Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Revenge is a factor for Clemson vs. Wake Forest

As well it should, considering the Deacons' 45-17 victory over the Tigers last season. But, can Clemson contain Wake's tricky running game?

O-LINE STILL NEEDS WORK: Some last-minute starting decisions are still being made. (More here.)

KICKER REMAINS UNDECIDED: It's down to Jad Dean and walk-on Stephen Furr.

ODDS & ENDS: Here are the pregame notes for Wake Forest from the sports information department, and here is the depth chart.

Monday, August 30, 2004

'Greenville News' previews Clemson's season

The paper has a whole spread of stories, including an overall preview, yet another profile of quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, a column by Bart Wright and an at-a-glance look at the season.

HERE COME THE DEACS: Here's a preview of Wake Forest, Clemson's first opponent, which visits Death Valley this Saturday.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

A full season preview from 'The State'

The State has a very complete package of Clemson preview stories for the upcoming football season.

There are articles about quarterback Charlie Whitehurst here and here, and a profile of up-and-coming quarterback Will Proctor here. Quarterback-turned-receiver Chansi Stuckey is featured here. And here is a ranking of Clemson's 25 best quarterbacks. Finally, here are four S.C. prep quarterbacks who could be playing for Clemson in the future.

The positions are graded here, and here is a capsule glance at Clemson's opponents for the 2004 season. Additionally, here is a preview of the ACC race. Here are the 10 big questions Clemson must answer this season. Kicker Jad Dean is profiled here.

Columnist Ron Morris predicts that both Clemson and South Carolina will go to a bowl game this year. And finally, there's a roster, ticket information, stadium information, a schedule and some desktop wallpaper for your computer.

MILLER TIME: The Anderson Independent-Mail profiles junior defensive back Justin Miller, who is hoping to bounce back after a lackluster season in 2003.

SAMPSON'S STRENGTHS: The Greenville News has a story on linebacker Eric Sampson, who has turned into a solid player after some disciplinary troubles earlier in his career.

HOKIES HUMBLED: New ACC member Virginia Tech led for a little while but couldn't hold off No. 1 Southern Cal in a 24-13 loss Saturday night.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Tiger defensive backs ready to play

They're already the top unit in the ACC, but they want to be the best in the nation.

SECURE SITE: Clemson will have more than 400 officers on hand for each home football game this season.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Clemson won't play Oklahoma in 2008, 2011

The Tigers have dropped the Sooners from their future schedules. Oh well. I was kind of looking forward to that.

DEFENSE STEPS UP: The defensive unit performed admirably in Thursday's practice session. Good going, guys.

HILL CLIMBING THE RANKS: The State has a profile of Clemson linebacker Leroy Hill, who could receive a ton of postseason honors. And here's the depth chart for the linebackers.

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL? The 2004 season kicks off on Saturday, and a new member of the ACC is involved. Virginia Tech takes on No. 1 Southern Cal at FedEx Field near Washington, D.C.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Kicker Jad Dean get his chance to shine

The sophomore kicker got noticed last season with his booming kickoffs, but this year he's competing with walk-on Stephen Furr for field goal and PAT duty.

DUKES IS OK: Offensive lineman Marion Dukes doesn't have any heart trouble and he's back practicing. (More here.) And here's another notebook.

BENNET BOUNCES BACK: Not long ago, defensive end Charles Bennett was a third-string linebacker. Today, he could be one of Clemson's top defensive players.

BOWDEN, HOLTZ ON TV: The weekly press conferences of the state's top football coaches will be shown on ETV's South Carolina Channel.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Coleman may come back sooner than expected

Reports from training camp indicate that injured running back Duane Coleman could return sooner than expected. Coleman, Clemson's leading rusher in 2003, broke his right foot in practice last week. He was originally slated to return in six weeks, but he could be back in four.

DUKES TO RETURN: Lineman Marion Dukes only sustained a chest muscle strain and will return to practice today. On Tuesday, it was thought that Dukes had sustained a rib injury.

McDUFFIE SUSPENDED: Reserve defensive tackle Chris McDuffie will not play in the season opener against Wake Forest because of disciplinary reasons.

WHITEHURST CONFIDENT: Here's another story about Clemson's star quarterback.

CROWD CONTROL SUMMIT: Clemson will host a conference involving more than 30 other schools to work on ways to keep crowds in line at sporting events.

SIKES JOINS CLEMSON: Philip Sikes has been named assistant sports information director at Clemson. Welcome, Philip.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

More on the running game; receivers inconsistent

Here's another story on Clemson's search for a rushing attack that can consistently produce big gains. Here's a story about the inconsistent play of the Tigers' receivers so far. (And here's a depth chart for the receiving corps.)

DUKES INJURED: Right tackle Marion Dukes injured his ribs in practice Monday, but he should be OK. (More on injuries here.)

Monday, August 23, 2004

In search of a stronger rushing attack

Clemson is hoping to boost its productivity in the running game this season. (Here's the depth chart for running backs.)

