Bowden Will Not Hesitate To Accept Bowl Bid


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON - Now that Saturday's loss to South Carolina is a bitter - if not short - memory, Tommy Bowden and his Clemson Tigers turn their attention to winless Duke.

Normally such a matchup would evoke little in the way of excitement, but this particular matchup has more riding on it than usual:

At 5-5, the Tigers need a win in their final game of the season to become bowl eligible.

True, there's no BCS bowl, or even a Gator Bowl to look forward to this season. In fact, Clemson's postseason opportunities appear to be resting with the Tangerine Bowl on Dec. 20, the recycled Carquest Bowl now housed in Orlando.

Regardless, Bowden won't feel guilty about accepting a bowl bid, no matter where it is.

"I drive around when I'm recruiting or whatever, and listen to the radio in some of these big cities that have professional teams. They're always complaining about the small bowls," Bowden said in his Sunday teleconference. "I think one of the original intent of the bowls was as a reward for the players. Some people criticize going to a small bowl, but the players enjoy it. It's definitely a reward for the players."

Another plus, small bowl or not, is the extra practice time for a young team.

"The teams that go (to a bowl) generally get 12, 13 or 14 practices in before they play," Bowden said. "That's a whole other spring practice. In the spring you get 15 practice opportunities, so it will definitely help the young guys."

NOTES

- Quarterback Woody Dantzler is just 131 rushing yards away from reaching the much talked about 2,000-yard passing, 1,000-yard rushing plateau, something no other NCAA player has ever accomplished.

Despite that, Bowden said no special effort will be made to get Dantzler to the record.

"If he's going to do it, he'll have to do it in our normal offense," Bowden said. "We won't do anything different. Now, if we're ahead big late and he needs a few yards to do it, then yeah, we would try to get it to him. But no change in the game plan is coming."

- The injury list following the South Carolina loss showed nothing serious enough to keep anyone out of the Dec. 1 Duke game.

Linebacker Rodney Thomas (hip pointer), cornerback Kevin Johnson (bruised shoulder) and defensive tackle DeJuan Polk (bruised knee) all could miss today's practice, but are listed as probable for Duke.

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