Bowden: Wake Style Not Dirty
CLEMSON - The rumblings have started again.
Since Jim Grobe took over as head coach at Wake Forest three years ago, the blocking style of his offensive linemen has come under fire. Players, and even some coaches, have grumbled that the Demon Deacons' cut-blocking mentality borders on dirty.
Some have taken it a step further and flat out accused Grobe of teaching his linemen to block illegally. They scream about the chop block - the act of one offensive lineman going low on a defensive player who is engaged high with another - which is both dangerous and illegal. They even accuse Wake linemen of gouging the opposition through the facemask when the officials aren't looking.
Some of those very allegations have floated out of Clemson's camp again this week, so what does head coach Tommy Bowden plan to do about it?
You might be surprised.
"If he were my offensive line coach I'd hug his neck," Bowden said. "I see nothing out of the ordinary other than the fact that they're really aggressive and that's the way the game is played. If he coached for me I'd give him a raise."
So if Grobe's style isn't dirty, why all the complaining?
"I think they do a little more low blocking because their scheme demands it," Bowden said. "The blocks they ask their linemen to make, sometimes it's best achieved by a certain style or technique. No one else in this conference runs their style of offense. So I think it's more of an unfamiliarity on the part of the players...
"Players say a lot of things (in the papers) that don't make sense sometimes. So do coaches."
- Sources say walk-on kicker Stephen Furr will start Saturday instead of sophomore Jad Dean, a decision Bowden and his staff apparently reached after Thursday's practice. Despite Dean's stronger leg, Furr has been more accurate during this week's workouts.
Earlier Thursday Bowden acknowledged that Furr was slightly ahead, but said the race could come down to pregame on Saturday.
"If one guy's spraying them all over the place, we might go with the other guy," he said.
- Linebacker Leroy Hill (sprained ankle) gingerly went through Thursday's shorts-and-helmets workout. Bowden said he won't allow Hill to do any live hitting or cutting until pregame warmups Saturday. Only then will a final decision be made concerning his availability.
The concern is playing Hill before he's ready and risk losing the All-ACC performer for an extended period of time.
Official Injury List For Saturday
- Leroy Hill--(LB)--Sprained ankle--"Probable to play, questionable as far as how effective."
- Chip Myrick--(OG)--Mononucleosis--Probable
- Vontrell Jamison (DE)--broken arm--Probable
- Duane Coleman (RB)--broken foot--out
- Rashaad Jackson (DT)--broken foot--out
- Roy Walker (FS)--torn ACL--out for the season