Clemson Football Notebook

The Clemson Tigers returned to practice Monday evening to begin preparations for Saturday's road game against Duke. <BR>

Looking Ahead?
It was announced Monday that the Clemson-South Carolina game will be a noon kickoff on November 20. The game will also be televised by Jefferson-Pilot, making it the ninth time this year that a Clemson game has been on television.

Don't tell that to Tommy Bowden however. According to the Tigers' sixth year head coach, the focus this week is squarely on the Duke Blue Devils.

"Where we are right now, I know the Duke game is early which is good because we can go ahead and get back. I like early games," said Bowden after being asked if he was glad the South Carolina game was scheduled for a noon kickoff.

The last two games played between the two schools have been night games, including a 63-17 Clemson win in Williams-Brice Stadium last year. The last time South Carolina defeated Clemson was during an afternoon kickoff (3:30) in 2001 in Columbia.

Furr a Possibility?
After Jad Dean missed his third field goal Saturday night against Miami, there seemed to be the thought that Stephen Furr may get an opportunity to kick. Monday evening, Bowden confirmed that the idea had, at the very least, crossed his mind.

"In order to be fair to Stephen, everything is competitive. If a back fumbles a lot, you do something then, or if a receiver drops a lot of balls you do something then. That position is no different," said Bowden referring to his kicker.

Bowden added that he would give Dean another chance against Duke and not re-open the kicking competition during practice this week.

"He's a good kicker. I think he could be really really good. The guy at Ohio State is what, eight out of nine from over 50? He could make that."

Plea for a Road Trip
Bowden made a plea to Clemson fans Monday evening to make the trip up to Durham this weekend for Saturday's game against Duke.

"I'm making a public appeal early on Monday before my press conference that we have a lot of fans there. I don't know how many were at the Orange Bowl, but it was a good number," said Bowden."

Wallace-Wade Stadium isn't exactly known as toughest environment to play, even though Clemson struggled to a 3-point win there two years ago.

Just 16,479 fans saw the Tigers rally for a 34-31 victory that afternoon.

Parting Shots
Eric Sampson has had the wire removed from his jaw and could play this Saturday against Duke, although Bowden said it would be in a "secondary role"...There were fans waiting for the team when they got home from Miami at 4:30 in the morning Sunday...Bowden said it "says a lot to the team and about our fans." Top Stories