CLEMSON, SC - As Woody Dantzler's bruised left leg slowly heals, Tommy Bowden
finds himself inundated with the same question day after day. Will Dantzler
be healthy enough to start Saturday against Georgia Tech?
Thursday was no different. The end of practice brought out the reporters, who
in turn brought out the same response Bowden has been giving all week.
"He hobbled a little less than Wednesday," Bowden said. "(Whether or not
he'll start) will probably come down to pregame. He has made improvement
every day. But if he gets no better, I'd say he won't. If he gets better, I'd
say there's a good chance he will."
Dantzler was injured on a running play during last Saturday's 38-24 win at
North Carolina, suffering a deep bruise above his left ankle as he was
tackled at the end of the run.
And whether it's gamesmanship on his part - not wanting to reveal his
starting quarterback to the press for the Yellow Jackets to see - or not,
Bowden chose not to cut down on Dantzler's normal number of practice snaps as
the week progressed.
"If he gets better from Thursday to Friday, and Friday to Saturday like he
has then I would anticipate him playing," Bowden said. "That's why the reps.
He has been making progress.
"At some point in time you've got to gamble, so I'm going to gamble that he
continues to make progress. Now if he doesn't, Saturday then Willie's got the
same amount of reps he's had every week. But you don't want to take away reps
from a potential starter if he's making progress, which he has."
- Senior Rod Gardner was named one of the 10 semifinalists for the 2000
Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the nation's top wide receiver every year.
Gardner, who has 41 receptions for 747 yards and five touchdowns so far this
season, has come alive in Clemson's last three games. During that stretch he
has 22 receptions for 467 yards and three scores, all of which came in last
week's come-from-behind victory over the Tar Heels.
Gardner is the second Clemson player to receive such an honor in the last two
weeks. Last week junior linebacker Keith Adams was named a semifinalist for
the Butkus Award. And senior safety Robert Carswell is a candidate for the
final 10 when the Thorpe Award (defensive backs) semifinalists are named next
"It's a credit to the players," Bowden said of the honors. "For those guys to
do good, the team around them has to do good. So I think the team around them
has done good to give them an opportunity. It's a good reflection on the
players themselves and the team."
Joining Gardner on the list of Biletnikoff semifinalists are:
Antonio Bryant, Pittsburgh; Marvin Minnis, FSU; Freddie Mitchell, UCLA;
Quincy Morgan, Kansas St.; Santana Moss, Miami; Josh Reed, LSU; Koren
Robinson, N.C. St.; Vinny Sutherland, Purdue; David Terrell, Michigan.
The three finalists will be announced on Nov. 15, and the winner will be
announced Dec. 7 on ESPN.
- Sports Information Director Tim Bourret said Thursday that approximately
200 tickets remain available for Saturday's game. The expected crowd is
- The game will be televised locally by WLOS-13 (ABC) at 3:30 p.m.