Thursday, August 28, 2003

Pressure builds on Bowden, Richt

Tommy Bowden and Mark Richt, the coaches for Clemson and Georgia, are feeling job pressure, but for different reasons, according to this story. Bowden has been under fire for what Clemson fans perceive as mediocre results during his four-year tenure, while Richt is under the gun because of an off-season that saw Georgia's lineup decimated by injuries and suspensions.

BOWDEN IN CONTROL: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Tony Barnhart reports that Clemson's head coach will call "100 percent" of the plays Saturday:

What Georgia will see on Saturday will be more I-formation and more smash-mouth football than Clemson fans have seen previously under Bowden. Bottom line: After going 7-5 and 7-6 the past two seasons, Bowden is tightening the reins on this program. Clemson needs a big win, and so does he.

He certainly does.

VETERANS WON'T START: Defensive back Toure Francis and linebacker Eric Sampson apparently were unable to regain their starting jobs in the preseason.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: On Saturday, Clemson's defense will have to come up with a good plan to contain Georgia's quarterback tandem of D.J. Shockley and David Greene. Shockley is more of a runner; Greene is the patient passer who threw for 22 touchdowns last season.

"When they have Greene in there, we're going to be more free with our blitzes and rushes," senior defensive end J.J. Howard said. "More stunts will be run, but when Shockley is in the game, we have to be more technique sound. Keeping our containment and not get out of our lanes. We have to be a lot sharper with Shockley in the game."

Please do.

THE POLLACK PROBLEM: Meanwhile, Clemson's bigger-but-untested offensive line will have to figure out what to do with Georgia's All-American defensive end David Pollack.

NO MORE GEORGIA: Here's another story about the scheduling problems that won't allow for many Clemson-Georgia games in the future.

CU/GEORGIA MEMORIES: The official Clemson site has posted video highlights of the 1987 Clemson-Georgia game, a 21-20 win for the Tigers -- another classic that I was lucky enough to attend. Just like in 1986, David Treadwell kicked the winning field goal in the dying seconds. By the way, you can watch the '87 game today at 4 p.m. on ESPN Classic. That's proceeded at 2 p.m. by the 1983 CU-Georgia contest. On Friday, see the 1986 and 1984 Tiger-Dog clashes at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively.

Additionally, there's a very good story on the 1977 Clemson-Georgia game, a tough 7-6 victory for the Tigers in Athens that was one of the program's landmark wins.

I was there that day with my father. I remember it was rainy and humid, and the game was a fairly boring defensive struggle. I was only 11 years old, and other than the big win over a ranked team, I remember the hundreds of Georgia fans who got a free look at the game from two vantage points: the road bridge behind one end zone and the ridge with the railroad tracks running across it behind the other. At one point during the game, a train came through, forcing those folks to get out of the way. Georgia has massively expanded Sanford Stadium since then, and both free-viewing spots are now hidden by stands. But it was kind of neat.

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