No news is good news for Clemson
September, 9, 2009
By ESPN.com staff | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
There's not one name on Clemson's injury report for Thursday night's game, and as of Tuesday evening, everyone was ready to play -- including C.J. Spiller, who left the Middle Tennessee game early with hamstring and foot injuries. The Tigers will need him to go four quarters on Thursday against Georgia Tech.
Better yet, they'll need him to play like he did in 2006, when both teams were ranked among the top 15 and Clemson's offense was, well, stunning. The Tigers racked up 321 yards on just 38 carries against a Georgia Tech team that entered the game seventh in the nation against the run.
Spiller had 116 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown that day. He also had a 50-yard touchdown run and a 50-yard touchdown catch. On third-and-four in the fourth quarter, Spiller took a swing pass on the right side, escaped two defenders and sprinted 50 yards for a touchdown. Coach Dabo Swinney still remembers it, as Spiller became the first Tiger to have a 50-yard touchdown run and a 50-yard touchdown catch in the same game.
"That was a great play," Swinney said. "We just had a simple curl play called. I still don't know why we threw to him because it was Cover 2 and they had a corner that had him and it should have been a tackle for no gain or a 2-yard gain. He just does what he does. He beat the corner and then made another guy miss and then just ran away from everybody. He is an explosive layer. I was happy to see him start the season the way he did Saturday. It is hard to start off your senior year any better with your very first touch of the season going 96 yards."
Of course, Georgia Tech will answer with Jonathan Dwyer, but it will be a great battle of the backs on Thursday night if Spiller can stay on the field.
Here is Georgia Tech's injury report:
- Preston Lyons, Jr., BB (shoulder)
- Richard Watson, r-Fr., BB (hamstring)