Never Enough Preparation for a Trip to Tallahassee


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON - Clemson wrapped up its final fullscale practice Tuesday in
preparation for Thursday night's ESPN game at Florida State. But that doesn't
mean the work is over.


Head coach Tommy Bowden said the team will continue meeting today upon
arrival in Tallahassee, and even meet early Thursday as it tries to formulate
a gameplan which would bring a victory over the Seminoles for the first time
since 1989.


"I think we've prepared about as well as we can," Bowden said following
Tuesday's practice. "With the open date we wanted to get some guys healthy,
and I think we did that. We had some pretty good practices and didn't get
rained out.


"I think by game time we'll be as prepared as we can."


Of course, in the five previous trips to Tallahassee all the preparation in
the world didn't matter.


For whatever reason, Doak Campbell Stadium has turned into Clemson's personal
house of horrors over the past decade. The numbers put up by both teams are
staggering, but in very different ways:


- The average margin of victory for FSU over Clemson in Tallahassee is 42-2.
The Tigers' closest lost was 17-0 in 1994;


- Florida State averages 541 yards in total offense to Clemson's 215;


- The Seminoles have scored 27 touchdowns in the five games. Clemson has
scored one.


Conversely, Clemson's five losses at home since FSU joined the ACC have been
by an average of just nine points, including a 17-14 heartbreaker in Bowden's
first year with the Tigers.


So how does Clemson avoid another Tallahassee disaster?


"You've got to play the game and see if it happens. If it doesn't happen,
somehow we avoided it," Bowden said with a laugh. "But we're not the only
ones having that problem down there. Steve Spurrier had it and he's pretty
good. Miami had it and they're pretty good. There's a lot of teams that have
had this problem.


"I don't feel like the Lone Ranger."


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.


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