Clemson Football Notebook

CLEMSON - Listen to what head coach Tommy Bowden had to say after practice Wednesday, including changes in the return game, and also read about Charlie Whitehurst's thoughts on the Tigers' week to week improvement on offense, in this report.


Tommy Bowden Wednesday Comments (6:17)

SPECIAL TEAMS CHANGES COMING: Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden said Wednesday that two freshmen will get the opportunity to return kicks Saturday against Temple.

"Aaron Kelly and Tyler Grisham are returning kicks this week," he said. "Aaron may also get a chance on punts. We are going to take a look at both back there. They'll be on the field together."

Bowden continued to talk about Kelly, who has come on strong in recent weeks. "He just has done really well. I've been really surprised. Boy, his demeanor, his personality. You just can't hit him flush. We call him Gumby. Gumby is his nickname. ... I don't think he knows who he is," he said.

"Gumby" will certainly remind some fans of another former Clemson wide receiver - Derrick Hamilton, who was nicknamed "noodle."

Bowden said in response of the comparison, "He didn't like noodle, but I didn't like him leaving a year early so what the heck."

CONSISTENT IMPROVEMENT: After starting the year against Texas A&M without scoring an offensive touchdown, the Tigers' offense has shown consistent improvement through the rest of the season.

Need proof?

Just look back to last week's game against N.C. State, where Clemson rolled up over 450 yards of total offense, including 243 on the ground and 246 through the air.

In addition, consider those numbers came against a defense that was thought by many to be one of the most talented in the ACC entering the 2005 season.

"I think we really clicked offensively," quarterback Charlie Whitehurst said. "We ran the ball well; we threw the ball well. It's a definite confidence boost for all of us. I think we showed what we can do, and hopefully we can just keep it going."

The Tigers hope to continue to build on that success this weekend against Temple, as the Owls rank 105th in total defense, giving up over 443 yards a game.

Whitehurst, a senior, also said he hopes continue the recent trend of finishing the season on a strong note. "That's kind of been the tradition here the last couple of years – to get a big win and kick-start the second half of the season. Hopefully we can kind of continue the trend after beating N.C. State.

"I know that's been the talk - we want to get to a good bowl."

QUICK HITS: Bowden said that Georgia Tech having three or four extra practices as a result of their game against Miami this Saturday being postponed due to the threat of Hurricane Wilma is a "definite advantage." He also added, "But I had the same advantage against N.C. State. So I can't complain." ... Reserve OT Chris Capote will be back in action this week after missing the N.C. State game.

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