Sam Swank missed practice on Tuesday with a strained Quad:
The "questionable" label has to be treated with a grain of salt. This is a "strain" not a "tear", but the injury creates a problem for those of us that are riding the fence on this game. If Swank plays, it appears that he may be tentative on the longer kicks, and punts.
I can't really get a feel for the severity of the strain, so I'm not going to be helpful in that area, but I can point out his replacement.
It's Shane Popham
CLICK HERE FOR SHANEPOPHAM.COM
*Some sources had Shane listed as the #1 prep kicker in 2006.
*He recorded long field goals in several games (57, 54, 54, 53, 51, & 49 yards)
*In September 2006 he kicked a 57 yarder.
*He scored a 30 on his ACT and dominated the SAT.
*He had a cumulative GPA of 3.85!
As far as punting: It should be noted that Popham was the back-up punter on his own High School Team. He's listed as the #2 Punter in the depth Chart for tomorrows game.
It looks like the field goals will be handled well, but the punting remains to be seen. It's clear that Shane has the distance, and the accuracy........I'll try to get some links....
More 2006 Numbers: (from shanepopham.com)
* Touchbacks 57% (includes 18 squib/onside kicks or could be 76%) ** FG distances 57, 54, 54, 53, 47, 42, 35, 35, 35, 34, 34, 30, 30, 30, 28, 27, 24, 20 yds.
(missed FG's from 43, 44, 49, 50, 51, 53, , 56, 57, 58) 57 yards was the 2nd longest in Kentucky High School History
Click here for film of his 57 yarder! (thanks to Google Video)
He could have kicked it 66 yards! Yikes!
Not that I would fade a play on kicker.
Because if he was the real key the under would scream GOY. But the scrub did just enough.
In my humble opinion: The line drop from minus 3 back to minus 1is totally justified if Swank is out. I think Clemson needs to go after Popham (of course watching out for the inevitable fake if Clemson does it wrong). I think this kid can be rattled.
This guy confirmed he is OUT in his Forum post:
Guys: They have everything from "probable" this morning at the Myrle Beach Paper, to "questionable", to "out".
Here's my take, and I've heard this from Wake....They think Popham is a stronger punter than Swank. They are worried about the inexperience, but not too worried...they have been grooming this kid to take the job, and I don't think they want Swank out there on long field goals or deep punts.
You never know: Swank didn't dress on Tuesday at all, and didn't practice on Monday, so I think Popham is your man on everything but a 20 yard game winner....
I can't get a confirm on him being OUT.