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Tommy Bowden Press Conference Quotes

Tommy Bowden Press Conference Quotes

Sept. 12, 2006

Clemson Football Press Conference
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On re-evaluating the goals from the offseason of winning the ACC Championship: “We haven’t re-evaluated the goals. You’re always trying to win the next game, and if you win enough of them you put yourself in the position to accomplish the goals. We’ve played two out of 12. There’s a lot of football left and we’ll try as hard as we can to win this one (Florida State) and prepare regardless of injuries. The next guy has to move up, or make the next adjustment if there isn’t a next guy, or pull a guy from another position. You’re always trying to do that, sometimes more so than others. This just happens to be the most I’ve had to do it since I’ve been here, but it’s eventually going to happen. So it’s not so much you reprioritize your goals, your goals are still the same. We just have to find a different way to accomplish them.”

On the differences in defense from Boston College to Florida State: “Boston College is a good team. They’re a top-25 team. Florida State is leading in the nation in rushing defense. Boston College is fast and its run stoppers in the middle are bigger. They have the big 300-pound guys, while Florida State is close to 300 pounds. Florida State is a little more active as far as getting off blocks, and they are a little bit more agile. Timmons and Hayes (Florida State) and secondary guys will probably be faster.”

On the team’s level of confidence entering this game: “As I explained to the team yesterday after practice, 13 yards per game rushing is all they’re (Florida State) giving up. So it is tough to have a whole bunch of confidence against their defense. Then when we talk about their speed, if you watched the Miami game, both defenses were playing on another level at a speed that is pretty significant.” “I think we’re going to be a good defensive team once these young kids get a little bit more experience, but we have to play them (Florida State) this week. I would feel a lot more comfortable playing them later in the year. We lost the first five games against them, but have since won two out of the three, so obviously we go into the game with a little more confidence than we had going into the 2003 game. We haven’t won in Tallahassee since 1989, so that is a hurdle we have to overcome.”

On talking to his Clemson players after losing to Boston College: “Players bounce back a lot faster than coaches do. You try to put them in a realistic frame of mind. It’s early in the season and we have played two games, and they were sitting on a Monday night practice just like Penn State and Texas as far as losing a game. Then I bring up the California team and how they lost and they bounced back, so when I talk to the team about this particular situation after their first loss, I tell them no one goes through their career undefeated, and it is how you respond to the losses. It’s something this team has done well in the past. I think we’ll go down there (Florida State) and play well.”

On Clemson’s special teams during the Boston College game: “I did a poor job of practicing kickoff return defense (in the preseason). We practice a whole bunch, but I think all of a sudden you practice live a week before the first game. Then you start worrying about hitting and guys getting hurt and you don’t practice it live, you practice going down in your lanes. I probably did too much of that, but I’m going to go back today (Tuesday) and have some live collisions. It’s going to be a little bit more drill form where you don’t get knocked in each other’s legs.”

On the offensive line during the Boston College game: “Our offensive line probably had the best game they have played across the board from tackle to tackle, all five guys since I have been here. We gained 480 yards, converted 50 percent of our third downs and had good balance on offense. You win most games when you do that. It was certainly most improved over last year when we were 0-11 on third down and Boston College’s offensive and defensive lines won the game.

On the Florida State game: “We use to not have their attention after losing five straight games. (1999-02) I think we have their attention now. I think it will be a very intense and physical game with both teams thinking they can win.”

On freshman linebacker Jeremy Campbell (Florida native): “I’m really pleased with Jeremy Campbell. He’s a smart player. He’s gained 20 pounds since he first got here. He runs well and is an intelligent player. He’s one of those true freshmen that is going to have to play. He played a lot the first game and some the second game. I think he’s one of those guys by the end of the year that will have played a lot, and by the end of his career he’s going to be a really good football player.”

On Duane Coleman: “Duane is on track to graduate and he will do it. That will be a great story when he goes across the stage. He was really done a great job in the secondary and is a leader on defense. We need that leadership. He is a natural as a defensive player because he has that demeanor.”

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