Weary Tigers Alter Practice Schedule

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON, SC -- One day after proclaiming his love for two-a-day practices, Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden took a look at his Tigers Thursday and decided a break was in order.

Not that the No. 17 team in the country gets a day off. Hardly.

But instead of two practices today, Clemson will spend this morning reviewing film, then take the field in shorts, helmets and shoulder pads this afternoon in preparation for Saturday morning's live scrimmage at Death Valley.

"We've got a few more two-a-days than most teams," Bowden said. "Their legs are going to be tired Saturday, but I'm going to save them and see if I can't get a little more out of them at the scrimmage.

"I'd hate to not realize (the number of two-a-days), and not make an adjustment in our practice schedule."

The Tigers scrimmaged again Thursday morning, working in situations such as first and goal from the 18 which often called for the field goal unit to produce points. After struggling in that role last season, sophomore Tony Lazzara looked good Thursday. The sophomore hit 4-of-5 attempts, and his only miss was blocked.

Aaron Hunt, the freshman from Oak Ridge, Tenn., who Bowden anointed as the starter on the first day of workouts, sat out Thursday because of a tired leg.

Bowden talks to media after practice on Thurs. (2:48)

He is expected to be available for Saturday's scrimmage.

"We wanted to get some kicks down in the red zone, and work some red zone offense," Bowden said. "That's what we did in the morning."


- Junior guard Will Merritt, who missed both Wednesday and Thursday because of a virus, has undergone tests to see if something more serious may be wrong.
Some of the tests were necessary because of a slow resting heartbeat.
"So far he's negative," said Sports Information Director Tim Bourret. "So far he's fine."

- Freshman running back Terrance Huey continues to practice with the Tigers despite not yet knowing if he will be considered a partial or full qualifier by the school and the ACC.
"We won't know for sure for another 9-10 days," Bowden said.

- Bowden said the quarterback race is just where it was when camp opened Woody Dantzler at the top, with Willie Simmons and Matt Schell chasing.

- Freshman wide receiver Derrick Hamilton missed his fourth straight day of practice with a pulled hamstring. Bowden said if he can return to practice by Monday, Hamilton still has a chance to make an impact by the Sept. 2 season opener with The Citadel.

- Bowden's passion for conditioning struck again Thursday afternoon. Wide receiver Matt Bailey was carted off near the end of practice, suffering from severe cramps.

Injury update: The list of those missing practice with minor injuries continues to grow. Besides Hamilton and Merritt, absent Thursday were Rod Gardner (turf toe), Keith Kelly (back out with the hip flexor), Chad Carson (back), Justin Watts (knee), Kyle Young (foot) and Neely Page (back).

Dan Scott is the sports editor of Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Daily Messenger.
His columns can be read at www.dailyjournalmessenger.com.

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