CLEMSON - Redshirt freshman safety Rashard Hall has heard no shortage of coaching opinions on his post-interception lateral against Florida State.
Don't do it again.
Hall's lateral at a key juncture in the fourth quarter flew by the intended target but rolled into the hands of Clemson linebacker Kavell Conner.
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The Tigers welcomed the interception part, especially at their current rate.
Clemson is tied with Iowa for the national lead in interceptions, with 19 through nine games.
It is the most the Tigers have compiled since 2002 and brings them within reach of the school's single-season record, 25, set in 1951.
"We're getting close," senior corner Chris Chancellor said.
Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder had thrown three all season before tallying four last week against Clemson, whose next target is N.C. State's Russell Wilson in Saturday's noon game in Raleigh.
Wilson tossed one pick as the ACC's first-team quarterback a year ago. After going this season's opening four games without one, he has thrown nine the past five games, including a career-high three last week against Maryland.
He also ranks third in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 24 touchdown passes.
Junior safety DeAndre McDaniel remains tied with UCLA corner Rahim Moore for the NCAA lead with eight interceptions, while Hall is among six players tied for fifth with five interceptions.
Six other players have one apiece, all but one a defensive back.
Hall, in his first season, has tied a school record with interceptions in four consecutive games. Others to do so were Dexter Davis (1990), Terry Kinard (1980-81) and Bobby Gage (1948).
"We know which quarterbacks are better than others," McDaniel said. "But we go in with the same mentality. We're about to make this quarterback feel bad."
Toe zone. Tight end Michael Palmer said he does not think people understand how badly star running back C.J. Spiller is bothered by his persisting turf toe.
And that's beyond witnessing Spiller pulling up to run out of bounds a few times against Florida State, or Spiller failing to kick into the extra gear on at least one potential touchdown run.
Spiller admitted this week that his conditioning has been affected by the minimal practice he gets because of the toe injury sustained in the season opener. He also said the reduced practice time has hurt his timing with the offensive line in several games.
Clemson's offense does not face full-scale tackling in practice during the season, a change under Dabo Swinney. But Wednesday's and especially Tuesday's practices include hitting.
Spiller said he is spared work in most of those instances to avoid unnecessary hits on the toe. Thursday, generally regarded as a lighter workout, is about the only high-repetition practice Spiller gets, running backs coach Andre' Powell said.
"With what he's done this year, I'd like to see him turn around and go through this season healthy and seen what he could have accomplished," Powell said.
Injury update. Sophomore defensive end Da'Quan Bowers was officially ruled out after not practicing the entire week. Swinney said the only other casualty could be special teams player Spencer Adams (flu), who should be available. Second-string corner Coty Sensabaugh was added to the official list as probable with a toe injury.
Special teams player Kantrell Brown, who has missed three games because of a concussion, has been cleared to play.
Freshman offensive tackle J.K. Jay, redshirting after undergoing back surgery in August, will have a second surgery in December, Swinney said on his weekly radio show. Jay withdrew for the fall semester because of a bout with mononucleosis.
Extra points. Spiller has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award, which goes to the nation's top running back. Last week he became the fifth player in ACC history with 3,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving, joining Clemson's Travis Zachery, FSU's Warrick Dunn, Virginia's Terry Kirby and UNC's Leon Johnson. ... This week, it's senior corner Crezdon Butler's turn to wear former teammate Stanley Hunter's No. 17 jersey. Butler, who strongly considered N.C. State, normally wears No. 18.