Coach says he hopes to get QB in game but makes no promises

Swinney shoots down 'guarantee' to Korn

pstrelow@thestate.comSeptember 30, 2009 

  • TIGERS VS. TERRAPINS

    WHO: Clemson (2-2) at Maryland (1-3)

    WHEN: Noon Saturday

    WHERE: Byrd Stadium, College Park, Md.

    LINE: Clemson by 13.5

    TV: ESPNU (channel 16O)

    RADIO: ESPN Radio 93.1 FM

CLEMSON - Two years ago, running back James Davis' guaranteed victory before the Maryland game. This time around, an alleged non-guarantee is making news.

Dabo Swinney said Tuesday he never guaranteed backup quarterback Willy Korn he would play in every game.

Korn expressed disappointment Monday that he had failed to appear in two games, especially when he expected to play because Swinney guaranteed his use.

"That's probably a matter of semantics and interpretation," Swinney said. "There's no guarantees for everything. Only guarantee is what you do on the practice field and how you perform with your opportunities. That's it. There's no guarantees.

"My intention has been to play Willy every game. That's been my plan. But sometimes plans change. ... When he gets his opportunities, he's got to be productive. My intention is to get him in there this Saturday. But again, circumstances can dictate different things."

On a role. Offensive coordinator Billy Napier said he believes the Tigers could use backup running back Andre Ellington more than they have been, and he hopes to do so against the Terps.

Ellington has averaged 6.6 yards per carry on 21 attempts, but Napier thinks the 5-foot-10 redshirt sophomore could be of greater help in the passing game.

"He's a guy who's got similar qualities (to C.J. Spiller) as far as giving you a chance to make something out of nothing," Napier said. "I think Andre is a guy that hopefully you'll see us use, similar to maybe last week, when we tried to use the tight ends a little bit (more)."

Making copies. In light of TCU's success with option runs from its quarterback, Swinney said Maryland quarterback Chris Turner is too mobile for his liking.

Turner, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound senior, has rushed for 84 yards this season, and the Terps have not used designed runs from their quarterback.

But defensive coordinator Kevin Steele spent a portion of Monday's practice correcting Clemson's gap control issues just in case.

"Coaches are copycats," Steele said Tuesday. "They see something work, they copy it. And you're going to see it. And if you stop it, you won't see it anymore - well, they fixed that. We went out there yesterday and practiced lights out and were right on schedule."

Spiller on catch. Spiller joked his turf toe has no choice but improve; his credibility cannot take a hit like it did when he was tackled by a TCU linebacker moments after hauling in a 60-yard catch.

"I can't keep getting caught," he joked. "I had to hear a whole earful from my head coach.

"Let's not get it twisted now, I had to stop for the ball. I didn't have any momentum."

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