CLEMSON - The heat finally arrived at Clemson Wednesday, but even it wasn't
enough to make the Tigers' defense wilt.
For the second straight day Tommy Bowden and his staff watched as the defense
maintained the upper hand during live scrimmage work that lasted nearly 60
plays. Most impressive was the unit's work in goal line situations, where it
was able to keep the offense out of the end zone with regularity.
"The offense got whipped on the goal line," Bowden said.
After reviewing film of the nearly three hour morning practice, Bowden came
away praising young defensive linemen Eric Coleman and Trey Tate for their
performance. This came one day after another young member of the defensive
line, Todd McClinton, was singled out for his play before injuring his
McClinton did not practice Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Kevin Johnson and Toure Francis continued their daily battle for
the starting cornerback spot, with Johnson regaining the upper hand one day
after Francis had moved ahead.
Johnson's standout practice included an interception during skeleton drills
in the afternoon workout.
"They'll be battling for that spot all preseason," Bowden said.
Bowden seemed to be happy with the overall conditioning of his players, who
got their first real dose of Indian summer this camp. No one dropped out of
the early practice, though approximately 10 did take IV fluids after the
The players were treated to cold watermelon after the two-hour afternoon prac tice.
"They stayed with it and worked hard all day," Bowden said. "(Strength and
conditioning coach) Joey Batson and (trainer) Danny Poole have done a good
job of getting this team ready and in shape."
- Among the others who had impressive workouts Wednesday was defensive back
Jamaal Fudge, who intercepted a pass during skeleton drills and blocked a
field goal attempt in the morning session.
- Besides McClinton, David Dunham (concussion) and Kevin Youngblood (sprained
foot) missed both workouts. Youngblood did go through some individual drills,
but was held out of contact.
- Bowden said Clemson will hold its game situation live scrimmage Saturday
morning. It will be closed to both the public and the media.