Clemson University

Tigers' Davis stands behind words

CLEMSON -- When tailback James Davis lingered as one of the last Clemson players out of practice Monday, bystanders could not help but speculate the number of extra sprints he probably was forced to run.

But Davis, who guaranteed a Tigers' victory in Saturday's 3:30 p.m. game at Maryland, said Wednesday he has received surprisingly little feedback from coaches or players about his declaration.

Davis also claimed he legitimately read an article in which Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said he expected to win and had planned to duplicate that precise phrasing in his Monday interview.

One thing led to another, though, and Davis decided to carry the semantics a step further.

"I think everybody's on my side," Davis said. "It was just a little motivation for my team. They know I didn't mean it in a harmful way. I'm just trying to get us to the big game."

Published reactions from Maryland players have treated Davis' guarantee with various levels of significance -- the strongest coming from running back Lance Ball.

"I didn't know he could tell the future," Ball told The Diamondback, Maryland's student newspaper. "I mean, hey, I guess he wants to be confident. I can't control what he says. He's gonna feel like a dummy when we beat him."

• STRINGING IT TOGETHER: Although coach Tommy Bowden and offensive coordinator Rob Spence seem to expect junior receiver Rendrick Taylor to return Saturday, Taylor said he wants to go through today's practice before a decision is made.

Taylor has missed the last three games with a slightly torn hamstring and, considering his propensity for injury, wants to make sure there is minimal risk of re-aggravating the hamstring.

"Our odds (of winning) improve with him," Bowden said. "He makes third-and-4, third-and-6 catches and is awfully hard to bring down when he gets momentum."

Sophomore receiver Jacoby Ford (hip pointer) was limited in practice as a precaution.

• TWO MORE TO TANGO: Offensive line coach Brad Scott said he is looking to find more playing time for two reserves: redshirt freshman tackle Chris Hairston and sophomore guard Barry Humphries.

Hairston, the backup to senior right tackle Christian Capote, continues to impress with his footwork and awareness.

Spence said Humphries might be best suited for guard because of the extra step they are afforded before engaging in a block.

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