RUNNING GAME CONCERNS: After rushing for a grand total of eight yards on 23 carries Saturday night against Virginia Tech, Tommy Bowden said his team's lack of production in the running game is one of his biggest concerns heading into the off week.
"Last night pass protection really wasn't that much of a problem versus a pretty good defense," he said. "I'm more concerned with getting the running game more productive. Last night we were forced into (passing) because we got behind."
After giving up four sacks last night to the Hokies, Clemson has given up 16 sacks this season after giving up only 15 the entire 2006 season.
Bowden said that was more because his team became one-dimensional trying to play catch up.
"You are going to get pressure when you throw it every single down. When are one dimensional you are going to get a good bit of coverage," he said.
Bowden also added he would use to the off week to continue to look at different combinations on the line.
"We've been experimenting at center since the spring," he said. "But whether Hairston, Lambert, JaMarcus Grant and Medlin can move up and catch the guys ahead of them (is what we will continue to look at.
"I feel like we can make some improvement. I think we can get our running game going because we've played three of the top scoring defenses in the league. We will keep working at it."
SPECIAL TEAMS BREAKDOWN: Obviously special teams continue to be a major concern after Saturday's performance.
Bowden was asked several questions about his team's weekly practice schedule when it comes to special teams. Again, he said he would look to re-evaluate his personnel.
"Every day we start with kicking," he said. "We spend roughly 20-25 minutes every day at the beginning of practice with special teams. We rotate punt block. We rotate kickoff return. Field goal every single day. Punt protection every single day. We also do everything on Monday and everything on Thursday.
"Punt protection is something we do every single day. I think it's going to be more on personnel. We will also look at schemes. We will look at experimenting it until we get it solved."
EYE ON NEXT WEEK: The Tigers have their only open date of the 2007 season next weekend before playing Central Michigan for Homecoming on Oct. 20.
Central Michigan beat Ball State 58-38 Saturday to improve to 3-3 on the season and 3-0 in the MAC.
The Chippewas lost to Kansas to open the season 52-7 before beating Toledo 52-31. They also lost at Purdue 45-22, lost to North Dakota State 44-14 and beat Northern Illinois 35-10.
Clemson has never faced Central Michigan on the gridiron.
QUICK HITS: Jacoby Ford has a bruised sternum and will be re-evaluated in the next couple of days. He has not been ruled out for the Central Michigan game in two weeks. Clemson leads the ACC in total defense through the first six games of the season. ... The Tigers fell out of both polls after being ranked 22nd last week.
Bowden's Sunday Teleconference
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