Clemson Offense to Get a Boost from Davis

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON --- Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden and offensive coordinator Rob Spence said freshman running back James Davis could see action this Saturday against Duke, depending on how comfortable Davis’ is carrying the football.

Davis made a brief appearance in the Georgia Tech game, his first action since breaking his wrist at N.C. State, with a first quarter carry. But Bowden took him out of the game after observing how uncomfortable the freshman appeared while caring the ball.

“I think James can play,” said Spence. “How much? That will be determined by how much he practices, and his comfort level with playing. “That is usually what it comes down to. What the player’s comfort level is and provided there is no opportunity for any further damage.”

What happened? - What makes last Saturday’s loss so frustrating to the Clemson team and the coaching staff is the fact the Tigers have just nine turnovers and forty penalties through eight games.

Clemson lost four turnovers and committed eight penalties in the 10-9 loss to Georgia Tech. Those mistakes contributed to the loss, but certainly were the exception for this 2005 Clemson team. The Tigers lost three fumbles in the first half after going 499 consecutive offensive plays without a fumble. Clemson was the last team in the nation to lose a fumble after going the first seven games without losing.

Reggie Merriweather broke the string with a fumble on a play that was first called down, but later changed by instant replay. It was Merriweather’s first lost fumble as a Tiger on his 238th career carry.

Though Clemson made mistakes against Tech, the Tigers are still ranked high nationally in terms of not committing turnovers or penalties. Clemson has lost nine turnovers for the season on three lost fumbles and six interceptions, and tied for the eighth fewest in the nation. With three lost fumbles, Clemson is tied for seventh in the nation in fewest fumbles lost. Rutgers is now the national leader with one lost fumble for the season. The Tigers are also 11th in the nation in fewest penalties committed with 40 in eight games.

Whitehurst approaching another mark - Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst needs 163 yards to reach the 2,000-yard passing mark for the third time in his career. When he does, he will own three of the top five 2,000-yard passing seasons in Clemson history.

Whitehurst owns the Clemson record with 3,561 yards during Clemson’s 13-game schedule in 2003. He had 2,067 last year, which is the fourth most passing yards in a season. Woody Dantzler and Nealon Greene are the only other Clemson quarterbacks with a 2,000-yard passing season. Whitehurst ranks sixth in ACC history in passing yards, but will move into the top five with his next completion. Spence Fisher, a Duke quarterback (1992-95), is just two yards ahead of Whitehurst.

Watkins named MVP - Clemson linebacker Nick Watkins was named the defense’s most valuable player from the Georgia Tech game by defensive coordinator Vic Koenning Tuesday. Koenning said Watkins had his best performance of the year in Atlanta. The sophomore had team-high 14 tackles in 58 snaps.

Koenning also pointed out the play of bandit end Gaines Adams, who had four tackles, including one for a loss, while also providing constant pressure on quarterback Reggie Ball. He acknowledged the play of safety Jamaal Fudge with 10 tackles and one forced fumble.

FSU tickets - Tickets still remain available for Saturday’s Homecoming game against Duke at 1 p.m., and Ticket Manager Bobby Skelton announced Tuesday that a limited number of general admission tickets are now on sale for the Florida State game. A reserved single seat for the Duke game is $35, while group tickets are $16. To receive the group rate, 15 or more tickets must be purchased by Friday. The tickets are reserved seats in the top deck and are not available online.

High school age and under students can purchase a $10 ticket on the day of the Duke game at the ticket office and Gate 5.

Due to construction progress on the WestZone Initiative, general admission tickets are available for $48 for the Florida State game. The seats are located between the North and West Stands in the new Northwest Pie section of the WestZone. These tickets are available by calling the athletic ticket office at 1-800-CLEMSON and are not available online.

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