Injuries a Concern for Bowden

CLEMSON – It was the quiet before the storm as the Tigers practiced for the last time Thursday evening before heading to Columbia on Friday.

However, there were a few tidbits of information provided.

Even though there is no official word on whether quarterback Charlie Whitehurst will start because of his sore shoulder, it would seem very, very likely that he will. Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden said this week has mirrored the previous weeks, with the exception that Whitehurst is a little more banged up than usual.

"It'll be pretty much the same proceedings it has been the last four weeks," Bowden said. "We'll see how he feels in pre-game."

One of the other main concerns for Clemson is the right side of the offensive line. Guard Nathan Bennett has an injured calf and earlier in the week, Bowden said it was less than 50 percent that he would start.

"He's probably another pre-game decision," Bowden said. If he doesn't, it's likely Chip Myrick will get the start.

Right offensive tackle Marion Dukes, who was struggling just to walk Tuesday night, has improved and the coaching staff is hopeful he'll be ready to go by Saturday night.

"I think he should be alright with a couple more days," Bowden said.

Quick hits
With Thursday being the last practice of the year, Bowden likes how his team finished up and expects them to be ready against South Carolina. … With Clemson now a two-point favorite, Bowden said the experts must have not listened to his press conference when he talked about how South Carolina has everything in its favor. …

In the obvious statement of the year, Bowden said the more yards the Tigers can rush for, the better chance they have of winning. … Clemson won't follow the same routine it did in 2003 in Columbia, when it smoked the Gamecocks 63-17. Bowden said he's not the least bit superstitious. …

Expect plenty of trickery and deception by both teams, Bowden said. And as far as South Carolina having a lot of good luck the last few weeks, Bowden hasn't given it much thought. "I think as in most cases, that stuff usually balances out during the course of a season." Top Stories