Price expecting to play Saturday night

CLEMSON - Of course Phillip Price wanted to stay in the entire game against South Carolina.

After six plays against the Gamecocks, the plug was pulled on the senior left tackle from Dillon, who suffered a knee injury two weeks earlier.

The decision came down from above.

"His leg just couldn't hold up," said offensive coordinator Chad Morris. "We felt like that was more of a detriment at that time, so we had to make the move and put David [Smith] in there and Brandon [Thomas] at left tackle."

However reluctant, Price understood the change was needed.

"I always want to continue to play, but at the same time I don't want to hurt the team," he said. "They said they could tell. Obviously, I wasn't 100 percent. I didn't feel like my regular self but I felt like I could have gotten the job done.

"They said they could tell a difference in my knee. They made the decision they made, which is fine."

Price told reporters on Monday that his knee is "fine" and he will participate in practice throughout the week. He plans to play in the ACC Championship against Virginia Tech on Saturday.

"We're going to try to put him in some more power situations and some more speed situations and see how he responds and reacts [during practice]," Morris said. "I anticipate it being like last week. He's going to come out and he's going to play. I think, every week, everyday, it's going get better."

Specifics for this week's workload weren't revealed, but Price did share his regimen from last week.

"Monday and Tuesday were the same. Rehab down there in the training room, went out there and worked with the strength coaches on just kicking and doing all the footwork I would do if I was playing," he said. "Wednesday, practiced in full. Thursday, practiced in full. Friday, it was a regular Friday."

The Clemson offense will need all the help it can get against a Virginia Tech unit that's No. 12 in the country in total defense.

"They do what they do. Bud Foster has his plan. That's what they do," Price said.

On average this season, the Hokies have held opponents to 15.5 points, 99 yards rushing and 203 yards passing.

When the two teams met in Lane Stadium on Oct. 1, Clemson rushed for 119 and threw for 204 yards in the Tigers' 23-3 win.

"They're a completely different team than the one we played in Blacksburg," Price said. "They've improved greatly. They're playing at a very high level."

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