Spiller approaching another milestone
CLEMSON -- Barring an injury or hurricane, C.J. Spiller should become the ACC's all-time leader in all-purpose yardage Saturday at Maryland.
Spiller enters the weekend 63 yards shy of Leon Johnson's (North Carolina 1993-96) conference record of 5,828 all-purpose yards.
"The ACC has been around a long time," said Spiller, who said he might reflect on the record for a moment. "But (the record) is not going to help us win the ACC."
It would be the second career milestone for Spiller in as many weeks.
Last week, Spiller joined former Southern Cal running back Reggie Bush as the only college players to record career totals of 1,000 receiving yards (1,067), 2,500 rushing yards (2,623), 1,500 kickoff return yards (1,534) and 500 yards in punt returns (541).
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said it is even more remarkable considering Spiller split time with former Clemson running back James Davis for the first three years of his career.
While Spiller will likely soon lead the conference in all-time total yardage, he doesn't lead the conference all-purpose yardage this season.
However, he can shake the hand of the man who does Saturday.
The ACC leader is Maryland's Torrey Smith who has 980 all-purpose yards this season. Spiller has 857.
While Spiller seems to care little of records, he did mention he was pleased that several TCU players approached him to compliment him on how "physical" he was Saturday, while racking up a career-high 26 carries.
Spiller's ability to run between tackles has been in question in the past. Clemson offensive coordinator Billy Napier called Spiller's effort Saturday "ferocious."
Red zone media clinic?
So much media attention has swirled around the Tigers' red zone woes -- two touchdowns, 13 trips -- Swinney suggested a "media clinic" be held on the subject.
Swinney said it's easy to identify the problem, but he is taking on the harder task of fixing it.
One issue might be the Tigers have had more success running the ball from zone-blocking schemes than from power sets. Moreover, to soften up defenses, Napier noted the Tigers must prove they can pass efficiently inside the 20.
"The only thing we know is that we are not a national championship team. A national championship team wins those games," Swinney on losses to Georgia Tech and TCU.
Swinney is particularly pleased with one rushing statistic, which is indicative of the offensive line's improvement this season. The Tigers have rushed for 213 yards in the fourth quarter this season on 41 carries (5.2 ypc) … Swinney and receivers coach Jeff Scott both noted catching the football is not the only issue the wide receivers are having. The group has also struggled in run blocking, which is usually required for game-breaking runs.