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Bowden Pulls Back on Intensity of Contact Drills

Aug. 14, 1999

CLEMSON, SC–Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden pulled back the reigns on the intensity of contact hitting at practice on Saturday. The Tigers concluded their fifth straight day of two-a-day practices. The team worked in full gear in the morning and in shorts and shoulder pads in the afternoon. The team worked close to six hours altogether.

The team will not practice on Sunday, but will be available from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM for the annual Fan Appreciation Day. The event will be held in air conditioned Littlejohn Coliseum and is free to the public.

After an intense practice with considerable full speed scrimmaging on Friday, Bowden had his players limited in their amount of full contact in the morning practice. The only all-out live scrimmaging was held during goal line drills at the conclusion of the morning practice.

“We had so many players get hurt during that first practice in pads that we decided to scale back from what we did Friday morning” said Bowden. “Things were a little wild that first day, we didn’t intend to have a full scrimmage the first day, but it looked like we did.

“We lost six offensive players who are on the first two teams yesterday. We need to be healthy, get those guys out of yellow jerseys to accomplish our objectives. The good news Saturday was that we got through the contact practice without any new injuries.”

Many of the same players who missed Friday with injury were out again on Saturday. Akil Smith missed both practices with a sprained ankle, while Brandon Rouse missed his third straight day with a knee injury. Joe Don Reames, who suffered a concusion in the Friday morning practice, also was held out on Saturday. Pat Cyrgalis also missed Saturday’s practices while a calf injury heals.

Running back Javis Austin went through practice in a limited capacity due to a dislocated shoulder. Offensive guard Gary Byrd suffered a foot injury on Friday afternoon and missed both practices on Monday. Altroy Bodrick missed the afternoon practice after suffering a slight concussion in the morning, but the injury was not serious.

“We challenged them this week and they responded. Joey Batson should be commended. I thought the effort and enthusiasm might be down today, but it wasn’t. “So far they have done what we asked.”

Notes: The Associated Press preseason poll was announced in Saturday. Five of Clemson’s opponents are ranked in the top 27 of the poll, including Marshall, who is 27th. Other Clemson opponents in the poll are Florida State (#1), Georgia Tech (#11), Virginia Tech (#13) and Virginia (#24)…Clemson did not receive a point in the poll, but did have 10 points in the USA Today Coach’s Poll, which was released last week…