Clemson University

Spiller plays well in front of dad

CLEMSON - Senior running back C.J. Spiller already has rabbit's feet, but he might have stumbled onto his good-luck charm.

Spiller's father, Clifford, attended one of his son's college for the first time last weekend - a 310-yard all-purpose performance that put Spiller back on the Heisman Trophy map.

The favorable news for Tigers fans is that Clifford, a Miami resident, is slated to make his first trip to Clemson for next week's division showdown with Florida State.

"He was very happy to see all his Miami friends who'd been talking to him," Spiller said. "To have my best game of my career when he was there meant a lot."

Spiller has six kickoff returns for touchdowns in his career, tied for the NCAA record.

The mark is shared with Southern California's Anthony Davis (1972-74) and Tulsa's Ashlan Davis (2004-05).

Spiller has three this season, two shy of Ashlan Davis' national-record five in 2004.

At seven total kick returns for touchdowns (punt and kickoff), Spiller is one shy of matching the NCAA record, held by four people: Hawaii's Chad Owens (2001-04), Kentucky's Derek Abney (2000-03), Nebraska's Johnny Rogers (1970-72) and Colorado's Cliff Branch (1970-71).

Saturday's opponent, Coastal Carolina, ranks 12th in the Football Championship Subdivision in kickoff defense, yielding 17.1 yards per return.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney intimated that he would not keep Spiller in the game Saturday to rack up stats if it is a blowout.

"I hope he doesn't play much at all," Swinney said. "That would be the ideal situation for me. That means things went real well in the ballgame."

Bamberg boys. Sophomore defensive end Da'Quan Bowers did some advance scouting of the Chanticleers during Clemson's Oct. 10 open date.

Bowers attended Coastal Carolina's 20-6 victory against VMI while spending the weekend with Chanticleers redshirt freshman Chris Presley, a second-string receiver.

Presley was the option quarterback for a Bamberg-Ehrhardt High offense that featured Bowers at fullback. The two have been close since the first grade, and Presley also is a cousin of Clemson end Ricky Sapp.

"(We have) a strong bond," Bowers said. "It's going to be strange playing against him for the first time after playing with him for so long. But hey, we're looking forward to it."

Grab bag. The 1:30 p.m. kickoff figures to have most fans - not to mention Clemson's coaching staff - back home in time for trick-or-treating Halloween night.

"I don't know what I'm going to dress up as yet," Swinney said. "This works out great for me. I'll be able to get my pillowcase out and get some candy."

Extra points. Junior linebacker Scotty Cooper (concussion) is expected to return from a two-game absence, Swinney said, but senior tight end Michael Palmer likely will be held out unless the Tigers need an emergency backup long snapper. ... More from the Spiller stat catalog - he and senior receiver Jacoby Ford need 376 all-purpose yards to establish the NCAA record for two players in the same class. Spiller and Ford have tallied 9,878 yards, trailing the San Diego State tandem of Marshall Faulk and Darnay Scott (1991-93). ... Kyle Parker's 25 completions and 326 passing yards at Miami were the second-highest totals for a Clemson freshman quarterback. Charlie Whitehurst completed 34 passes for 420 yards at Duke in 2002.

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