Improvement Coming in Slow Steps


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON - One day after the 38-14 win over Wofford, Clemson head coach Tommy
Bowden still wasn't completely satisfied with his team's improvement.


But then, a coach rarely is.


"I think it was enough improvement for this point and time," Bowden said
during his Sunday teleconference. "I don't know if I've ever come in and been
completely satisfied after the game. You're always looking for that perfect
game, but you never get it.


"What you try to do is eventually get where everybody's playing close to
their maximum at the same time. But that's hard to get."


The Terriers' rushing offense had its way with Clemson's front seven for most
of Saturday's first half. The Wingbone offense, with its misdirection and
option tendencies, allowed Wofford to move the ball either inside with its
fullback, or outside with quarterback Travis Wilson and a host of tailbacks.


Four Terriers finished the game with at least 52 rushing yards. But a look at
the game film confirmed Bowden's initial instincts following the game:


Wofford's success in the ground game was augmented by poor tackling from the
Clemson defense.


"We missed more tackles again," Bowden said. " Our assignments weren't real
sharp, but a team like that can cause you problems with assignments. But the
missed tackles are something we need to hone up on and correct."


Other notes from Bowden's Sunday teleconference included:


- Roscoe Crosby is listed as doubtful for Duke this weekend after suffering a
sprained knee in Saturday's first series.


An MRI showed no ligament damage, and Bowden said its possible Crosby could
get well enough to play against the Blue Devils.


If Crosby can't go, junior J.J. McKelvey will start at the X receiver, with
Jackie Robinson staying at the Y. Robinson also will be McKelvey's backup at
the X, while Joe Don Reames is No. 2 at the Y.


Elsewhere on the injury front, safety Marcus Houskin is questionable with a
strained neck; cornerback Kevin Johnson reinjured his bruised shoulder and is
listed as questionable; star safety Eric Sampson (concussion) and guard Greg
Walker (hip pointer) are listed as questionable.


Cornerback Brian Mance (bruised bicep) is probable.


- A pair of senior offensive linemen, center Kyle Young and guard T.J.
Watkins, were singled out for their poor play.


"I'll be surprised if they don't come back and play well against Duke,"
Bowden said. "They have a lot of pride, so I don't think they'll play that
way again. Will Merritt was the same way (vs. UCF) and came back with a good
game this week."


Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Daily Messenger and the Florence Morning News. He also hosts SportsTalk from 10 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9.

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