Notebook: Dean Battles Through Injury

COLUMBIA – All week, Clemson placekicker Jad Dean was worried he had a broken tibia in his right leg. As it turned out, it was just severely bruised. But nonetheless, it still made for tough week and an even tougher game for the Greenwood native Saturday night.

Last week against Florida State, Dean was injured during a kickoff as a helmet from a Seminole hit him on the side of his leg, and there was serious doubt as to how well he'd be able to perform Saturday night. There was real concern that his tibia was broken, but x-rays showed otherwise.

With a real painful leg, Dean booted two field goals and sent several kickoffs deep into the end zone against South Carolina and was an instrumental in Clemson's victory.

"I've been getting treatment on it three times a day all week," Dean told "The cold air made it stiffen up a little bit, but with the adrenaline pumping it wasn't too bad. It will probably hurt like hell in the morning."

BOWL POSSIBLITIES: With a record of 7-4, the question now is what bowl will Clemson play? The likely choice is either Orlando or Charlotte. The Peach Bowl in Atlanta is less likely, especially with Miami losing to Georgia Tech Saturday.

But even though Orlando and Charlotte are likely, it's still very possible the Tigers could get sent out West someplace because of all the teams in the ACC that are eligible for a bowl.

Clemson will now go against Boston College, Georgia Tech and possibly N.C. State for invitations to bowl games in either Charlotte, Orlando or elsewhere.

And because of that, Clemson could find itself in San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas or Memphis.

BONEHEAD RULE: Only at South Carolina would the fans be prevented from parking and tailgating at the biggest game of the season.

The powers that be decided it would be best to keep the massive state fairgrounds closed until 2 p.m., just a scant five hours before kickoff.

Even though all the other parking lots near the stadium were already filling up and being enjoyed by tailgaters the gates of the fairgrounds remained locked. Brilliant.

Try and picture Clemson's Lot 5, the huge field behind the outfield of the baseball stadium, not allowing RVs or cars to park until five hours before game time.

FIRST HALF WOES: With South Carolina leading 6-3 at halftime, it marked the first time since 1980 that neither team had scored a touchdown in the first half of play.

The Gamecocks had the best chance of doing so when they got to the Clemson 6, but they were unable to score a touchdown and had to settle for a short field goal.

How bad was it for Clemson? Consider that at the end of the first quarter, Tigers quarterback Charlie Whitehurst was 2-4 passing for six yards with two interceptions. At the end of the first half, he was 6-11 for 27 yards with two interceptions.

WINNING FIELD POSITION: One of the things that kept South Carolina from scoring points was its horrible starting field position on nearly every drive.

In the first half, the average start for the Gamecocks on five drives was at their own 15. Then on the first series of the second half, they started at their own 16.

PRE-GAME HANDSHAKE: Prior the start of the game, both teams lined up on their respective sidelines and walked toward one another at midfield to shake hands.

The handshake went without incident, but there's no telling what was said between the teams while doing so.

Most of the fans in attendance actually booed the two teams as the event transpired.

BENNETT SUSPENDED: Clemson offensive guard Nathan Bennett was suspended for the game for a violation of team academic rules.

Bennett had missed practice all week due to a calf injury, but he was medically cleared to play.

QUICK HITS: Clemson coach Tommy Bowden has now defeated five coaches who have won the National Championship 10 times since he's been with the Tigers. It's also the fifth different National Championship coach he's beaten in the last 26 games. …

The Tigers have won five of its last six games for the third consecutive season. … Whitehurst tied Rodney Williams for the most victories over top 25 teams as a starting quarterback. Both have seven. … This is the fourth senior class since 1941 to post a 4-0 record against South Carolina. …

Clemson defeated top 20 teams in consecutive games for the first time since 1983. … Bowden is just the third coach ever to beat Bobby Bowden and Steve Spurrier in the same year. Phillip Fulmer of Tennessee did it in 1998 and Butch Davis of Miami did it in 2000. … This is the first time Clemson has beaten a ranked South Carolina team. Top Stories