Bowden Still Frustrated with Lack of Running Game

by - Correspondent -
Duane Coleman rushed for 50 yards on 14 carries.

CLEMSON - One day after his team's lackluster 28-17 victory over Division I-AA opponent Furman, Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden continued to express frustration over his team's lack of production in the running game.

The Tigers managed just 124 net yards on the ground Saturday, averaging just 3.1 yards per carry.

Worse, they failed to convert a number of short-yardage situations, something Bowden concentrated on for most of spring practice and much of preseason camp.

"We opened the game running. I had more runs scripted than I did passes," Bowden said. "Where we got in trouble was in the second half. They took away our short hitches and outs (in the passing game) and we couldn't run when we had better numbers (up front). Yes, I'm concerned. I would have felt more comfortable if we had run for over 200 yards.

Fortunately for Bowden he had quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. The redshirt sophomore threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns, helping move the offense despite the lack of production in the running game.

However in the second half Bowden called on Whitehurst to throw only 13 times in 35 total plays, seemingly trying to will his running game to life. Instead, the conservative approach played into Furman's hands and kept alive the Paladins' hopes of a major upset.

But instead of play-calling or the overall game plan, Bowden blamed a lack of killer instinct.

"We get ahead, and right now our team doesn't know how to come out in the second half and finish a team off," he said. "We need to improve that."

In other news, Bowden said that placekicker Aaron Hunt, who is 0-for-3 so far this season, will have to perform better vs. Middle Tennessee State this Saturday or risk losing his job. Strong-legged true freshman Jad Dean is waiting in the wings should Hunt continue to struggle.

Bowden also announced his Players of the Week for individual units - Derrick Hamilton on special teams, end J.J. Howard on defense and lineman Greg Walker on offense.

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