FILM REVIEW: Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden had much to feel good about after his team's 70-14 win over Central Michigan, but after watching the first part of the film from Saturday, he still noted several areas of concern for the last five games of the season- especially with his pass rush.
The Clemson defense has just 10 sacks on the season. By comparison, conference leader Georgia Tech has 28.
"Right now we can't rush the passer," he said. "We are not a very good pass rushing team. Duke is five sacks ahead of us in sacks. ... That would be the most disappointing thing about this game. But I'm looking more at all seven games (talking about sacks) than just this game in particular."
Bowden, however was very pleased with the improved play of his offensive line, including new starting center Thomas Austin, who has stepped in for former starter Barry Humphries.
"It's a major adjustment because people play over you as a guard and you don't have to worry about snapping the ball. And then somebody plays over top of you at center, it's a huge adjustment," he said. "He does a center-quarterback exchange every day. He's always practiced snapping but it's a different animal to do it in live competition. Over the last three or four or five weeks. His comfort zone has increased."
EYE ON NEXT WEEK: Clemson travels to College Park, Md. Saturday afternoon for a 3:30 battle with Atlantic Division rival Maryland at Byrd Stadium.
Maryland is coming off an 18-17 home loss to Virginia. Backup running back Mikell Simpson scored on a 1-yard run with just 16 seconds left in the game to give the Cavs the one-point win.
With the loss, Maryland is now 4-3 on the season and 1-2 in the ACC.
Clemson last played at Maryland in 2005 and came away with a 28-24 come-from-behind win. RB Reggie Merriweather scored on a 38-yard run with 2:58 left to play to propel then No. 25 Clemson to the 28-24 victory.
The Terps returned the favor last season, beating No. 19 Clemson 13-12 in Death Valley.
"They are real big on the offensive line," Bowden said. "Their backs are running really really good. Ralph's specialties is molding quarterbacks. Defensively they have always given us problems. We never score a lot of points against them. They don't make a lot of mistakes.
"This is going to be the best offensive line we face."
QUICK HITS: Bowden commented briefly on the growing chemistry between QB Cullen Harper and WR Aaron Kelly. "They are both older guys. They are both fourth-year juniors," he said. ... Bowden also said his team is relatively healthy headed into next weekend's game, and that he's hoping to get Rendrick Taylor back.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "That's not a bad football team. They are undefeated in their division. They won 10 games last year. ... Anybody can beat you. So you better show up and play pretty good. The other teams we play are going to have better talent. Down this stretch facing who we have to play, it's hard to read a lot into that win." -- Tommy Bowden on Saturday's win.
Bowden's Sunday Teleconference
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