Tigers Looking for the Big Plays Against Maryland

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - Clemson fans longing to see the big play return to the team's offense might get their wish Saturday. Or should we say, big play attempts.

The aggressive, pressing nature of Maryland's defense virtually dictates opposing offenses take shots downfield. The Terps prefer to play press man-to-man coverage on the wide receivers in an attempt to take away high-percentage pass plays such as hitches, hooks, outs or slants.

If a receiver beats the jam at the line of scrimmage, the deep patterns are open. But those throws are lower percentage gambles.

Hit enough of them and an offense can have a big day. Miss them, and it can be a long afternoon.

"In the past few games that's the way they've played," Bowden said following Thursday's practice. "You've got to hit them (big plays). Georgia Tech did and won the game. That's going to be a big key."

Meanwhile, Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen apparently is concerned that Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden might be getting help from brother Terry in preparation for Saturday's game at Death Valley.

Terry Bowden has broadcast the last two Maryland games for ABC, and in doing so spent time at Terrapin practices each week. Add to that the fact that father Bobby's Florida State Seminoles next on Maryland's schedule, Friedgen apparently told a reporter earlier this week he wondered if the Bowden's would hold a family meeting to discuss the Terps.

"I've talked to Terry 2-3 times a week pretty much all my life," Tommy Bowden said. "There would be nothing unusual about that. I can see, though, (Friedgen's concern). I wouldn't even want to give the perception something like that was going on."

Bowden said the only thing his brother told him about the Terps was that "No. 52 (junior linebacker D'Qwell Jackson) could really play, and that's something that's obvious on the game film."


Friedgen announced Thursday that Joel Statham will start at quarterback Saturday despite his recent troubles. Freshman Jordan Steffy also could see action.


Wide receiver Chansi Stuckey remains a game-time decision due to his hamstring injury, Bowden said.

"We'll take him out before the game and see what he can do," he said.


ESPN's "The Season" is scheduled to be on campus next week to film the Clemson football team for an upcoming episode.

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