Clemson (1-1) and N.C. State (1-1) meet for the 77th time in the annual Textile Bowl in Clemson's "Death Valley" this Saturday. It will also be Clemson's Hall of Fame Day.
Clemson holds a 48-27-1 lead in the series with N.C. State that dates to 1899. Clemson won last year's match game by a 42-20 margin.
Last week, N.C. State, coached by Tom O'Brien, evened their record with a 34-24 victory William & Mary. The Wolfpack was led by QB Harrison Beck, who came in for starter Daniel Evans in the second quarter.
Beck went 17-25 for 246 yards and two TDs. Andre Brown led the Pack on the ground with 43 yards on 17 carries and one TD. N.C. State's defense also forced three turnovers in the victory.
Last week, Clemson, coached by Tommy Bowden, evened their record with a 45-17 win over The Citadel. James Davis and C.J. Spiller combined for 182 yards (Davis 107, Spiller 75), and 4 TD's (Davis 1, Spiller 3).
The Tigers amassed 252 yards rushing and 273 yards passing for the game. QB Cullen Harper led the passing game going 14-18 for 192 yards and one TD to TE Michael Palmer. The Tigers' defense had 3 INTs in the win.
Clemson on Offense
Clemson has playmakers all over the field. They have way too many for a N.C. State defense, which has allowed 34 and 24 points to South Carolina and William & Mary in the first two games of the season. The Tigers' O-Line began to get some confidence last week and will keep on rolling this week.
Clemson on Defense
Clemson's defense was led last week by SS Michael Hamlin who tied the school record with 3 INTs. The Wolfpack will have sophomore QB Russell Wilson returning from a Grade III concussion suffered in the week one loss to South Carolina. But even with Wilson, the Tigers' defense is too fast for N.C. State.
The Tigers and the Wolfpack have gamebreakers returning kicks. In the opening game against Alabama, Spiller had a kickoff return for a TD. Clemson's K Mark Bucholz is perfect so far on the season at 2-2.
Clemson has way too much talent and firepower for N.C. State. In this game last season, the Tigers compiled over 600 yards of total offense.
I don't see them having that much this season, but I do think the offense will move the ball easily in this game on the ground and through the air.
Clemson's defense should and will be able to shut down an already anemic Wolfpack offense. Eight of the last 11 games between Clemson and N.C. State have been decided by eight points or less, but I do not see this one being that close.
The Tigers are tired of everyone saying that they aren't any good, and will come fired up and ready to go. Clemson will manhandle N.C. State offensively and defensively.
Clemson 48, N.C. State 10
Kickoff is at 12 noon on Raycom Sports. For coverage in your area go to http://www.theacc.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/090808aaa.html.