Thursday, September 30, 2004

Richardson makes a big step

Clemson freshman offensive lineman Barry Richardson will become the first freshman lineman to start for the Tigers in 18 years when we travel to Virginia on Oct. 7.

THEY HELPED MILLER RUN: The State has a nice story on the players on the return team who sprung the blocks that let Justin Miller set an NCAA record for returns in the Florida State game.

ACC NOTES: Check 'em out. And, if you're registered at The Washington Post, here's another notebook.

THE NOTEBOOK: Right here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Lineup changes coming to Clemson

Coach Tommy Bowden is aiming to shake up the roster after a disastrous 1-3 start. (More here.)

TURNOVER TROUBLES: Here's a story on perhaps the biggest bugaboo haunting the Tigers: turnovers. We're last in Division I in turnover margin.

PANIC? WHO? ME? Coach Bowden says he's not worried about his team's 1-3 start, maybe because he's signed a 10-year contract. (More on long-term job security here.)

THE NOTEBOOK: Right here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

We're close to becoming very good? Huh?

Clemson offensive coordinator Mike O'Cain says it's true.

I'll have what he's having, please.

GOOD NEWS FOR A CHANGE: Check out the Greenville News' awesome, multi-story package on gameday at Clemson. Well worth the time.

MILLER WINS ACC AWARD: For the second time this season, Justin Miller has been named an ACC player of the week.

GOALPOSTS: Here's an update on the status of Clemson's fancy new goalposts. Yee-haw.

OBED ARIRI SIGHTING: Here's a good story I found on Obed Ariri, Clemson's great All-American placekicker from the late 1970s.

RICHARDSON TO START: Freshman offensive lineman Barry Richardson will start against Virginia over Jesse Pickens.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Bye week couldn't come at a better time for Clemson

Following Saturday's tough 41-22 loss to Florida State, Clemson won't play a game until an Oct. 7 meeting in Charlottesville with Virginia. My father and I will be at that one, but I'm not really looking forward to it anymore.

And apologies for the lack of posts over the weekend. I was traveling again, though I did get to see all of Saturday's game. For a nice recap, check out Jeff Quinton's analysis at Fanblogs. A few thoughts:

Our offensive line is pitiful, and I believe that's the main reason quarterback Charlie Whitehurst was responsible for five turnovers. Besides that, Whitehurst is simply not playing anywhere near to his abilities.

Justin Miller was amazing. Setting an NCAA record for kick-return yards in a game has gotten him nominated for various player-of-the-week awards (including this one) and he may very well win a few.

I felt the defense put up a pretty good fight, but when they're forced to stay on the field most of the game, they're going to get worn down.

As most Clemson fans know by now, we are dead last in Division I in turnover margin. If I remember correctly, when we won the national title in 1981, we led the nation in that category. (Here's the NCAA's official rankings for Clemson.)

I don't know who to blame for the mess our season has become. A big part of me wants to blame Tommy Bowden; another part of me says that the devastating last-second loss to Georgia Tech two weeks ago is still weighing heavily on the players' (and coaches') minds. (It's certainly still weighing on my mind.) If the latter is the case, then I suppose we can still blame Bowden for not getting the players properly motivated. But we also have to remember that these are just kids. Most of them aren't even old enough to drink yet.

Plus, there's the fact that we just don't have the talent at key positions. I fear the early departure of receiver Derrick Hamilton and defensive lineman Donnell Washington left bigger holes than most of us realized.

Anyway, those are just my opinions. I hope we can bounce back and have a winning season, but right now, it's not looking too good.

Friday, September 24, 2004

FSU QB Chris Rix has a mixed legacy

He's coach Bobby Bowden's only four-year starter at quarterback, but he has a less-than-stellar record.

CLEMSON'S STRUGGLES: Here's a longish story from USA Today.

QUARTERBACK STRUGGLES: This story looks at the sluggish start for both FSU's Chris Rix and Clemson's Charlie Whitehurst.

FAMILY AFFAIR: It's a column by ESPN's Bill Curry on the Bowden Bowl and a few other things.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

TOP TALENT: Looks like we've gotten a commitment from Kavell Connor, a top prep running back in Virginia.

FLASHBACK: Here's a look back at Clemson's 34-23 victory against FSU in Tallahassee.