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Whitehurst leads offense over defense in scrimmage

Clemson's quarterback threw for three touchdowns and the defense struggled in the final scrimmage of fall practice. Running back Kyle Browning might have worked himself into a starting job.

NEW LEADERS: Players like Mo Fountain are emerging as important team leaders.

PASS BLOCKING WORK: Clemson is trying to shore up its protection of quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. (Here's the depth chart for the offensive line.)

FIGHTING IN THE STREETS: Linebacker Leroy Hill is the talk of his hometown of Haddock, Ga., the front lines in the battle between fans of the ACC and the SEC.

MORE RECEIVERS NEEDED: Clemson is hoping to develop more depth at wide receiver.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Final preseason scrimmage is today

The Tigers will hold their final scrimmage of the preseason today in Death Valley.

MYRICK MOVES UP: Injured offensive lineman Chip Myrick is working out more now, and that's always good news.

PADS GET LIGHTER: A few Clemson players are trying out lighter football pads that aren't as hot and allow for greater movement.

CONDOLENCES: Clemson coach Tommy Bowden consoled South Carolina assistant coach Skip Holtz after dad Lou demoted his son.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Augusta readers get a Clemson package today

The Augusta Chronicle has five, count 'em, five stories today about Clemson's upcoming football season.

First is an overview of the season. Then, there's a look at Clemson's drive to improve its facilities that includes this story about what's there now and what's coming.

Next is a story that has five questions for Clemson this year. And finally, there's a piece on running back Reggie Merriweather.

JACKSONVILLE GETS TITLE GAME: The city in Florida will host the ACC football championship game in 2005 and 2006, and possibly in 2007 and 2008. (More here.)

WALK-ONS GET SCHOLARSHIPS: And other items of note here.

THEY'RE WATCHING YOU: Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst is on the preseason watch list for the Walter Camp Award, and linebacker Leroy Hill is on the watch list for the Butkus Award.

IF IT'S AUGUST IN CLEMSON...: It must be time for the Spitoono festival.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Williamson moves from tight end to defensive end

Bobby Williamson, a redshirt junior, has changed positions. (More here and here.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Defense still rules in scrimmage

The offense is catching up, but the Tigers' defensive squad continues to dominate in preseason practices. And remember, our defense is supposed to be our weak spot this year.

RECEIVER WISDOM: The Greenville News examines Clemson's young group of receivers, who will be shouldering a lot of the burden following graduations and the early departure of Derrick Hamilton.

NOODLE'S SOUR GRAPES: Speaking of Hamilton, The State has an interesting story about his decision to jump to the NFL a year early. The receiver, who was a third-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers, claims he got little or no support from Clemson coach Tommy Bowden. (Defensive lineman Donnell Washington, who also left early, apparently feels the same way.)

Bowden disputes those claims. He says he only had good things to tell the NFL scouts about Hamilton and points out that his public criticism of Hamilton's decision to leave early was based on the fact that the young man was making a mistake that was going to cost him millions of dollars.

I agree with the coach on this one. Hamilton screwed up, perhaps realizes that now, and he's bitching about it to the media from the safety of the West Coast -- including childish sniping about who won which awards at the post-season football banquet in January.

Derrick, you were one of the all-time great Tigers, and I wish you well in your pro career. But this whining is not your finest hour.

SEASON PREVIEW: Something called the Sports Network has a season preview for Clemson.

NEW VIDEOS POSTED: The Tiger Rag has put up video highlights from the 1997-99 era at Clemson. Check it out.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Another story about Charlie Whitehurst

As if we weren't aware already of the importance of our junior quarterback, here's another story to remind us.

LINE SHIFT: Left tackle Roman Fry could be switched to other positions on the offensive line.

COULD THE TIGERS WIN THE ACC? ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit seems to think we could.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Charlie Whitehurst: He's our man ...

The Greenville News' Bart Wright has a column about the importance of quarterback Charlie Whitehurst to Clemson's success this season.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Tigers ranked 15th in AP poll

Clemson will open the 2004 college football season ranked No. 15 in the nation according to the Associated Press. (More here.) That goes along with the No. 16 ranking we pulled in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll. But columnist Ron Morris of The State says pay no attention to the hype.

SPY GAME II: Clemson coach Tommy Bowden has issued a denial to charges from some inside the University of Tennessee football program that Clemson spied on the Vols' practice session prior to the Tigers' 27-14 victory in the Peach Bowl.

According to the Tigernet message board, I'm not the only person who finds this charge to be pathetic.

DOMINATING DEFENSE: Clemson's defensive unit stood out the most in Saturday's scrimmage in Death Valley. (More here and here.)

Saturday, August 14, 2004

If Whitehurst gets hurt, who takes his place?

That's the disturbing question asked by The Greenville News in this article.

BENNETT STEPS UP: Offensive lineman Nathan Bennett has been getting a lot of practice so far, and it's paid off.

