DEFENSE IN THE SPOTLIGHT: After giving up over 400 yards of total offense Saturday against The Citadel, Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden said there are a number of key areas defensively he'd like to see his team get better at in the coming weeks.
"We are a little disappointed with some of the guys that have been around," he said. "Dorell Scott, [Miguel] Chavis, Jarvis Jenkins.
"And we really miss Rashaad [Jackson]. I didn't quite know we'd miss him this much. We've got Kevin Alexander who's played a lot and Miguel Chavis and Kourtnei Brown so I thought we would be further along there."
Overall, the Tigers managed just one sack against the Bulldogs and none against Alabama the previous week.
Bowden said the lack of pressure on the quarterback as well as the linebackers playing too high are his two biggest concerns at the present moment.
"We have to find some way to generate more pressure against the quarterback," he said. "One three and out versus Alabama and three versus The Citadel.
"We are also still playing too high at linebacker. We just aren't a very fundamentally sound football team at those positions."
OFFENSIVE LINE: While the defense did not show as much improvement as he would have liked, the offense at least took a step in the right direction.
With freshmen David Smith and Mason Cloy in the starting line-up at both guard positions, the Tigers ran the ball at will Saturday afternoon.
"The fact that Mason Cloy and David Smith, two freshmen played a good bit [is good]," Bowden said. "Landon Walker and Antoine McClain also got some good work. But we still aren't where we need to be. We aren't where we need to be to play in the conference."
DEFENSIVE LINE UPDATE: Bandit end Ricky Sapp, who did not play Saturday after injuring his knee last weekend against the Crimson Tide, is still an unknown for next weekend against N.C. State.
"We'll get a report from our trainer [Danny Poole] tomorrow," Bowden said.
The Tigers' 10th-year head coach also said he was impressed with what he saw once again from freshman end Da'Quan Bowers.
Bowers recorded the lone sack for the Tigers against The Citadel.
"He's the best pass-rusher we have," he said. "That's the only sack on the team [all season]."
IMPRESSED WITH SPILLER: The team MVP of the first two games may be C.J. Spiller, who has scored four of Clemson's seven touchdowns.
Bowden said he's been impressed with Spiller's improved toughness and hard running between the tackles.
"He ran a lot more physical than at any other time," he said. "He ran a guy over on the goal line from about two yards out. One of his long runs he hit a bit of crease north-south and ran through some arm tackles."
QUICK HITS: No significant injuries came of Saturday's game. ... The Tigers dropped one spot in the coaches poll down to No. 23, despite Saturday's win over The Citadel. ... Bowden said of Cullen Harper's performance, "There's a lot of guys that need to play better and he'd be one of them."
QUOTE TO NOTE: My biggest thing this week was to win, go home and watch somebody else suffer, eat, sleep and go to church. Coaches like one o'clock games because if you can somehow win you can get an extra four or five hours that day than normally you don't get." -Tommy Bowden on getting his first win this season.
Sunday Bowden Teleconference
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