MIAMI WINS: The 'Canes beat a pesky Houston team, 38-13.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Clemson defense can't seem to stop the run

Obviously, that's not good, especially considering that we had seven starters back from last year's squad.

BOWDEN BOWL -- BIG DEAL? The luster is fading from this once-marquee matchup, especially for the Bowden family. (More here.)

GAME PREDICTION: College Football News says 31-16 Florida State.

TOUGH DEFENSE: That's what Clemson will be facing at Florida State.

HARD TIMES IN TIGERTOWN: More on Clemson's struggles this season.

TOUGH ROAD TRIP: A writer in Charlottesville notices we've got a difficult stretch of road games. Imagine that.

BOWDEN JOINS BROADCAST: Brother Terry will be in the booth for Saturday's Clemson-FSU game.

ACC A FOOTBALL FLOP? It's too early to say that, says this columnist.

'SPORTS CENTER' IN CLEMSON? No, not the ESPN show. It's a proposed sports-themed condo development.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Clemson's defense looking to rebound, find 'swagger'

The defensive unit has struggled this season, and hopes it can play "Clemson football" again beginning this Saturday at Florida State.

THE TROUBLE WITH CHARLIE: Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst has been struggling this year. Here's why.

QUESTIONS: The Greenville News' Bart Wright has a few.

ALL IS LOST: That's the opinion of Ron Morris of The State. He doesn't expect Clemson to bounce back this year.

FAMILIAR PLACE: Clemson's tough start this year is not unlike years past under Bowden.

BOWDEN BOWL PREVIEW: Here's one from the AP, and here are the voluminous pregame notes from the SID's office. And for those seeking happier memories, here are some video highlights from last season's Bowden Bowl, a 26-10 Clemson victory.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

It's serious gut-check time in Tigertown

Clemson travels to Florida State this Saturday, and the coverage reflects that here and here.

TROUBLE ON THE BUS: Did an un-air-conditioned bus ride over to Texas A&M's Kyle Field last Saturday sap Clemson's strength? Read about it here and here.

BOWDEN BOWL: It still has appeal, according to the Miami Herald. (More here and here.)

Monday, September 20, 2004

At Clemson, jobs are now on the line

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden says he's going to bench some players who don't start performing, especially this week as the Tigers prepare to play at Florida State.

GOOD COLUMNS: In my post-defeat funk Sunday, I forgot to link to a couple of good columns from Saturday's debacle. Here's one, and here's the other.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Texas A&M 27, Clemson 6: We officially suck now

What an incredibly disappointing display Saturday night. I've been on the road all day, and I've got to go to work in a few minutes, but I just want to issue an apology to that columnist from Richmond whom I compared to Karl "Sling Blade" Childers the other day because he dubbed Clemson the ACC team most like to "deflate" this year.

Sir, you are a genius. And a handsome man, to boot.

I really don't have much time to post as much as I normally would, so here goes:

THE STATS: Here's a complete statistical summary of the game.

MORE COVERAGE: Just go to the usual places here, here, here, here, here and here. I'm too disgusted to post anymore today.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Tigers tangle with Aggies today

I'm kind of rushed today and won't be able to post a full roundup of previews, but I'll do what I can.

Gametime is 7 p.m. It will be televised nationally on TBS. GO TIGERS!!!!

GAME PREVIEWS: Here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here . Also, check out Fanblogs' coverage here.

AROUND THE ACC: There's a full slate of games today.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Tigers gear up for trip to Texas A&M

Utah's 41-20 victory over the Aggies on Sept. 2 is teaching Clemson a lot about Texas A&M's strengths and weaknesses.

IT'S GETTING BETTER: Clemson's players are starting to recover from last week's loss to Georgia Tech.

TEXAS A&M TRADITIONS: The Greenville News examines them here. So does The State, here.

JUST CHILLIN': Clemson will be wearing special "air-conditioned" jerseys for Saturday's game in College Station, where the temperature is expected to be in the 90s.

CAN BOWDEN STAND THE HEAT? Here's a story from the Houston Chronicle that imagines some kind of huge backlash building against Clemson coach Tommy Bowden because he's not 2-0 right now. Ridiculous. Now, if we go 0-3 on the road trip that begins Saturday at Texas A&M, then I think we'll have some complaining.

