CLEMSON - News that senior defensive tackle Nick Eason's knee injury was
nothing more than a sprain allowed Clemson's coaching staff to breathe a sigh
of relief Sunday. Now they can concentrate their worries on Florida State.
Eason, who had to be taken off the Death Valley grass on a cart during the
second half of Saturday's 30-7 win over Ball State, had an MRI Sunday morning
which confirmed his knee suffered no torn ligaments.
He is listed as questionable for the Oct. 3 game at Florida State.
"He's our top defensive lineman," head coach Tommy Bowden said Sunday. "He's
a good leader and is excellent in practice, especially with his work habits.
We'll probably miss that more than anything.
"His practice load will be whatever the trainers say, but I see him doing
little to nothing this week."
Eason's likely availability for the Thursday night, ESPN game with the
Seminoles was good news considering that some experts consider the FSU
offensive line to be even better than the highly-touted group from Georgia.
If for some reason Eason couldn't play, he would be replaced either by Eric
Coleman or Todd McClinton; two talented young linemen for sure, but neither
with experience against the likes of the No. 4 Seminoles.
"They've both played pretty well, but they're so young," Bowden said. "They
have tremendous potential, but they're still learning the position. They just
haven't been there that long.
"Florida State's offensive line is big, experienced and very talented. Of all
the games we've played, this is the one we need the best effort from our
- Bowden said he hopes to have running backs Bernard Rambert (tendonitis) and
Chad Jasmin (groin) back this week. However, if Rambert can't play vs. the
Seminoles, Bowden said he would consider redshirting the senior tailback.
"I'd definitely talk to him about it," he said.
- Derrick Hamilton's stop and go, reverse tactics on his kickoff and punt
returns not only confuse opposing kick coverage teams, but sometimes his
teammates as well.
Hamilton's change of direction, highlight reel runs were nullified on more
than one occasion Saturday because his blockers were called for illegal
blocks in the back. The calls came when the defenders turned to chase
Hamilton on the change of direction.
"Some of them (penalties) are because of that, but you don't want to justify
the penalties," Bowden said. "We'll probably do some kind of drill with the
blockers rather than have Derrick change. I don't want to do anything to
damper his enthusiasm for showmanship."