After having most of the previous week off, the Clemson football team came out Monday night with a sense of rejuvenation and ready to tackle the task at hand.
"I thought they practiced today with a lot of spirit and a lot of enthusiasm for it to be cold and windy," Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden said. "I thought they had a good practice today. Three days off helped."
Senior cornerback Duane Coleman said he, too, could see a noticeable difference in the way the team practiced and is acting.
"(The time off was good) just to get fresh and get your legs back underneath you and to take care of some bumps and bruises some guys may have," he said.
However, Coleman wishes the off week would have happened much earlier.
"You always wish that you kind of get it in the middle of your season, but we don't make our schedule," he said. "Had we had a bye week earlier, we would have been more fresh."
Rumph vs. old team
Saturday will be the first time that Clemson defensive line coach Chris Rumph will go against the school that he once played defensive end for.
"It's different," he said. "I don't know what to expect. I'm just going to do everything I'm capable of doing to make sure my guys play well and we win this ballgame."
Rumph admitted that he will be a little nervous before the game and that offensive line coach Brad Scott, a former head coach at South Carolina, told him to relax and enjoy the moment.
Then Rumph added that there's no hesitation on his part – he wants to destroy the Gamecocks.
"There's nothing bittersweet," he said. "I've got a house payment I've got to pay. I want to win, that's the bottom line."
Linebacker Brandon Cannon, who injured his knee in the second quarter against N.C. State, practiced Monday for the first time and is expected to play against South Carolina. … There are no other injuries. …
Bowden likened South Carolina linebacker Jasper Brinkley to Tiger Anthony Waters, who was lost for the season after suffering a torn ACL in the first game of the season. Waters is known for his toughness and stellar play and would have no doubt been a candidate for ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
"He's the heart and soul of that defense," Bowden said. "He's a cold-blooded killer. He'll knock your head off. He hits you flush and you're not moving very far forward. He kind of reminds me of Anthony Waters. He would have been our Anthony Waters. …
"I wish I had Anthony."
Monday Practice Report
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