RESERVES ROCK: Here's another story on running backs Kyle Browning and Reggie Merriweather.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here, here and here.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Ivan worries Texas-bound Clemson fans

Hurricane Ivan is altering the travel plans for some Clemson fans who were hoping to attend Saturday's game against Texas A&M in College Station.

ON THE LINE: Clemson's defensive line is showing some ability in the early going.

CU-TAMU PREDICTION: College Football News says Aggies 27, Tigers 25.

AROUND THE ACC: Here's a columnist from the Richmond Times Dispatch who says that Clemson is the ACC team most likely "to deflate" this season. Hey, it's just an opinion.

I say the writer is most likely to win a Karl "Sling Blade" Childers look-alike contest.

Again, just an opinion.

MORE LATER ...: I've got another weird day at work tomorrow (today). I'll try to post some more stuff later.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Positivitiy is the word of the week for Clemson

The coaches and players are trying to maintain an upbeat attitude after last week's stunning loss to Georgia Tech. (More here and here.) The Greenville News' Bart Wright echoes a lot of the same ideas here.

BACKUPS CARRY THE LOAD: Running backs Reggie Merriweather and Kyle Browning are profiled here.

JUMP BALL: The State has an article on Clemson's work to defend against -- and utilize -- the kind of pass play Georgia Tech used for a couple of its touchdowns last week.

IS WHITEHURST OK? The Greenville News looks at the solid but unspectacular performance so far this year of quarterback Charlie Whitehurst.

SLOWING DOWN CLEMSON: According to Fanblogs, Texas A&M will try to disrupt Clemson's no-huddle offense by working the rule book.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here, here and here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

For long snapper Geoff Rigsby, a heavy burden to bear

There are a lot of stories out today about Clemson's veteran long snapper Geoff Rigsby, who's poor snap late in the Georgia Tech game set up the Yellow Jackets for their game-winning touchdown. Read them here, here and here.

Well, Geoff, mistakes happen. The best thing for our fans to do is support Geoff and the team as much as possible, and the best thing for Geoff to do is to try to move on.

Former Clemson player Paul Snyder did something especially classy. Snyder, whose bad snap in the 1959 Sugar Bowl led to LSU's only touchdown in a 7-0 win, called Rigsby personally on Sunday to console him. That's a wonderful thing to do, Paul. You are a true Tiger.

BIZARRE STAT: Speaking of the Georgia Tech game, a poster on the Tigernet message boards cited an interesting statistic:

Don't know if this has been brought up...

but we are 38-0-1 all-time, when we have at least 200 yds. rushing and 200 yds. passing! We ended up with 199 rushing on Saturday. All we needed was that 1 yard and we would be 2-0 and 39-0-1!!!!

Sure enough, we did finish with 199 yards rushing. And that one measley yard, late in the game, would have given us a first down and allowed us to run out the clock.

Instead, we know what happened next.


ACCENTUATING THE POSITIVE: It's difficult, but that's what Clemson coach Tommy Bowden is trying to do.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here.

FSU GAME TIME, HILL HONORED: Clemson's game at Florida State on Sept. 25 will be televised by ABC and kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Also, linebacker Leroy Hill was named the ACC defensive lineman of the week.

PREGAME NOTES: Here are some pregame notes for this week's contest at Texas A&M. (More on that game here.)

Monday, September 13, 2004

And now, let the healing begin ...

That's what Clemson is trying to do in the wake of Saturday's unbelievable 28-24 loss to Georgia Tech. Stories related to that are here, here and here. The Greenville News' Bart Wright echoes similar themes.

BEST MEN WANTED: Clemson coach Tommy Bowden says he wants the best players on the field, regardless of their experience level.

STILL HOLDING: Clemson fell five spots in the ESPN/USA TODAY coaches poll to 25th. We're no longer ranked in the AP poll.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Georgia Tech 28, Clemson 24: This really hurts

I'm going to try to post as much as I can without puking. It's difficult to wrap my head around the fact that we lost last night. I just hope our guys can bounce back. We've got trips to Texas A&M, Florida State and Virginia next.

GAME STORIES: "Tech burns Tigers," says The State; "Tech stuns Tigers," says the Greenville News; "Jackets nab crazy win over Tigers," says the Augusta Chronicle; "Un-BEE-lievable!" says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

THE STATS: Here's a complete statistical summary of the game.

