SPECIAL TEAM WOES: With consistent breakdowns in kickoff coverage against Louisiana Tech, plus other special teams problems including another blocked extra point, once again this week head coach Tommy Bowden will try to address the same concerns that plagued his team earlier in the year.
"Kickoff coverage is obviously a concern," he said. "That reflects back on me and the poor job I'm doing. Those things will cost you in a game like this (against Wake Forest). We don't have guys doing the right thing.
"The blocked extra point was a low kick. He's been very erratic. The guy didn't even get penetration. He didn't jump. He just raised his arm up."
Bowden also mentioned two turnovers by some of his freshmen.
"The fumbles by the two freshmen we can correct," he said. "As I talked about earlier in the year anytime you play a lot of young guys you have to factor in mistakes.
WAKE FOREST LOOMING: Bowden said that his year's game in Winston-Salem will be a different environment than in year's past, due mostly to fact that the Deacons are undefeated and have also beaten Clemson two of the last three years.
"This environment will be totally different," he said. "They are 5-0. Nationally televised. We had to motivate for La Tech. We won't have to motivate this week. Our players will be in the right frame of mind. They've had our number."
After beating Division I-AA opponent Liberty 34-14 Saturday, the Deacons are currently ranked 30th in the latest USAToday/Coaches Poll.
Interestingly enough, in a scheduling quirk by the ACC, Clemson will play in Winston-Salem for the second consecutive year.
"I didn't understand why we had to do it," Bowden said. "But I think every conference team has to do it. But their stadium seats 35 ours seats 85. The conference wants to make money. That's an outsider looking in."
QUICK HITS: Cat safety Mike Hamlin (foot injury) is expected to come back as a starter this weekend against Wake Forest. "I don't know what kind of impact he'll have," Bowden said. "They run a unique offense and the safety is going to be actively involved." ... The Tigers are now the highest ranked team in the ACC at No. 15. ... Clemson played 81 players in Saturday's win over Louisiana Tech. "Hopefully that will help us on down the line," Bowden said. ... Bowden also complimented the play of Nick Watkins, Cortney Vincent, Etta Etta-Tawo, Thomas Austin and Jock McKissic after watching Saturday's film. Bowden said redshirt freshman OL Cory Lamber is "getting better."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "They've knocked us off two of the last three years. We've tried to take a more simplistic approach and take one game at a time. Right now we've won four games and than won't get you to a bowl game. The next game is against Wake Forest so that makes it the most important game of the season." - Tommy Bowden on playing Wake Forest next weekend.
Teleconference Notes: Deacs Looming
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