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Quarterbacks Set to Duel As 'Pack Visits Cavaliers

The Wolfpack-Cavalier matchup pits the accurate long arm of State's Philip Rivers against the comeback king from UVa. Matt Schaub. Both teams are vying for a share of second and third place in the conference, and the performance of their respective QBs is critical.

Rivers has thrown for 2,718 yards and 18 touchdowns and is sixth in the nation in passing efficiency. Schaub is ninth in the nation in passing efficiency.

Injuries could defer even more weight onto both QBs shoulders. Virginia enters the State game without running back Alvin Pearman, who injured his knee last week and is out for the season.

State's leading receiver and punt returner Jerricho Cotchery has an ankle sprain and is listed as doubtful for Saturday. Freshman star running back T.A. McClendon, who has accumulated 864 yards, is suffering from a shoulder bruise and is questionable for Saturday.

These injuries worry State coach Chuck Amato more than last week's loss to Maryland.

"There aren't a lot of 9-2 teams left in the country," Amato said in his weekly press conference. "There's still a lot out there for us. We lost two very close games. We've been outscored 25-7 in the fourth quarter the last two weeks. These kids are resilient. I'm more concerned about the medical report."

Whitehurst Faces Bigger Test

Clemson's freshman quarterback impressed in his first two games as starting quarterback. Charlie Whitehurst completed 64 percent of his passes for 694 yards, no picks and eight touchdowns for a passing efficiency rating of 181.52.

But those were against the worst two teams in the league -- North Carolina and Duke. Maryland will be a bigger test.

"This will be a good indicator." Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said. "Maryland is better than both the teams we've just played, and they've beaten those teams rather significantly. I don't think there is any doubt that for us to get to the next level, not so much Charlie, we've got to beat Maryland."

The Sports Editor can be reached at sports@unc.edu.

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