Emotions Good At First Practice Following Loss

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - On the Monday following season-opening victories over Texas A&M and Maryland, Tommy Bowden said he noticed a bit of a bounce in the step of his players.

The good vibes made for a great learning environment, making the correction of mistakes less of a chore.

So after the season's first loss, a 36-30 triple overtime heartbreaker at home vs. Miami, what kind of mood was Clemson in as practice resumed this Monday?

"It was pretty good," he said following the workout. "I've talked a lot about this senior group, and I think they have a pretty good grasp as to what's left out on the table and how hard we have to work. We don't have a divisional loss. We have a conference loss, but don't have a divisional loss.

"And you (media) told me months ago that would be important," he added with a laugh.

Boston College, on the other hand, now has a loss inside the ACC's Atlantic Division. The Eagles fell to Florida State, 28-17, on Saturday.

"They're gonna really be fighting extra special because they know they can't have another one," Bowden said.

Meanwhile, punting continues to be a sore spot for the Tigers.

Junior Cole Chason is averaging just over 31 yards per kick, and had a punt blocked by the Hurricanes on Saturday. Asked directly if he would open the punting job up to competition again between Chason and backup Stephen Furr, Bowden sidestepped the question.

"We need to be more productive. We've been average in that right now," he said. "We've averaged having about one punt blocked every two years, so that's it. We talked about it. That's it for the year. When you have one blocked, the next team's coming.

"So we have to be more productive. I don't know of anyone who would be pleased with a 31 average. That's not very good."

On the injury front, defensive linemen Trey Tate (groin) and Rashaad Jackson (shoulder) were in yellow jerseys (no contact) Monday. Both should be ready by Saturday.

Bowden also said the loss of Cole Downer for the season may be addressed with an additional body, but after speculating on Sunday about moving redshirt freshman defensive end Xavier Littleberry over to tight end, Monday the coach said it wouldn't happen.

"We've got enough numbers over there (offense) to address it now, I believe," Bowden said.

Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Messenger and TigerNet. He also hosts SportsTalk from 9 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.

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