CLEMSON -- For much of the last day, Clemson fans have expressed their displeasure for the new football uniforms, which the school debuted on the athletic website Tuesday morning. From talk radio shows, to message boards on the Internet, many of Clemson's faithful have given the new uniforms a thumbs down.
Tommy Bowden, however, isn't concerned about the look of the new uniforms or the fans opinion of them. He feels a win over Texas A&M in the season opener would take those fans minds off of the uniforms and on to what really is important.
"This profession it all comes down to winning - winning or losing," said Bowden. "If you win they don't say anything, if you lose it is not a big deal. It is a non-factor if you lose, and if you win it is not a factor." As for himself, Bowden likes the new uniforms and he doesn't really see any difference, citing he is still sticking with the school's traditional colors and uniform scheme.
"I like them myself," he said. "There isn't a whole lot of difference. They're orange, purple and white which is what they were."
The home jersey is solid orange with white Tiger paws at the shoulder. There is a small Tiger paw at the V-neck. A thin stripe, white for the home jersey, will run from the neck to below the arm. On certain occasions a solid purple jersey with white numbers and orange trim will be worn. The road jersey is white with orange numbers and trim.
The pants are solid in color with a thin one-color stripe down the pant leg that will match the stripe on the jersey. As in the past, there is a Tiger paw on the left hip and a Nike logo on the right hip.
As for Wednesday's practice, Stephen Furr is pushing Jad Dean for place kicking chores again. Bowden said Dean has struggled this spring, while Furr has been consistently making his kicks.
"Jad Dean has not kicked real good," said Bowden. "Furr kicked today and he didn't miss any so if Jad continues to struggle we will open that battle back up. “
Bowden explained Dean got the job last year because he separated himself from Furr midway through the season. Now Furr is making a comeback.
"Furr wasn't kicking that bad when I tried to go with Jad. It's just Jad got on a hot streak," he said. "Stephen is plenty talented, but I didn't anticipate that to be (a competition).
"I wish we had a little more competition at punter. Cole really hasn't jumped out off the radar."
Bowden said there were a few players that did make an impression in Wednesday's small scrimmage.
"Paul Macko (Walkon running back) did good today, Cory Groover made some plays," he said. "The only really big play we had on offense was a long deep ball from Charlie
(Whitehurst) to Kelvin Grant for a touchdown.
"It was really nice, Kelvin Grant laying out parallel to the ground and catching it."
Bowden also cited Chris Clemons, Michael Hamlin, C.J. Gaddis, Jamaal Fudge, Tramaine Billie, Reggie Merriweather and Kyle Browning after Wednesday's scrimmage.
As for whether or not the offense will hurt any without Duane Coleman, Bowden made it clear they will move on if they have to.
"We will just roll one of those two signees in," he said. "It will not be a factor."
The former basketball player didn't practice Wednesday, he was wearing a yellow jersey. He was recently moved from defensive end to tight end.
"We had to let him shoot free throws," Bowden joked.
Babalola is having to sit out after he injured the same ankle that gave him fits during the basketball season. Bowden hopes he can return to the field soon. He thinks the more he has to sit out the more it will hurt his chances to be a solid contributor.
"It has made it a lot more difficult... The biggest thing, he hasn't caught the football much, so we're going to see if he can catch," said Bowden.
"That's what I'm going to immediately do. If he does a good job catching then there are some things we can throw out there and let him do it."
Saturday's scrimmage will look a lot like last week's, but the coaching staff will use it to look at some other guys who may not have had the chance to show much because guys like Tramaine Billie and Jamaal Fudge are doing so well.
"Let’s get the other guys some work," Bowden said. "The format will be the same, personnel might be a little different, but it will be the same."
Akeem Robinson moved over to offense. Bowden isn't sure if he will play tight end or tackle. Zach Green was kicked in from tight end to right tackle.
Cliff Harrell played some at tight end because Bobby Williamson missed practice because of class. Bowden said Harrell is a guy that Clemson will utilize some as an extra blocker. He is a guy that can be move around.
Steven Jackson will remain on offense.
"The defense really wants him, but I think there are some things we can look for him on offense. There are different little deals to do," said Bowden.
Left guard Chip Myrick has been out, but Roman Fry is competing at center and guard. Barry Richardson and Tim DeBeer are going at it good at left tackle, while Cole Downer and Bobby Hutchinson are also battling for second team at right guard. Lionel Richardson and Anthony Waters are neck-and-neck at MIKE linebacker.