By Will Vandervort
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said following practice on Wednesday it is doubtful right tackle Gifford Timothy will play this Saturday when the third-ranked Tigers host Wake Forest at 3:300 p.m. (ESPNU) in Death Valley. Timothy has not practiced this week after suffering a concussion in the NC State game last Thursday.
With Timothy most likely out, Clemson will start Shaq Anthony in his place with Joe Gore, who had a knee scoped a few weeks back, possibly backing him up at right tackle.
Anthony (6-4, 280) has played 43 snaps in each of the last two games. He came in for Timothy in the second series of the game in last week’s victory at NC State after Timothy struggled on the Tigers’ first series. He also played some in the second half as well.
“It is good to give him an opportunity,” Swinney said. “I’m proud of Shaq because this is a guy that started a couple of games for us last year and I had real high hopes for him and he just kind of took a nosedive on us.
“He just lost his focus. He was a young freshman last year. He lost a bunch of weight and all of that stuff, but he got refocused in January. He has worked real hard to work himself out of the hole he put himself in academically and with the trust of his coaches.”
After having a good camp, Swinney was glad to see Anthony come in and have some good plays last week to help alleviate some of the pressure being put on quarterback Tajh Boyd.
“He had some mistakes the other night, but they all do,” Swinney said. “He responded with some good plays. It was his opportunity to see what he could do.”
Eric Mac Lain will backup Brandon Thomas at left tackle this Saturday. Kalon Davis is expected to get the start at left guard due to the fact David Beasley has had to wear a green jersey at times this week in practice. Beasley will play, however.
“We are fortunate, and that’s one of the things I talked to you guys about before the year,” Swinney said. “I really felt like we had more depth on the offensive line than we have had. There have been times around here that when you lose one guy, you were in panic mode around here. But we are in the situation now where it is the next man up.
“That is a good situation.”
Though Ryan Norton is doing a good job a center, Swinney said they would like to get Jay Guillermo in the game so he can get some experience as well.
Other injury news. Swinney says linebacker B.J. Goodson is doubtful to play this week. He practiced on Tuesday, but complained of headaches afterwards so the team felt it was in his best interest to sit out another week. Goodson suffered a concussion in the win over S.C. State.
Patrick DeStefano will also miss the Wake Forest game because he missed Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s practice because of a stinger in his shoulder. He did receive good news from the doctors Wednesday and should be back in the mix on Monday.
Bonehead call. Swinney said on the timeout he called just before the half against NC State was a “screw up” on his part.
“First of all, I was not going to call timeout. I was just going to get in the locker room and move on,” he said. “We were going back and forth on whether we should’ve made them punt it with 15 or 20 seconds so they had to punt the ball because they would not want leave anytime on it.
“So that was a missed assignment on my part.”
Swinney jokingly said he did a few up-downs—what his players do for dropping a pass or making a bonehead decision in a game—earlier this week to make up for his mistake.
“I got the chance to slap myself in the face a couple of times,” he laughed. “That was one hundred percent me.”
Birthday boys. Wednesday was Boyd’s, Davis’ and Gore’s birthday.
“What a trifecta,” Swinney said.