Wednesday practice notes


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CLEMSON – The Clemson Tigers practiced on the fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center Wednesday afternoon, and head coach Dabo Swinney said a portion of the practice was spent trying to simulate the atmosphere inside of Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium.

“It was a good practice,” he said. “We spent a good bit of time or working on our focus, concentration and operation. We played some noise, mixed that in quite a bit with practice. Also with special teams, and a big third-down emphasis for us today. It was a good practice.”

Over 87,000 fans are expected in what should be a loud raucous atmosphere Saturday evening, and Swinney said crowd noise was piped in during the practice.

“We had some yesterday, but more of it today,” he said. “Just trying to do everything to prepare for what they’re going to get. You’ve got to be able to communicate and adjust the cadence and things like that when it’s loud. When we’re on offense, it’s usually not that loud. We’ve been at home. It’s been friendly fire. We’ll have to do a good job of handling that.”

If the Tigers are to be successful down at Auburn, quarterback Kyle Parker will most likely have to have a good game, and Swinney reminisced about seeing Parker for the first time.

“I actually went down there, to Bartram Trail, to recruit a lineman that was a senior. I can’t even remember his name,” Swinney said. “When I went down there, I’m sitting there trying to watch this lineman and I keep seeing this little quarterback, and he tells me he’s a tenth grader. Here’s a tenth grade guy and he’s making plays all over the field, running around. And I’m like, golly. This kid is throwing darts. He was just one of them guys, you could just see it even then.

“Then he came to camp that summer. As I started talking to him and getting to know his personality, he’s always been that way. He’s just a winner. He’s a peak performer. That’s what he is. He’s a peak performer that works hard at it. Obviously, when he came in here as a freshman and I saw what he did as a high school senior in baseball. I knew that he was capable of being a pretty special guy.”

*PRICE SEEMS BETTER: Third tackle Phillip Price, who injured his ankle against Presbyterian, practiced on Wednesday and Swinney said Price should be able to play on Saturday.

*BEASLEY PLAYS NEWTON: Victor Beasley, a 6-4, 225-pound freshman tight end, has been trying to simulate Auburn quarterback Cam Newton in practice. “They used him a little bit,” Swinney said. “We used everybody we could, as far as running the ball. It’s hard to simulate 250 pounds. I think he’s grown two inches the last couple of days. He might be 6-8 now. He’s a big dude.”

Swinney said that Newton’s size alone presents problems.

“He’s big and strong, can break tackles. He also can stick his foot in the ground, redirect and change direction like a wide out. You don’t see many guys that big that can do that. He’s tough to handle. You better keep your knees bent, in great football position and you better hang on until the cavalry can get there. We’ll have to do a good job of tackling and rallying to the ball.”

*Freshman offensive lineman Kalon Davis, who has yet to play this season, had an epidural for his back, according to Swinney.

“We’re hoping that will take for him. We definitely are going to have to redshirt him for sure. If that doesn’t do the trick, they’ll have to go in and do surgery on him. Hopefully, he’ll be OK. If they do surgery, it’ll be a couple of months. We’re confident he’ll be OK. This will set him back, for sure, as far as potential for playing this year. “

Swinney said that Davis hurt the back while moving furniture in high school, and it turned out to be a bulging disk.

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