Sapp Confident in DL Production

CLEMSON - Seven games into the 2007 season, Clemson ranks 11th in the ACC in team sacks with just 10. Head coach Tommy Bowden expressed his concerns on that fact earlier in the week but caught up with Ricky Sapp Wednesday to get his thoughts.

Sapp, who leads the team with three sacks, says it is just a matter of time before the Tigers start getting their share.

"I think it is going to come with time," the sophomore from Bamberg said. "The biggest thing is we were worried about it too much at the beginning of the season and that hurt us. Right now we aren't going to worry about that too much. That's not something I'm really worried about."

Sapp has a point.

When Clemson worried about getting after the quarterback and were more concerned about sacks, it gave up 419 and 384 yards to Louisiana-Monroe and Furman. Since then, the Tigers have not allowed a team to total more than 292 yards of offense in four straight games. During that four-game stretch, Clemson has a total of just three sacks.

"When we go to practice we just work on the little things," Sapp said. "We have to continue to practice harder that's the biggest thing. If we keep doing that and keep working on tackling, then I think we will be fine."

WEDNESDAY TAYLOR UPDATE: Why is it so important that Clemson wide receiver Rendrick Taylor play this Saturday when the Tigers travel to College Park, Md. to visit the Maryland Terrapins?

Well, for one, he is another weapon on the field for a Clemson offense that is averaging 434.9 yards and 35.6 points per game. The second and most important reason – the Tigers are 17-4 with him in the lineup the last three seasons, and just 4-7 without him.

Clemson's record this year when Taylor plays – 3-0.

"There you go," Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said after Wednesday's practice.

Taylor is currently listed as questionable for Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game after missing the last three due to a torn hamstring.

"Tim (Bourret) told me we are 17-4 when he plays," Bowden said with a laugh. "Our odds go up."

When he has played, Taylor has caught nine passes for 108 yards. That's a 12.3 yards per catch average.

"He converted some big third downs against N.C. State," Bowden said. "He is a big body. He makes a third-and-four, third-and-five or a third-and-six catch. He is awfully hard to hold with his body going forward with some momentum. He adds a little punch to us in third-and-medium or third down catches."

The Marlboro County native said he had a good practice Wednesday and he thinks he has a shot at playing against Maryland.

"Today was a little better than yesterday," he said. "On the free routes I felt (the hamstring) a little bit I guess because of the weather being kind of cool today. Overall, I feel like I had a pretty good day."

Taylor said he has been cleared to play by the medical staff, but the final decision on whether he plays or not will ultimately be decided by Bowden and wide receivers coach Dabo Swinney.

"He (Coach Swinney) says I've been looking good, but he wants to make sure I'm 100 percent before I come back," Taylor said. "He doesn't want me to come back and then aggravate it again, then I will be out for the season, and I will have one season left."

If Taylor doesn't play again this season, then he will be eligible for a medical hardship wavier and will still have two years of eligibility left at Clemson. He said if the coaching staff decides to sit him this week at Maryland, then he will talk with Swinney and Bowden about the possibility of looking into the medical hardship. Top Stories