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) faces a Wake Forest (4-3,
2-2) team with a similar defensive philosophy - three linemen, five
linebackers, three-deep secondary and a scheme that sometimes will rush as
few as two players while dropping nine into coverage.


"They play more like our defense, and Virginia's," Bowden said. "They react
and try to tackle you and take away the big plays. (Although) Virginia did
hit some deep balls against them."


Therein lies the dilemma.


To hit the deep ball, one has to throw the deep ball. And for whatever reason
the Tigers have been reluctant to throw downfield more than two or three
times a game, except for the 48-31 shootout loss at Florida State, when
quarterback Willie Simmons riddled the Seminole secondary with big play after
big play.


Taking advantage of opportunities, and even forcing the action, will be
crucial for Bowden's team this week because those chances may be fewer than
usual.


Wake Forest is a run-first offense, tops in the ACC and No. 15 nationally at
233 yards per game. The Demon Deacons' standard mode of operation is to
control the clock, keep the ball as long as possible, and wear down the
opposition.


It promises to be an interesting chess match with a Clemson defense allowing
just 117 rushing yards per game, second in the ACC.


"They are not a wishbone team, but the philosophy is very similar," Bowden
said. "They do a really good job taking time off the clock. They're run
first and will force the issue, and will
probably be the only team left on our schedule that takes that kind of
approach."


Clemson's approach, mentally, will be today's most intriguing factor.


At one point the Tigers were 3-1 and seemingly getting better every week. But
a special teams fiasco in Tallahassee and last week's offensive struggle in
Charlottesville have the Tigers sitting at .500 with the season hanging in
the balance.


Needless to say, the team finds itself at a crossroads for today's Homecoming
battle.


"Any time you lose two in a row, there is concern," Bowden said. "But (it's)
nothing that
a win won't cure."


Khalil Greene to be Formally Presented 2002 Dick Howser Trophy Prior to Homecoming Game

Tiger diamond great to be honored in front of football crowd.


Clemson, SC -- Unanimous 2002 National Player-of-the-Year Khalil Greene will formally be given the Dick Howser Trophy prior to the Homecoming game against Wake Forest Saturday. He will be given the trophy at approximately 3:25 Saturday, as members of the Dick Howser Trophy will be on hand to present him with the award on Frank Howard Field. Greene was recently named one of the 50 greatest players in ACC history and just completed his first summer in the San Diego Padre minor league system.


The entire 2002 team will also be recognized for its College World Series appearance and third-place national finish.


High School Tickets Available for the Clemson vs. Wake Forest Game


Clemson, SC-A crowd of over 80,000 is expected for Saturday's
Homecoming game between Clemson and Wake Forest. Tickets are still
available and will be sold on the day of the game. A high school
ticket of $6 also will be solid beginning at 1:30 PM at Gate 11.
Students high school age and younger are eligible for these tickets.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 PM.

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