SPY GAME: Here's an interesting article from the Knoxville News (username: bee@cee.com; password: aabbcc) in which Tennessee accuses Clemson of spying on the Vols' practice sessions in Atlanta prior to the 27-14 smackdown the Tigers applied to them in the Peach Bowl.

I love this comment from a Knoxville reader named "smitty":
I was there and watched UT walking about and playing without emotion. Chavis is right! It seems its taken poor Phil 8 mos. to come up with this lame excuse. Was Phil outsmarted again and does Hamilton have a clue?

TURF TALK: Clemson's new artificial-turf practice field is already paying for itself.

NOTEBOOK TIME: Here and here.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

With Coleman out, Tigers weigh options

Reggie Merriweather, Kyle Browning and Yusef Kelly should be able to fill in for Duane Coleman, who will miss 6-8 weeks after breaking his foot in practice on Tuesday. (More here and here.)

JAMISON OUT: Defensive end Vontrell Jamison is expected to be out about 6 weeks after breaking his arm in practice on Tuesday, but he says he'll return in two weeks.

YOUNG GUYS PLAY CATCH: Clemson's freshman receivers are showing some flashes of greatness.

VISIT THE LOCKER ROOM: The official Clemson site has a virtual tour of the school's new locker room and player lounge in the Jervey Athletic Center. Check it out.

NEW LINKS: I've discovered a great new Clemson site in the past couple of days. It's The Tiger Rag, and it's chock full of original content from several contributors, including a bunch of video clips. And speaking of videos, check out its sister site, Orange and White Video. If you want to see highlights of Clemson vs. Fordham circa 1952, they've got it.

Also, check out the Web site of the Tiger Rag Preservation Society. Their mission: Ban the "woo hoo."

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Coleman breaks foot, will miss 6-8 weeks

The big news out of Tuesday's practice session involved the loss of running back Duane Coleman, Clemson's top rusher in 2003. (More here, here and here.) He may be able to return for the vital game at Virginia on Oct. 7. In other injury news, defensive lineman Vontrell Jamison broke his arm and will be re-evaluated, and receiver Michael Collins has a leg injury that might force him to miss the Sept. 4 season opener against Wake Forest. (More here.)

TACKLES TALK: Inexperience is no obstacle for offensive linemen Marion Dukes and Roman Fry.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Tommy Bowden: He's here to stay

The State's Ron Morris has a column today about how coach Tommy Bowden became "Clemson's guy" by winning four big games at the end of the 2003 season.

DEPTH CHART FILLED: Clemson's defensive unit doesn't have a lot of openings this year, and that's a good thing.

THE FUTURE OF IPTAY: The Greenville News' Bart Wright has an interesting column on the challenges facing IPTAY in college football's rapidly changing landscape.

LEE TO TRANSFER: Redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Brad Lee will likely transfer from Clemson.

KIRKLAND GETS DEGREE: Former Clemson All-American Levon Kirkland, who played linebacker in the NFL for 11 seasons, received his sociology degree from Clemson on Friday.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Fall practice well under way at Clemson

Sorry for the lack of posts. I've been out of town since Thursday. As a quick catch-up to Friday's start of football practice, go here, here, here, here, and here.

FAN APPRECIATION DAY: Read all about it here, here and here.

OUT OF ACTION: Redshirt freshman Roy Walker needs knee surgery and will miss the 2004 season.

PLAYER PROFILES: Read about Leroy Hill here and here. Airese Currie is profile here. And here is a story about Clemson's offensive line.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Freshmen report for training camp

The newbies are on campus, and practice begins on Friday. Woo hoo! (No, I'm sorry, we should ban the woo-hoo.)

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Bowden's 2003 troubles solidified Tigers as a team

The questions about the coach's job security served as motivation for Clemson's football players, who in the late stages of the season put together one of the most impressive winning streaks in school history.

PTI FOR MCDUFFIE: Clemson defensive lineman Chris McDuffie will enter pre-trial intervention for his arrest last month on drug charges.

COLEMAN AT HOME: The Naples (Fla.) Daily News has an interview with local lad Duane Coleman, the dreadlocked tailback who was Clemson's leading rusher in 2003. He's expecting big things this season, too.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Clemson sells out WestZone club seats

Well, that was fast. The university has sold out the first 1,000 seats in the WestZone project. That's awesome.

WE GOT ONE BACK: Defensive tackle Rashaad Jackson, a prep star from Union, S.C., who signed with Clemson but was declared academically ineligible, has been declared eligible by the NCAA. Jackson has a learning disability, which is why the NCAA ruled in his favor.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Did Bowden's job uncertainty hurt recruiting last fall?

An interesting column from the Winston-Salem Journal suggests that it did. Check it out.

LADIES CLINIC: The official Clemson site has posted pictures from this past Saturday's ladies football clinic. Give them a look.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

As fall practice looms, here's what to watch for

The State runs down the top story lines for fall football practice, which begins on Friday. This is an interesting read.