Bowden Frets About BC's Offensive Line


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON - Tommy Bowden's decision not to move Chris McDuffie from offense to defense came down to choosing the lesser of two evils.


A former defensive lineman, McDuffie was switched to offensive line earlier this fall. During his Tuesday press conference, Bowden mentioned the possibility of switching McDuffie back this week when Clemson entertains Boston College (Noon Saturday, JP Split).


But Wednesday the Tigers' head coach said doing so might have done more harm than good, despite his concerns over the size and strength of the Eagles' offensive line.


"I am concerned with their size, but I think he'd probably screw up more than he'd help us," Bowden said following Wednesday's practice. "(Trying to get him lined up) might negate his size and the push he could get."


Battling the huge BC front seems to be Bowden's most serious concern.


The Eagles average 6-foot-6, 316-pounds across the starting offensive line (not counting 269-pound tight end Chris Miller). Their size and strength are the lynchpin for a ball-control offense which kept possession for more than 37 minutes in last Saturday's loss to Florida State.


The last thing Bowden wants to see is Boston College playing keep away with the football.


"Getting the ball from them is going to be a problem. Or is the problem they present, I should say. We've got to get some at-bats," he said.


In other news, the injury to Cole Downer has Bowden and offensive coordinator Rob Spence looking at three different players to fill the void when the Tigers use a three tight end formation.


Bobby Williamson and Thomas Hunter occupy the first two spots, but then next in line are redshirt freshman Akeem Robinson, true freshman Durrell Barry and fullback Cliff Harrell.


Robinson or Harrell would likely get the call first. Bowden wanted to keep the redshirt on Barry, but hasn't ruled out playing the youngster if necessary.


"He could very easily play. We'll find out Saturday," Bowden said. "The injury is going to make it tough (to redshirt him). He doesn't understand the intensity of the game right now. That's his biggest problem.


"He's as talented a tight end as we've had here in a while. But he doesn't understand the tempo, and you can't play against Miami, Texas A&M and Boston College and not understand the tempo."


Robinson's lone drawback seems to be his inexperience with the position. He was a defensive end in high school, played offensive tackle while redshirting at Clemson a year ago, and didn't move to tight end until the spring.


There were no new injuries reported Wednesday. In fact, no one was even in a yellow jersey (no contact).

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