Pesky Deacs Can Score

CLEMSON - While Wake Forest has more talent and team speed than years past, the Deacs are still finding unconventional ways to put points on the board.

Need proof?

How about the fact Wake Forest has scored nine non-offensive touchdowns this season?

Included in those nine touchdowns is one kickoff return for a score, one punt return for a score, two fumble returns for scores and five intereption returns for scores, including three by cornerback Alphonso Smith and two by safety Aaron Curry.

"I told my team that," Bowden said. "It's not illegal (for our defense) to score. "We had some last year. Two or three last year. I want them to realize it's legal to score on defense."

Safety Michael Hamlin scored on a two-point conversion attempt returned to the opposite endzone against N.C. State, but it only counted as two points.

Making matters worse is the fact Clemson's special teams were struggling earlieri n the year after giving up several returns for touchdowns, including three against Virginia Tech (kickoff, punt and interception) and another one on a punt return which was called back due to a penalty.

The Tigers have performed better in the last three games, giving up no returns for touchdowns.

Still, Bowden is aware of what kind of problems Wake Forest can present, especially given the fact the Deacs lead the league in kickoff returns, averaging over 24 yards per return.

"We are well aware of how many they got," he said.

BUSINESS AS USUAL: With Clemson controling its own destiny in regards to the ACC Championship game, the excitement level among fans has reached an all-time high. However the coaching staff, which is comprised of several members who won multiple conference championships and a national championship, is treating this week like business as usual.

"Most of us older guys have been in this position before," Bowden said. "It's the players that haven't been here before. Spence played for championships every year when he was there at Toledo. Brad won a national championship."

"For us preparpation is the same. you go in that cave. You come in when it's dark and you go home when it's dark. Nothing is really different. Our guys will watch tape and you got recruiting calls at night so there's no time to think about that stuff."

QUICK HITS: Bowden said after practice his team lost a "little bit of fire" Wednesday after two spirited practices earlier in the week, but that was to be expected given the point in the season. Top Stories