Wednesday Evening Practice Report

The Clemson Tigers returned to the practice fields again Wednesday afternoon in preparation for next Saturday's season opener against Wake Forest. As always, CUTigers.com has the latest, live from Clemson University.

Dukes Cleared to Play
Starting right tackle Marion Dukes was back at full strength today after results from his stress test this afternoon revealed no heart problems.

"The day it happened it scared the heck out of me," said Dukes. "I had an EKG, and then I had a stress today at Oconee Memorial Hospital. The results were great, my heart is fine. It's more of a muscular thing."

Dukes said that he had felt similar pains a year ago and that an EKG then revealed similar results to the one he took two days ago.

"I've had chest pains in camp at Pickens, but everything was fine then. It's a muscular problem, nothing with my heart. The two EKG's I've had were a little different, but it's more of a muscular thing."

Myrick Ready?
Head coach Tommy Bowden said after practice that right guard Chip Myrick is quickly approaching the deadline on whether or not he'll be able to play against Wake Forest.

"He's doing a little bit more everyday, but he's just about the point of no return," said Bowden. "We've got to figure out whether or not he'll be able to play for us. I'll have to talk with Brad more about it."

Myrick was originally the starting right guard ahead of Nathan Bennett entering fall practice.

Offensive Line Depth Chart
The first team of the Tigers' offensive line looks like this: LT: Jesse Pickens, RT: Marion Dukes, C: Tommy Sharpe, RG: Nathan Bennett and Roman Fry, and LG: Cedric Johnson.

Bowden said that only one position on the offensive line that is settled right now, "Center would be the only one."

Bowden also expressed concern about Cedric Johnson's ability to finish a game.

"You get concerned about an 80-play game and his ability to finish it off," said Bowden. "It's not so much he's doing wrong, it's just that Roman's a pretty good guard himself. It's not like Cedric is out there dogging it. He's comfortable in there."

Short Yardage Problems?
Bowden also said after practice today that his defense struggled mightily in short yardage situations.

"Wake Forest would have killed us today," said Bowden. "When we were in short yardage I don't think the defense stopped the offense once. Not only would they (the offense) make the first down, they would get extra yardage. We have to correct that, especially against a team like Wake Forest. We would have gotten butchered."

The offense converted in short yardage situations on every single attempt this afternoon.

Parting Shots
Cole Chason is the first team holder...Ryan Charpia is on the second team...Bowden said that he wants to have a starter at kicker by the season opener...Chansi Stuckey, Justin Miller, C.J. Gaddis, and Airese Currie are working as kick returners right now...Starting Whip LB Eric Sampson (shoulder) again missed practice today...Anthony Waters (ankle) also missed today...Roman Fry continues to see action at both right and left guard, and also some time at tackle...Bowden said that he's not worried about the shuffling on the offensive line because everyone is getting so much work.

The Tigers will continue practice on Thursday and Friday this week. Friday will be the traditional dress rehearsal for game day, which Bowden refers to as the "Beanie Bowl." All practices and scrimmages are closed to the general public.

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