CLEMSON - Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden can feel for this week's
counterpart, North Carolina's John Bunting.
The Tar Heels (2-7, 0-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) have lost five straight
games, including last week's 59-7 embarrassment at home at the hands of
Maryland. Though Bowden has yet to go through a similar stretch as a head
coach, he still has a pretty good idea of how Bunting is struggling to keep
his head above water.
"I think every coach, this time of the year, (goes through) the same thing,"
Bowden said following Wednesday's practice. "It's attitude. It gets to be a
long season, it's toward the end of the year, practice is getting monotonous
and that's where you look for leadership and things like that.
"I'm sure he's facing what every guy is facing, it's just some guys are
sitting there undefeated, some guys are 5-4, 4-5 or whatever the rest of the
The monotony may be the worst part, Bowden said. When a team is winning, the
long, sometimes boring repetitions in practice are seen as a necessary evil;
a way to stay sharp and maintain the winning edge.
But when a team is losing with regularity, players often lose site of the
importance of doing the same drills over and over again.
"Football's about execution, and the only way you can execute is to do it
over and over," Bowden said. "They don't understand that. Practice ain't fun,
and all that."
Meanwhile back in his own camp, Bowden appears resigned to playing without
tailback Yusef Kelly Saturday when the Tigers travel to Chapel Hill. Kelly
suffered a bruised thigh in last week's win over Duke, and his status
currently sits at doubtful.
Defensive tackle Donnell Washington (sprained ankle) is listed as
- With the wind whipping about the practice facility at a fairly good clip,
Bowden said Wednesday's practice easily was the coldest the team has faced
The Tigers went added a small amount of time to Wednesday's practice to make
up for Tuesday's rain-induced indoor workout, but not enough to risk any
"We went a little longer than we would have normally, but we didn't tack on a
whole bunch," said Bowden. "Then you kind of defeat the purpose of kind of
getting your legs back as you get close to game time."
- Junior kicker Aaron Hunt was named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award,
given annually to the nation's top kicker.
Hunt currently is 11-of-14 on field goal attempts this season, and has missed
just once since the season opener at Georgia.
- Asked if he had any thoughts on Republican Mark Sanford - a Furman graduate
- unseating incumbent Democrat Gov. Jim Hodges (University of South Carolina)
in Tuesday's election, Bowden smiled.
"There will be no comments about any political decisions that were made
(Tuesday)," he said.