Nov. 16, 2009
CLEMSON, SC – Clemson began preparation for its final home game of the year with a 90 minute practice on Monday evening. Dabo Swinney’s Tigers will play host to Virginia on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 PM. The game will be televised by ABC.
If the Tigers gain victory they will play in the ACC Championship game on December 5 in Tampa against Georgia Tech.
“It has been 18 years since Clemson won an ACC Championship,” said Swinney. “Our players were four years old or younger in 1991. There have been a lot of games played in that stadium, a lot of players who have practice on this practice field since Clemson’s last ACC Championship.
“To get there we need to beat Virginia on Saturday. We had a good practice on Monday and will practice with a sense of urgency on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday.
“There will be a lot of emotion with it being the seniors’ last home game and so much on the line. But we have to execute just as we have these last five ball games. We need to practice the right way every day this week.”
Clemson defeated Virginia last year in Charlottesville in a hard fought defensive game, 13-3. There was only one touchdown in the entire game, and that was on a halfback option pass from CJ Spiller to Tyler Grisham.
“Virginia is hard nosed team. They have a great defensive tradition under Al Groh and we will see that Saturday. It was a defensive battle last year. We will have to be at our best.”
Clemson starting senior guard Thomas Austin was at practice in full uniform, but was limited after suffering a sprained ankle. He expects to be ready for Saturday. Defensive end DaQuan Bowers was dressed in full uniform for practice for the first time in three weeks. He was limited in his work as he recovers from a sprained knee.
Kenneth Page of Columbia, SC had been dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules. The red-shirt freshman from A.C. Flora High School had played in two games for five total snaps this year.
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