CLEMSON - Clemson defensive tackle Terry Jolly is hoping for a good old-fashioned ambush Saturday at Death Valley.
"They're coming in and thinking like this is a regular old Clemson team, 'We beat them pretty bad last year'," said Jolly. "They're going to come in and try to win one for Bobby Bowden. I think they'll forget about what they really came here to do."
Bobby Bowden is going for win No. 300 against Clemson, which lost 48-0 to the Seminoles last year.
With a national championship on the line, No. 1 Florida State will probably be ready. Still, Jolly figures he's the cowboy on the top of the cliff in the western movie looking down on the Indian camp. All he needs is some ammunition.
For the past couple of games, Clemson's defense has been shooting blanks. The Tigers gave up 244 yards rushing and 30 points against Maryland, 34 points and 350 total yards against N.C. State.
Clemson also gave up 286 yards on the ground in a 33-14 loss to Virginia Tech. Add to that the fact that Clemson's offense is having no trouble moving the ball and it's been a rough year for the defense.
Jolly doesn't offer any reasons for the problems on defense other than "missed tackles and effort."
If Clemson gives up 30 points against the Seminoles, it would be the first time since 1975 that the Tigers have given up over 30 points to four opponents.
"We ain't last in the nation," said Jolly, a bit tired of having people ask about the defense. Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, though, is concerned.
Clemson has gone through a mini-shakeup on defense. Sophomore Altroy Bodrick, who didn't play in the first five games due to an ankle injury, was in for 44 plays against Maryland and recorded 11 tackles. Now he's a starter at linebacker, replacing Braxton K. Williams.
Sophomore Charles Hafley had shared time at strong safety with senior DoMarco Fox. Hafley is now the starter.
Bowden is hoping that shuffling the defense will even up what appears to be a lopsided contest between Florida State's offense and Clemson's defense.
"They'll have to turn the ball over and not play with emotion for us to win," said Bowden. "They're going to play with emotion. I would think they're going to play with emotion. They'll have to turn the ball over."
Jolly figures even if the ambush doesn't work, the Tigers can win the battle.
"Most people are already scared before they get into the game," said Jolly. "If you go into the war with doubt, you've already lost the game. Most teams, if they schedule FSU think 'Well, we're going to be 10-1'.
"Florida State is a regular team. They've got a lot of people. We've got a lot of people. That's the way I see it."
Jolly is hoping the element of surprise will give Clemson the advantage.