GOAL LINE PROBLEMS: One of the major problems last season was the inability of the Tigers to get first downs or score touchdowns in short-yardage situations. Crossing the goal line was a problem again Saturday.
"We have to get the ball in the end zone," star tailback C.J. Spiller said. "That hurt has last year. It's frustrating because it could carry over into the season. We've got to be able to score touchdowns instead of settling for field goals."
Other than that, Spiller said he believes things are going well on offense and that the offensive line, which features three new starters, is progressing nicely and seems to have a hard edge to it.
"Luckily we have a couple more months until we have to play so they can get better," he said. "But they're meaner and more aggressive and finish off their blocks. I've been very impressed with the offensive line even though they're young."
Even though fellow star running back James Davis has been lost for the spring due to a separated shoulder, Spiller isn't taking it easy to prevent his own injury. He's carrying even more of a load than usual.
"I'm pretty much doing everything (the coaches) want me to do," he said. "It's something that a leader has to do."
TO DYE FOR: The beneficiary of Rendrick Taylor not playing at receiver this spring and the continued recovery of Jacoby Ford's broken ankle is rising sophomore receiver Xavier Dye.
And while the upperclassmen are expected to move back into their starting roles, Dye has take full advantage of their absence, playing a myriad of positions with first team offense.
"I'm multitasking right now with a lot of different rolls," he said. "I think it's a good thing that I'm all over the place. It gives you different views from different positions and it makes you better. I think I've got a good grasp of this offense. Things are going good."
UNDER PRESSURE: When Ricky Sapp came to Clemson, he did so with tons of high school accolades and potential. However, things haven't come quite as easy for the prep star in college.
Sapp come under some criticism by the coaching staff and media for taking several plays off and not pushing himself on every snap. The coaches were very displeased with his work ethic.
Now in his second season as the starter at bandit, Sapp, a rising junior, is out to prove that he has matured and is willing to take on more responsibility.
"It feels pretty good to go into a leadership role," he said. "But at the same time I've got some stuff I've got to work on. I've got to learn to bring the intensity every play and be more consistent."
FORD FOCUS: Speaking of Ford, he said his recovery from a broken ankle is coming along fine even though he won't undergo any contact this spring.
Ford is going through the practice drills in full pads and running routes, but he's doing so without getting hit. He won't get his first tackle until fall camp.
"Right now, I'm just working on building up endurance and working on cutting into my routes with my foot," he said. "Things are going pretty good. I'm almost back to where I used to be."
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