Wed Practice Report: Tigers Preparing for Two QBs

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - Duke University head football coach Carl Franks doesn't think Clemson cares who starts at quarterback Saturday for the Blue Devils. Clemson coach Tommy Bowden disagrees.

One thing is certain: Injury-riddled senior Spencer Romine won't be behind center. Romine suffered his second concussion of the season in last week's 26-7 loss at Vanderbilt. On Monday it was announced that Duke's medical staff recommended Romine sit out Saturday's game with No. 7 Clemson in order to fully recover from the injury.

That leaves either sophomore D. Bryant or senior Bobby Campbell to start in Saturday's game (Noon, Jefferson Pilot Sports) at Wallace Wade Stadium. Franks declined to name a starter during Wednesday's Atlantic Coast Conference teleconference with the media.

"We care about the quarterback," Bowden said following Wednesday's practice. "The mobility's different. So if he wants to tell us, we'd like to know. Heck yeah we care."

The concern is quarterback mobility, and how it affects Clemson's pass rush. A scrambling quarterback poses more of a threat to a defense - a la Woody Dantzler - than does a straight drop-back quarterback.

Scouting reports say Bryant is much more mobile than Campbell, and would command more attention from Clemson's defense.

"(Bryant) does," Bowden said. "It would change the calls. We've got them in the game plan already. It would apply to the number of calls during the game. Scheme-wise, it would be calling one stunt more than another. But we'd like to know who's going to play before-hand, if he wants to tell us."

Meanwhile, Bowden continues to harp on the recent history of Clemson's play at Duke - 3-3 in the last six games and averaging just 16 points per game on offense.

The 1989 game draws striking parallels to this Saturday's contest: Both times Clemson entered the game a perfect 4-0 and ranked No. 7 in the Associated Press poll. The Œ89 game was played on Sept. 30, the same date as this Saturday. Duke won that game 21-17 for then-coach Steve Spurrier.

That alone is enough for Bowden to take Saturday's game - in which Clemson is a 36-point favorite - seriously, even if most Clemson fans don't.

"With what (talent) we get here and what they get there, if it's hard for people to buy it I don't know why," Bowden said. "Every year (fans) kind of erase the computer, kind of like our players in practice. You have to re-feed it into them. But the history as it is, I'm not making it up.

"(Clemson's) taken more talented teams than this up there. Look at ' 89."


- Clemson's administration reportedly is making overtures toward extending Bowden's contract - which has four years remaining - to quell rumors of his departure to Alabama or any other school.
Bowden said he hasn't talked to anyone about an extension.
"I wouldn't want to talk about that (with the media) right now," he said. "Let (the administration) discuss it. I'm coaching football right now. Let them handle all that."

- Though some are wondering how the Tigers will approach Saturday's game from a mental standpoint, Bowden didn't seem concerned following Wednesday's practice.
"We won't know until Saturday, but one thing you don't want to do is play the game Wednesday," Bowden said. "You don't want to play it on Thursday, you want to play it on Saturday. Are we peaking (now)? I hope not. The enthusiasm's good."

- Virginia coach George Welsh, apparently convinced officials missed several illegal blocks during Joe Don Reames' 69-yard punt return in last week's 31-10 victory over the Cavs, sent tape of the play to the ACC for evaluation.
"I didn't see any illegal blocks," Bowden said. "But then I wasn't looking for any."

ACC Conference Standings
                      Conference  Points          Overall   Points
Team                    W  L  T  For Opp   Pct    W  L  T  For Opp   Pct
Florida State.......    2  0  0   89  35 1.000    4  0  0  149  38 1.000
Clemson.............    2  0  0   86  17 1.000    4  0  0  186  26 1.000
NC State............    1  0  0   30  23 1.000    4  0  0  150  92 1.000
North Carolina......    1  1  0   49  77  .500    3  1  0   99 101  .750
Virginia............    1  1  0   36  41  .500    2  2  0  105  85  .500
Maryland............    0  0  0    0   0  .000    2  1  0   79  67  .667
Duke................    0  1  0   10  26  .000    0  4  0   22 128  .000
Georgia Tech........    0  2  0   44  56  .000    2  2  0  105  86  .500
Wake Forest.........    0  2  0   21  90  .000    0  3  0   37 110  .000

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