Bowden Addressing Special Teams Concerns

Clemson head coach met with the media Sunday afternoon to talk about Thursday's game. Among the chief topics of discussion were anticipated changes on special teams.

SPECIAL TEAMS STILL CONCERNING: With Wake Forest returning the opening kickoff Saturday for 93 yards, plus the continuing struggles of senior kicker Jad Dean, there could be significant changes in store this week with the Tigers' special teams.

Bowden said of Dean, "I would say he's definitely lost his confidence. The confidence goes into the rhythm and all of that. If I start thinking about a golf shot I'll end up hitting it in the woods. I think that's the problem with those guys."

Dean missed a 53-yard field goal Saturday and also barely made two extra points.

Based on those struggles, and problems in previous weeks, including two extra points that were blocked, Bowden said he may test a new kicker against Temple on Thursday.

"I'm going to kick a kicker this week on past performance and how they kick this week," he said. "If, if, I said if Jad wins the position this week and I were to get ahead, I'd kick another guy."

Walk-on John Early would likely be next in line to attempt extra points or field goals. Dean will continue to kickoff.

Meanwhile the Tigers' kickoff coverage team has given up more yards (712) than any team in the ACC through the first six weeks of the season.

"Kickoff coverage has been more coverage than anything," Bowden said. "Right now it's more coverage and minimal kicking. I have some ideas and will be implementing them, but I won't discuss them because I don't want the enemy to know."

SPILLER'S LONG RUN: With the addition of RB James Davis, WR Jacoby Ford and RB C.J. Spiller in the last two recruiting classes, Bowden said having those kinds of skill players puts significant pressure on opposing defenses.

"We have a couple of guys that every time they touch it, they can go a long ways," he said.

As if further proof was needed, Spiller's 72-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was the longest run by a running back at Clemson in 13 years.

Spiller also recorded the longest reception by a Clemson running back in school history against Boston College (82 yards).

Davis also scored on a 64-yard run against Louisiana Tech and Ford has the longest punt return in school history (92 yards) and a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown as well.

BOWDEN PLEASED WITH HEART OF TEAM: Trailing by two touchdowns entering the fourth quarter of Saturday's game at Wake forest, Bowden said Sunday he was pleased with his team's resiliency.

"(With Wake Forest) Being 5-0, most success in 20 years, there was going to be a lot of intensity and emotion on their part," he said. "I knew we'd have to weather an early storm. I was really pleased. We showed some resiliency and bouncing back and heart because it was 'here we go again' for the first three quarters."

QUICK HITS: Through six weeks of the season Clemson is currently ranked No. 1 in the ACC in scoring offense, rushing offense, total offense, total defnese, rushing defense. ... Bowden said that the coaching staff is discussing which receiver will step in for Rendrick Taylor on Sunday. "We are discussing that now," he said. "It will be tough. When you lose Chansi you say okay we've got a lot of weapons left, but then you lose Rendrick and you are starting to lose weapons. We are going to experiment and make sure our best guys are not on the sidelines." ... Bowden also said he wants Jacoby Ford and Spiller to do a better job of fielding punts. "We aren't doing a good job of handling punts," he said. "We got the ball on the one yard line three times in this game"

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I never listen to players on the sideline. Never." - Bowden when asked about players trying to influence the plays that are being called on the field. Top Stories