Wednesday Practice Notebook

CLEMSON – The Clemson football team returned to the practice field Tuesday evening again without the services of several offensive starters. Nonetheless, there still was some hitting taking place.

For the second straight day, hoards of starters were wearing either yellow jerseys, which means no contact at all, or green jerseys, which means limited contact. And as a result, Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden had to play a lot of inexperienced guys.

"We had a bunch of guys (injured) as ya'll saw and we just trying to get them healthy by Monday so we can do a little more physical work," he said. "We got a lot of work for some guys that might not necessarily play."

Some of the things Bowden and staff were able to do are continue to tweak the units on special teams and on the offensive line.

Bowden said he's trying new players on special teams, while at the same time moving some personnel to new spots on the field. However, he wouldn't divulge what all had been done because he said it's still a work in progress.

As far as the offensive line is concerned, Bowden said there's a reason why the rushing numbers are so bad.

"We lost four starters and we've played the top three scoring defenses in the conference," he said. "That's not a good combination. But we're still second in the conference in scoring and second in total offense."

Bowden admitted that there have been some adjustments made on the offensive line. When asked if it was a case of getting away from the zone blocking and doing more man-to-man blocking, he wouldn't say.

"There are some things I'd rather not elaborate on, but there are some adjustments," he said. "Hopefully they'll show up in the game Saturday."

One aspect that has been solid all season is the defense of the Tigers, who rank second nationally in pass defense and leads the ACC in total defense, pass defense and pass defense efficiency.

Even with such a young secondary, Bowden said he's not surprised.

"Being nationally ranked means you're obviously doing a lot of things right," he said. "Vic's had a pretty good track record at that. Going back the last 15 to 18 years, that's kind of what it is."

QUICK HITS: Receiver Rendrick Taylor said he thinks his slightly torn hamstring is getting better and that he might be able to play against Central Michigan. However, he is still listed as doubtful and there remains a chance he could gain a medical hardship redshirt this year.

"If he can play (Saturday), then it's definitely a no (on redshirting)," Bowden said. "If he can't, then it's a question mark." …

Little used safety Chris Russell has left the team to concentrate on his future after football. The Tennessee native played in five games this year for a total of 33 plays and six tackles.

Russell, who has a very high grade point average, graduates in December and wants to start interviewing for jobs. Top Stories