Wofford - Clemson Preview


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON - Tommy Bowden has been careful this week not to give any indication
his Clemson football team is overlooking tiny Wofford.


In fact, Bowden has spent most of the week concentrating on ways to make his
team better, both individually and collectively. So when his 20th-ranked
Tigers entertain the Division I-AA Terriers today at Death Valley (1 p.m.
kickoff), improvement over last week ranks second only to a victory on the
priority list.


"That's the main thing I want to see," Bowden said. "You can break it down:
Travis Zachery not fumbling the ball, Henry Owens not dribbling a snap back
to the punter, (Tony) Lazzara not kicking (a kickoff) out of bounds, Woody
(Dantzler) not take a delay of game, the defense not missing any tackles,
John Leake not missing any assignments...


"I could go on down the line. That's what I want to see. Improvement from
week one to week two by individual performances."


In the Terriers, Clemson faces a team with no hesitancy about playing up a
level in competition.


Since Mike Ayers took over as Wofford's head coach in 1988, the Terriers have
grown from an NAIA school to NCAA Division II to its current status in I-AA.
While in Division II, Wofford managed six wins and a tie against I-AA
opponents. And last season, playing in the I-AA Southern Conference, the
Terriers closed out the regular season with a victory over Division I-A
Louisiana-Monroe.


But Clemson is a top 25 team playing in a major conference. No expert will
give Wofford a chance at even keeping today's game close.


So when Clemson's administration came calling, looking for a replacement for
Tulane on the 2001 schedule, why did the Terriers jump at the chance to visit
Death Valley?


"The money part of it (approximately $240,000 payday) is a factor, but not
the most important factor," Ayers said. "For us it's the exposure given to
your college and your program. This week I can't tell you how many radio
stations and newspaper guys that I've talked to. Something about our program
has been on the news or in the paper every day.


"That amount of exposure, you can't put a price on that."


Adding Clemson to its 2001 schedule led to another, more important benefit
for Ayers' program.


"Kids want to play at the highest level they possibly can," he said. "There
are kids who probably made their decision to come to Wofford in our freshman
class because they saw Clemson on our schedule."


NOTES:


- Cornerback Kevin Johnson's availability apparently will be a game-time
decision, though he is listed as probable on the Clemson injury report.


Johnson suffered a bruised shoulder in last week's 21-13 win over Central
Florida. If he can't play, redshirt freshman Ryan Hemby will get the start.


- Linebacker Altroy Bodrick had surgery Friday to repair the torn anterior
cruciate ligament he suffered in his knee three weeks ago. He is out for the
season.


- Former Clemson All-American golfer John Engler will receive the Dr. R.C.
Edwards Sportsmanship Award prior to today's game. Clemson's ACC Championship
men's indoor and outdoor track teams will also be honored during pregame
activities.

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