Tigers Hold 27 Minute Practice

For the second consecutive year, weather was the story of Clemson's first day of football practice. But, unlike last year, lightning ended Clemson's first day of practice after just 27 minutes.

Last year Clemson had to wait 30 minutes before starting its first practice of the season, but the skies cleared and Clemson got the workout in by 9:15 PM.

This year, Clemson began practice at 6:45 PM, an hour later than previously scheduled due to conflicting class schedules. At 7:12 PM the practice was halted due to lightning in the area. At 8:10 PM Clemson coaches decided to cancelled the outdoor activity for the rest of the evening.

The 27-minute practice was the shortest of Bowden's eight years as Clemson head coach. The team did calisthenics between 6:45 PM to 7:00 PM, then worked on special teams for 12 minutes. Clemson will return to the practice fields on Saturday afternoon. The workouts are closed to the public.

"It was a little disappointing because you plan all summer for your preseason schedule and now we have to adjust," said Head Coach Tommy Bowden, who is in his eighth year as the program's leader. "But, it would be more of a concern if we were deep into the preseason schedule. I had some time built in the preseason schedule, some surprises (time off). But, now we will have to practice during that time. We are allowed 29 preseason practices, but few coaches use all 29, so it is not a concern."

Bowden said the team would do Friday's practice schedule on Saturday and the team would be a day behind for a while, but would make it up in the long run. The team sat in the locker room for about an hour waiting on the decision. The offense went into the Jervey Gym to walk through some plays, while the rest of the team met and reviewed film.

Earlier in the day Clemson was ranked 18th in the USA Today Coaches poll, Clemson's highest ranking in the poll since 2001. "I would rather be ranked 18th than not appear in the rankings at all," said Bowden. "A lot of that is based on last year (when Clemson finished 21st) and who we have returning. It is a goal for us to finish in the top 25 for a second consecutive year. We haven't put back to back top 25 seasons together and we certainly want to do that."

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