Massive Thursday Notebook

CLEMSON — Clemson interim head coach Dabo Swinney knows who Michael Garvin is. The question is, do you?

If you don't all you have to do is YouTube James Davis' long run that set up the Tigers' winning touchdown in the 2006 Florida State game. If you haven't done that yet, let's just say Garvin was the guy who came all the way from the other side of the field and chased Davis down to prevent a touchdown.

Davis eventually scored the game-winning touchdown a couple of plays later, but Garvin's speed and the effortlessness he displayed to catch up with Davis on his 47-yard jaunt left a lasting impression on Swinney.

"He can absolutely run," Swinney said.

Instead of chasing down running backs these days, Garvin is the guy being chased. The 5-foot-8 senior is one of the top sprinters in the ACC, and next to Clemson's Jacoby Ford might just be the fastest football player.

"I've seen him run track over here. He is a good one," Swinney said. "He is pretty good."

How good is Garvin? Well, he leads the NCAA in kickoff returns with a 34.2 yard average. He has already taken one touchdown back – a 94-yard return – and has come close on several others.

Clemson's C.J. Spiller is second in the ACC behind Garvin with a 31.9 figure. He ranks third nationally.

"There will be three great returners in this game," Swinney said in reference to Ford as well. "Jacoby is the one that's like the great shooter, but is in a slump and needs a layup. I'm hoping he is the one who can get a layup in this game because he is so capable."

Swinney wouldn't say if Clemson (4-4, 2-3 ACC) will kick to Garvin Saturday afternoon, but he did say, "we will just kick it and hope that it goes out of the end zone somewhere and if doesn't, we will just tackle him."

MANERS TO START: Swinney said Jimmy Maners has had the best practice this week and will get the nod over Dawson Zimmerman at punter for Saturday's 3:30 p.m. kick at Florida State.

Maners is averaging 36.1 yards per punt. He had a punt blocked last week, but the Clemson coaches said that was a result of a missed assignment in punt protection.

Florida State has blocked two punts this year, both were recorded for safeties.

BLOCKING THAT WORKS: Clemson will start Bobby Hutchinson at center at Florida State (6-2, 3-2), while Thomas Austin will stay at left guard and Mason Cloy at right. This was the same line up the Tigers used at those three positions last week against Boston College.

Now that it appears Clemson might finally be settled at guard, there is a question as to who will start at right tackle. Swinney says it will be a game-time decision to see who gets the start between junior Cory Lambert and freshman Landon Walker. Chris Hairston will start at left tackle.

Walker has started the last six games at right tackle, but Swinney said competition has been pretty tight between the two all week.

INJURY UPDATES: Defensive tackle Rashaad Jackson, who sprained his ankle at Boston College in his first game back after a preseason injury, will play Saturday. That means besides offensive guard Barry Humphries and defensive tackle Jamie Cumbie, who are both out for the season, Clemson has no one on the injury report.

Speaking of Humphries and Cumbie, Swinney says both will make the trip to Tallahassee with the team.

"I'm bringing them with us just in case," he joked. "I will make them stick their crutch out and trip someone on the sideline.

"But they will make the trip because they are all in too. They have sacrificed to help us get here and we are going to need all hands on to get this game." Top Stories