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Tigers Work on Special Team

Aug. 20, 2004

Clemson, SC – Clemson worked hard on special teams during a two hour and a half practice in shorts and shoulder pads on Friday. The Tigers will have their final full scale stadium scrimmage on Saturday morning at Death Valley.

Overall, Head Coach Tommy Bowden has been pleased with the work of his team in the preseason. “I don’t think we could have gotten any more work done,” said Bowden, whose team is preparing for its September 4 opener with a Wake Forest team that handed the Tigers its most recent loss.

“I am not saying we have accomplished everything, but as far as getting work done and not missing days or practices, it has gone well. The weather has been conducive to getting things done.”

Friday’s practice was not as rigorous as Thursdays and Bowden hopes to get a lot of his injured players back soon. “We worked a lot on special teams early. We have our final scrimmage on Saturday and that will be a long scrimmage with conditioning runs at the end.” Clemson did not have conditioning runs at the end of Friday’s practice as Bowden hopes his players have their legs as much as possible on Saturday.

“We will be looking for some playmakers on Saturday. Are we scoring touchdowns in the red-zone? Is the defense giving up too many big plays? How is the pass protection? How efficient are the kickers? These are some of the things I will be looking for on Saturday.”

Bowden was again asked about he progress of his running backs. Duane Coleman will miss at least the first three games with a broken foot. “Kyle Browning has been stepping up of late. I would never hesitate to use him, he has really done a nice job. Of course he did when he was called on last year.” Clemson scored 75 points in the two games Browning started at running back last year.

“But, if I had to rank them right now, Yusef Kelly would be the starter followed by Reggie Merriweather and Kyle. Overall, I am hoping we can break some long runs, which we did not do last year. The more plays you run on a drive the more chances you have of making a mistake.”

Cedric Johnson and Mo Fountain were back at practice full go on Friday. Chip Myrick and Brandon Pilgrim were up graded from a yellow jersey to a green jersey. All the other players were still out, but some could return next week. Tye Hill will miss the scrimmage on Saturday, but should return to practice on Monday. That will give C.J. Gaddis more reps with the first team at cornerback on Saturday.