Clemson University

College Football Today

Clemson will maintain offensive pressure today with quarterback Cullen Harper and running back James Davis.
Clemson will maintain offensive pressure today with quarterback Cullen Harper and running back James Davis.

Please see page 6D for more pre-game coverage of the Gamecocks and Tigers, including notes, statistics, key matchups, quotes and more.

NO. 15 CLEMSON TIGERS (3-0 OVERALL, 1-0 ACC) AT N.C. STATE WOLFPACK (1-2, 0-1), NOON

• TV: CBS (cable channel 5 in Rock Hill)

• Radio: WRHI-AM (1340)

• Series record: 47-27-1 Clemson

• Last game: Clemson 20, N.C. State 14, Nov. 11, 2006, at Clemson

• Last week: Clemson beat Furman 38-10; N.C. State beat Wofford 38-17

• Rankings: Clemson is 15th in the AP poll and tied for 14th in the USA Today/coaches poll

• Tickets: Sold out

TIGERS' KEYS TO VICTORY

• Don't overlook -- On paper, N.C. State doesn't look like much to shout about. The reality is the Wolfpack lost their two games to UCF (which was a field goal from beating Texas last week) and No. 14 Boston College.

• Keep it up -- Cullen Harper has exhibited pinpoint accuracy during his first three games and the Tigers seem to be comfortable letting the pass set up the run. No need to change if it keeps working.

• Catch it -- After two horrendous weeks on special teams and still no special teams coach, Clemson is probably counting on N.C. State trying some trickery on its kickoffs and punts. Be ready for the onside kick and wrap it up this time.

PREDICTION

Clemson is cruising, and despite N.C. State giving the Tigers all they could handle last year, should cruise again. The Wolfpack are still building under first-year coach Tom O'Brien, and despite O'Brien beating the Tigers twice when he was at Boston College, he had a lot more to work with then. N.C. State's defense is hurting and their offens-e is still on a learning curve. Clemson is at the head of the class in both areas.

TIGERS 35, WOLFPACK 14

NO. 12 SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS (3-0, 1-0 SEC) AT NO. 2 LSU TIGERS (3-0, 1-0), 3:30 P.M.

• TV: CBS (cable channel 5 in Rock Hill)

• Radio: WRHM-FM (94.3)

• Series record: 14-2-1 LSU

• Last game: LSU 33, USC 7, Oct. 18, 2003, at Columbia

• Last week: USC beat S.C. State 38-3; LSU beat Middle Tennessee 44-0

• Rankings: USC is 12th in the AP poll and tied for 14th in the USA Today/coaches poll. LSU is second in each poll

• Tickets: Sold out

GAMECOCKS' KEYS TO VICTORY

• Watch -- Audibles on the offensive line may not be an option today, with 92,000-plus expected to be their usual noisy selves. Receivers and linemen must watch the ball and the quarterback's foot to avoid moving too quick.

• Block -- It has to keep being mentioned -- USC hasn't done a consistent job of it all year. Blake Mitchell's got enough to worry about, considering his performance last week, without being concerned how many times Glenn Dorsey's going to drill him.

• Get a push -- LSU's defense is so stacked it's hard to find a weakness, but if USC's offensive line can all go together in one direction, perhaps it'll be just enough time to get Cory Boyd or Mike Davis a few more yards. Passing may not exist today so the run is extra-important.

PREDICTION

Everybody looked at the schedule in the preseason and figured USC would be lucky to come out of its first two conference games (at Georgia, at LSU) with a split. That's been set up and it appears that's what will happen. The Tigers' defense is loaded and their offense is no slouch, and Steve Spurrier has spent the week grimacing over another lazy offensive performance in his last game. If the offense short-circuits and the defense can't hold on for a sustained period, this one's got the potential to get really ugly.

TIGERS 35, GAMECOCKS 10

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