CLEMSON - The steady rain which settled over the Upstate of South Carolina forced Clemson indoors Tuesday, a move head coach Tommy Bowden acknowledged could hurt the Tigers as they prepare for Saturday's game with Georgia Tech.
The team was able to do some full squad work under cover of the indoor track facility, but no live scrimmaging. The day actually was split into three sessions:
The offense worked out inside while the defense watched film; both sides did limited work together in full pads for a short period of time; then the defense took over the facility while the offense headed to the film room.
It wasn't the perfect scenario, but under the circumstances it was the best Bowden and Co. could do.
"I think we got something done, but there are distractions you have to deal with," he said. "It's a different environment, it's not a whole field...It will hurt some. But everyone on the East Coast is having to deal with it. It's the same thing (Georgia Tech) is going through, unless they went inside the (Georgia) Dome."
Told the Yellow Jackets did indeed practice in the dome Tuesday, he laughed.
"That's too bad. I was hoping there was a concert or something," he said.
Running back Duane Coleman's hopes of returning vs. the Yellow Jackets, slim as they were anyway, all but dissolved in the Tuesday rain.
Coleman, who is rehabbing a broken foot, was shooting for playing time this Saturday. Had he made it, his return would have been at least a week ahead of the 6-8 week time period predicted when he was injured.
"When he was outside on the springy grass, he felt okay," Bowden said. "But inside on that turf he couldn't do anything. I can't see how he can play this week."
Clemson junior Justin Miller had nine tackles to lead the Tiger defense in Saturday’s 37-30 double overtime victory over ACC foe Wake Forest, earning him league Defensive Back of the Week honors.
Miller had eight first hits, one assist and recovered a fumble. He also added a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown on special teams.
Just as Clemson prepared for a Wake Forest team which beat it by almost 30 points a year ago, so is Georgia Tech angling for another shot at the Tigers. Clemson drubbed Tech 38-9 last season in Atlanta.
Bowden, though, is throwing that game out. He tends to remember the six previous contests, all of which came down to the wire.
"We'll prepare for a 60-minute, four-quarter game because in this rivalry, games like last year's score really don't happen," he said. "For six years in a row it was a three-point game, that tells you an awful lot about this series."
Bowden is expected to attend the funeral of his ex-brother-in-law, John Madden, and nephew, Bowden Madden, Thursday in Florida.
At this time plans call for him to fly down for the ceremony and return the same day. It is possible he will miss Thursday's practice.