CLEMSON - With two-a day practices finally a thing of the past, Clemson began
its normal workout schedule Wednesday with a new word on the agenda:
Head coach Tommy Bowden began installing bits and pieces of the game plan for
season opener in Athens, now just nine days away. And he did so with a
message of perfection, as in that's how the Tigers must play Aug. 31 in order
to beat the highly-ranked Bulldogs.
"We've got to play error free. They're (No. 8) in the nation and we're
unranked. We're playing (in Athens) and they've got an experienced
quarterback and a senior line," Bowden said. "We'll have to play extremely
"You talk about perfection. Anytime you go into a place like that you have to
play close to a perfect game."
What worries Bowden most at the moment is a suspicion he confirmed by
watching film of Tuesday's scrimmage.
The defense also showed a tendency to line up incorrectly and, at times, miss
assignments, along with tackles. Couple that with a few offsides penalties,
and Bowden seems to have found enough mistakes to use in an effort to
improve his team's focus.
But as important as that, he said, is maintaining the emotion.
"For the first time we had some big plays on offense, and when we had them
you could see the enthusiasm, the intensity, the emotion sucked out," said
Bowden. "Football is played with intensity and effort, and I know it's hot
and all that. But we had more big plays than we've had from the spring or
Meanwhile, one player taking advantage of another's lack of intensity on
offense is true freshman Nathan Bennett.
Bennett (6-foot-5, 300 pounds) was moved into a rotation for one of the
backup guard spots on offense. He now is battling junior Nick Black and
redshirt freshman Mark Jetton for one of the coveted No. 2 spots behind
starters Cedric Johnson and Greg Walker.
"Being 6-5 and 300 pounds helps," Bowden said with a laugh. "But the biggest
thing is effort. He's giving a good effort, and one of those other two isn't.
I'm not going to mention any names, but he'll know who he is when he reads
- The Tymere Zimmerman watch continues to be just that. Again Wednesday, both
Bowden and Sports Information Director Tim Bourret said there was nothing new
to report on Clemson's only remaining newcomer awaiting approval from the
- Eight players were on the injured list for Wednesday, but none of the
injuries are considered serious. Dustin Fry continues to miss practice with a
dislocated kneecap that he suffered in the first week of practice, but he
could return next week. Nick Eason is also
out after cardiac tests last week, but he could be back for the weekend. Cole
Chason (PK) is out with a back problem, while Derrick Hamilton missed
practice with a sprained ankle suffered in Tuesday's scrimmage. He should be
back by the end of the week.
Eric Coleman (hamstring), Chad Jasmin (pulled stomach muscle), Bernard
Rambert (ankle) and Gary Byrd (ankle), also missed practice on Tuesday.
- One walk-on has been added to the roster. Thomas Hunter, a 6-4, 220-pound
freshman from Marion, has joined the team at wide receiver.
Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the Florence Morning News. He also hosts SportsTalk from 10 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.