Monday Practice Report

CLEMSON – It was just a typical day of practice as Clemson prepares to take on N.C. State Saturday, but head coach Tommy Bowden addressed some issues that appear to be areas of concern for his 15th-ranked Tigers.

Bowden said there was no shuffling of the offensive linemen Monday because there doesn't seem to be a need to at this point.

"Nah, I think they played pretty good, or as good as we've played up there from a physical standpoint," he said. "You know, just extra effort, downfield blocking and things of that nature. There was a really, really good effort. But you say 60 yards rushing, obviously that wasn't. But I'm just talking about effort."

Bowden did admit that the rushing has to be much more productive than it was against Furman for Clemson to be successful in Raleigh.

"I hope we can run the ball," he said. "We do need to run the ball better. We ran up there a couple of years ago and ran the ball real well. But they're a little bit different than what they did two years ago. Hopefully we can run the ball better than we did this week. If we don't we probably won't win I wouldn't think.

"I do know that we've got to be more productive running the ball against N.C. State or we won't or we won't win. I do know that. I feel comfortable saying that."

One worry has been the lack of production from star tailback C.J. Spiller, who is only averaging 3.3 yards per carry. Against the Paladins, he had minus-one yard on nine carries.

"(Big runs) will eventually happen," Bowden said. "I think he'll break one like he always does. I'm not real concerned right now. If those continue to stay the same, then we'll have to start evaluating blocking schemes."

Quick hits: Linebackers Cortney Vincent and Antonio Clay each wore yellow jerseys Monday night. Vincent has a lower leg problem, while Clay is still nursing a bum ankle. However, both are listed as probable for Saturday. …

Right guard Thomas Austin is still troubled by his ankle. He's been having a difficult time getting over it.

"He doesn't respond well," Bowden said. "He's a tough guy mentally, but his body doesn't respond well to injuries. He hobbles just walking." …

Looking around the league, Bowden has noticed that despite poor play from teams around the ACC, he still has one of the greenest set of quarterbacks in the league.

"I've got one that's never started and I've got a true freshman as a backup, so I'm probably as inexperienced as anybody in the conference," he said. Top Stories