McDaniel tied for lead in interceptions; Coastal hit hard by injuries

Tigers will stick with line rotation

pstrelow@thestate.comOctober 27, 2009 

CLEMSON - Offensive line coach Brad Scott anticipates Clemson will continue its "free-wheeling" approach with its lineup on the right side of the line.

After playing the opening two series, starting right tackle Landon Walker and right guard Antoine McClain shared time with their backups - David Smith and Mason Cloy, respectively - during Saturday's 40-37 overtime victory at then-No. 8 Miami.

Cloy (38) and Smith (36) finished with as many snaps as Walker (38) and Smith (36).

Because of the time share, Cloy did not receive any time at center. The Spring Valley High alumnus was due to log center time when he relinquished the starting job to redshirt freshman Dalton Freeman during the previous game.

Scott said he plans to weave Cloy back into the center rotation for Saturday's 1:30 p.m. game against Coastal Carolina and beyond, and he does not expect a competition for the right-side starting jobs to ensue.

"The chemistry right now of what we're doing is working pretty good," Scott said.

Scott said he favors the current setup because several of the players perform better when they're getting 40 snaps per game than 75.

Which is why the one change this week could feature Smith getting a look as the backup left tackle in relief of starter Chris Hairston.

Smith, two games removed from switching back to tackle, has emerged as the team's third-best tackle and would be the only option to spell Hairston, tackles coach Danny Pearman said.

Picking his brain. Junior safety DeAndre McDaniel is tied for the NCAA lead with seven interceptions in as many games, a mark shared with UCLA sophomore safety Rahim Moore.

Five other players have five interceptions.

"DeAndre just really knows the game," redshirt freshman safety Rashard Hall said. "I would have had two more interceptions if I would have listened to him, and that's true."

Wait and see. Presumably to monitor how the divisional races take shape, ABC and ESPN have exercised a six-day window for deciding when to televise any of its four ACC games next week, including Clemson's home game against Florida State.

Chants can'ts. Coastal Carolina could be without five starters because of injury, including starting quarterback Zach MacDowall, who suffered a high ankle sprain last weekend.

Jamie Childers, a sophomore from Wando, is listed as this week's starter on the depth chart. MacDowell did not practice Monday.

Safety Dominique Davenport (MCL sprain), bandit end Quinton Davis (shoulder) and linebacker Chris Walls (undisclosed) were not listed on the depth chart, and guard James Sims (high ankle sprain) remains listed as the starter.

Sophomore corner Josh Norman, perhaps the team's top defender, has been cleared to play after being arrested early Monday morning for driving without a valid South Carolina license.

Extra points. Senior tight end Michael Palmer (concussion) did not practice Monday and is listed as questionable for Saturday's game. Cornerback Chris Chancellor did not attend practice, as he spent Monday in Miami attending the funeral of former prep teammate and Connecticut cornerback Jasper Howard. Chancellor was due to return to campus Monday night. ... Clemson will honor alumnus Lucas Glover for his U.S. Open golf title before the FSU game. Glover is slated to run down "The Hill." ... Three Tigers were among the ACC's players of the week: running back C.J. Spiller (specialist), quarterback Kyle Parker (rookie) and McDaniel (defensive back).

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