OTHER STORIES: The emotional toll of the loss is explored here. Bob Spear of The State writes about the game's offensive fireworks. The State also has the quarter-by-quarter key moments, the keys to victory, the injury report and that high five thingee.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here, here and here.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Stunning, stunning, stunning ...

Georgia Tech 28, Clemson 24.

Words fail me. I don't think I've ever seen anything like that. How in the HELL did we lose that game?

That's the kind of loss that has the potential to haunt us for the rest of the season, if not the rest of our lives.

I'll post the full horror from the media tomorrow. I mean, later today.

Tigers set to tangle with Yellowjackets tonight

And I'm going to have to order it on pay-per-view here in the D.C. area. (We've got Penn State/Boston College.) Unbelievable. Here I am, 20 miles from ACC school Maryland, 95 miles fro ACC school Virginia, AND up to my neck in Virginia Tech fans (a new ACC school), and I've got to watch Penn State and Boston College. I know, BC joins the ACC next year, blah blah blah. But I'm not happy.

Kickoff is at 8 p.m. The game is on ABC -- hopefully where you live, anyway. GO TIGERS!

GAME PREVIEWS: The Greenville News compares Clemson and Georgia Tech to a couple of sumo wrestlers. (I don't get it, either.) There's also a game capsule. The Anderson Independent-Mail says Clemson's passing game is a big threat to Georgia Tech. (The paper also predicts a 37-21 victory for the Tigers.)

The State has its usual pregame package: A look at how they'll try to stop Tech quarterback Reggie Ball, the keys to victory, the advantages, the injury report and the starting lineups.

The Macon Telegraph says Georgia Tech will be looking to shut down Clemson quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. And for more on Georgia Tech, check out the Georgia Tech Sports Blog.

OTHER STORIES: The State focuses on the third anniversary of 9/11 here and here.

MIAMI HOLDS ON: The 'Canes defeated Florida State 16-10 in overtime Friday night.

AROUND THE ACC: In other games, North Carolina travels to Virginia, Duke plays at Connecticut, Maryland hosts Temple, Western Michigan travels to Virginia Tech and Wake Forest plays at East Carolina.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Bowden back to work after a sad day

An emotional Clemson coach Tommy Bowden rejoined his team Thursday after delivering a eulogy at a funeral for his nephew and former brother-in-law, who were killed in a traffic accident in Florida on Sunday. (More on Bowden and priorities heading into Saturday's Georgia Tech game here.)

MORE ON STUCKEY: The Greenville News has an article on dazzling receiver Chansi Stuckey.

THE GOALPOSTS: Here is an article on those fancy collapsible goalposts Clemson installed this year.

BIG DAY IN S.C.: The Greenville News' Bart Wright has a column about a big day for college football in South Carolina.

HILL PROFILED: Here's a story on dominating Clemson linebacker Leroy Hill.

THE NOTEBOOK: Here you go.

LOOKING BACK: Here's a story about the 1977 Clemson-Georgia Tech game, a 31-14 win for the Tigers in Atlanta.


TONIGHT'S BIG GAME: It's Miami versus Florida State. (Clemson plays both of them this year on the road.) Read all about it here.

AND FINALLY: The good guys over at the Georgia Tech Sports Blog (no permalinks; scroll down) have posted some GT/Clemson haikus that surfaced on a Yellowjackets message board. They're pretty funny:

John Deere, famous brand
All those tractors 'round Clemson
Budweiser is good!

September distills
Orange tears and purple blood
Exit stadium

Singing Ramblin' Wreck,
Top deck Techies gasp for air.
Damn these seats are high!

Going to the game
A Tiger fans asks, "Would you... some fries with that?"

"i puked this morning
the colors in it looked much
better than clemsons.

'Necks leaving the field
Orange and purple stalkers
Cows running in fear

No, no, I was just
Helping that sheep over the
fence. Got some chew man?

And then a Clemson fan showed up:

Thirty nine to three
That was the score in your house
Please shut your pie hole

As Tech blogger Scott wrote: "That had me cracking up. I mean THAT is what I call smack-talk. I love it."

Me too, Scott. Me too.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Technical difficulties. Trying to catch up...

Sorry about no posts on Wednesday. #$%&*@+ Blogger decided to crap out on me. I'll try to catch up. I'll also try to update this later today -- much later today. Gotta go to work early today.

