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September 1, 2008

Clemson moves forward after loss

CLEMSON, S.C. Following a crushing season-opening loss to Alabama, the Clemson football team was back at it on Monday evening on the practice fields behind the Jervey Athletics Center.

Asked to characterize the mood of the team, coach Tommy Bowden replied, "I think they're a little embarrassed, which they should be, which I am. I think if you have a lot of pride, you would be embarrassed."

Bowden said he felt as the week goes on his team will recover.

"I think we opened (in 2003) losing to Georgia 30-0. I gave them that and I gave them the example of South Carolina beating Georgia last year, and Georgia came back and responded," Bowden said. "Same thing with LSU and Virginia Tech. LSU had 600 total yards. That happens. I don't think anybody went undefeated last year. I told our team it's how they respond after a loss."

Bowden said examples of other good teams' season-opening misfortunes served as the thrust of his message to his players Monday night.

Asked if a convincing win over The Citadel on Saturday would do anything to alleviate his team's embarrassed state, the 54-year old responded, "Oklahoma played Chattanooga. Ohio State played Youngstown State. Georgia played Georgia Southern. I don't know what they're writing about them. Maybe we'll get the same kind of treatment."

INJURY UPDATE: Junior right guard Barry Humphries will have knee surgery this week. In his place, redshirt freshman guard Mason Cloy is expected to get the start. Bowden said Monday fifth-year senior interior trenchman Bobby Hutchinson was back at practice. Hutchinson, who was not projected to make the two-deep depth chart this year, had given up football in July and entered August camp as a player-coach.

"Hutchinson has been reactivated," said Bowden. "He turned in his meal money for being a coach, and is back on the field. Bobby could play guard or center. Center is the big issue. You can't survive without that guy."

Bowden said Hutchinson's return provides security and depth, and furthermore will allow Cloy to focus on guard. Cloy had been taking snaps at left guard and center in addition to his work at right guard.

"We are looking at some personnel issues, but I want to wait to announce it," Bowden noted. "We'll grade the film and look. There might be a couple of personnel changes."

Asked if he expects to have more physical contact in practice this week, Bowden replied, "I don't know. I want to make sure that would solve the problem. I'm going to think about that hard tonight. We have a staff meeting in the morning and we'll look at the practice schedule."

KORN SIGHTING?: Bowden said the thought of inserting redshirt freshman quarterback Willy Korn into the game against Alabama did cross his mind.

"I thought about it just a little bit," he said. "I didn't want to give the perception to my team that we weren't putting the best 11 on the field. Right now we have a first team and a second-team."

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