LOOKING AHEAD: There's a nice package of stories about the upcoming game against Georgia Tech and college football in general. Here's one about Clemson coach Tommy Bowden using some of Tech coach Chan Gailey's comments as "bulletin-board material." (More here and here.) Here's a notebook, and here's the ACC week in review. Additionally, here are some ACC stats.

BOWDEN IN MOURNING: There are several stories about how coach Bowden is dealing with the loss of two close relatives, the first such loss he has encountered in his family. Read here and here.

BALL, TECH ROLLING TOWARD CLEMSON: Here's a story about Georgia Tech quarterback Reggie Ball. Apparently, he's good. And here's more about the Jackets and how they learned a powerful lesson from the 39-3 beatdown we applied to them in Atlanta last year. These guys certainly haven't forgotten. Stop by and leave a comment. I'm sure they'd love to hear from some Clemson fans.

GOOD RECEPTION: Here's a story about how Clemson's relatively inexperienced receiving corps has played well so far this season.

WESTZONE UPDATE: Stadium naming rights for the WestZone Project at Death Valley apparently are on the table. Hmmm. The Hooters/Naturally Fresh WestZone?

STILL MORE ON WHITEHURST: Here's one from The State, and here's a column by the Greenville News' Bart Wright.

MILLER HONORED: Defensive back Justin Miller could be headed for a great season. He's already garnered his first honor -- ACC defensive back of the week.

THE NOTEBOOKS: Here and here. And here's an older one.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


What the hell is wrong with Blogger today?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Bowden family suffers tragic loss

A Florida car accident related to Hurricane Frances tragically took the life of coach Tommy Bowden's nephew and ex-brother-in-law. John Madden, 45, and his son, Bowden Madden, 15, died Sunday night near Quincy, Fla. My condolences go out to Coach Bowden and his family. You can share your condolences at Tigernet; they've put up an online condolence card.

RUNNING GAME NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: A couple of stories today deal with Clemson's anemic rushing performance in Saturday's victory against Wake Forest.

FREE FALLING: Clemson fell five places in the AP poll this week, but that doesn't seem to be bothering the players.

STUCKEY'S BIG DAY: Here's a story on the huge game Clemson's Chansi Stuckey had Saturday against Wake Forest.

GEORGIA TECH LOOK-AHEAD: Here's some information on the team from the Anderson Independent-Mail, and here are the voluminous pregame notes from the SID's office.

POSTGAME ANALYSIS: Here's a look back at the Wake Forest game by Jeff Quinton of FanBlogs.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Sweet relief: Bowden's just happy to be 1-0

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden could rest easy on Saturday and Sunday after the Tigers' thrilling 37-30 overtime victory against Wake Forest. Despite the win, Clemson dropped five places in the AP poll, to 20th, the biggest slip of any team in the rankings. Bowden also saw more positives than negatives in the win, as did Greenville News columnist Bart Wright.

NEW FACES: The Augusta Chronicle looks at the new players who made positive contributions for Clemson on Saturday.

McDUFFIE BACK: Defensive lineman Chris McDuffie has been reinstated for this week's game against Georgia Tech.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Tigers survive Wake Forest in overtime, 37-30

Whew. With a capital whew. That was a thrilling game Saturday -- a little too thrilling, but I'll take it. Although I would have preferred a more comfortable margin of victory, I think that a win like this at this stage of the season is extremely important for the confidence of our players.

I also have a feeling that a lot of our games this year are going to be like this one, though hopefully other teams won't be running an offense like Wake Forest's.

Anyway, on to the coverage.

GAME STORIES: "Staying alive: Tigers hang on to win season opener," says the Anderson Independent-Mail; "Clemson rallies to win in OT," says the Augusta Chronicle; "Wake-up call?Yep," says the Greenville News; "Tigers avoid potentially devastating defeat," says The State; "Tigers stop Deacs," says the Winston-Salem Journal.

THE STATS: Here's a complete statistical summary of the game.

OTHER STORIES: The Anderson Independent-Mail rips off my "whew" idea in this story on Clemson's relief at winning. Columnist Bob Spear of The State echoes the relief theme here but with more emphasis on great performance of Chansi Stuckey, and the Greenville News' Bart Wright says a tough win like this will be good for Clemson's confidence, once again ripping off an idea I've already written today.

In an aside that I missed but Jeff Quinton of FanBlogs picked up, Wright also points out that Clemson center Tommy Sharpe is still puking all over the place. (Sharpe gained a bit of infamy a year ago when his football-puking proclivities were noticed during Clemson's 30-0 loss to Georgia. Here's what I wrote at the time.)

The Greenville News also has a story on Kyle Browning, who scored what proved to be the winning touchdown in overtime, and a piece on Jesse Pickens' first start. The State has a story on the great game by Wake Forest running back Chris Barklay. There's also this story on how the special teams helped Clemson win.

The Greenville News has a short story on the 750-odd "refugees" of Hurricane Frances who were given free tickets to Saturday's game.

And finally, there are notebooks here and here, and The State offers its usual package: Grading the keys to victory and that High Five thingee.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Clemson's football adventure begins today

The finacee and I are going to a cookout/party today at the home of some friends. I'm going to be the party pooper sitting on the sofa in the den watching the Tigers and the Deacons.

Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m. It's on ABC. GO TIGERS!

GAME PREVIEWS: The Anderson Independent-Mail examines what happened to both teams in 2003 after Wake Forest crushed Clemson 45-17. Here, the paper predicts a 31-17 Clemson victory. The Greenville News wonders if Clemson can keep last season's late-season momentum going eight months later. There's also a game capsule.

The State lists the three keys to victory for Clemson, plus a look at how Clemson will stop Wake Forest running back Chris Barklay. There's also a list of returning leaders and the starting lineups, plus this long file that contains a lot of the above plus a list of which team has the edge in which aspect of the game.

And here's the preview from the Winston-Salem Journal.

OTHER STORIES: Here's a quick Q&A with defensive lineman Eric Coleman, and here's a story about free tickets available to fans fleeing Hurricane Frances.

AROUND THE ACC: In other games today, Duke is at Navy, Georgia Tech hosts Samford, Maryland entertains Northern Illinois, William and Mary visits North Carolina, Richmond is at N.C. State and Virginia travels to Temple.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Offensive line remains a question mark

On the eve of the season opener against Wake Forest, a lot of questions about the offensive line still have not been answered.

SCHEDULING CONFLICTS: The State has an interesting story about Clemson's tough schedule this season.

FURR TO KICK: Walk-on junior Stephen Furr will "probably" start at kicker Saturday against Wake Forest.

MORE ON PICKENS: The Greenville News has a story on senior walk-on Jesse Pickens getting his first-ever start.

COLLEGE GAME DAY: No, not the ESPN show. It's a story about the town of Clemson's preparations for the season opener.

THE NOTEBOOK: Not the movie; the one from the Greenville News.

AGGIES OBLITERATED: Texas A&M just looked awful Thursday night in a 41-20 loss to No. 20 Utah. I hope this bodes well for our visit to College Station on Sept. 18.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Hill is the man the defense looks to for leadership

Leroy Hill, Clemson's All-America candidate at linebacker, is the linchpin of the defensive squad. Meanwhile, his starting status for Saturday's opener against Wake Forest remains uncertain as he continues to nurse an ankle injury.

PICKENS EARNS THE START: Offensive lineman Jesse Pickens, a former walk-0n, has earned a starting job for Saturday's game. (More here.)

IT'S GRANT'S TIME: Receiver Kelvin Grant, who has tremendous potential that he has failed to live up to so far, could have a break-out season this year.

CLEMSON 31, WAKE FOREST 19? Well, that's USA Today's prediction.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Will Leroy Hill be ready to play Saturday?

Clemson's star linebacker is nursing an ankle injury and is listed as "50-50" for Saturday's opener at home against Wake Forest.

TEAM LEADERSHIP WANTED: Clemson is seeking it, and there are plenty of candidates.

IT'S MILLER TIME, AGAIN: The State weighs in on defensive back Justin Miller, who is hoping his junior year is better than his sophomore season.

REVENGE IS SWEET: The Augusta Chronicle has a story on the revenge factor in Saturday's Clemson-Wake Forest game. As you remember, Wake Forest crushed Clemson 45-17 last season. And Bart Wright of The Greenville News is writing about retribution, too. (More on revenge here and here.)

VERBAL SPARRING: Clemson says Wake Forest's blockers play dirty, which enables Deacons running back Chris Barklay to get big gains. Barclay responds.

THE NOTEBOOK: It's right here.